of Meaningful Youth Engagement
in Climate Governance in Asia and the Pacific
YECAP, in collaboration with UNFCCC's Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), launched the Compendium of Best Practices on Youth and Climate Governance in Asia and the Pacific at the 79th ESCAP Commission Session and the Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023.
The Compendium highlights 15 best practices of meaningful youth engagement in climate governance at international, national, sub-national and local levels. The Compendium aims to celebrate successful government-youth partnerships, foster South-South knowledge exchange, and inspire enhanced action from governments to include youth in decision-making processes and policies in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Meaningful, diverse, and effective youth participation – inside the United Nations and far beyond – is essential to advancing human rights, addressing the climate crisis, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Meaningful Youth Engagement
Although around 80% of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) include broad consideration of youth and children compared to just 40% in the first-generation NDCs, young people, especially from underrepresented communities, often remain excluded from the climate policy and decision-making processes.
This means they have little or no say in the issues affecting their futures. There is a need to recognize the importance of removing barriers and ensuring that youth engagement is authentic, impactful, and meaningful.
6 Key Principles
Meaningful youth engagement involves creating an inclusive and empowering environment where young people are valued as equal partners, given a genuine voice, with an equal distribution of decision-making power.
Meaningful youth engagement follows six key principles:
Inclusivity: Ensuring participation of all young people, regardless of their backgrounds, identities, or abilities, by removing exclusionary barriers and fostering an inclusive environment.
Preparation and Protection: Ensuring that youth can engage meaningfully by providing resources, time, and protection, without undue burdens or risks.
Voice and Equality: Empowering young individuals to express their views and participate as equals in decision-making processes.
Visibility and Genuine Participation: Promoting meaningful youth engagement that amplifies their visibility and values their contributions beyond tokenism.
Influence and Positive Change: Empowering youth to influence change by actively participating in impactful decision-making processes.
Formalized Youth Engagement in Decision-making:
Institutionalizing youth participation in decision-making with designated seats and recognizing them as equal partners to prevent power imbalances.
Youth at the forefront of climate governance
"Youth don't only need to be heard; we need to be the ones calling the shot.
At the end of the day, be it good or bad, we will inherit this Earth."
Amira Aisya, Malaysia
State Assembly Member of Johor (Puteri Wangsa)
Discover 15 best practices
In this Compendium, you will find:
Youth Statement presented at 79th ESCAP Commission Session
Background of YECAP and ACE
Introduction to 15 best practices in Asia-Pacific
Key recommendations for policymakers
The best practices are categorized into five categories:
Advocacy and Awareness Raising
Strengthening Youth Political Participation
Building the Capacity of Youth and Government
Fostering Youth Innovation
Strengthening the Research and Evidence Base
Mapping of Best Practices
In parallel to the Compendium, which provides a deep dive into 15 best practices, YECAP is documenting successful government-youth partnerships on an ongoing basis, to foster knowledge exchange and inspire informed action. The result is a Mapping of Best Practices, which provides a more quantitative overview of meaningful youth engagement initiatives in the region.