By: Youth Image Solutions and Global Justice Zambia
Youth perspective, Zambia should highlight the broader context of sustained and sustainable development, giving full consideration to each of the three pillars: economic, social, and environmental. It is necessary to take a long-term view, develop a strategic approach, and involve all levels of government, youth and elements of civil society.
Thus, governments need to invest in science and innovation, enhance resilience and human capacity, take country ownership of domestic sustainable development, promote frameworks and incentives for sustainable economic activities, promote transparency and inclusiveness, set ambitious yet realistic targets, and measure progress towards those goals.
Sustainable development should not be just the purview of environment ministers; all domestic sectors must be involved in sustainable development activities because it is attention to the three pillars together that will produce long-term results. This depends on government priorities, domestic governance in all sectors, and domestic coordination. It must also take place at all levels for it is at the state, regional and local levels that many of the decisions will be taken that determine the sustainability of development activities.
Moving forward, the will and priorities of individual governments will be essential. Government must recognize, however, that they cannot create political will by creating new multilateral institutions. Nor do new institutions guarantee greater efficiencies. What is essential is a commitment by governments to a sustainable future, in which a strengthened and streamlined institutional framework supports our sustainable development efforts.
Government efforts to improve governance should focus on enhancing implementation, support improved efficiency and effectiveness of international organizations working on sustainable development component. They must also go beyond environment and seek more effective coordination in the UN for efforts addressing all three pillars of sustainable development.
We strongly encourage integrating the three pillars in national development efforts including the mainstreaming a sustainable development approach into economic and sectoral planning. Public participation in decision-making, and transparency and open communication regarding development activities, governance mechanisms, and reporting at all levels are essential.
We believe that the ability of our national governments, academic institutions, and stakeholders, to measure progress is paramount. In that context we support a dialogue on how we can improve our abilities to evaluate the impact of policies and programs and report on results. We should incorporate relevant analysis from other institutions, assure that the information delivered to policymakers is fact-based and grounded in sound science.
We look forward to continued discussions, to hearing others’ thoughts, and to introducing our ideas as preparations for the 2012 Conference continue.
Youth Image Solutions (YIS) is a youth registered non-governmental organization in Zambia, whose mandate is to ensure that safe environment is a basic fundamental human right and that individual youths and the general Zambian population have the right to access quality and accurate information on climate change to enable them adapt and mitigate and respond to disasters effectively in affected areas locally and internationally.
Global Justice Zambia (GJZ) seek to mobilize a movement of young people and students in Zambia in partnership with other youth internationally, to promote global justice and responsibility through transformative education, leadership development, informed advocacy, better policies and environmental governance.