Young people are not only victims of climate change but also valuable contributors to climate action. At the current stage of the climate emergency, youth have been at the forefront of increasingly creating solutions for their communities and the ecosystem to deal with loss and damage.
Resilience through Youth engagement at COP26
Last year’s Glasgow Climate Conference – the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the Climate Convention, featured the first COP Resilience Hub led by non-state actors from business, investors, civil society, academia, cities, and regions. Owing to the uncertainty and limitations set forth because of the pandemic, the COP26 Resilience Hub provided a connected and interactive opportunity to participate in COP26 through a virtual and physical space. Seizing the opportunity for more engagement with a wider network of individuals and groups across the globe, and with the vision of moving ideas into action, specifically among underrepresented countries, the Resilience Knowledge Coalition hosted a video contest on social media for youth. The contest encouraged young people to share their resilience solutions to tackle the effects of climate change.
Submissions during COP26
Young people around the globe sent in short videos on the actions they were taking to tackle climate change.
The intensity of climate change impacts is increasing. But, there is hope. Every individual action counts, Global South Talent Pool (GSTP) intern Mariana Hernández insists. “Even though there is a long way to adapt to climate change, particularly in vulnerable countries like mine, we need not be a scientist to bring change,” she says in her entry into the COP 26 Social media contest.
Niharika Choudhary from India shares through her entry: “An eco-friendly habit that I have inculcated in my life is to give plants to my friends on their birthdays and also reward myself with plants.’’
“Africa needs energetic, disciplined and young (members) those who try to help their communities,” stressed Mustefa Geda from Ethiopia through his entry.
With the internet easing access to information, many young people are leveraging its connectivity to inspire change in their society. “I am providing cost-effective technologies and innovative techniques that would help farmers to build stronger resilience towards climate change,’’ quips David Okonkwo from Nigeria in his video entry to the contest.
Announcing the contests for COP27
Acknowledging youth as important stakeholders in this global emergency, as agents of change, entrepreneurs and innovators; the Resilience Knowledge Coalition is committed to highlighting youth action for climate resilience. In the lead up to COP27, the Resilience Knowledge Coalition has launched two contests, the social media contest and Knowledge into use awards, that will allow young people to share their innovations and solutions for building their communities’ resilience. These avenues provide an opportunity for young people to use their creativity to share their work through various forms of art.