The three-day African Youth Conference (AYC) on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) 2024 being organized by the Strategic Youth Network Development (SYND) opened at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra on May 2, 2024. This event is being held to advance discussions on Natural Resources and Environmental Governance on a regional level while empowering young leaders to shape the future of Africa. As this resonates with YPARD’s mission to empower young professionals to shape sustainable food systems, YPARD has been a major partner on this initiative- particularly in aspects of agriculture and the food systems. Also among the partners are the Ford Foundation, the British High Commission, Gower Street, and Kasa Initiative.

Aside from the chief discussions, the conference is to highlight and promote Youth-Led Solutions which can address the current climate and environmental challenges that face the African continent. As such, the conference on NREG has convened from several African countries about 300 youth champions who are leading systemic change through their community-based work in climate change, green jobs, energy transition, food systems/food security, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Spotlight on Wilfrid Adjimoti of YPARD Benin

Wilfred Adjimoti of YPARD Benin discussing his project

Among the many inspiring youth-led initiatives related to Natural Resources and Environmental Governance was one led by Wilfrid Adjimoti, the Country Representative for YPARD Benin under the title Fungal Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sustainability and Livelihood Implications (The FC-SSA Project). The FC-SSA project has a span of 34 months and is being led by the University of Parakou with financial support from the Darwin Initiative Grant 30-020). 

The project involves awareness creation on the importance of fungi, as well as data collection, and the evaluation of the diversity and uses of fungi to support the efforts of countries within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The main activities under the FC-SSA include forest restoration, reforestation of sacred forests, and the establishment of community and village gardens alongside local trees and edible mushrooms. The project which targets 20 villages in Benin also looks forward to editing at least 70,000 new records on fungi and associated organisms and investigating the socio-economic aspects of fungal diversity in relation to human wellbeing, poverty and gender inequality ( ).

The AYC on NREG facilitates youth participation in the attainment of Africa’s commitment to the African Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7, 13 and 15 which are on Clean and Affordable Energy; Climate Action; and Life on Land respectively.

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