Even while this country is on target to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) more emphasis should be placed on the environment and the marginalised youth.
This was the call by attorney Carlos James to the participants of the environmental clean-up campaign at the Fitz Hughes beach on Monday.
The event, spearheaded by the Generation Next North Leeward youth organisation under the theme “Keeping SVG Clean, Preserving Our Future”, was part of the celebrations to mark this country’s 34th anniversary of Independence
James noted that stronger education and awareness is needed among the youth to ensure sustainability of natural systems and the environment goes beyond the target date for the MDGs.
“We have to promote conservation techniques even at the school level so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come,” James said.
He credited the efforts of the North Leeward group in spearheading the clean-up campaign.
“Environmental degradation starts with the destruction of the ecosystem, therefore campaigns such as yours are vital in preserving that balance,” James said.
He further noted that while access to all levels of education continues to be a driving force of the current administration, more focus can be placed on marginalised youth who are not captured by the education dragnet.
“In 34 years of self-governance our social development planners have not successfully engineered a programme to tackle the youth on the block and the unemployed. What about to school ‘drop-outs’ and the youth on the block?” James said.
According to James, a broader educational programme is needed to capture these youngsters in order to stifle delinquency among the youth.
The clean-up campaign received assistance from the Solid Waste Department and the Richmond Vale Academy.