The Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) has hosted the Power Shift Environmental Summit on World Environment Day 2018 in Accra on Tuesday June 5.
Power Shift which is the largest annual youth-led environmental summit for young people in Ghana brought over 250 young people and industry leaders to share ideas and knowledge to take action on the scourge of plastic pollution in the country, under the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution’.
According to the Coordinator of GYEM, Mr. Gideon Commey, the solution to the plastic problem requires a multi-stakeholder collaboration which should include Government, academia, industry players, entrepreneurs, civil society, the media and general public to act together towards a sustainable solution.
He especially highlighted young people to be resourceful change agents who can lead solutions to the problem when empowered with the right tools, techniques and technology.
The Summit showcased the works of young entrepreneurs from COLIBA Ghana, Environment360, YEG Designs and Surge Digital who are contributing to the solution through various innovative ventures, and was addressed by Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle Constituency as the Keynote Speaker.
Dr. Rawlings indicated that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved if young people collaborated to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution in our communities. She added that participants could start from their homes and schools by separating their waste into organic and inorganic components.
The main presenter for Power Shift, Mr. Joshua Amponsem of Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) on his part, took participants through the threats posed by plastics to humans and ocean life forms. He admonished them to live eco-friendly lifestyles, change their attitudes and influence other youth in their communities and workplaces to avoid single-use plastic.
The Power Shift Environmental Summit was also used to remember the works of the late Akua Akyaa Nkrumah of the Green Ghanaian Initiative (GGI); an environmental technologist who passed on last year and did incredible work in the environmental space through various campaigns and initiatives aimed at recycling and effective waste management.
The programme also saw speakers from the Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC), Youth Volunteers for the Environment (YVE-Ghana), Lets Do It Ghana, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), among others addressing the participants.
Power Shift was arguably the first public No Plastic Event in Ghana. As a result, drinks and food were served in calabash and leaves respectively to the hundreds of participants.