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Yonge Nawe is a public interest membership based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that works on environmental and sustainable development issues. It was founded in 1987 by a group of members who were concerned with the state of the environment in the country and the low level of environmental awareness and public participation. These concerns have been carried throughout the life of the organisation.
Literally translated from Siswati to English, Yonge Nawe means, "You too must conserve."
Yonge Nawe's mission:
- To build the capacity of multiple groups to enable them to act in the interests of a healthier environment
- To educate and advocate for sustainable development
- Network and form working relationships with strategic partners nationally and internationally
Yonge Nawe's objectives:
- To raise environmental awareness and activism in society for achieving sustainable development.
- To act and protect the environment and natural resources using all available fora.
- To advocate for environmental and socio-economic justice.
- To advocate for development that safeguards the environment and natural resources for present and future generations.
- To conduct research on sustainable development issues to inform policy and decision-making.
- To advocate for policy and laws that guarantee good governance and equitable distribution of resources.
- To represent and act on behalf of the socio-economically disadvantaged in accessing environmental and socio-economic justice.
Yonge Nawe works with local and international partners who are concerned about the environment, health and socio-economic well being of socially disadvantaged members of society. We engage our partners at different times, and for varying purposes. Our partners are drawn from but not limited to the following categories:
- Community based organisations;
- NGOs working on environment and development issues;
- Academic institutions;
- Private sector;
- Regional and global environmental NGOs and networks;
In 2010 Thuli Mahama won the Goldman Prize for winning a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in the Swaziland Environment Authority, reinforcing the right to public participation in environmental decision making.