The role of the youth in protecting the environment, and promoting sustainable development were the center of discussion during the celebration of Commonwealth day, on March 13. During the event hosted by British High Commissioner, Omar Daair at his official residence in Kacyiru and attended by several government officials, and private sector actors attendants marked the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter, of which King Charles III, the Head of the Commonwealth stressed that all members of the Commonwealth ought to unite and be bold. ALSO READ: Youth urged to join fight climate change crisis In his address, Daair, recited that the King highlighted that the 10th-anniversary celebration gives expression to the Commonwealth defining values of peace and justice, tolerance and respect, and solidarity for the environment, and the most vulnerable among all people in the association. “In each of these ideals lies an imperative to act to make a practical difference in the lives of 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home, whether on climate change, biodiversity loss, youth opportunity education, global health or economical operation,” he noted. Additionally, the Commonwealth has an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. King Charles III said that the extraordinary potential among the 56 independent and equal countries in the association is more than equal to the challenges they encounter, which enables building a future in harmony with nature and securing a planet for future generations. “There has to be a Commonwealth that doesn’t only stand together, but also strives together in restless and practical pursuit of the common good.” ALSO READ: Commonwealth Day: What's it all about? According to Daair, UK and Rwanda are key partners in the Commonwealth and are working together to seek solutions to Rwanda’s climate change and boost agriculture, most especially the tea sector. The British High Commissioner notes that the UK is one of the largest purchasers of Rwandan tea, with about 16 per cent consumption, and looks forward to strengthening the partnership beyond government, to engage the private sector. Daair said that the UK and Rwanda’s connection will also increase coffee and tea suppliers to a bigger sector of the market in the UK. “We also work very closely together on the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold chain (ACES) which is co-founded by the UK and the government of Rwanda to help farmers get their products to market in a sustainable way,” he stressed. In his address, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Ildephonse Musafiri, said that the partnership between UK and Rwanda is promising, and after Rwanda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) it is more popular, a thing that has presented more opportunities for the country in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Musafiri stated that the direct flights from Rwanda to London have allowed the exportation of Rwanda’s agricultural produces, such as fresh beans, flowers, avocado, and others. “We believe that as we join this community of 2.6 billion people, we hope for investments in all sectors.” Musafiri highlighted that more than 53 per cent of the Rwandan population is employed in Agriculture, and it’s the largest contributor to the GDP. He added that agriculture contributes to more than 37 per cent of Rwanda’s export earnings, noting that last year, it brought in forex of about $100m. ALSO READ: Rwanda’s revenues from tea exports up by 27 percent Young people are playing a part in protecting the environment, one of them is 27-year-old Grace Ineza Umuhoza who started a youth NGO, Green protector, to seek solutions to climate change and protect the environment for the next generation. The NGO that started in 2017, while in her third year at university after noticing how the community in Rwanda is vulnerable to the climate crisis, yearned to provide the required information about climate to the locals. Knowing that climate change is a complex issue, Umuhoza decided to tackle three things, that is, to engage and contribute to quality education, and to enable youth to be climate actors. “We engage in working with the community, to know their problems and design projects we fundraise, to be implemented. So far, we have completed five projects and three have already secured grants, from the National Geographic Society, Global Green Fund, and others,” she stressed. Umuhoza is involved actively in the climate negotiation process by working with the government in being present in places of taking concrete decisions around climate change. She has worked with 3,500 young people, and different partners have assisted to elevate climate education.