Updated: Jul 20
Young environmental activists, professionals, and partners from various sectors in Asia and the Pacific came together to discuss important climate issues and actions on the Youth Empowerment in Climate Action Platform (YECAP)
On 23 and 24 March 2023 from 11AM - 3PM (GMT+7), UNDP in partnership with UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia-Pacific, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific, UNICEF South Asia, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY), United International Federation of Youth (UN1FY), Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), the British Council, YOUNGO, Movers Programme and the 2030 Youth Force with support from Sweden, co-organized the Road to 10th APFSD: Regional Dialogue on Youth Empowerment in Climate Action Platform to provide a safe and inclusive space online for youth to lead in climate discussions in the lead-up to the 10th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD).
The two-day virtual event was held on Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook, WeChat, Weibo, and Bilibili where over 11,000 participants with various backgrounds joined from different countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
In the opening session, Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Regional Director for Asia-Pacific and Director of UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, encouraged meaningful youth participation in climate action. Myo-Zin Nyunt, Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Region shared that UNICEF and partners are bringing together a diverse group of young leaders to promote meaningful participation and support for young people to claim their right to participate, and to a healthy environment. Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary (ASG) of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) urged commitment to support youth as critical agents of change to implement effective climate action and called for ideas, enthusiasm and contribution to climate action. Furthermore, AnnaMaria Oltorp, Head of the Development Cooperation Section, Regional Asia and the Pacific, Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok revealed that Sweden will continue to be a strong voice for meaningful youth engagement.
Key topics of discussion on the first day included Climate Promise, ACE for Youth, Genesys for Climate Action, Protecting Vulnerable Community to Ensure Climate Justice, Youth Engagement in Biodiversity, and Unifying for Change in Water and Climate. On the second day, participants learned about Data as a Tool for Climate Campaigning, Springboard Programme to Support Young Climate Entrepreneurs, opportunities for youth such as Youth SDGs Actions, opportunities in Viet Nam and Malaysia, Youth as Equal and Empowered Partners in Environmental Decision-making, and Green Jobs.
In the closing session, Oliver Paddison, Chief, Section on Sustainable Development and Countries in Special Situations, Office of the Executive Secretary United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific supported enthusiasm and active engagement with government officials to formulate more inclusive climate adaptation policies. Sai Jyothirmai Racherla, Deputy Executive Director of Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) shared about the launched youth call-to-action and one of young people's recommendations from the APFSD Youth Forum, where youth from about 36 countries joined online and in-person in Bangkok, that they asked for meaningful and inclusive participation in the planning, monitoring and implementation of environmental programmes. Abdulla Al-Abdulla, ROTA Executive Director of Education Above All Foundation emphasized the importance of linking adequate education to practical results in climate action for young people. Finally, Akiko Yamamoto, Regional Team Leader, Asia and the Pacific for the Nature, Climate and Energy Team, UNDP highlighted the capacity development of youth as they are an essential part of the Nationally Determined Contributions process enhancement across the globe.
As a result, beyond knowledge sharing, capacity building and awareness raising, the Road to 10th APFSD Regional Dialogue invited youth to get connected with one another beyond the consultations through relevant channels and platforms suggested by YECAP and partners, stay tuned for future climate action opportunities where they can share their voice again, and guided them how to be part of global events happening later this year such as COY and COP.
Watch the recordings of the Road to 10th APFSD Regional Dialogue:
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