The world's youth continue to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most recently with initiatives focused on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13), life below water (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15), as well as the inter-linkages among these and the other Goals.
March 2018: The world’s youth continue to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most recently with initiatives focused on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13), life below water (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15), as well as the inter-linkages among these and the other Goals.
In a one-day session titled, ‘Youth Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation,’ the International Forestry Students’ Association in cooperation with the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) engaged students and young professionals in a discussion on stopping deforestation by 2020. With the objective of empowering young people to take action on the 2030 Agenda, the session considered components of combating deforestation, including the landscape approach, effective communication, and the role of gender in natural resource management. It also included a consultation aiming to produce “concrete” implementation strategies for presentation to the Member States of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), which will meet in May 2018. The session took place in Rome, Italy on 19 February, ahead of the conference titled, ‘Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area: from Aspiration to Action,’ organized by the CPF and hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). [SDG Knowledge Hub story on FAO Conference] [FAO Press Release on ‘Youth across Sectors to Halt Deforestation’] [‘Youth across Sectors to Halt Deforestation’ Concept Note and Programme]
On 14 March 2018, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) signed an agreement with the County Government of Meru, Kenya, to: develop a “One Stop Youth Resource Centre” and expand productive capacities in the County; strengthen municipal finance on a long-term basis; and develop a project that addresses youth issues linked to urban challenges, municipal finance, and enhancement of productive activities in Meru County. Under the agreement, UN-Habitat has committed itself to support youth, local development and municipal finance in Meru County. Also, with the financial support from the County Government of Meru, UN-Habitat announced it will organize the ‘Meru Youth Conference’ in May 2018, which should serve as a rapid assessment platform to formulate an appropriate Meru Youth Service Programme. [UN Habitat Press Release on Youth Initiatives in Meru County, Kenya]
The Global Water Partnership (GWP) South Asia noted the “successful” conclusion of the ‘Water and Climate Change Resilient Youth Champions and Communities in Hindon River Basin Programme.’ The programme, which started in 2017, sought to revive the Hindon River through a water resources management approach. It included: trainings; the preparation of approximately 50 videos under ‘The Hindon Voices Channel’ on YouTube, which outlined concerns of stakeholders including students, teachers and social workers related to the river and the changes needed; and an inter-district level ‘Hindon Quiz’ involving six schools and comprising questions on water, its conservation, climate change and its impact on human beings, other living creatures and natural resources. The programme was a collaboration between the India Water Partnership (IWP), the Centre for Youth (C4Y) and the Nirmal Hindon Initiative. It engaged approximately 1,000 stakeholders, according to GWP. [GWP South Asia Press Release on Water and Climate Change Resilient Youth Champions and Communities in Hindon River Basin Programme]
Also on water, the GWP Central and Eastern Europe announced a summer school for climate change, innovation and youth advocacy in water management related to the 2030 Agenda. It will convene from 1-6 July 2018, at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland. The summer school targets students currently enrolled in different water related MSc and PhD programs from universities throughout Europe, and aims to present current global and regional water issues, possible ways to address them and innovative approaches. Per GWP, the school will discuss international water governance, the SDGs, green infrastructures, innovative solutions, ecosystems, nature-based solutions, and will have a special focus on water security and climate resilience. It will also include a dialogue for water and climate change policies between young leaders and policy-makers called ‘Youth Voices → Policy Choices.’ The dialogue is meant to result in actionable visions for water in advance of 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 24) that will take place from 3-14 December 2018, in Katowice, Poland. [GWP Announcement on Summer School ‘Towards 2030 Agenda’]
On 29 March 2018, the World Youth Foundation organized the event ‘Youth Participation in SDG 14: Towards a Healthy Ocean 2018,’ where speakers discussed marine litter, ocean acidification, aquaculture and food, mangroves, circular economy, and their significance and impact on the ocean. The event was sponsored by the British High Commission in Malaysia. The event was followed by a beach clean up campaign at Pengkalan Balak, Melaka, Malaysia, on 30 March 2018, which brought together approximately 90 people between the ages of 10 and 17 years old. The Foundation also announced that it will host the International Conference on ‘Youth, Peace and Violent Extremism,’ from 30 July – 3 August 2018, in Melaka, Malaysia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia and various other agencies. The World Youth Foundation is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and associated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). It promotes research, development and documentation of youth programmes worldwide. [World Youth Foundation Website]