Welcome to discussion room 1!

A key success factor for raising ambition on climate is ensuring a youth-inclusive process. In this space, we invite you to discuss the role and significance of young people’s meaningful participation in climate action. We want to learn more about different ways of understanding and seeing youth meaningful participation. In this room, we also offer you a space to share actual stories and cases of youth meaningful participation in climate action. We want to inspire each other, understand what has worked and what has not, and unpack contexts and enabling factors. Thanks in advance for your real-world examples and stories!

 

To discuss the role of youth in the ongoing NDCs enhancement process, we invite you to introduce yourself and to offer your perspective.

 

 

Please respond below to any of the following questions, noting the question number in your response:

 

A) Defining youth meaningful participation

  1. How would you define youth meaningful participation in climate action and how is this definition already present (or rather missing) in your current working context?
     
  2. Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?
     
  3. How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?
     
  4. In which arenas and levels/scales of participation can youth successfully influence climate action (e.g. at grassroots level, in collaboration with local governments or other non-state actors, in collaboration with the government, or in UN climate talks or other international fora?) Why?
     
  5. In which phase of the climate policy-making do you see youth participation being most effective (e.g. planning, implementation, monitoring, accountability)? Why? 
     

B) Cases to learn from:

  1. Can you share inspiring examples or practices of successful youth participation in climate action (from grassroots level to NDC enhancement)? What were key factors of success?
     
  2. How were vulnerable and marginalized youth and intersectionality addressed? How did this work link with the promotion of a human rights-based approach? Did this experience include a gender-based approach?
     
  3. How did youth narratives and practices contribute to a more just and ambitious agenda/policy content or help connect climate action with other relevant sustainable development goals, e.g. biodiversity, sustainable cities, etc.?
     
  4. What concrete support provided by United Nations system and/or governments and/or other local or international actors was important for the success of your story?
     
  5. What do you see as key barriers/challenges for youth meaningful participation in climate action? How can these be overcome?
     
  6. Are there useful tools or methods you would like to recommend, in order to enable meaningful youth participation in climate action?


 

Comments (111)

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Week Two Summary

Dear Participants,

Thank you very much for very active and interesting discussion last week and for your very informative and rich contributions.  It’s not an easy task to summarize so many excellent examples, ideas and suggestions. [~6063]  and I tried  to distill the main themes, but, please, feel free to add and continue sharing your thoughts and experiences, as discussion continues for another week.

Key themes emerging from the discussion:

  • Meaningful youth participation in climate action is possible at different levels- national, sub-national and local as well as in different ways- policy development, productive activities, job creation, learning and capacity building.  
  • Barriers to effective participation include lack of national government support for climate action, absence of effective local and national mechanisms and networks for youth participation, insufficient education and expertise as well as disconnect with key priorities of young people such as education and employment.
  • The participants provided examples of addressing the barriers in many different ways including involving youth in productive activities at the community level, providing crucial technical training in renewable energy and other key technologies, creating education and hands-on learning programs, volunteer activities in the community.
  • Some examples emphasized important social inclusion aspects with resulting additional benefits, such as targeting and involving rural youth, disabled youth and youth living in conflict and post-conflict areas.
  • The participants highlighted the importance of creating a sustainable infrastructure for meaningful participation: advisory groups, networks and centers with civil society organization as key conveners and providers of services.
  • Effective partnerships with government at all levels as well as with UN agencies were identified as important factors of success.

It is also important to note that many of the examples were made possible by provision of dedicated seed funding, which supported establishing participation infrastructure, “learning by doing” activities, essential training and other interventions enabling youth participation.

Marie-Claire Graf Moderator

Welcome everyone - we are very delighted moderating this room of the e-discussion this week and engaging with all of you. My name is Marie-Claire from Switzerland and together with [~94272] from India we are the current Focal Points of YOUNGO, the children and youth constituency to the UNFCCC. The discussion starts today and will last until August 7. The conversation can be translated to 100 languages and at the end of every week we write a short synthesis report to ensure a smooth handover and that all of your ideas and comments are taken into consideration. Our aim is to conduct an inclusive consultation and support UNDP on their climate promise, showcase best practices on meaningful youth climate action and participation as well as on NDC process. 

If there are any questions or you face challenges to interact please let us know. Now let's get to the 11 guiding questions. You find them above.

 

Joshua Amponsem

Response to Q10: Young people are often seen as a homogenous group. This  is what I see as the biggest barrier for result-oriented youth engagement. In the paper, Adapt for Our Future , I stressed the need for current institutions to see the diversity of youth.  Young people seek to influence decision making through diverse ways (such as signing and submitting petitions, flash mobs, protests, social media campaigns, graffiti, etc.) that correspond to their own understanding of advocacy and activism. Hence, decision-makers struggle to find ways of addressing the needs of the different approaches. At the same time, the challenge is not only limited to the diverse ways of advocacy but also the diversity in the needs and changes that is requested by the young generation. To overcome this, I recommend governments and UN to investment in the institutionalization of youth activism and towards public participation.  This means creating a legal structure that gives political (decision-making) power to young people while providing them with all the needed resources (finance, knowledge, technical skills, etc) to organize themselves at the national and international level. 

Marie-Claire Graf Moderator

Many thanks [~94337] for your valuable response to Q10 as well as to bring our attention to the Adapt for Our Future. In the light of your statement highlighting the need to address the diversity of youth, of advocacy, of needs and changes we would love to get your opinion on Q3. 

Additionally if you are aware of any good example of institutionalization of youth activism and public participation we would be delighted if you could share (section B).

ADEBOTE 'Seyifunmi

Hello MC and Heeta,

Great to be here. My name is 'Seyifunmi Adebote. I am a young environmentalist from Nigeria and the host of the Climate Talk Podcast.

I totally believe that youth-inclusiveness when appropriately done can shape global conversation about climate change and other environmental subjects. However, this is totally different from tokenization or getting young people into the room to tick the box without holding their contributions worthy.

Speaking from a national point of view, I would say Nigeria is gradually picking up on involving youth meaningfully to participate in climate action. Clearly, there is a lot more to be done, not only in Nigeria but also across the continent. Identifying the right crop of young people, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and including them in the process would take us closer to meeting our climate goals.

Marie-Claire Graf Moderator

We are delighted to hear that Nigeria is a good example of meaningful youth participation. Thanks a lot [~94342] for your comment and in case you have specific engagements to highlight we would be very interested to learn more (section B).

Would be great if though your podcast you can animate more youth from Nigeria and Africa to engage in this consultation to be able to capture diverse voices.  

Rebecca Carman Moderator

'Seyifunmi: I was very glad to hear that you have noticed the government of Nigeria is picking up on youth meaningful participation in climate action. Through the NDC Support Programme, UNDP is working with the government and a leading NGO to systematically engage youth constituencies as part of the NDC enhancement process. I hope that my colleague [~92142] will provide more insights!

Sakinat Bello

Welcome Adebote, Good to have you here.

Thank you for sharing the climate change workforce in Nigeria, more need to be done to empowering young people in scaling up initiative, project and its implementation for effective service delivery and long term sustainability especially for young people in marginalized and vulnerable community.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

[~94664] 

Dear Sakinat Bello thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 
I would love to hear more of your concrete ideas on what should be done to better empower young people?
Best,
Monika

Sakinat Bello

[~94277] It is of no doubt that young people have great idea and initiative but lack of empowerment in form of information, strategize and financing to scale up beyond the pilot stage remain a constraint.

In Nigeria the narrative is changing, In 2019 the Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with UNDP  kick-off the first Youth Climate Innovation Hub Boot Camp, the program which bring diverse young innovations and idea together across it 6- geopolitical zones to providing a climate smart solution to solve the negative effect of climate change in scaling up by sharing of ideas, information, technology through partnership, collaboration and access to donor funds. This was gear towards achieving the Nigeria's NDC commitment of 20% unconditional and 45% conditional mitigation objective by 2030 while empowering youth as approved in 2015 by the current President.

One of the success record was the Global sheros Awarded to Adenike Oladosun, FridaysForFuture Activist, and Adebote Seyifunmi, these are young people at COP25 evenly representing the voice of the Young Network in Nigeria. Also Local Green Awards to Young Advocates and Innovators in Solar Energy and Waste Recycling by NGO.

As a co-founder of an environmental youth-led organization and convener of Sustainable and Affordable Energy Project, A program that sensitized rural and marginalized community on negative effect of deforestation, trained young people on how to convert agricultural waste into briquette and production of efficient cooking stove to young girls and women. GoGreen Project, A 3-year program that is focused students on climate change, environmental sustainability through recycling, tree planting and efficient use of natural resource. and many volunteer experience around environmental sustainability.

Our workforce has contributed in areas of reforestation, efficient energy and waste management and influence policy implemetation which are part of Nigeria measure in the NDC. 

Lesson Learnt

Lack of youth engagement: When project or initiative are to be implemented youth engagement are lacking, making young people feeling imposed rather than taking ownership affecting the overall program deliverable. It is important to engage youth has it has been proven to build passion, improve commitment and ownership as ideas are shared and redefined to suit their community culture. 

Uneven representation of youth on high level stakeholder engagement : Ensure long term sustainability, their is need for youth to be at the table from policy down to its implementation as ensure decision affecting them are adequate note.

Lastly Lack of adequate information of NDC, access to technical support and start-up funds has led to many youth giving up on their ideas and initiative, there is need to strengthen communication of the NDC to local level understanding, improve access to donor funds, technical support  through innovation Hub and market for their product if available. 

Thanks

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Sakinat Bello, 

Thanks a lot for this inspiring example! You bring up some very good points about what is needed for young people to be meaningfully engaged, and what are the current challenges. I am wondering if you also have some thoughts about the inclusion aspects of involving all different kinds of young people meaningfully in climate action? Maybe some thoughts related to question 3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?

Best,
Monika

Paloma Costa

How would you define youth meaningful participation in climate action and how is this definition already present (or rather missing) in your current working context? For us to have a meaningful participation of young people in climate action, us, as youth, with our representative groups, should have a role and a sit on the decision-making table. You see, us as young people and future leaders, are legitimate parties to legally (and socially) demand any type of action that violates our collective environment. And we should be consulted, just as it says in the article 6 of the Convention 169 - to original and traditional peoples, in case of any administrative or legislative measure, project or policy. This is our intergenerational right to an ecologically balanced environment. Not only our right but also a duty of the entire collective, public authorities, youths business sector, all community. This in a National or International level. On our daily activities we should respect all forms of intelligence and co-create a path of education that envolves all of this forms of learnings. Saying that, we should incorporate youths visions in all kind of plannings inside organizations and work spaces, this guarantees that we are pathing a way of proper accountability and transparence and that we are going a way that incorporates and reflect the changes leaded by young people and the world we also want to build together. We should always respect all young individuals on their views, not treating them for less just because they don't have the amount years of expertise as you do for the simple fact that we are young and every time we include a young person on a discussion we should remarkable remember that. This does not means that we don't have exceptional young people in the world, we are full of this. It just means that we were trained to measure experience by titles and specially in global south situations, some kind of titles are TOO difficult to have.. so we should change our ways on measuring young capacities, we should embrace all exceptional young people around the world and give them an opportunity to raise their voices, learn and share their opinions. Education and opportunities can not be elitized. Otherwise we will keep having the same of all and we will keep doing the same mistakes. If things come at this point, maybe it is time for us to change our dynamics and systems. We all know things this way are no longer working, so let's rush and change all. In my work, gladly, my voice is heard, thanks to young collective work, but when it comes to talking with my own decision makers or government this is no longer possible. We've been labeled as "pirralhos" and our opinions are not even listened. Sometimes I can not believe this is true. But we are "pirralhos" and this will never stop us working on raising awareness of our fellow companions. So thanks to civil society who believes in us and help with our projects s2

 

Marie-Claire Graf Moderator

Thanks so much Paloma Costa for your elaborated answer to Q1. It is absolutely crucial for meaningful youth engagement to involve youth in decision making and give them a mandate to sit at the tables when decisions are taken. As mentioned this is part of our intergenerational right and duty. Hence it's essential to change our ways on measuring young capacities and of course we should embrace all exceptional young people around the world and give them an opportunity to raise their voices, learn and share their opinions. We hope thorough this consultation we can capture many more youth voices and also bring together a set of good practices. In case you have examples we would be delighted if you can share them.

Noella Richard

Hi everyone and many thanks on behalf of the global conversation's team to Marie-Claire and Heeta for greatly moderating this e-discussion on Week 1! We have been thrilled to count on YOUNGO's support and look forward to your continued engagement in this conversation and in UNDP-supported youth and climate activities.

I also would like to suggest we take a moment to congratulate [~94366] [~89942] and [~94343] for being appointed today as members of the Secretary-General's newly established Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, together with 4 other outstanding young leaders! This is a wonderful step towards greater institutionalization of youth participation in the United Nations and in climate action, and we are so thrilled to count on you as champions! Warmest congratulations to all!!!!! Press release: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2020/07/young-leaders-ta… 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94366] thanks so much for your valuable insights! I am wondering if you have any advice on how to ensure that the young people get a legitimate seat at the table and that their voice is representative of as many young people as possible?
Best,
Monika

Marie-Claire Graf Moderator

Week One Summary

Thanks for the valuable engagement this week - it was a great pleasure and very informative to learn from all your insights. [~94337] highlighted the urgency to address the diversity of youth as well as the institutionalization of youth activism. Furthermore ADEBOTE 'Seyifunmi informed us about the situation in Nigeria & [~94366] on the necessity to have youth sitting at the table when decisions are taken.

With this short summary I will hand over the discussion to the next moderators who start today and will be here for the next one week. I especially encourage the participants to address the not yet questions & also highlight examples to answer the questions of the consultation: Achieving success: Identifying youth roles, barriers and enabling conditions

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Dear Colleagues, 

Welcome to the second week of the discussion! It was was a pleasure to participate in rich knowledge sharing during the past week, more to come! This week I will be co-facilitating the discussion in Room 1 together with [~6063] and we are very much looking forward to your contributions. It would be especially important to learn about specific examples from your work. Please structure your inputs around the questions posted above. I will re-post them below again. Please note the question number in your response. 

A) Defining youth meaningful participation

  1. How would you define youth meaningful participation in climate action and how is this definition already present (or rather missing) in your current working context?
     
  2. Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?
     
  3. How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?
     
  4. In which arenas and levels/scales of participation can youth successfully influence climate action (e.g. at grassroots level, in collaboration with local governments or other non-state actors, in collaboration with the government, or in UN climate talks or other international fora?) Why?
     
  5. In which phase of the climate policy-making do you see youth participation being most effective (e.g. planning, implementation, monitoring, accountability)? Why? 
     

B) Cases to learn from:

  1. Can you share inspiring examples or practices of successful youth participation in climate action (from grassroots level to NDC enhancement)? What were key factors of success?
     
  2. How were vulnerable and marginalized youth and intersectionality addressed? How did this work link with the promotion of a human rights-based approach? Did this experience include a gender-based approach?
     
  3. How did youth narratives and practices contribute to a more just and ambitious agenda/policy content or help connect climate action with other relevant sustainable development goals, e.g. biodiversity, sustainable cities, etc.?
     
  4. What concrete support provided by United Nations system and/or governments and/or other local or international actors was important for the success of your story?
     
  5. What do you see as key barriers/challenges for youth meaningful participation in climate action? How can these be overcome?
     
  6. Are there useful tools or methods you would like to recommend, in order to enable meaningful youth participation in climate action?
Hovhannes Ghazaryan

Dear colleagues and participants,

It's a pleasure to be part of this e-discussion and get to know interesting ideas and cases from all over the world.

Let me share the Armenian example on youth involvement in climate actions and by that answer to Q1, which is “How would you define youth meaningful participation in climate action and how is this definition already present (or rather missing) in your current working context?”

Climate change is an issue for all, but it is a necessity to involve youth in discussions and decision-making processes. Youth participation is an action-oriented process that involves young people of different ages, where the biggest barrier is lack of knowledge, vision of big picture, lack of capacities and UpToDate information in educational institutions, and also professional support.

Over the last decade, the SGP-Armenia has implemented a series of demonstration projects on the introduction of renewable and energy-efficient technologies. Oftentimes, the technical part was mostly handled by the groups of local practitioners who acquired knowledge and skills through “learning by doing” with limited classroom education. Interest towards solar energy technologies and PV systems, in particular, created a demand for skilled practitioners who are qualified to design, assemble, install and maintain solar panel systems, especially in rural parts of the country.

Unprofessional approach to these works, which often the case in rural Armenia, leads to malfunctioning of the installed solar energy use systems and improper perception of their performance as well as economic benefits. The latter in turn results in incorrect forecasts of the investment/loan payback period. To address these issues, the SGP-Armenia proposed creating a functional learning platform for education, training and capacity building by providing essential knowledge and vocational skills on innovative low carbon technologies to students of different technical colleges in regions. Moreover, taking into account the high level of unemployment in rural parts of Armenia, it was essential to create future employment opportunities, especially for younger age groups to avoid youth migration.

Within the SGP Innovation Program on “Youth and Climate Change”, the SGP-Armenia was among those countries that received funding for enhancing youth employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through creating a network of Low Carbon Energy Education Centers. The centers will ensure targeted capacity building and vocational training of students in tech universities and colleges and unemployed youth in providing green energy services, with particular focus on solar systems’ design, installation and maintenance. Qualified young practitioners trained by the Centers will meet the growing demand for “green” jobs, especially in rural Armenia, where solar energy technologies are rapidly expanding.

The project will partner with companies providing “green” energy services and interact with the employment agencies to liaise the educated and qualified young specialists with potential employers.

To complement the above-mentioned efforts, another project targeting the high-grade schoolchildren was considered for funding within the same Innovation Program. It aims at increasing awareness and competences of schoolchildren about climate change issues, mitigation and adaptation measures, green energy sources and conservation, so they will get “green” skills and respective tools to do energy assessments of their school buildings and the opportunity to implement their suggestions on energy performance improvements.

Both projects started in January 2020 and had to shift the activities as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

I invite [~94586] and [~94530] , our SGP grantee partners, to complement!

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Excellent Hovhannes Ghazaryan, thank you! I think you touched on very important point, which I saw raised by various participants in this discussion. Young people are often lacking tools for meaningful participation. And I also agree that the main priority, especially in current situation of mass unemployment,  is their participation in job market and "green jobs". If there is a hope for green recovery, it had to be driven by young people, who need to acquire relevant skills. Looking forward to more contributions and discussion on the issue. 

Nune Sakanyan

Hi everyone, it is great to be part of this discussion. [~82282] many thanks for mentioning our project.

The relationship between environment and employment is evolving, from an initial focus on pollution control toward activities that transform the economy and avoid environmental damage. Investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are impossible without respective experts. So the aim of the project “Green Skills for Youth” is to raise interest of youth in green skills and specializations necessary for sustainable and green development of the country. 

Young generations occupy a unique position in relation to the threat of climate change. Unlike with other environmental challenges, the most severe impacts of climate change will affect future generations, who will be forced to address the threat and make radical transformations possible. However, the most potent, yet underestimated force for climate actions is the youth.

The project targets youth aged between 12 and 16, who will be involved in trainings, experience exchange events and practical activities. The project will provide young people opportunity to implement their impactful and innovative ideas using renewable and energy efficiency technologies. For this reason schoolchildren will be involved in energy assessments of their schools, generations of ideas of for improving energy efficiency of schools and implementations of that ideas which eventually will influence on selection of “green” specializations, youth employment and/or will support youth entrepreneurship. More information can be found on http://www.sgp.am/en/Projects?id=116.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to participate to this e-discussion. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the project.

Best,

Nune

Khachik Sahakyan

Привет всем, я очень рад участвовать в этой дискуссии. Большое спасибо Ованнесу Казаряну за упоминание нашего проекта.

Возобновляемая энергетика, энергоэффективность и защита окружающей среди тесно взаимосвязаны. Последние 10 лет в Армении интенсивно развивается солнечная энергетика, за счет чего сокращаются вредные выбросы в атмосферу. Возобновляемые источники энергии природу и населению дают ползу, когда они служат долго и эффективно. А для долгой службы надо что эти технологические системы были спроектированы оптимально и установлении грамотно. Для решения этого вопроса  Общественная организация «Ферти» с финансированием GEF SGP реализует проект «Создание образовательных центров по низко углеродной энергетике для молодых специалистов»

Цель проекта: расширить возможности трудоустройства и предпринимательства для студентов технических колледжов и высших учебных заведений,  а так же для других молодых специалистов путем создания фундаментальной платформы по обучению низко углеродным технологиям.   

Грамотность молодого поколения для решения вопроса оптимального и эффективного использования и внедрения источников возобновляемых технологий и энергоэффективых решений играет осевую роль.

Проект ориентирован на молодежь в возрасте от 16 лет. Проект предоставит молодым людям и студентам фундаментально овладеть торическими и практическими навыками отрасли.   Дополнительную информацию можно найти на http://www.sgp.am/en/Projects?id=115 .

Еще раз спасибо за возможность принять участие в этой электронной дискуссии. Я буду рад ответить на любые ваши вопросы относительно проекта.

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

[~94530] Большое спасибо!  I agree, educating youth and giving the, relevant skills, particularly for participating in emerging "green jobs" market is key for ensuring meaningful youth participation. Hope others will learn from your experience in Armenia. 

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

[~94586] Thank you very much, excellent examples addressing key barriers to youth participation. We will definitely distribute widely for others to learn. 

Rebecca Carman Moderator

It's very interesting to learn about the green jobs approach in Armenia! Under UNDP's NDC Support Programme, we are collaborating with ILO to look at green jobs in the context of the NDC in Nigeria and Zimbabwe -- in Zimbabwe, there'll most likely be a youth focus integrated into the analysis.

[~94530]: 1. Do you have any recommendations or insights about designing green job programmes for youth? Because sometimes we might see this as an "easy" or "key" solution but perhaps miss some critical barriers that mean we don't get the results or impacts that we anticipate. 2. Did you also consider gender dimensions in the project?

Khachik Sahakyan

[~ 6063]. В наших учебных заведениях мы будем давать и предпринимательские знания. Скажем, что возобновляемая энергетика это та отрасль где проблем нет.

А так же в рамках проекта мы будем сотрудничать глобальным климатически фондом для вовлечения молодых специалистов в проектные действия по энерго эффтивному ремонту зданий.

Также ы нас есть меморандум с фондом «Сотрудничество бизнес и учеба», которая будет помогать молодим специалистам реализации бизнес идей.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

[~94530] Thanks so much for your local examples! That is very inspiring. Do you maybe have some thoughts on Question 2 "Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?" 
Best,
Monika

Khachik Sahakyan

[~94277]  Внедрение технологии по возобновляемой энергетики и энерго-аффективных решений сразу решает 3 вопросы: социальное, экономическое и экологическое. Получается, что при внедрениях этих технологий и, если молодёжь разных гендерных групп владеет навыками этих технологий непосредственно решается экологический вопрос (сокращает выбросы парниковых газов и употребление углеродных горючих). А бенефициарами этих действий являются граждане разных гендерских  групп.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

[~94530] good point! I fully agree, focussing on energy-efficient technologies is key. Do you maybe also have some thoughts on inclusion and on question 3 How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?...

Mary Awad

Hello everyone,

It's great to be a part of this discussion and many thanks for the interesting inputs already submitted. 

Contribution to Q1: 

In international climate talks, down to local government policy-making, the conversation is rarely guided by “What must we do now to ensure a sustainable and safe future for upcoming generations?”. I believe the essence of the youth climate movement is to try to shift the direction of the conversation into always asking that question first when combating climate change, and not last. The definition of the youth climate movement is humanizing the climate fight, which is the most efficient way to address it.

Another aspect in which I would define youth meaningful participation in climate action is the variety of entry-points. The movement ranges from weekly protests to technological innovation to participating in UN climate talks. This exact variety must be upheld and expanded in order to have more impact.

But there are some to the youth's effective participation, namely the access to the necessary information to keep the movement up to par with the governments' and international actors' decisions. User-friendly platforms targeting younger demographics on policy-making and climate-relevant legislation are needed for the youth to understand what are the decisions being made which will probably impact them. Another need is the representation of the youth in climate-relevant inter-ministerial meetings in order to 1. build capacities and 2. allow for input. This can be organized with schools and universities for mobilization. In short, climate-relevant policy-making should be an interactive process with the younger generation from all socio-economic backgrounds and vulnerability profiles in order for the policy to be responsive. 

I am happy to engage further should the need arise. Cheers to all!

Mary from Lebanon
 

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much [~94391] for this very insightful contribution. I fully agree, the participation does not happen on empty place. Ensuring young people's place at the table and provided adequate information are key pre-conditions. In your experience in Lebanon and elsewhere, did you encounter examples of such policies or measures (successful or not) than support your points? It would be great if you could share more. Thank you! 

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thank you, Mary Awad! Just to add to my co-moderator Angelica Shamerina's comment, one aspect that would be interesting to hear you expand upon are related to our Qs 4 and 5 - Where have you seen the greatest opportunities for youth successfully influence climate action, incl. the NDC process? and In which phase of the climate policy-making do you see youth participation being most effective?
You also noted a key point about framing climate action in the context of sustainable development. Lebanon has done some interesting work around the NDC-SDG nexus. Did your analysis help with this framing? Were there any key outcomes that are particularly relevant for youth?

Mary Awad

[~89824] Thanks for your question. When I was at the UN Youth Climate Summit, countless delegates have shared that governments are now mandating a youth representative in the negotiations for the NDC update. Moreover, countries such as the Netherlands are including youth in their official climate negotiations delegations to build their capacities and make the process more inclusive. 

Mary Awad

[~6063] Thanks for your questions Rebecca. The greatest opportunity for youth influence on climate action is actually right now. Countries are updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in an effort to be more ambitious and meet the Paris Agreement goal. I have seen the Youth movement being vocal in an effort to push governments to be more ambitious, and the pressure today should be double as strong because of the timely opportunity. The simple fact that youth events are taking place in the same space as climate negotiations, and that youth is being mentioned in all high-level speeches and around round-tables as a major topic, means that the influence is working.

As for which phase of the climate-policy making is youth participation most effective, I believe we all have the same answer which is all them. I believe youth is not just to be consulted at a certain stage, but should be involved in defining its objective, participate in its implementation and innovate to contribute to the solution. Therefore, grass-roots projects up to international climate talks, youth involvement from all backgrounds should become systematic.

As for the point on the NDC-SDG climate nexus, the exercise was indeed very beneficial in shaping Lebanon's climate policies and activities (documents available at this link: http://climatechange.moe.gov.lb/publications). Now that we are thinking of climate action as sustainable development solutions, we are tackling future job creation, health and safeguarding ecosystems for future generations. We are trying to make this exercise an inherent part of the process, and with as many ministries and institutions as possible to mainstream the concept of a safe future in all policy-making. 

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

[~94391] Thank you so much Mary, excellent points. 

Rebecca Carman Moderator

[~94391] Yes, thank you so much!

 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94391] thanks for your valuable inputs! Very good points. I wonder if you also have thoughts on Question 2 "Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?"
Best, Monika

Mary Awad

[~94277] Thanks for your question. It is difficult to answer this question correctly as I might not know the full extent of youth-related action. But, from my experiences, youth participation can be deeper in terms of political involvement. Career paths to become a public servant, policy-maker, government official to influence the course of climate action should be an priority action of its own. The link between politics and climate action is robust, and politics influences climate action either negatively or positively. Being a climate leader in a political career is very impactful. Moreover, climate mainstreaming in any chosen career is possible, from lawyers to teachers to artists. It’s about carrying the message into realms which do not usually deal with climate or environment issues.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

[~94391] very good points! I agree that it would be useful to get more young people directly involved in governments and civil services. Do you maybe also have some thoughts on inclusion aspects on this? Maybe about question 3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?

Elena Bondarenko

Dear colleagues, greetings! Thanks for the useful and very interesting discussion. 

For the question #6:

The SGP Belarus has many inspiring examples of successful youth participation in climate action. Let us mention few of them:

Project name: Mitigating negative climate effects by abating the consequences of the bark beetle epidemics in Krasnapollie District of Mahilioŭ Region ( BLR/SGP/OP6/Y4/STAR/CC/18/13), 2018-2020.

Under the project, more than 796,000 seedlings and young plants of pine, spruce and birch were planted by young volunteers. Over 131.6 ha of territories affected by the bark beetle epidemic were restored.

BLR/SGP/OP6/Y4/STAR/CC/18/05    Establishing "EcoEnergetika" Center for Energy-Saving and Environmental Education of Youth

One of the project aims was development and implementation of an informational educational course for children and youth in the field of combating climate change and introducing energy-saving technologies. As a result of the project, an exposition of innovative, informational, educational developments and technologies was formed to demonstrate the effects of anthropogenic impact on the climate, economic, social and environmental benefits of introducing energy-saving technologies into human everyday life. The exposition was facilitated by the development and placement of an interactive distance learning courses on the environmental awareness on the educational internet platform www.yaklass.by.  More than 45,000 young people have successfully mastered this course. The developed electronic training program was used in more than 400 schools in Belarus

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Dear Elena, thank you very much. These are excellent examples. Definitely, volunteerism is one of the key ways youth can be involved. However, going beyond that, as mentioned by [~82282] as well, youth need skills to participate in jobs market and effectively "marry" the climate action with life and career aspirations. Education is of utmost importance here and in SGP we try to ficus on that as a long term transformational approach. I'm inviting others to participate as well and discuss this in more detail, so, I hope you will be available to engage and answer questions.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~93283] thanks so much for sharing the inspiring example! I wonder if you also have thoughts on Question 2 "Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?"
Best, Monika

Elena Bondarenko

Dear Angelica, thank you very much for your comment.  I will be happy to take part in the discussion and give a number of other SGP Belarus practical examples of involving young people in the fight against climate change and other challenges, including both volunteering and theoretical spheres. 

Aatika

Q1 & 2 I think the biggest asset to youth would be providing the knowledge they'll need in order to take initiative with causes they want to lead. However, this has to be done in a way where direction is given but young people are not forced to take the back seat. It ties back to the idea of trust and having faith that they will take the information taught to them and put it to good use. 

When I say knowledge, I am mostly referring to skills that many young people haven't been exposed to yet. We know what we're passionate about and have big ideas about the approach we want to take in order to tackle these issues but get stuck along the way because achieving our goals requires more "adult" abilities. How do you build business relationships or properly reach out to community organizations? What is the best way to market our idea and rally support (whether the idea be a campaign, singular event, long-term project)? .etc I believe building foundational skill sets that allow youth to confidently engage and implement their idea in the "real world" will be crucial in fostering strong youth-led initiatives.

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much Aatika. I very much agree with your points. Did you see any good examples of providing such foundational support to youth in your work or your country? It would be great to hear more. 

Valentyna

Dear participants,

It's my pleasure to be part of this e-discussion and learn about the best practices on youth meaningful engagement from all over the world.

SGP Ukraine supports and mainstreams youth active participation and youth-led initiatives from the very beginning of programme implementation. In our day-to-day work with youth we are very acknowledged on all the challenges that young people face in Ukraine. I would like to list the most important ones, namely lack of tools, poor infrastructure and financing, lack of knowledge and opportunities, as well as lack of networking and partnerships. 

In this context, we support youth-led and youth-engaging projects on the ground aimed at establishing youth educational and knowledge centers/platforms, providing new educational and job opportunities for young specialists, promoting youth green social entrepreneurship, developing capacities of young activists and strengthening networks and partnering activities. 

More than 10 years of programme performance is resulted in establishment of partnership networks and regular national-level youth forums, dozens of successful and sustainable youth initiatives on climate action, engagement of local/rural youth to the national and regional level discussions. 

For more effective understanding of youth needs, now SGP Ukraine is forming a Youth Advisory Group to support Technical Advisory Group and National Steering Committee.

It is great to say that recently UN agencies in Ukraine have established the UN Youth Working Group in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth. This initiative will provide new opportunities for cooperation as well as unite efforts towards development of youth engagement policy in Ukraine. This is a great opportunity for SGP Ukraine to attract new partners and promote youth in climate action. 

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thanks for sharing such impressive engagement with youth in Ukraine, Valentyna. 1) Have you found particular channels work better than others for identifying/reaching out or engaging youth? Or channels that did not work well at all?! 2) It would be very interesting to hear more about the Youth Advisory Group, as this is such an important tool for any country as we move forward into five-year cycles of climate planning, implementation, monitoring, stocktaking, and ramping up ambition under the Paris Agreement. Can you share more about the processes and approach if these are elaborate, e.g, Will the group be formally established? For how long? How will advisors be selected? What is their role, and how often and when will they engage with the Technical Advisory Group, and how much "power" will they have?

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you so much Valentina. It's interesting to hear how Small Grants Program in Ukraine is addressing youth participation systematically, going beyond project-based interventions and establishing permanent infrastructure and networks for youth participation. Also I agree that collaborative effort to establish youth advisory bodies in the country together with other UN agencies is the most effective approach.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94638] thanks so much for sharing this example!

Cool to hear that youth advisory groups are spreading in many countries. I believe there are similar things in place in Denmark and in Poland. It would be great to get more details and maybe share the best practices between these groups...

I wonder if you also have some thoughts about question 3 "How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?"
Best, 
Monika

Sargis

Hello, I am Sargis from Armenia, I represent "Spitak Farmer" NGO.

The creation of such platforms is very welcome.

I would like to share our experience conducted in Saramej community of Lori region in Armenia through UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme funding, being Introduction of ‘green’ backyard gardening practices for improved livelihoods in Saramej community of Lori.

http://www.sgp.am/en/Projects?id=76

The initiative came from a group of young people in the community, who assessed a number of problems in their community, highlighted one of the most important problems - the lack of irrigation water, due to which the community lands were not irrigated, and residents, including young people could not ensure income and had to find work abroad.

Together with youth, a project was developed, that included agro-ecological solutions, ensuring sustainable livelihood for the community residents.

Before the project implementation, the community did not have irrigation water to cultivate their plandplots. Many young people in the community had to migrate. There is an old submersible pump in the community, which consumed 40 KW of electricity per hour, so the cost of water was quite high for the community - about 6000 USD per year. In addition, the community did not have an irrigation system.

As a result of the project, the pump was modernized, a 7.5 kW / h pump was installed, water reservoirs were installed, a closed irrigation system with individual connection was built, a 5 kW solar photovoltaic station was installed, which compensates for the calculated electricity consumption for the pump.

If before the cost of 1 m3 of water was 0,13 USD, now it costs 0.025 USD. Now the community is saving 4500 USD annually.The payback period of the invested funds is calculated for 1.5 years.

Alongside, trainings were organized to introduce cultivation of new, high-value crops. The trainings raised interest among young people, who had the opportunity to use the gained knowledge at the practical works. They realized that in many cases the replacement of traditional crops with non-traditional, high-value crops provides a higher and more stable income. The community youth are very enthusiastic to share their experience with neighboring communities.

After the project implementation, this model began to be widely replicated in other communities, already funded by government and local administrations.

Attached  you can see the diagram.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

This is such an inspiring example, Sargis! What I really like is that the idea and actions were youth-led, and then by addressing the water issue facing the community, there was the impact of improved agricultural opportunities and livelihoods. Can you tell us more about how the replication/scaling up has worked, and whether youth have remained central to raising awareness of others?

Sargis

[~6063] 

Dear Rebecca, thanks for the question.

A model solar powered irrigation system successfully piloted in Saramej community of Lori region has attracted great interest from public and private sectors with the demonstrated increased energy efficiency and associated savings within the operations of farms. As a result, this model scheme is now being replicated by 8 private farmers and 7 rural communities of Lori region through state subvention programs of 2020. It is envisaged that as a result of low price for electricity and water due to installed solar-powered irrigation system 250 ha of agricultural lands will return to cultivation, thus providing additional income for farmers in the region and reducing the number of work migration.

The experience and knowledge obtained during the project is widely disseminated through YMCA Spitak branch – the most visited youth center, where a demo training center for young agroecologists was established within another initiative, funded through the SGP http://www.sgp.am/en/Projects?id=80

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

[~94549] , thank you very much for this great example. It addressed another point that was repeatedly raised in this discussion - the importance of involving youth in productive activities and creating of "green jobs", particularly in under-served rural communities. 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94549] thanks so much for sharing this inspiring local example! I wonder if you also have some thoughts about question 3 "How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?"
Best, 
Monika

DyachenkoMaryna

Our Ukrainian experience from CSO"s Network “Green Zhytomyrshchyna” in close cooperation with SGP UNDP-GEF Program is demonstrated that the participation of young people in climate action is most successful with the close cooperation of local authorities, science, educational institutions, both schools and universities. It is important that the actions of young people were supported by local authorities and received scientific explanation and promotion by scientific institutions.

Thus, within the framework of the SGP Innovation Program ‘Youth and climate change” in cooperation with Polissya National University, wide opportunities were supported and provided for the youth initiative for composting of organic waste and production of compost. Problems of burning organic waste, fires in rural communities, increasing the negative effects of climate change, exacerbated especially during the pandemic COV-19.

The role of the Small Grants Program in replicating results at the national level, supporting local initiatives, empowering rural youth and bringing them to the national and international levels is very important and unique. In the context of decentralization in Ukraine and frequent changes of government, the opportunities and experience of the Small Grants Program to support rural youth in climate action is particularly valuable.

Thus, participants in the SGP Innovation program have the opportunity to join the governmental youth group (co-chairing of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, UNFPA, UNDP), to celebrate International Youth Day, as well as to show their results in promoting youth climate policy in the process UNECE “Education for Sustainable Development” https://www.unece.org/env/esd.html.

Our answer concerns questions A1, B9.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thanks for your insights, Maryna. It's great to see how you are making the linkages to the COVID19 pandemic. Could you elaborate a bit more on the theory of change underlying the SGP support in Ukraine? What are the particular barriers and challenges that the project work was seeking to overturn and how/why/when was youth brought in as a target beneficiary for addressing waste management?

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you Maryna! It's very interesting to see how examples from Armenia and Ukraine highlight three, in my view, most important approaches to ensuring youth participation in climate action and policy development in countries: 

- Education and capacity building giving young people necessary knowledge and tools; 

- Involvement of youth in productive activities and "green" job creation; 

- Establishment of youth participation structures at local and national level (advisory, groups, councils, networks etc.). 

Good to read also about collaboration of different UN agencies and a dialogue with the governments. 

 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94639] thanks so much for your valuable insights! Very inspiring. I wonder if you also have some thoughts about question 3 "How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?" 
Best, 
​​​​​​​Monika

Zainab

Hello participants,

I am Zainab and I am an ambassador for Inclusion with the UNESCO Youth Forum in Nigeria. 

In response to Q3, How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?

In my opinion, the earlier we acknowledge the interconnectedness of our global issues and seek interlinked solutions, the better our chances of achieving the sustainable development goals. One way to implement this would be an evident collaboration between various specialised UN agencies. For instance, in a bid to include the topics in the question above in youth participation in climate action, UNDP, UNWomen, UNFPA, UNFCCC, UNICEF and UNESCO could collaborate on an initiative that would utilise the unique expertise of each agency and seek to address their individual target issues, in relation to climate actions and youth participation.

Because issues of human rights, gender equality and the likes are better understood from shared lived experiences, it is paramount to involve youth at rural or community level and provide a platform that allows them to voice their opinions and proffer possible solutions or change they wish to see. This level of inclusiveness is crucial for sustainability and encourages full participation of vulnerable and marginalised youth.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thank you for these insights, Zainab. It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on what you see as key barriers/challenges for youth meaningful participation in climate action, and if there are particular considerations (tools, approaches, services) that UN agencies should consider to engage and enable youth meaningful participation in climate action.

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much Zainab, I second the importance of collaborative approach involving different UN agencies, both globally and at the country level. I have to say that I see some evidence of that globally, specifically on youth issues, though the cooperation needs to further develop to include more joint activities. One example I can point to is development of UN-wide youth strategy. Another, more specific, is our work with UNFCCC and other Rio Convetions' secretariats (UNCBD, UNCCD) hosted by UNEP, on Global Youth Video competition  https://biomovies.tve.org/competitions/global-youth-video-competition-winners/ I hope to elaborate on this example later in the discussion. Finally, an interesting example of agencies' cooperation at the country level, in Ukraine, was discussed above.  

Zainab

[~6063] 

In Nigeria, for instance, access to information is a key barrier to youth meaningful participation. Young people are unaware of national climate action plans or ongoing projects. This could be as a result of a lack of interest by youth or inability of decision-makers or organisations to carry young people along in these processes. In other cases, barriers related to finance prevent youth from participating in climate action projects especially where technology and innovation that requires huge start-up capital is required. Similarly, we have youths that are interested and compassionate about climate actions but do not possess the knowledge, experience or expertise in the field and unfortunately, there are no active structures/platforms in place to educate amateur climate enthusiasts. 

I am a member of YOUNGO, a global youth constituency of the UNFCCC. So far, YOUNGO has promoted youth involvement in global climate issues. I imagine a YOUNGO at country-level and even down to state and community level. In this manner, the impact of climate actions would be more visibly experienced even down to rural communities. It means global success statistics recorded would actually translate to lived experiences of young people even at the local level. UN agencies could collaborate with national and state governments to organise youth coalitions, groups, networks with targeted climate action areas, e.g. climate action in agriculture, in gender development, in technology and innovation, in entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises, in education, in public policy, in health etc. National constituencies with adequate funding and monitoring would enhance visible and measurable collaborative climate actions.  

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Zainab thanks so much for sharing your reflections! This is very valuable insights. I wonder if you also have thoughts on Question 6: Can you share inspiring examples or practices of successful youth participation in climate action (from grassroots level to NDC enhancement)? What were key factors of success?
Best,
Monika

Anastasia

Hello participants

I am a representative of a Ukrainian NGO, at the moment I am an expert of the GEF SGP project, the main task of the project is to support young people and expand their opportunities for knowledge, skills and funding.

As part of the project, we will create a Youth Climate Center, which in Chernihiv will be the first such center in the region and a great example of building the capacity and potential of young people. The Center will disseminate and implement best practices in education for sustainable development on adaptation to climate change. The Centre's activities will help educate young people to make informed and responsible decisions in favor of environmental integrity, taking into account economic and social components, empower young people in developing and implementing project initiatives in communities and understanding the links between global environmental issues and sustainable community and local action.

The process of establishing the Center involves local authorities, regional departments of education and ecology, NGOs from all over Ukraine, higher and secondary educational institutions, nature reserve institutions, community representatives and many other participants. Such a wide range of stakeholders will ensure the sustainability and efficiency of the Center and minimize the possibility of barriers to the establishment and operation of the Center.

The priority task of the Center is to empower rural youth, in addition, the Center will involve the parents of these children, encourage them to create favorable conditions for the development of environmental culture and environmental responsibility in preschool children. Also, the work of the Center will include components of gender equality and social inclusion of children with special needs.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

This sounds like a great initiative, Anastasia. Could you share some more background on the key barriers that rural youth are facing and that you are trying to address with the Centre?

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much, Anastasia. Looks like a concerted effort was made in Ukraine to foster youth participation through establishment of training centers, networks and advisory structures, particularly in rural areas. It would be good to track the sustainability of these initiatives and learn about the outcomes in medium to longer term, when the project is completed. 

Svitlana Potocka

Hello participants,

I am the chairman of the Chernihiv regional organization of the Ukrainian Society for Nature Protection, which is the oldest environmental public organization in the region and has been focusing on practical environmental activities and environmental protection since 1993.

We work with governments, research institutions, nature reserves, educational institutions, businesses and others, bringing together international and national partners.

Together with the institutions of the nature reserve fund we carry out ecological-educational and upbringing work, in particular seminars, classes with pupils and students in cooperation with schools, centers of youth creativity and other educational institutions.


I want to share the success of the Agrobiostation, which operates on the basis of the Chernihiv Regional Pedagogical Lyceum for Gifted Rural Youth. The lyceum is a new type of institution and positions itself as the Eco-school of Chernihiv region, where the main provisions of the concept of education for sustainable development and education are implemented.


Agrobiostation - the center of research, environmental and educational activities of the institution. It is located in the northeastern part of the city of Chernihiv, on the territory of the regional landscape park "Yalivshchyna". For many years in a row, students together with teachers conduct their research and environmental activities on the territory of the agrobiostation.

The Agrobiostation consists of III zones and VI departments, in particular educational, scientific and exposition-demonstration zones. Thematic excursions for pupils and students are held on the territory of the Agrobiostation; educational and extracurricular activities; educational biological practice; summer schools, scientific-practical lyceum and regional student conferences; ecological holidays, trainings and meetings with all-Ukrainian and international representatives, students lay down experiments of research works of the competition of the small academy of sciences.

Now, one of the priority areas in the work of the Agrobiostation is to expand the capacity of young people on climate change, in our work we use the best international experience and practices in this area.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thank you for this detailed description of the approach you are taking, Svitlana. Since it is such a long-running example, I was wondering if you are seeing impacts from the work that has been undertaken -- for example in terms of changes in mindsets, or more ambitious climate policies or actions? I would also be interested to learn if you incorporate gender considerations into your approach, or target any particular communities?

Svetlana Zhuravel

Dear participants! Thank you for the opportunity to share your own examples of successful participation of the youth of the Zhytomyr region in climate action.

The ecological problem of climate change affects all countries of the world, in this regard, each person must change his consciousness regarding his attitude to nature. An important role belongs to young people, especially from rural regions, who have a lack of knowledge, information about the causes and consequences of global problems. Thanks to the Small Grants Program in Ukraine, we have a great opportunity to influence the formation of eco-awareness among young people who live in the Zhytomyr region. Since June 2020, our public organization, together with young people, has developed the UNDP-GEF SGP project "Developing the capacity of youth for leadership and climate impacts." The project coordinator was a student of the 11th grade of the Vodotiivsky Lyceum of the Brusilov Village Council, who cares about the ecological situation of her area and, together with scientists from Polesie National University, was engaged in research on the use of vermibiota (earthworms) for the disposal of organic waste and the use of biohumus as an organic fertilizer for growth and development plants. The research results were tested in research work and won first place in the competition of the Small Academy of Sciences of the Zhytomyr region.

For the support of the Small Grants Program in Ukraine in July, a seminar "Composting in Society - Youth Works!" has social, economic and environmental impact. This information aroused interest among young people and was disseminated on television, radio, newspapers, as an important communication tool for rural youth, as well as on social networks. Not least important is the fact that the experience of solving this problem was extended not only to the territory of the Zhytomyr region, but also to the neighboring regions of Ukraine.

Today, it is very important to involve young people in such practical seminars, trainings, eco-games, which contribute to the formation of eco-thinking and skills that will help to realize their ideas for improving the environment, not only at the local level, but also on a global scale. As a project expert, as well as an ecology teacher at the Zhytomyr Agrotechnical College, in accordance with my experience, I observe a lack of knowledge among students regarding climate problems, as well as sustainable development strategies. We will recommend the inclusion of a biocomposting section in the curriculum of higher education institutions to train young ecologists, agronomists, farmers and create green jobs.

In this regard, with the support of the Small Grants Program, our experts are developing a number of trainings on the improvement and adaptation of biotechnology for composting organic waste as an effective method in the fight against environmental pollution and human safety. Also, taking into account foreign experience, methodological recommendations are formed regarding the development of the consciousness of the younger generation, which can be used in educational institutions when studying the disciplines of the natural science cycle. And despite the initial stage of the implementation of our project, we hope for the enthusiasm of the young generation, who will use the experience and skills gained in the fight against climate change.

Rebecca Carman Moderator

Thanks for sharing this example. It's great to see how climate change and sustainable development are being so systematically incorporated into higher education in Ukraine.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Svetlana Zhuravel, 

Thanks so much for these valuable insights! Very inspiring. I wonder if you also have some more reflections about the inclusion aspects on this in relation to question 3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action? 

Best,
Monika

Екатерина Северина

Dear colleagues and like-minded people! It's a pleasure to be a part of this discussion and thanks for so much interesting information!

In the process of implementing the youth project, we (GO KRANA ROZVITKU) combine several problem areas for the Donetsk region on the line of hostilities. Due to the great attention of the authorities and the distribution of funds for issues related to military operations, the organization of leisure and educational activities for local youth faded into the background. Due to the aggravated situation in the region, the ecological sphere also suffers. Therefore, the organization of a modern youth eco-hub and the purchase of measuring equipment for monitoring the composition of atmospheric air turned out to be useful and interesting ideas for a positive impact on the above-mentioned problematic issues.

The initiative group has already carried out a number of preparatory work for the implementation of the project. The attracted youth turned out to be very interested in the opportunity to monitor the composition of the atmosphere in their region on their own and at the same time to have a modern equipped space for discussing the results obtained and ways of influencing climate change. We helped representatives of ecologically active youth of the city of Sloviansk prepare documents for registration of the youth organization "SLOVYANSK ECOHUB". We also created a website for this organization and planned to conduct educational trainings on communications, including how to apply for grant assistance.

I would like to note the willingness to cooperate between the director and teachers of the technical school, on the basis of which the eco-hub is being created. We were pleased to receive such interest from the side of the team. It is nice to understand that the project will continue to work after the end of the grant.

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you so much Ekaterina. This is a particularly interesting example of youth education and empowerment in a post-conflict area, which is also close to the border regions, where a military confrontation is still ongoing. It would be very interesting to see the long term results and outcomes of this effort and see if there were positive effects beyond climate action, for example, helping youth to overcome trauma and gain necessary skills.  

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Екатерина Северина,

Thanks so much for these valuable insights! Very inspiring. I wonder if you also have some more reflections about the inclusion aspects of this in relation to question 3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action? 

Best,
Monika

Kryzh

An information campaign is an important element of involving young people in the process of maintaining environmental stability and counteracting climate change. In the Ukrainian National Natural Park "Holosiyvsky", with the support of the GEF small grants program, an ecological trail with a forest school and a green classroom has been created. Where there are many information boards. For example, "Legends of the Holoswood", sculptural compositions, both animals and plants of this area, and mythological ones. This trail can be improved for people with special needs. Also the book "Ecological Tales" by Zelena Kryzh was published in Braille. These are important components of environmental education. This activity is supported by a Small Grants Program, which allows the dissemination of the results to the national and international level (interdepartmental coordination group, participation in the international process UNECE “Education for sustainable development”).

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much for this. Another very interesting example of involving young people with disabilities. it would e interesting to see if this more inclusive approach will be more widely adopted in Ukraine, as a result of this project. 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Kryzh thanks so much for this example! Very inspiring. Do you have a definition of meaningful youth participation in climate action? And is this present already in your current context?

Best,
Monika

Павло Лисак

NGO "CENTER OF YOUTH INITIATIVES" With the assistance of the Small Grants Program of the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the UN-GEF Development Program (UNDP-GEF SGP), launches the project "Establishment of a Youth Center for Climate Action Initiatives to Improve Life."

The priority of the project is to create and establish the functioning of the Center for Youth Climate Initiatives and to provide methodological and practical assistance to the youth of Zaporizhia region in implementing their public initiatives. The project is implemented on the territory of the Municipal Institution "Khortytsia National Training and Rehabilitation Academy" of Zaporizhia Regional Council. The project will include the following activities: creation and arrangement of the Center for Youth Climate Initiatives on the basis of the Khortytsia National Educational and Rehabilitation Academy of the Zaporizhia Regional Council to work with active students in the field of climate dissemination; modernization of the recreation area and practical training on the territory of the communal institution of higher education "Khortytsia National Training and Rehabilitation Academy" of the Zaporizhia Regional Council by disseminating means that work at the expense of solar panels; creation of a discussion club on climate change within the Center for Youth Climate Initiatives and intensify its activities; create conditions for the creation of 10 "green" jobs for young people involved in the activities of the "Center for Youth Climate Initiatives".

As part of the project "Creation of a Youth Center for Climate Action Initiatives to Improve Living", the youth launched a campaign to transfer energy-saving lamps for the elderly to geriatric boarding houses in the Zaporizhia region. Donated beautiful lamps will allow the elderly, who have lived an interesting and long life, to get light. Young people need to remember that the people who built ours now need help, and young people in turn need to build their future. The help provided is a big step to make the future better for the elderly.

https://science-experts.com.ua/news/molod-v-gostyah-u-zaporizkogo-geriatrychnogo-pansionatu/

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much! Very interesting example of yet another promising approach - involving young people in volunteer activities. Again, it would be interesting to see longer term outcomes and whether this approach can be more widely adopted. 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Thanks so much for this example! Very inspiring. Do you have a definition of meaningful youth participation in climate action? And is this present already in your current context?

Best,
Monika

Claudia Muciño

Response to Q1 - talking about Mexico. A country must provide good education to form its people with good criteria, understanding of the world, empathy, and common sense. It is the youth, that had the opportunity to cover all of its basic necessities and have recent studies, the one that has the necessary abilities to bring new solutions to the table. Of course, it is also by the real necessity of change when the disruptive changes occur, but that can also bring other consequences that are not so desirable. So, youth meaningful participation, ideally, must be by well-informed citizens that are conscious of the changing world and its new necessities, and, because of that, are proposing new ideas to change the status quo and improve living conditions for all and/or a young group of people that is working into new solutions that help to tackle climate change. 

Meaningful participation in climate change action must allow both, young people participating in the governmental issues, politics, etc. so the country's is a current view of the world with new and innovative propositions but also people participating from the private sector, collectives, groups, working to ask the government for new solutions and "forcing" them to renew and tackle real problems. If you have participation in both levels, you can understand what is happening in the field and also work to improve responses and conditions.

In Mexico, currently, youth meaningful participation is not happening. With the last government, many reforms occurred (energy, education, work, telecommunications, etc) and now, within a year and a half from the current administration, many of them had been withdrawn by the excuse that there was a lot of corruption behind them. And, of course, Mexico has a lot of it but some, like the energy reform, started to allow and encourage sustainable energy production and that was bringing the country to the 21st century as well as tackling some environmental issues related to carbon-based energy production. The government was not exactly young but was conformed by middle-age people with new exciting and innovative ideas to give some impulse to the country and tackle some climate current problems like pollution, the use of carbon sourced energy, and other related to different SDGs. Also at that time, aligned with these new propositions, Mexico signed some international agreements to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental conditions. Regulation changes were to allow this and to achieve the signed goals.

Currently, with the new federal administration, the goals changed. The gross of the president's cabinet is very old, most of them over 50, more than half of them over 60 years old. And that have a gross impact, we are investing in old technology like a new petroleum refinery, instead of clean power. Also, we have lost a huge amount of jobs this year and that affects a lot to young people that, instead of being worried for the climate or innovation is now worried about what is he or she is going to eat today or how will be feeding his or her family. And, because of all of this, there is no youthful meaningful participation resonating in either of both levels, which is very sad because we were there, starting, but there. There is no certainty of the near future of what will happen with these issues.

Katharina Davis

Thank you for sharing these important points Claudio! The importance of meaningful engagement, with youth as stakeholders who can make valuable contributions to the planning and implementation of climate actions has also been highlighted by numerous people in the other discussion group (#2). As studies have shown, there are generational differences in terms of energy choices and other environmental choices - as you highlighted. This is why it is important to include young people in policy making. What options are there in your country to still mobilize and use the energy & ingenuity of the young people for climate action? What sort of role would you like the UN to play in this space?

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much, Claudia. Indeed, you are raising a very important issue: how can meaningful participation of youth be achieved if government is not prioritizing climate action? It's true that in this case the entry points for effective national level participation may be limited. However, there are other approaches presented by other participants in this discussion: involvement of youth in beneficial productive activities at the community level, participation and collaboration with the government at the local level, education and empowerment, volunteerism. Possibly, they can play a role at fostering change at the national level (eventually) as well. 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Claudia Muciño thanks so much for sharing this example! You bring up some very important points that we need to be mindful of. I wonder if you have more thoughts on the topics of inclusion and equal participation? Because to have truly meaningful and representative youth participation in climate action, we need to make sure that all young people are in a situation where they have their needs met so they are in a position to meaningfully participate. Maybe you have some thoughts on question 3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?

Best, 
Monika

Еlena Vinogradova

Dear participants,

I am the head of the Public Association “Center for Sustainable Development and Innovation”, which is a partner of the GEF SGP Ukraine.

With the support of the GEF SGP Ukraine, the All-Ukrainian Annual Children's Ecological Forum “Children for the Environment: We Choose the Future” was established 10 years ago. During the Forums, the participants discussed the world’s best educational practices in the environmental education of children and defined the basic directions of children’s environmental education for sustainable development. The developed environmental games “Green Manager”, “Green City of the Future”, “Sustainable Development Goals: learn and achieve”, “Act for the Ozone” and “Sustainable Development Goals”, as well as a number of informational and educational materials on this topic were distributed among children and teachers.

The introduction of education for sustainable development is one of the top priorities for Ukraine and it is impossible without the active participation of civil society, teachers and youth. Therefore, the desired result can be achieved only through cooperation between government agencies, civil society and research and educational institutions.

We spread the experience gained in supporting Ukrainian youth in decision-making, developing conceptual framework of education for sustainable development, access to environmental information, as well as informational and awareness-raising developments in the priority landscapes of GEF SGP in Ukraine and during participation in national and international conferences and events

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you very much Elena for sharing this great example emphasizing the importance of education  for youth participation. 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Elena thanks for sharing this inspiring example! I fully agree that education plays a crucial role. I wonder if you also have some reflections on question 10 in your local context: What do you see as key barriers/challenges for youth meaningful participation in climate action? How can these be overcome?
Best,
Monika

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Dear participants! Thank you very much for very rich and informative discussion this week. Before I summarize your very interesting contributions, I wanted to clarify that several of these examples are coming from "Youth and Climate" innovation pilot  supported by the GEF Small Grants Program implemented by UNDP. The two key themes of this pilot initiative, which started in the end of last year, are involvement of youth in productive activities at the community level addressing climate change (creation "green jobs" ) and youth empowerment through education and creating meaningful participation mechanisms. It's encouraging to see some of the preliminary results already materializing. The program provided dedicated grant funding to youth-led initiatives  in several pilot countries. 

Rebecca Carman Moderator

I would like to join Angelica in thanking everyone who responded this week. It has been so informative, with many examples of small ideas that, through their impact, inspired replication and scaling. [~89824] will post a summary of highlights of the week. Meanwhile, I would like to welcome your moderators for Week 3: Maria Stage from UNDP's youth team and [~94277], of the Danish Youth Climate Council!

Monika Skadborg Moderator

[~6063] Thanks! Looking forward to following the interesting discussions :) 

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Finally, I would also like to post a contribution sent to me from Bahamas, which is currently impacted by the hurricane Isaias. The example relates to overcoming barriers of youth participation in  promoting renewable energy technologies and creation of green jobs: 

One Eleuthera Foundation (https://oneeleuthera.org/about-one-eleuthera) partnered with Centre for Training & Innovation and Cape Eleuthera Island School to provide a 100-hour PV course which incorporated theoretical and practical learning in addition to the completion of an actual PV installation for local youth. The training certified PV installers to meet the demand locally, and alternatively increased the use and adoption of renewable energy technologies, leading to a decrease in use of fossil fuels on the island of Eleuthera. Secondly the project allowed for more education and awareness to help people understand the benefits of such systems not only for the environment, but also for themselves while supporting sustainable livelihoods. One Eleuthera Foundation and its partners produced materials and advertisements and hosted a booth at One Eleuthera Foundation’s annual Earth Day festival to promote renewable energy technologies and further educate the people of the local community about the benefits of using these systems.  During the project sixteen persons locally in the community received training, some of them went on to start their own solar installation business.

Hovhannes Ghazaryan

Dear [~89824] and Colleagues,

Posting on behalf of Mr. Aram Gabrielyan, our grantee partner, as he failed to register in this discussion platform due to some technical difficulties. Below, he presents a strategic project of SGP that aims to introduce a model innovative financial mechanism, namely, Climate Revolving Investment Civil Fund.

We hope you will find it interesting.

--------------------------------

Об инновационном финансовом механизме осуществления деятельности по смягчению и адаптации к изменению климата в местных сообществах:

Эколого-культурная НПО «Хазер» при содействии Программы малых грантов Программы развития ООН (ПРООН) в Армении в ряде армянских деревень предприняла и  продолжает  деятельность  по  созданию «Климатических гражданских оборотных инвестиционных фондов» для  реализации  инвестиционных проектов по смягчению изменения климата с помощью этого инновационного инструментария (краткая информация о проекте  здесь: http://www.sgp.am/en/Projects?id=79 ).  

Этот компонент является частью большой перспективной общенациональной программы по созданию устойчивого финансового механизма по осуществлению обязательств Армении по Парижскому Соглашению. Эти обязательства, в том числе, создание общенационального Климатического Гражданского оборотного инвестиционного фонда для финансирования проектов адаптации и смягчения изменения климата предусмотрены «Предварительными Национально определенными вкладами Армении» (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions-INDC) и утверждены Постановлением Правительства Республики Армения в 2015г. Общее представление об этом механизме можно получить по короткому видеофильму с английскими субтитрами:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY4ct3Z5wp0&feature=youtu.be

Для испытания этого механизма на местах в настоящее время в четырех общинах Армении созданы «Климатические гражданские оборотные инвестиционные фонды». Например, проект по энергосбережению в уличном освещении (село Лчащен). В этом проекте фонд предоставляет  услугу по энергосбережению сельской администрации заменой обычных ламп уличного освещения на фотодиодные. Сельская администрация оплачивает фонду за эту услугу за счет сэкономленных средств  до полного выкупа вложений фонда. Возвращающиеся таким образом  в фонд средства будут инвестированы в другие проекты, одобренные жителями общины.

С 1-ого января 2020 года в климатический гражданский фонд Лчашена поступает в среднем  около 250 долларов ежемесячно, при этом снижение  выбросов углекислого газа составляет 1,3 тонны в месяц.

Мы работаем над тем, чтобы внедрить эту модель также в других общинах и одновременно над  тем, чтобы при переходе с INDC на NDC  не потерять эту перспективную модель финансирования.

По нащему представлению, этот механизм финансирования может быть внедрен в любой стране, а при внедрении «платежей за сверхнормативные выгросы» парниковых газов - также на глобальном уровне.

 

Эколого-культурная НПО «Хазер»

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

Thank you so much [~82282] and Aram. This is a great example showing how a direct connection can be made between national and local priorities and interventions. Piloting a investment fund established to meet Armenia's NDC commitments at the community level with SGP support is an excellent use of limited catalytic funds to directly support the implementation of country's NDCs from the bottom up. Looking forward to hearing  more about the long term impacts! 

 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Hovhannes Ghazaryan,

Thanks so much for sharing these reflections. Very inspiring! I wonder if you also have some reflections on question 1: How would you define meaningful youth participation in climate action? 

Best,
Monika

Sakinat Bello

Greetings to you all,

Am Sakinat Bello from Nigeria, An advocate for girl-child, women & youth development and passionate environmentalist. Co-founder Break-free From Plastic Initiative.

Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short? 

One of the critical aspect is the political commitment, Looking at the short term political tenure which differs across different continent has greatly affects commitment (terms of financing) of government in achieving the NDC. More young people need to take leadership space to influence process and actions towards achieving their country commitment in the Paris Agreement. Though more have been achieved indirectly towards NDC target but with little ambition and data. 

How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action? 

Improving evenly representation of marginalized and vulnerable group during policy process is important to ensure their needs are captured for effective delivery.

There is needs to strengthen communicate of climate action information and tools from high level to the grassroots for better understanding through community network, youth-led organization, local media to ensure no one is left behind. 

In which arenas and levels/scales of participation can youth successfully influence climate action (e.g. at grassroots level, in collaboration with local governments or other non-state actors, in collaboration with the government, or in UN climate talks or other international fora?) Why?
Grassroots level is one of the most effective platform to effect change as they are not just beneficiaries but remain key stakeholder whose knowledge and information guides the initiation and its implementation.   

In which phase of the climate policy-making do you see youth participation being most effective (e.g. planning, implementation, monitoring, accountability)? Why? 

Monitoring and Accountability, Over the last decades we have witness more young people taking action in form of advocacy, sensitization, call for policy implementation, environmental enforcement and sharing innovative initiation on social media, peaceful demonstration and community outreach. 

There is need for evenly representation of youth in planning for effective implementation, monitoring and accountability. 

 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Sakinat,
Thanks so much for these valuable reflections!
I wonder is you can also share any examples or practices of successful youth participation in climate action (from grassroots level to NDC enhancement)? What were key factors of success?
Best,
Monika

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to be joining you as a moderator this week. I have been reading the comments so far, and I am very impressed by the reflections about definitions of meaningful youth participation and how to achieve it in practice. I can't wait to learn more from all of you!

Small practical note: It is super helpful for us if you mention the number of the questions you are writing about. That makes it much easier for us to collect the inputs into a report afterwards. 

If you have any questions or clarifications, feel free to tag me using the @ symbol before writing my name, or drop me a message. You can do the same if you want to know anything about the experience of creating a Youth Climate Council to give input on climate policy to the Danish Government. 

All the best,

Monika

Ludwig Bengtsson Sonesson

Q1_ How would you define youth meaningful participation in climate action and how is this definition already present (or rather missing) in your current working context?
Q2 Where do current/mainstreams ideas, definitions and approaches to youth meaningful participation in climate action fall short?

This is a key question, and I've seen some really great input on it already. For me, the key to meaningful participation is 1) legitimacy 2) longevity 3) learning.

1) Far too many 'youth consultations' have no real weight behind them, i.e. they are seen as one way to gather input into a process without being required to use any of it. If institutions allow youth to co-design the process and decide beforehand what will happen to our suggestions it ensures more meaningful contributions. For instance, my home city of Malmö just did a youth consultation on the future of the city with 250 participating youth. In this case, a promise from the council that every proposal would receive a comment indicating whether this was something they would pursue along with a justification for the choice would make the process much more meaningful for all parties. 

2) Which brings me to my second point -- if this was just a fun summer project, its impact is minuscule. If the youth received answers from the council and then were invited to work together with them on some of the more promising proposals, THAT would be meaningful. In today's organizational structures, at least in Sweden, funding is centered around time-restricted projects which is counter-intuitive to longevity. By the time participants have learned the institutional context and its politics, the project is over and everyone starts all over again. Something like the Danish Youth Climate Council is a great example of how youth participation can be institutionalized (PS. we are working on one here in Sweden, will be in touch [~94277] ). A small step in this direction is that we managed to put in place rolling mandates for our youth delegates last year, we sit for two years that overlap to secure continuity. 

3) Final point. Far too often I hear adults in power complain that input from youth is "unrealistic", "naive" or "not implementable". In some instances, this is the entire point of the exercise. Youth often exist outside the discourses and dogmas that rule politics, and for that precise reason have suggestions that are morally right but hard to implement (which doesn't mean they should be discarded). Instead, there needs to be a process of collective learning and back-and-forth. The youth say: "Ban all fossil fuel extraction TODAY" (reasonable ask). Officers respond: "This decision must be made by X, Y, Z -- BUT within our jurisdiction, we can work towards that goal by changing regulation A, divesting our employee pension funds, heightening environmental standards on B". If we have such honest collective learning embedded in the youth engagement process, both sides benefit. 


Q3: How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?
 

I have many issues with the SDGs (such as human rights only being alluded to), but in this case, they provide a good framework for ensuring that climate action does not hinder progress on other goals but instead boosts it. Any youth engagement process should ask: who will this impact and how? are there co-benefits with other goals? are we limited in our experience/knowledge and need to seek input from others (this is of course helped by inclusive membership)? 

 

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94733], thanks for sharing your very good points! I can recognize some of these situations from my own work where policymakers are sometimes making youth consultations just for show with no follow-up. I also completely agree with the frustrations about people calling young people unrealistic. Sometimes even when the ideas are realistic but are just coming from young people with very different priorities than the government. Good point on how a more useful approach would be telling young people who has jurisdiction over what and empowering them to understand how they can find a realistic way to their goals. Great news that you are working on getting a youth climate council! There seems to be more and more countries thinking about similar methods. Would love to get in touch and exchange experiences, I bet yours will have some ideas the Danish one can steal :) 

I think you have been active on some different levels with youth engagement so I am wondering if you have any thoughts on question 4 in your country context? “In which arenas and levels/scales of participation can youth successfully influence climate action (e.g. at grassroots level, in collaboration with local governments or other non-state actors, in collaboration with the government, or in UN climate talks or other international fora?) Why?” Sometimes I feel young people have to be involved in all of the above to push for all parts of society to change, other days I get frustrated and feel like none of it is making enough impact and I wonder if its completely different arenas or methods we should be involved in. So Q4 is a question I wonder a lot about. In your opinion, what works well? (/or maybe could work well if we did it in a better way?)

Best,
Monika

Ludwig Bengtsson Sonesson

Thanks for contributing your thoughts to this Monika. Regarding Q4, it's one I've also struggled with. 

I'm certain that one's community or local region is where all young people should be engaged, whether it is as a supporting bystander or an agent of change. Decision-makers are often quite accessible, our insight into the city/community allows us to make relevant suggestions and it's much easier to rally popular support. Setting a local example that can then be spread or used as evidence in a national campaign is always great. My experience is also that local council members/politicians often don't have the time to engage on a plurality of issues but choose one or two and then vote along party lines on the rest -- here we have an immense opportunity to educate them and show them that their constituency thinks climate and environment are key priorities. 

Often though, we run into legislative barriers at the local level that are decided by our national government or the EU -- and well, then we have to change those, don't we? Here, the threshold for activism is much higher -- access and understanding take years to cultivate and a "win" might be a result of years of work. However, the potential impact is HUGE. My take is to go through established NGOs or processes on the national level, they're always eager for more members -- but if these don't exist in your country, then the time is ripe to start something!

This might be an unpopular opinion, especially in a UNDP-setting, but I feel that the international arena has largely become the site of symbolic gestures, reports that countries don't listen to, and plenty of good intentions with limited results. It's the slow, but necessary, machinery that chugs along and makes the world a better place -- but I fear that time might be running out too fast... The negotiations and the UN system are still vital to our success and we need good people working here, but I believe that if youth are getting involved today -- look to the local and regional perspective first. Just my 2 cents. 

PS. New/other arenas to explore: lobbying companies that are not oil/gas majours but that can still be changemakers (trucking, shipping, waste management, clothing, forestry). Not saying people aren't working on this... but more could be. For example, the carbon loss from damaged peatlands in Sweden is on par with our vehicle emissions yet there are only a handful of people working on lobbying for their restoration while there are many, many (some might say far too many) working on electric vehicles.  
PSS. Political parties and their policy programs should not be underestimated, many politicians vote along party lines, especially on issues they are not familiar with. Getting involved here could have majour impacts.  

Maria Stage Moderator

Thanks for your comments, Ludwig! It is great to have you participating in this discussion. Let me just jump in on your point on the possibilities for youth engagement at the different levels. I think we in UNDP have an important job to do in bridging the different levels, from the local to the national to the regional to the international. Local experiences, expertise and needs must influence the global conversations. From my experience, it is often when there is a conducive space for young people to engage in the global conversations that those conversations become about the specific situation in the communities and societies and the people at risk of being left behind. And I agree with you, we need urgent climate action and it is essential that policy become practice and that local actions are supported.

I also like your comment on the opportunities for engaging with city and community leaders as well as the importance of the programmes of the political parties. Thank you!

Abdul

I am Abdul Sannoh, SGP Sierra Leone

Answer to Question 10

Key barrier/challenges for youth meaningful participation in climate action?

According to the National Youth Policy of Sierra Leone (2014-2018), Sierra Leone has approximately 1.7 million young people between 15 and 35 years of age which constitute 34 percent of the estimated population. Furthermore, 42% of Sierra Leone population are under the age of 15, and therefore the youth population will continue to increase. Youth faces unique challenges and vulnerabilities, especially for the poor and socially marginalized groups: i) moving from school to seeking work and independent sources of income; ii moving from the parental home to new living arrangements; and iii) forming close relationships outside of the family and having children.

One of the major barriers for youth meaningful participation in climate action is their lack of capacity. In Sierra Leone for instance, the literacy rate for youth (15- 24) is only 57.6 percent (67.6% males, 48.1% females) according to the National Youth Policy document. Of the 21 percent of young people who enroll in junior secondary school, the proxy completion rates are 69.4 percent (males) and 74.3 percent (females). To understand climate action and take concrete steps towards active youth participating, there must be some rudiment of skills earned from training to be able to identify the issues. Because of the low level of skills, youths are very eager to enter quick gain enterprises such as timber logging, charcoal production, illicit mining, and other forms of livelihoods with grave consequences for the climate. Thus, instead of using their enormous energies in participating in climate actions, the reverse is true namely using their energy to contribute to drivers of climate change.  

How to overcome this?

The major way to overcome this is through increase youth participate in the national and district development- planning process. The national Governments should establish District Youth Councils (DYCs), Zonal Youth Councils (ZYCs) and Chiefdom Youth Councils (CYCs), and encourage skills transfer and roles identification for youths to be involved in  processes and influence outcomes within climate action/ mechanisms.

Maria Stage Moderator

Many thanks for sharing some of the challenges to meaningful participation that youth in Sierra Leone are experiencing, [~81905] . Your points on the need for green job opportunities, access to quality education and poverty reduction clearly show the synergies between climate action and sustainable development and how the SDGs are interconnected. I find your suggestion on using decentralised governance structures to overcome the challenges interesting and it also echoes other inputs in this discussion. I am wondering if you have experience working with the youth councils at the national and district level in Sierra Leone, specifically on climate action? Thank you. 

Abdul

Abdul Sannoh, SGP Sierra Leone

Question 1:

Youth can meaningfully stepped-up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts through various  innovations actions and adapting the way to meeting their livelihoods.  

In our context, SGP Sierra Leone is currently funding “Youth-led Initiative for Nature-based Solution to Climate Change” with triple aims that include: reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling of waste into organic manure that will improve soil structure, enrich its fertility and ultimately improve crop production; alleviating poverty by creating a business out of producing and selling compost; reduce the local community’s dependence on forests for their livelihoods, leading to less deforestation and land degradation.

Our other SGP fund supports a project on “Promotion of Innovative Youth in Climate Action Mentorship Program in Sierra Leone”. This is a one-year program aims at training 150 young social environmental entrepreneurs and climate action activists in the five regions of Sierra Leone with a cohort every 2 months. The training of each cohort will be centered in the regional headquarter town of the said region with youth participants selected in every district of that region. Upon completion of the training, it is expected that all participants return home empowered with knowledge and skills to advocate and participate in activities to promote the protection of the environment, and most importantly embark on cash crop production as a mean of livelihood and a contribution to tree planting to combat deforestation.

 Yet another SGP funded project is on “A renewable energy promotion -Achieving a Low-carbon rural society through Solarfi charging kiosk and Micro Enterprise in three districts”. This project aims to integrate climate change adaption and livelihood enhancement that have the potential to be replicated, scaled up in the other chiefdoms in other districts. The initiative connects the underserved and unconnected populations in the remote rural areas through solar-powered phone charging stations to ensure low carbon society by avoding the use of generators for lighting and livelihood supports to vulnerable groups especially rural women and youths.

 

Maria Stage Moderator

Dear [~81905] , thank you for sharing the information on the projects on youth-led initiatives for nature-based solutions, renewable energy, and climate action mentorship programme. I am looking forward to following those projects! I am wondering what you think are the key factors for success in those projects? (Q6). 

Angelica Shamerina Moderator

[~81905] Thank you so much for sharing these excellent experiences. I was just going to ask about SGP initiatives in job creation. Looking forward to learning more about the impacts of these initiatives. 

Beatriz Reyes

Pregunta 1: una participación efectiva es aquella donde los jóvenes puedan alzar su voz y en donde se les puedan considerar sus ideas. En nuestro contexto actual se nos invita a participar e incidir sobre el cambio climático pero aun hace falta reforzar los procesos, mediante mecanismos participativos, donde se consideren los aportes y opiniones de los jóvenes.

Pregunta 2. Un punto importante son los procesos de revisión de las NDC. Los jóvenes debemos conocer como se realiza este proceso, que tan ambiciosas van a ser las propuestas de nuestros gobernantes. Necesitamos NDC mas ambiciosas para limitar el aumento de la temperatura a 1.5°C, se requieren NDCs  que nos ayuden a afrontar el cambio climático, si los jóvenes tuviéramos el espacio pudiésemos impulsar con más vigor estas ambiciones.

Pregunta 4: En colaboración de gobiernos locales seria excelente porque ahí se pueden implementar  investigaciones, proyectos con impacto social, ambiental y económico. Pueden ayudar a brindar soluciones locales en cuanto mitigación y adaptación. También es importantes proporcionarles espacios en gobiernos centrales y en la ONU para que puedan comunicar efectivamente sus afectaciones pero también sus iniciativas de acción climática y de esta forma, motivar a mas jóvenes siendo un ejemplo para ellos.

Pregunta 5: las políticas públicas son realmente, aquí los ciudadanos deben cumplir sus deberes para exigir sus derechos. Los jóvenes somos capaces de participar en todas las fases del proceso con el debido fortalecimiento de capacidades, de manera que se logre un trabajo éxitoso.

Pregunta 8: Desde la Organización Jóvenes Frente al Cambio Climático de Panamá apoyamos y divulgamos el Artículo Constitucional que modifica el Capítulo 7 sobre el Régimen Ambiental, incluido en el paquete de las Reformas Constitucionales de Panamá.  Participamos en las reuniones de las organizaciones juveniles del Consejo de la Concertación Nacional para el Desarrollo de Panamá.  También Participamos en las consultas provinciales, en las consultas de la Asamblea Nacional de Panamáy realizamos muchas conferencias para comunicar este avance.

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear Beatriz Reyes
Thanks for your very good points! I am wondering if you also have some thoughts about the inclusion aspects of youth participation? Such as question 3: 
How can topics of intersectionality, human rights, gender equality and inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized youth, be meaningfully included in youth participation in climate action?
Best,
Monika

Beatriz Reyes

Pregunta 9: En Panamá el Centro Regional de la CMNUCC y PNUD Panamá, apoyaron las Academias de Liderazgo para Jóvenes sobre Cambio Climático en Panamá. Desde el 2018, en este espacio se han capacitado jóvenes que actualmente colaboran en la organización jóvenes frente al cambio climático de Panamá, primera propuesta por parte de la sociedad civil Panameña destinada a enfrentar este fenomeno global. Su apoyo ha sido clave para continuar trabajando en el tema. Siempre nos brindan orientación y asesoría técnica, incluso siempre nos acompañan como panelistas en nuestros eventos y nos invitan a sus eventos de manera que constantemente estemos reforzando concimientos.  

Pregunta 10. La falta de mecanismo participativos regulados por el gobierno y organismo internacionales. Se escucha a la sociedad civil pero no se incluye a la juventud, hoy en día, como es nuestro caso en Panamá, somo una organización fundada y liderada por jóvenes y no hay espacios para estas organizaciones. Debemos innovar e involucrar mas a los jóvenes.   

Carolina Guerra

Q1: La participación significativa de los jóvenes debe empezar con a la capacitación de los temas técnicos y científicos; esta capacitación debe ir de la mano de los espacios de parte de los gobiernos centrales, locales y organismos internacionales para que los pongan en práctica mediante debates, diálogos, conferencias e intercambios regionales. Lamentablemente estos espacios no existen en la mayoría de los países, principalmente para los países en desarrollo.

Q2: Las ideas se estancan por la falta de acompañamiento de un entrenamiento para los jóvenes, no hay financiamiento para los proyectos de empoderamiento y liderazgo. Se crean los espacios pero no se da el seguimiento, falta voluntad política, estatal y privada. Los jóvenes pierden el interés de participar por los continuos obstáculos y falta de oportunidades

Q3: Los espacios de capacitación sobre el cambio climático, presentan buena información técnica, pero dejan a un lado el componente humano. La vulnerabilidad de las poblaciones, que somos generadores de emisiones pero que también somos los más afectados, no se contempla la exposición de las mujeres a los riesgos asociados a los efectos directos y/o indirectos del cambio climático. A los gobiernos se les pide prepararse para enfrentar la lucha climática, pero no se les enseña ni apoya para crear capacidad adaptativa en su población, especialmente en los jóvenes que seremos los futuros tomadores de decisiones
Se deben generar capacidades a lo interno de los países, los proyectos y planes nacionales deben contemplar en primera medida los derechos humanos y el componente de género. Se deben hacer cumplir los acuerdos internacionales para garantizar que no se vulneren los DDHH

Q4: Desde mi perspectiva para lograr un éxito en la acción climática, la escala de participación de los jóvenes debe iniciar en lo local, que aprenda a interactuar con los gobiernos locales y la población. Posteriormente, los jóvenes pueden ir escalando los siguientes niveles hasta colaborar con los gobiernos centrales y lograr completar ciclos dentro de los foros internacionales, para crear habilidades en todos los niveles y que le permitan desenvolverse en todos. El nivel internacional le permitirá a los jóvenes una mayor comprensión de como llegan a elaborarse los acuerdos, pero es fundamental crear una base local previamente.

Q5: La participación de los jóvenes puede ser más efectiva en las fases de planificación e implementación. Los aportes que puedan brindar se hacen desde una perspectiva más fresca, con resoluciones a problemas de una manera más sencilla

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear [~94767] thanks for your great input! Training is for sure an important part of empowering young people to meaningfully participate. Do you have any good examples from your country where young people have been successfully engaged in climate action? 
Best, 
Monika

Monika Skadborg Moderator

Dear all,

Thank you so much for all your valuable contributions over the last three weeks! The discussion will continue for one more week and we have already gotten a lot of useful in-depth input. It will be impossible to summarize it in one short message today. I’ll just leave you with a few notes below about the things I noticed in the last week, just like you can find the other moderators’ notes from the previous weeks in their posts. What will happen with the input? It will all be read thoroughly and used inside the UNDP to inform their future work. I know the team really appreciates the time you spent providing your thoughts and examples, and the outcomes will be very useful for them in implementing the Climate Promise. I will now hand over the moderation to Rebecca and Sameera for the fourth week.
 

Here are some of my notes:

- Youth participation in climate action is happening on many levels and can achieve impressive goals if performed in a meaningful way. Many great examples were highlighted and there is much to learn from these experiences when implementing future initiatives.

- Lack of follow-up or real action taken after youth engagement activities is a problem. It disconnects the dialogues with youth from the real climate action and makes the participants frustrated.

- Resources that were brought up as necessary for meaningful youth participation: Money and training/education. It was brought up that training is essential for all types of young people to meaningfully engage with policymakers, and they should be empowered and informed, not brushed off as “unrealistic” 

- Human rights aspect: SDGs and human rights can go hand in hand and some participants shared good examples on this. On the other hand it was pointed out that this does not automatically happen and that special attention needs to be paid to creating synergies between achieving SDGs and human rights.

 


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