African Youth Take Action on Climate Change
UN Photo/Christopher Herwig
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A traveling ‘climate caravan’ in Cameroon, with the participation of young people from the Congo Basin countries, showed what youth organizations are doing in terms of sustainable development and environmental protection.

African youth issued a call for greater participation in UNFCCC processes.

9 November 2017: During the UN Climate Change Conference, which is taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November, youth groups from Africa showcased activities they are undertaking to address climate change issues. For example, youth in Africa’s Congo Basin countries highlighted their work on sustainable development and environment issues and on supporting economic progress in isolated rural communities, while protecting the forests. These efforts are being organized by, inter alia, the Youth Network for Central African Forests (REJEFAC), which: brings together youth organizations from 10 Congo Basin countries; promotes the effective participation of youth in decision making in the region; and supports reforestation, and awareness and education programmes for young people.

Prior to the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23), REJEFAC organized a traveling ‘climate caravan’ in Cameroon, with the participation of young people from the Congo Basin countries to show what youth organizations are doing in terms of sustainable development and environmental protection.

The Cameroon Green Youth Association (AJVC) developed a programme in Cameroon for the electrification of isolated rural areas, with solar panels being installed in homes and schools in 15 pilot communities. The programme has trained 85 local youth in solar installation and maintenance techniques. Requests from other villages are currently being turned down due to insufficient financial support. Other activities include a tree planting initiative by volunteers in the Republic of Congo, and a programme focusing on handicrafts and conservation of natural resources in Rwanda. [UN Press Release]

During a COP 23 side event titled, ‘Harnessing Africa’s Emerging Youth Demographic for a Climate-Resilient Future,’ speakers called for greater African youth participation in UNFCCC processes, and increased funding for youth delegates from the Global South. One speaker presented on youth projects in Madagascar, including on plastic bag use, biogas renewable energy and a zero-waste festival. This event was organized by the South African Institute of International Affairs. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Event on ‘Harnessing Africa’s Emerging Youth Demographic for a Climate Resilient Future’]

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