Updated: Jul 20
Indigenous youth climate activists from across Asia and the Pacific participated in a three-day YECAP Fellows Training Programme in Chiang Mai, Thailand
After the Second Annual Conference by the Asia Indigenous Youth Platform (AIYP) on 11-12 November 2022, the Youth Empowerment in Climate Action Platform (YECAP) in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), AIYP, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), co-organized a three-day training programme, YECAP Indigenous Fellows Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 14-16 November.
Youth are directly impacted by climate change and at the same time are the catalysts who can bring change to the world. More so, indigenous youth play a vital role in preserving their identities and heritage from their communities as their lineage has a close relationship in harmony with nature. They are facing many challenges but also working to address the issues, advocate to share their voices and find solutions to mitigate the risks posed by the climate crisis.
With this in mind, the regional YECAP Indigenous Fellows Training was held for indigenous youth fellows from the YECAP Indigenous Fellowship Programme simultaneously with the Regional Dialogue on Indigenous Youth Social Entrepreneurship by Youth Co:Lab for young social entrepreneurs to identify indigenous young leaders in the community who are committed in addressing climate challenges; create a dedicated and safe space for fellows to share their stories, perspectives and vision; develop capacities of participants with essential skills and knowledge for their climate action; and foster learning, exchange and collaboration among the indigenous communities in Asia and the Pacific.
The opening session began with a live music performance from an indigenous youth from Lamphun, Thailand. Welcoming remarks were first given by Jenny Collste Lager, Programme Specialist – Human Rights, Democracy & Gender Equality, Sida – the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
"Together, we hope to keep scaling up youth engagement and encouraging stakeholders to participate in meaningful and diverse ways to address the underlying opportunities, obligations, and delivery of unfulfilled pledges."
Gam Shimray, AIPP Secretary General inspired the indigenous youth changemakers to bring harmony and prosperity to their communities despite the global challenges that we are facing today.
"Indigenous leadership, no matter in human rights, climate change or social entrepreneurship, is being changemakers and working towards the direction that brings harmony and prosperity to our communities."
Followed by an empowering speech from Beniam Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist, Civil Society and Youth from UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub.
The interactive workshops and learning session topics ranged from Climate Change and Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples for Mitigation and Adaptation; the Potential of Young Indigenous Climate Advocates Through Evidence-Based Programmes; the Role and Engagement of Indigenous Youth in Different Environmental Regional and Global Processes and Mechanisms; Voices of Indigenous Youth Climate Activists; Climate Justice and Safety and Security of Young Indigenous Environmental Human Rights Defenders; Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples; Indigenous Knowledge and Its Sustainability for Climate Action and more.
Finally, the event ended with a closing session performance and closing remarks from Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand.
"UNDP will continue to support the Asia Indigenous Youth Platform and ensure young people have a voice in the decisions that affect them and a platform to engage with political and economic actors, as well as climate advocates to contribute to linking local action for global impact."
Followed by a final speech from Gam Shimray, AIPP Secretary General.
The in-person training helped the indigenous youth climate activists from across the Asia-Pacific region understand climate change, its impact on indigenous communities and peoples especially the indigenous women and children, and to respond to the climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The participants also had a better understanding of the role of indigenous youth in climate governance, scopes for choosing green jobs, climate justices and tools and strategies for designing climate campaigns. And they learned about the biodiversity and nature conservation and protecting the environment and agriculture throughout the programme.