The Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND) was founded in September, 2008 and its mission is to achieve environmental sustainability through the development and active participation of young people in policy formulation, planning and implementation of interventions.
The founder of SYND, Chibeze Ezekiel, realized that young people were often neglected in decision making spaces because they were regarded as inexperienced. The organization seeks to disapprove this notion by giving young people appropriate training and support so that they are empowered to participate in environmental governance. As is the case in most African countries, young people in Ghana are grappling with unemployment and a lack of income that is exacerbated by energy poverty.
To combat this, SYND is currently involved in national consultation processes, publication of articles/papers as part of influencing key decision makers in the environment sector. They also participate in sensitization campaigns at the community level on environmental related issues. They have a core team of 7 volunteers and they have reached over 100,000 young people as a result of their advocacy work.
SYND is currently being supported by the World Bank Institute and UNDP to establish the Youth in Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (Youth-NREG) Platform. Going forward, they intend to create a platform to bring youth groups working in the natural resources and environmental sector and are in the process of developing the governance structure.
As Chibeze contends, “The surest way to guarantee sustainability of the global development agenda is to empower young people in line with the “Leave No One Behind” mantra of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” We couldn’t agree more!
SYND just released a report on ‘Youth Inclusion in the Governance of Natural Resources and Environmental Sector.’ You can read it here.