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YOUNGO (UNFCCC observer constituency of youth non-governmental organizations)

Children and young people have been participating in the UNFCCC intergovernmental process going back to COP 5 in Bonn. Starting in COP 11/CMP 1, youth have also organized preparatory meetings called "Conferences of Youth," which help build their capacity to participate in the UNFCCC negotiation process.

Prior to COP 15/CMP 5, the secretariat granted a provisional constituency status to admitted youth non-governmental organizations (YOUNGO). The constituency status provided a conduit for the exchange of official information between young people and the secretariat; assisted the secretariat in ensuring an effective participation by youth appropriate to an intergovernmental meeting; coordinated young people's interaction at sessions including convening constituency meetings, organizing meetings with officials, providing names for the speakers list and representation at official functions; and provided logistical support to youth during sessions.

On practical terms, YOUNGO is given the opportunity to address the plenary, High Level Segment of a COP/CMP, make submissions (individual youth organizations also), attend workshops, meet with officials of the Convention such as Chairs of the subsidiary bodies and the COP Presidency. They also organize Young and Future Generation's Day during the COP/CMP organizing a series of side events, exhibits, interviews, media stunts, etc.

For more information about YOUNGO and its current activities, please visit http://www.youthclimate.org or e-mail the YOUNGO focal points:

Ms. Sabrina Marquant
E-mail: sabrina.marquant@climates.fr

Ms. Danaé Espinoza
E-mail: gandahar.vandeshanti@gmail.com

Youth in action on climate change – A special feature on World Environment Day 2014


On the occasion of World Environmental Day 2014, YOUNGO is pleased to share some inspiring examples of youth action from around the world. For more examples on youth actions in the Small Islands and Development States (SIDS) please also visit the special feature of UNFCCC here.

1. Power Shift Ghana

PowerShiftCheck out “Power Shift Ghana”: The largest youth-led climate and environmental gathering in Ghana is slated for 23-25 July 2014 and will be focused on training a new generation of young people in environmental policy, organizing and campaigning for action on the environment.

2. Green bits Initiative

green bitsThe "GreenBits Initiative ” is a platform for enhancing youth engagement in climate policy, through publication of simple, fun and easy-to-read-and-understand books, blogs and newsletter articles. Founded in the lead up to UNFCCC COP18 in Doha, Qatar in 2012, by three Kenyan youth - Kennedy Liti Mbeva, Reuben Makomere and Charles Kyeti - GreenBits has so far published two guide books on international climate policy, My Little COP PocketBook and Defrosting COP19 , and runs a monthly newsletter on climate policy. GreenBits draws its strength by building on the nexus between innovative social media and networking tools and youth climate networks, thus building the capacity of youth climate networks in addressing climate change issues practically.

3. International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations

IFMSAThe International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) unites medical students worldwide to lead initiatives that impact positively the communities we serve. IFMSA represents the opinions and ideas of future health professionals in the field of global health, and works in collaboration with external partners. IFMSA builds capacity through training, project and exchanges opportunities, while embracing cultural diversity so as to shape a sustainable and healthy future.

4. Green Hope: United Arab Emirates

greenhopeGreen Hope UAE was founded by Kehkashan Basu at the age of 12, after she returned from the Rio+20 summit. Its mission is to carry forward the Rio legacy of sustainable development by providing the youth of the region with a networking platform. Green Hope UAE now has more than 500 members spread out across several geographies. It conducts ground level projects involving the community on climate change, stopping land degradation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable consumption practices and future justice. It has been felicitated by Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and has been accorded partner status by KHDA which is Dubai's education regulatory body. Through its environmental academies, Green Hope UAE has engaged several thousand students and got them involved in environmental projects.

5. Care About Climate

care about climateCare About Climate is a non-governmental organization that is working to create a global conversation about climate change through education and outreach initiatives. Our "I Care About Our Climate" initiative allows people from around the world to say "I Care About Our Climate" through social media, a photo petition with a Care About Climate Symbol, and blogs. This conversation is critical to getting people to think about climate change in a different way and to add new value to the issue. Visit careaboutclimate.com for more information about the organization.

6. TETRA PAK Youth Ambassador

tetrapakThe Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tetra Pak India initiated ‘LEADearthSHIP ’ – a youth program for undergraduate and post graduate students from India. The project is focused on “E3”, which stands for the three pillars of change - Environment, Education, and Empowerment.
Under their aegis, several programmes have been launched to educate young people in rural/semi-urban schools about sustainability and key environmental issues that they encounter in everyday life. They use pedagogical tools like games, guest lectures, field trips and documentary screenings to form the curriculum of a certified course for the module.
See how Shreyak Mahajan, Tetra Pak Youth Ambassador and LEADearth Fellow, was one of the youngest Indians to accompany Sir Robert Swan on the International Antarctic Expedition 2014 here .

7. Divestment Student Network

fossil FuelThe Divestment Student Network is both a place to build connections and share knowledge among campaigns, and a structure to facilitate work on shared projects that will increase the effectiveness of the student divestment movement and further our contribution to the climate justice movement as a whole.

Inspiring examples from YOUNGO members from around the world

8. Melissa LOW Yu Xing

XingMelissa Low holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management and a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Geography. For her Master thesis on past and contemporary proposals on equity and differentiation in shaping the 2015 climate agreement, Melissa was awarded the Shell Best Dissertation Award 2013. Her research at the Energy Studies Institute at National University of Singapore centers on climate change, focusing on analyzing countries greenhouse gas emissions and evaluate their mitigation potential. Melissa participates actively in the global student climate network CliMates and serves as Singapore Coordinator to a Not-for-Profit organization Global Sunrise, working to bring renewable energy to communities in Sierra Leone.

9. Amira Odeh

ImageAmira Odeh is a Geography student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. For the past 10 years she has been involved with environmental community efforts, environmental education, activism and leadership. Some things she has organized are activities for the International Coastal Cleanup and various efforts in campus organizing. She has participated in community events to protect her island’s natural places and is the leader of No más botellas (No more bottles), a campaign of the Eco-Environmental Society, a student organization at the University of Puerto Rico. This campaign hopes to ban the sale of bottled water from her campus, due to the many environmental and community problems that this product causes. With this campaign, Amira has been the leader of a variety of projects like research projects, conferences, educational efforts and the creation of environmental action plans. Through the Eco-Environmental Society and the No más botellas campaign she has been able to expand environmental awareness at the University of Puerto Rico and around the island. For this, she was awarded one of the Brower Youth Awards in 2013 and a leadership fellowship with SustainUS.

10. Neeshad V S

NeeshadNeeshad V S holds a Master’s Degree in Energy & Environmental Engineering and have been advocating for meaningful engagement of youth and elders together in fight against Climate change through media as it is the most sort platform these days amongst youth around the globe. He works with CliMates as a Community Manager for ensuring that every young minds words are heard on climate change and bring them to a single platform and mobilizing the youth and increase knowledge about climate change and international climate negotiations during the next Conferences of the Parties Lima for COP20 (2014) and Paris for COP21 (2015). He is involved in many community based projects for e.g. COP in MyCity , a youth-led project which ambitions to bridge the gap between climate negotiations (a.k.a. the COPs) and the mainstream public.

Special feature on International Women’s Day 2014