President David Granger, this evening, said that youth organisations such as the Rotaract Club, must prepare itself to assume a greater responsibility for projects aimed at promoting awareness of global issues, preventing damage and degradation, which are attributable to human activities and protecting the environment from pollution.
Speaking at a reception held at the Baridi Benab at State House for the delegates of the Rotaract District 7030 Conference, which is being held here, the Head of State said that Caribbean people belong to a magnificent region of earth, characterised by beautiful people, animals, birds, beaches, coastland, creeks, flowers, forests, grasslands, highlands, islands, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and wetlands, which constitute a vital element of the Region’s economies and of peoples’ livelihoods.
Caribbean youth, he therefore noted, are the custodians of these resources and must secure their future by protecting the environment from the threats of damage and degradation, which are mainly caused by human activities.
“Global warming of the earth’s surface and waters has had adverse effects on our Region and its people. Small island developing and low-lying coastal states are threatened by higher temperatures, rising sea levels, frequent and fierce hurricanes and other forms of extreme weather which can result in floods or droughts. Air, land and water pollution – caused by the indiscriminate burning of vegetation and insanitary dumping of non-biodegradable materials and other waste onto our land and waterways – threatens aquatic life, freshwater supplies and human health. The Caribbean people must protect themselves against the adverse effects of climate change and pollution. Caribbean youths and their clubs must help to safeguard the natural environment from these perils,” he said.
President Granger, who is the patron of the Rotaract Club in Guyana, said Rotaract clubs are crucibles for moulding young people’s attitudes, standards and values as they expose them to apprenticeship, internship, leadership and stewardship. They fill an important socialisation gap at the right time in their lives, he noted.
The Rotaract Club can therefore use its influence and resources to effect change, the Head of State said.
“Rotaract clubs are important vehicles for young people’s self-actualisation. They channel the exuberance and enterprise of their young membership into projects which benefit entire communities. Rotaract clubs are suited to the task of generating greater civic awareness about environmental issues such as climate change and pollution. Rotaract clubs have proud records of service. They are service-oriented, non-partisan and experienced in working with communities and in responding to natural disasters. Rotaract clubs have established local and regional networks; promoted community and people-centered projects through volunteerism; developed an understanding of the needs of people and earned public trust,” the President noted.
Rotaract District Governor Mr. Waddy Sowma, in his brief remarks said that the Rotaract Clubs are indeed made up of young, vibrant people who have the power to inspire and create change in their communities. He therefore charged them to continue to work to ensure that communities are transformed and people are inspired.
Participants of the Conference are drawn from Caribbean countries such as Grenada, Jamaica, Barbados, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and Grenadines among others.