As COP 27 drew to a close this Friday, November 18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, it is time to take stock of the exchanges made by the various actors present. It is known that among the latter, those who attract more attention are the presidents and diplomatic representatives of states and institutions. Evidenced by the noise about the absence of Chinese and American leaders at the beginning of this COP. Strongly represented, however, was an emerging fringe of African civil society actors who champion ecology and fight global warming in word and deed. Among these environmental activists, a 21-year-old Senegalese named Yéro Sarr is a figurehead in this fight for the environment, a kind of Greta Thunberg in the tropics.
Yéro Sarr was born in early 2001 in Yamoussoukro on Ivorian soil. His parents of Senegalese origin naturally introduced him to the culture and roots of the country of Teranga. He spent part of his school days and youth in the Houphouët Boigny terroir.
In 2014, Yéro moved to Senegal on the initiative of his parents. He will leave his suitcases in Fouta, more precisely in the town of Ranérou, to continue his studies at the university. Far from his family, of course, but attached to the land of his ancestors, Yéro manages to integrate without difficulty. He passed the BFEM with flying colors and received a scholarship to the Lycée Yavuz Selim Bosphore. Therefore he will attend part of the secondary school in Dakar before going to Dagana where he will get his Bac S in 2018. In early 2019, he returns to Dakar and enrolls in the Faculty of Physical Chemistry at Cheikh Anta University Diop.
Convinced of an ideal of life and the pursuit of a society that takes into account the legacy of future generations, Yero Sarr begins to take an interest in climate issues. The findings are without appeal. First, he believes that Africa, which pollutes the least, suffers the most from the effects of global warming. Then, in his opinion, ecology is not the focus of our rulers’ concerns. It is therefore essential for Yéro to be committed to this fight in order to be heard and bring about change.
With this in mind, he founded the Senegalese branch of “Fridays for Future” in 2019 and, under his leadership, organizes a number of actions ranging from “Set Setal” to demonstrations and parades, especially in Thiès. These will cause some intimidation to no effect given Yéro’s determination.
To expand this fight to protect the environment beyond our borders, he founded Act on Sahel and joined the Young Afro Climate Warriors in like manner.
His positions and media earned him an invitation to COP 27, where he brought the voice of young Africans and participated in proposing solutions to curb global warming. On this occasion he took part in various conferences and negotiations, for example on the subject of “Loss and Damage”. He also founded a new alliance with the German Luisa Neubauer from Fridays for Future Germany called “Senegal Germany’s People’s Alliance for Climate Justice” to combine their efforts in the fight for climate justice in both countries.
Yéro’s commitment and actions have found an echo on the international stage and garnered a number of awards. These include his Forbes Africa nomination in the top 30 young people (among those under 30) who are influencing and influencing the development of the African continent, and being nominated in Greenpeace International’s top 10 young people who are changing the world . Yéro is currently in the running for the Africa Green Person Awards, which are being held in Nigeria.
“The distinctions are only secondary, the priority remains the fight against global warming and raising awareness on a large scale to make it a central issue in the daily lives of our leaders and citizens,” confides the young environmental activist with an optimistic demeanor .
With great serenity, this son of Senegal participates in the various round tables on climate to make his voice heard before the world’s decision makers. He intends to continue this fight, which he describes as “necessary” for the survival of living beings and our planet.