August 26, 2022 (Juba, South Sudan) The Nile Youth Development Actions (NYDA) on 26th August 2022 organized its first virtual webinar on the Road to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), under the theme “The Road to COP27: African Youth’s Priorities on Global Climate Narratives”. The seminar developed fifteen (15) recommendations for empowering youth to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic transformation of their respective countries, especially on climate change matters leading up to the hosting of the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Conference in Egypt on November 2022 and beyond.
The NYDA Executive Director, Mr. John Youhanes, in his opening remarks, reiterated the commitment and determination of the youth of the Nile Basin Region (NBR) to positioning, empowering, and engaging the young people in Global Climate Narratives. He encouraged the panelists and participants to formulate key recommendations that will feed into Africa’s Youth engagement in COP27 that will provide relevant stakeholders with insights on youth inclusion in action on climate change mitigation and adaptation. He concluded, by urging the webinar’s participants to act collectively and now because no one can buy his/her way out of climate change’s impacts. Unless we act together, he added.
Dr. Omnia El-Omrani, the Youth Envoy for the COP27 President-Designate, expressed her happiness in taking part in the webinar as the first ever youth envoy on the COPs series and indicated that it is a new push to deliver on the transformative role of the young people and their contribution in the global climate agenda. She added, that globally the young people are the biggest demography and the most impacted generation by the decisions made today on climate change. She emphasized the urgency of youth-led participation and youth-driven voices by leading actions in communities especially in Africa capitalizing on the existing gains through capacity building, peer-to-peer education, building climate resilient awareness, and integrating climate change into education curriculums. She assured the young people to initiate Inter-Generational Dialogue at COP27 between the youth leaders and policymakers by having action-oriented discussions and solutions that can be augmented regionally and globally.
Ms. Maura Ajak, a Journalist and Youth for Climate Action activist from South Sudan added that data collections are important for enhancing climate education, awareness creation, and strengthening the contribution of the youth along with the policy-makers. She further referred to the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change by the Member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community (EAC), and States of the East and Horn of Africa, held on July 2022, in Uganda, as a tool to domesticate climate actions in the region.
Ms. Fatma Ali, who is an environmental researcher on local communities and natural resources, shared experiences on climate change, traditional knowledge, and heritage. She reiterated the need for timely action to promote the protection of traditional knowledge and heritage through exchanges of experiences that depict successful stories in combating the climate change adversaries in Africa. She referred to the example of the Bedouin lifestyle in the St. Catharine area in Egypt which entailed a great deal of rigorous physical activity and involved the whole family, particularly for the planting and harvesting of crops owing resilient and adaptation to climate change. She added that the Bedouin community managed to exist by inventing different lifestyles to cope with changing environments by adopting their own transportation approaches, housing, wearing traditional hand-made crafts, and choosing specific crops for agricultural use.
The following fifteen (15) recommendations were made in a discussion after the scene-seating remarks:
- Encouraging young entrepreneurs to venture into innovative activities related to energy, digital tech, green economy and climate financing;
- Integrating the work of the young people and their organizations into the agendas of the COP27 Presidency and future COPs;
- Empowering young people with the necessary capacity building and competency, skills, and understanding of how negotiation works and climate actions;
- Including youth in the implementation and the development of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) reports on climate change;
- Creating meaningful and inclusive platforms for young people to share their efforts and local actions with different stakeholders ranging from government, negotiators, investors, and development partners to encourage responsible partnership in resources sharing, geo-exploration, exploitation and climate disasters management;
- Empowering the local actors to ensure their contributions and well-being are considered in climate action in general by ensuring flexible funding to advance research development and local advocacy;
- Encouraging and promoting the girls and young women to study or work in the fields of environmental science and engineering /STEM that are tailored to provide climate solutions by availing scholarships.
- Harmonizing the African positions with inputs from young African through negotiation, side events, youth pavilion in climate agenda, and Presidency event using pre-dialogues and co-creation approach. Further recommends a pre-COP27 African Youth Event under the Presidency-Designate in Egypt by September/November 2022;
- Advocating for the inclusion of youth representatives in the delegation of different countries to the conference of the parties in COP27 and beyond;
- Training young people in climate change adaptation, mitigation, climate financing and resilient, and loss and damage from climate change;
- Encouraging the role of media in climate change education and climate crisis, like floods and droughts (utilizing the online and offline media/communication tools). Organizing an African Youth-led campaign by putting out their priorities online before the COP27;
- Building and strengthening climate resilience and adaptive interventions of all communities living in fragile ecosystems, food-prone water basins, low-lying areas, and mountains slopes including enacting urgent regional and national legislation, policies and strategies for actions (i.e. domestication of the Kampala Ministerial Declaration);
- Encouraging innovative ideas that can be funded, development of projects of youth in tourism and smart agriculture to be showcased at COP27. This can be augmented by having buzzwords led by young people alongside the official hashtags of COP27 (#TogetherForImplementation and #JustAndAmbitious),
- Promoting a balanced and inclusive global climate activism that includes young African narratives and recognizes the traditional knowledge and heritages on climate change adaptation and prediction; and
- Developing sustainable projects in rural areas and raising awareness of the local impact of climate change.
The webinar was moderated by Ms. Asmaa M. Alazab, the NYDA Director of External Relations, Cooperation and Advocacy, and attended by 161 youth across the globe with viewers on the Facebook platform. The participants were from different countries, including Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Zambia.
Note to editors:
Nile Youth Development Action (NYDA), is a grassroots catalyzer focusing on advancing the local socio-economic development in the Nile Basin Region (NYDA). NYDA was founded to promote a shared vision and enhance cooperation among the young people in an attempt to advance societies and communities through its pillar programs on peacebuilding, youth engagement, climate advocacy, education; arts, culture, and sports; entrepreneurship, and employment.
For further information, please contact: Mr. John Youhanes Magok, Executive Director, Nile Youth Development Actions (NYDA) – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact: Mrs. Asmaa M. Alazab, Director of External Relations, Cooperation and Advocacy, Nile Youth Development Actions- email: asmaaMazab@outlook.com.
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