In the footsteps of GLOBE Nigeria, on 28 October GLOBE Senegal kickstarted a series of exchange sessions between legislators and high school students, in order to bring environmental and climate decision-making and civic education closer to the youth. The first student-MP exchange workshop was hosted by the Collège Mère Jean Louis Dieng in the outskirts of Dakar.
GLOBE Senegal President Hon. Ibrahima Baba Sall opening remarks stressing that the delivery of the Plan Sénégal Émergent Vert (PSE-VERT), the national multi-annual plan to speed up green growth, requires the ownership of the youth, and that environmental, peace and civic education need to be a transversal element of educational programmes. He then presented an outline of recent parliamentary activism on the climate and environment governance, with a particular focus on the implementation of the Great Green Wall, forest protection and the REDD+ mechanism, and the benefits of implementing environmental economic accounting. Hon. Sall also underlined the commitment of GLOBE Senegal MPs to make the case for enhancing government efforts advancing environmental education and training to contribute to the sustainable development of the country.
Students took the opportunity to put forward their concerns, including as regards the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture and forestry in the context of the Great Green Wall; the effectiveness of initiatives combating plastic pollution in support of the law on single-use plastic bags that invade the Great Green Wall territories; and the need for institutional and financing mechanisms in support of sustainable urban development of territorial collectivities along the Great Green Wall.
In response, President Sall noted that the concern that GMOs pose dangerous risks to agriculture, livestock, fisheries, the environment, food and public health was shared, and that these had been recently addressed by a Law on Biosafety recently adopted by parliamentarians. In addition, he pointed out that measures have been taken by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement the recommendations of the Dynamique pour une transition agro-ecology in Senegal (DYTAES) under the Great Green Wall. With regard to plastic pollution, the parliamentarians have pleaded for budget lines to strengthen capacity to better fight against plastic pollution in the communities of the Great Green Wall. To support this process, the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development has initiated incentive measures for the uptake of biodegradable bags. With regard to financial and institutional mechanisms for the Great Green Wall, several cooperation frameworks between technical ministries, local authorities, community-based organisations, civil society and NGOs, etc have been foreseen under the Cadres de Concertation framework.