ISLAMABAD - "It is very essential to involve young people in advocating for development issues as youth has the potential, and it is our responsibility to provide them opportunities and utilise their potential for development of our country". Speakers expressed these views in a seminar titled "Grooming youth for greener Pakistan" jointly organised by Youth Advocacy Network (YAN) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday in connection with celebration of International Youth Day (IYD) 2008. This year global theme for IYD was "Youth and Climate Change: Time for Action". While addressing on the occasion, Mariam Jamal, Communication Officer WPF said that WPF believes that for any development issue, youth can play an effective role as they are considered to be the change agents and future of the country. She further continued that we are celebrating this day with two main purposes, firstly, to advocate for implementation of Youth Policy along with emphasis on the role of effective youth participation in policy development process. Secondly, to raise awareness on pollution factors that affect the social development process affecting all segments of society particularly youth. "WPF has been working in Pakistan since 1997 to harness youth potential and enhance their leadership qualities to further promote social development", she said. Member CDA, Mazhar Hussain, in his address congratulated YAN for mobilising a large number of young volunteers to participate in walk held for a cause. He said that CDA has been committed to make Islamabad greener and cleaner, and WPF has complimented their efforts by bringing the platform, where we make a pledge to involve young people in healthy activities. "And by involving them in this activity and giving them a chance to lead the programme, we want to set an example as to how young people could be involved in social decision-making process", he added. SSP Traffic Police Zuber, while addressing on the occasion also appreciated the collaborative effort by CDA and WPF. Fahd Shafiq, General Secretary YAN said that his network comprises 300 volunteers from all over Pakistan. He said that these young fellows are involved in carrying out various activities all over the country to advocate for their rights. He said that IYD gives the world an opportunity to recognise the potential of youth to celebrate their achievements and plan for ways to better engage young people to take action successfully in the development of their societies. On International Youth Day, series of activities were also organised by the YAN with a view to mobilise young people and enhance their leadership quality by involving them in healthy activities. The activities involve a walk, tree plantation at a designated site in F-11, Islamabad, and an arts & crafts exhibition to recognise youth participation in sustainable development of the country so as to acknowledge the youth potential. Prior to the event, a walk was held with more than 500 students from various schools on Margalla Road Islamabad. Students were carrying placards demanding to involve youth in social development and decision-making, implementation of youth policy and the role of youth in eliminating pollution. The walk led by the students and other young volunteers ended with tree plantation. Various schools planted trees in the name of their institutes with an aim to show their commitment to keeping the environment clean.