Youth groups receive grants for environmental projects

Two environmental youth organisations, the Youth Climate Action Network and the Tokelau National Youth Group, have received grants from the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (S.G.P) to implement climate actions in households and communities. 

The Youth Climate Action Network (Y.C.A.N) with representatives from 12 villages in Upolu and Savai’i received a grant of US$47,500 (T$109,250).  

The Network will implement environmental projects focused on four main areas: waste management, rehabilitation of ecosystems, replanting and conservation of forests to protect watersheds and birdlife, and agricultural activities based upon sound ecological principles to support livelihoods generation for unemployed youth.  

Y.C.A.N was established in September 2015 in response to the need to have more young people leading environmental and climate adaptation actions in Samoa.  

Its mission is to demonstrate that youth, given a chance to lead such initiatives and with good support from partners and communities, can make a difference at community level and for the society at large.

With the grant received, the Youth Climate Action Network will also promote solutions for clean energy - such as biogas - advocate for policy changes in support of improved environments and livelihoods, and finally, assist community leaders and the government in environmental monitoring.

The Tokelau National Youth Group (T.N.Y.G) is a network of  60 young people from the three atolls,  supported by their respective local governments called “Taupulega” as well as the Government of Tokelau. The group received an S.G.P grant for US$47,400 (T$109,250) to implement a soil-less garden technique for households which uses minimal water as both soil and water are very limited in Tokelau.  

The project of the T.N.Y.G will initially focus on 30 households and schools on each atoll and aims at building capacities among youth teams to extend expertise and assistance to other households in order to strengthen climate change resilience nationally.

G.E.F Small Grants Programme Co-Chair and S.U.N.G.O CEO, Faafetai Alisi said: “We are so pleased to be providing young people - who are already very active in the environment - the opportunity to do more for their communities and, at the same time, create awareness and jobs. We want to especially thank the Australian Government for the funds provided to these youth initiatives under the Mekong Asia Pacific/S.I.D.S-Climate Based Adaptation fund.  We are very appreciative of the wonderful connections youth are making with government agencies, U.N.D.P and all others partners assisting them.  Faafetai tele lava!”

Jovilisi Suveinakama, Consultant and Advisor to the Ulu of Tokelau, added:  “The commencement of this initiative will provide a platform for Tokelau Youth and an opportunity to build local capacity not only to further understand climate change and its adverse effects but to also adapt and be able to mitigate these effects through sustainable and practical actions that are crucial to preserve and protect our fragile environment.”  

At youth awards ceremony were also present Sefo Vulu, General Manager for the Office of Taupulega, Atafu, members of the Tokelauan community, Samoa government representatives, U.N.D.P and S.G.P staff, and fifteen representatives of the Youth Climate Action network.

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