United Nations Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate Change
Recent and upcoming activities by members of the UN Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth and Climate
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Climate Change guide for youth
This publication contains over 20 chapters covering various aspects of climate change from causes to action on the
Climate change and food security mini projects
In collaboration with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, FAO is supporting climate change and
food security mini projects where young people learn about the topics and then develop projects in their local
communities from school gardens, tree planting to community energy efficiency initiatives.
Manuals on climate smart agriculture for junior farmer field schools
FAO with a number of partners is developing a series of manuals on climate smart agriculture and community seed
banks for junior farmer field schools and other relevant institutions. And is supporting projects related to youth
and climate change in countries such as Mexico, Cambodia as well as in the pacific region.
FAO is developing a youth portal with information for youth on e.g. agriculture, biodiversity, climate change,
forestry, fisheries, food and nutrition, and a special kids corner that will also include quizzes, videos and games
on these topics.
FAO is developing with partners several challenge badges that focus on e.g. oceans, forestry, energy, agriculture,
nutrition (include a section on sustainable diets). These badges complement the biodiversity, food security and climate change and
water challenge badge, which FAO published
For further information please visit the FAO Climate
Change/Children and Youth website or contact Mr. Reuben Sessa via email at Reuben.Sessa@fao.org
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Tunza International Children & Youth Conferences
UNEP recognizes the impact of Climate
Change on young people and places a great importance on the role young people can play in addressing these
challenges. In an effort to raise awareness, UNEP in collaboration with the UNEP National Committee Korea organized
the 2009 Tunza International Children and Youth Conference. Themes included: Climate Change and its effect on
Biodiversity, Climate Change and Young People, Water and Sustainable Lifestyles. The conference provided a unique
opportunity for over 800 children and youth to share their views and concerns about climate change, and resulted in
a youth statement which was presented at the December 2009 climate change meeting in Copenhagen.
In 2010, UNEP in cooperation with the Aichi Prefectural Government and the City of Nagoya, hosted a
Children’s Conference on Biodiversity. The Conference resulted in a children’s declaration on
biodiversity, presented at COP10 in Nagoya in October.
In 2011 UNEP in collaboration with the Indonesia Government organized another Tunza International Children and
Youth Conference which was held in Bandung Indonesia from 27 September to 1 October 2011. The Conference brought
together 1,400 children and youth, to discuss their role and inputs to the upcoming United Nations Conference on
Sustainable Development "Rio+20". Under the slogan: 'Reshaping Our Future through A Green Economy and
Sustainable Lifestyles'. The conference reviewed the contribution of children and youth to the International
Year of Forests and how they can adopt more environmentally friendly lifestyles. The conference themes were Rio +
20 (Green Economy) / Green Lifestyles, Forests, Sustainable Consumption and the State of the Global Environment
from the youth perspective. The Conference resulted in a declaration containing an action plan detailing what
children can do to promote the outcomes of the document.
In 2013 UNEP hosted the Tunza International Youth Conference on the Environment at the United Nations Complex in
Nairobi, Kenya from the 10 to 14 February. The conference provided a platform for 300 youth from 75 countries to
learn, exchange information and share best practices under the theme; Health & the Environment. Subthemes
included; Green Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Food Waste, Water, Rio+20 outcomes and
the Post 2015 Development agenda, and Youth and the Global Environment. An outcome of the conference was a Youth
Statement, presented to the First Universal Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum
calling for governments, business, cities and civil society to support and facilitate youth led campaigns and
projects. The conference also saw the launch of ‘Tunza Acting for a
Better World: GEO-5 for Youth’, a publication geared towards engaging young people, globally, to respond
to environmental challenges. New Tunza Youth Advisors were also elected for each region to serve in the Tunza Youth
Advisory Council for the next two years.
For more information please click here
Global Youth Gathering
The UNEP Tunza Youth Advisory Council met in Nairobi during
UNEP’s Biennial Governing Council Session. The youth meeting brings together the Tunza Youth Advisory Council
and youth leaders from around the world providing a platform to influence the decisions of the UNEP Governing
Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GC/GMEF) and to participate in the Global Civil Society Forum.
Participating youth review and provide inputs to Governing Council documents, participate in the Global Civil
Society Forum and the Governing Council. The Gathering also provides youth opportunities to meet with UNEP staff to
discuss environmental issues, and to review their roles and expectations in the implementation of the Tunza
For more information please click here
International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment
Children’s Painting Competition has been organized every year since 1991 by UNEP and the Foundation for
Global Peace and Environment (FGPE). Bayer and the Nikon Corporation joined as organizers in 2005 and 2006
respectively. The 21st International Children's Painting Competition on the Environment is ongoing and open to
children between the ages of 6 and 14 years. The focus of the 2013 competition was Water: Where does it come from?/
Source of Life.
The Competition has been one of UNEP’s most popular outreach activities receiving millions of submissions
from over 100 countries over the last 21 years, inspiring people all over the world to see the environment through
the eyes of children. The Competition encourages children to focus on a particular environmental issues and how
these issues affect their communities. Its goal is to increase environmental awareness and action among children,
articulating the hopes and fears of today’s children and portraying actions by children to address
For more information please click here
The UNEP Tunza magazine is one of the initiatives under the UNEP Tunza long term
strategy on the involvement and engagement of young people in environmental issues. The magazine is produced
quarterly and in three languages – English, French and Spanish. The magazine is distributed to young people
around the world. All Tunza issues are posted here. A new feature during the reporting period was the
introduction of the Tunza mobile platform, which allows young people to access the magazine on their mobile phone.
This has been a huge success and now registers several thousand subscribers.
For more information please click here
Children environmental series
UNEP published a children's environmental series and two
out of the seven storybooks are on the theme of climate change and on what children can do to mitigate the effects
of climate change. The series is hosted on the Tunza website.
For more information please click here
UNEP/UNESCO YouthXchange guidebook on climate change and lifestyles
The UNEP-UNESCO YouthXchange
project was partners with UNEP’s Tunza youth strategy. The initiative aims to develop activities in the area
of capacity building, environmental awareness and information exchange, with a vision to foster a generation of
environmentally conscious citizens. As a part of the YouthXchange Initiative, UNEP in collaboration with UNESCO,
launched a guide book on Climate Change and lifestyles aimed at young people aged 15-24. The guide book is a
training kit, which seeks to promote sustainable lifestyles through education, dialogue, awareness raising and
For more information please click here
For further information please visit the UNEP children and youth website or send
an email to: email@example.com
United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)
Climate Change Education is one of UNESCO's focal topics for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development (2005-2014). It uses Climate Change Education as an entry point for promoting the principles and
practice of sustainable development through education. UNESCO’s Climate Change Education for Sustainable
Development (CCESD) programme focuses on strengthening countries’ capacities to provide quality climate
change education; promoting innovative teaching approaches to integrate climate change education into school
programmes and curricula; and raise awareness about climate change as well as enhance non-formal education
programmes through media, networking and partnerships.
For more information please click
UNESCO materials on Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development
YouthXchange climate change and lifestyles guidebook (UNEP/UNESCO)
joint UNESCO/UNEP YouthXchange (YXC) Initiative on youth and sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods includes a
series of thematic YXC guidebooks, which present global sustainability challenges to young people so they can
better understand how such challenges are connected to their everyday lifestyle choices.
The YouthXchange guidebook on climate change and
lifestyles explores the links between climate change and lifestyles and helps young people consider the actions
they might take towards more sustainable lifestyles. It takes into account challenges, opportunities, good
practices and case studies on global challenges.
Climate change in the classroom: UNESCO course for secondary teachers on climate change education for
This six-day course supports teacher education institutions to introduce
climate change education into their pre-service and in-service training programme. The course is designed to give
teachers confidence in facilitating climate change education for sustainable development across the curriculum and
inside and outside the classroom. The course suggests that the teaching of climate change should go beyond the
science classroom. It proposes a pedagogical framework, exercises, regional resource and facilitation guidelines to
For more information please click here
Climate change education starter’s guidebook (UNESCO/UNEP)
UNESCO together with UNEP
developed a Climate Change Starter’s Guidebook
that provides an introduction and overview for education planners and practitioners on the wide range of issues
relating to climate change and climate change education, including causes, impacts, mitigation and adaptation
strategies, as well as some broad political and economic principles.
The aim of this guide is to serve as a starting point for mainstreaming climate change education. It has been
created to enable education planners and practitioners to understand the issues at hand, to review and analyse
their relevance to particular national and local contexts, and to facilitate the development of education policies,
curricula, programmes and lesson plans.
Learning to address climate change
The UNESCO video
“Learning to address climate change” shows in four minutes why climate change education is
important to shape sustainable development and how it works in practice. It shows how education can help us
understand the causes and consequences of climate change. It also gives examples of how teachers and students can
get active and address the challenges of climate change.
Clearinghouse on Climate Change Education
‘Clearinghouse on Climate Change Education’ website makes easily accessible hundreds of teaching
and learning materials on climate change through a new database, complementing UN clearinghouse platforms in
support of UNFCCC Article 6, such as CC:iNet and CC:Learn.
Being active in more than 50 countries, the Sandwatch
project seeks to change the lifestyle and habits of children, youth and adults on a community-wide basis, by
developing their awareness of the fragile nature of marine and coastal environments and the need to use them
wisely. The volunteer network of children, youth and adults is working together to monitor and analyze changes in
their beach environment using a standardized approach. Children and youth share their findings with the wider
community and then take action to address issues, enhance their beach environment and build resilience to climate
change. Sandwatch was initiated by UNESCO more than 10 years ago. It is coordinated by the non-profit Sandwatch
Foundation with support from UNESCO and many other partners.
For further information please contact Ms. Julia Heiss via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
Screening of UN-HABITAT Cartoon on Climate Change
UN-HABITAT and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) are planning to screen a cartoon titled ‘The
Change’, a short film on climate change to children attending public primary schools under the control of the
authority in Kampala. The film, produced by UN-HABITAT is a simple to understand and remarkable educational cartoon
capturing the entire climate change debate from unsustainable production and consumption, impact of climate change
on communities to simple adaptation measures. The cartoon ends with a message that it is not too late to fix our
past behavior but that society needs to act now in not only mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and polluting the
environment but also putting in place adaptation measures.
The cartoon screening will target the 110 primary schools under the control of the KCCA. The cartoon will be shown
to children between the ages of 6 and 9 in Class 1 to 4 of primary school.
Posters will be printed in Nairobi and distributed to the schools. A follow-up mission will take place 3 months
later to learn from the teachers how children reacted to the cartoon and to know what actions were taken by the
children and the school.
Youth Caravan to COP 17/CMP 7
The Youth Caravan that is part
of the "We Have Faith” campaign will kick-start in
Nairobi, Kenya on 7 November 2011 and will travel through 3 African countries to reach Durban by 23 November 2011.
The initiative brings together faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and youth movements from
across Africa and draws the support from global climate justice and faith based movements to demand action, as well
as give options and solutions.
The caravan will travel by road through several African countries carrying the message of climate justice. The
young participants will use music, dance and drama to create awareness about climate change and COP 17/CMP 7. The
participants will also share community initiatives on climate change, meet with stakeholders in different countries
and amplify the voice of young people throughout the continent.
The caravan will complete its journey with a final performance in the soccer stadium in Durban with approximately
1,000 youth performing in a mass choir together with celebrities from Africa and beyond, including Archbishop
Desmond Tutu and the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson.
For further information please contact Mr. John Mwaura via email at John.Mwaura@unhabitat.org
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Climate Ambassador Programme
In 2009, in the week before the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s COP15, UNICEF organized the
Children’s Climate Forum in Copenhagen (CCF or CCFC). The true launch of the Climate Ambassador Programme,
the event brought together 160 young people from 44 countries to discuss climate change and build their skills to
make change in their communities. For UNICEF, this was in many ways the beginning of widespread action on climate
change and adolescent participation in Country Offices and NatComs worldwide. Below are many of the stories of how
UNICEF offices prepared their Ambassadors for the Forum and what Climate Ambassadors did with UNICEF after the CCF
with their increased skills and knowledge.
Classroom Education Programmes
Canada: UNICEF Canada works with educators (boards, teaching
organizations and education federations) to raise awareness around children’s rights and how to bring the
rights based approach into the classroom in a practical and manageable way that will make the classroom a better
place. UNICEF Canada has integrated "Learning for a Sustainable Future" workshops into this programme,
featuring trainings at conferences for teachers and students. UNICEF has also created a number of "Green
Learning" sites, with numerous resources for teachers online. This has been shared with all of the teachers
within UNICEF's network. Since UNICEF works with both teachers and professors who teach teachers in training,
the change can often reach far more people indirectly than directly.
Luxembourg: UNICEF is working to support the government's initiative to integrate sustainable
development into school curricula, as a part of the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development. UNICEF
Luxembourg feeds into government dialogues and has shared the tools that other UNICEF offices have developed when
China: UNICEF is running Environment, Climate Change & Disaster courses in a few pilot schools, and have
support to scale this up to 100 schools. They have developed an interactive and integrated whole school climate
programme, which includes both content for the classroom as well as tangible actions such as planting trees,
stabilizing slopes, planting vegetables for nutrition purposes, and teaching children to calculate their carbon
Community Education Programmes
In order to make widespread environmental change in a community, many UNICEF offices have recognized a need to not
only engaging children but larger communities. Identifying key social events and community values in a region,
these projects can often reach people that traditional environmental programmes may miss. Even for children,
engaging outside of the classroom can ensure that environmental ideas are translated into practical action.
Tree Plantations & Gardens
All over the world, tree plantations are often seen as the easiest way to engage children in an environmental event
or project, and when approached this way, they remain little more than a one-off event. These projects become more
valuable when they are bundled with long-term engagement in that community or when accompanied by community
trainings to ensure the trees are cared for and protected.
The idea of Action Research has been very promising in many areas besides environment, and there are examples of
how this idea can be very effective at engaging adolescents. By training adolescents with key research skills and
focusing research on critical social issues, the outcomes can directly translate into action plans for community
projects or into advocacy at a local, regional or national level to the government.
Water, Sanitation and Health
As WASH is both a key area of UNICEF’s operations worldwide and also one of the sectors and resources that
will be most impacted by climate change, WASH projects are a natural fit for climate change interventions.
Furthermore, water quality testing and monitoring is very straightforward to train children and youth to do at
their schools and community water sources. When young people are conducting these tests, they can be more frequent
and more distributed than if an expert outside of the community is doing testing, and the youth and their families
become strong advocates for water quality management.
For further information please contact Ms. Stephanie Hodge via email at email@example.com or Ms. Takae Ishizuka at firstname.lastname@example.org
Earth Child Institute (ECI)
Side-event at United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on Youth
In July, ECI co-organized a side event entitled: Youth Leaders Speak Out About Effective Inter-Generational Climate
Action (link to press release) with United Nations Environment Programmme (UNEP), the World Association of Girl
Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, and in
partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Establishment of youth-led Nepal country office
ECI's youth-led Nepal country office is up and running making strides for children in the Dolpa district. Their
Facebook page is accessible here.
For further information please contact Ms. Donna Goodman via email at email@example.com
TakingITGlobal is in the process of conducting a series of five European Youth Environment and Education forums to
involve youth, educators, and environmentalists in forming recommendations to the agenda of the UN Rio+20 Earth
TakingITGlobal has launched Youthmovements.org, a collaborative mapping
platform for youth-led and youth-focused projects. The online tool is an updated version of TakingITGlobal’s
project management infrastructure and a series of monthly inquiry groups to increase cross sector contact. This
project is not solely focused upon climate initiatives, but aims to draw connections between actors across
For further information please contact Mr. Liam O'Doherty via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)
With ~10 million members in 145 countries, WAGGGS is the largest international voluntary movement dedicated to
girls and young women. WAGGGS supports its members to reach their full potential as responsible citizens of
the world, through a programme of values based non-formal education. WAGGGS empowers its members to learn,
speak out and take action at a local, national and international level with a focus over the last few years on the
Millennium Development Goals.
WAGGGS’ is currently running projects, youth training and advocacy programmes on key issues relating to the
environment and sustainable development. Current activities include grassroots-led climate change and food security mini projects in collaboration
with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Flag for the Future – a youth competition run in partnership
with Greenpeace International as part of the Save the Arctic campaign and Together Greening – a international project led by Girl Scouts USA
and supported by the Alcoa Foundation which catalyses youth-led grassroots action and cross-cultural
WAGGGS works with the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA)
and especially FAO to create non-formal curricula called ‘United Nations Challenge Badge’ on topics
including Water, Biodiversity and Climate Change and Food Security. The badges
support children and youth to increase their knowledge, inspire behavioural change, raise awareness and become
empowered agents of change in their communities.
WAGGGS’ also takes international delegations of young women to UNFCCC and UNCSD conferences to advocate on
behalf of girls and young women, with a specific focus on non-formal education and youth empowerment.
For further information please contact Environment Programme Coordinator, Ms. Harriet Thew via email