The world is gearing up for the Conference of Parties, COP23 to be held from from 6 to 17 November in Bonn, Germany, hosted by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and presided over by Fiji. It is important to take the Paris agreement further and ensuring climate action for climate crisis mitigation. It is crucial for all the states to take their stand and all the stakeholders to play their part. And it is equally important for youths to take reins in their hand too and lead the climate action. The conference of youth COY is organised by young volunteers to empower youth with regard to climate justice, climate policy and sustainability and this time after the decision in 2015, Local COYs were also organized. The Local Conference of Youth in India was organized by Center for Environment Education (CEE) and Network/outreach partner – Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), from the 12th-14th October, and saw the participation of many dynamic youth delegates from the South Asian region.
The three day program was marked by various sessions to better understand the climate crisis and to also connect with other climate activists from various countries. The first day kicked off with policy training on negotiations and introduction to YOUNGO, which is trying to improve the youth participation in the COPs and then there was a panel discussion about Youth in action- youth stories from Nepal, Bangladesh and India. Other inspiring
session of the LCOY was the handprint Haat, where the delegates shared their climate journeys and the climate actions that they have been leading on. The platform was really engaging and empowering, as to come across many youths who have been bringing changes and fighting for people and climate in their own fields. The decision making simulation and world climate simulation was also a perfect activity to understand how these processes work in the real world, and how deep the gravity of the situation is to bring the global emission down to less than 2 degree Celsius. Another session, Observing the Sustainability was also an eye opener to the unsustainable practices taking place right under our own noses each day.
The three days of inspiring and knowledgeable sessions were participated by equally inspiring young leaders. From Nepal, there were eight delegates representing the country in the local conference of youth. I have been involved in climate action since 2015, after being trained by Nobel laureate Mr. Al Gore and have been organizing various programs and research on climate change and working as the program officer of Climate Reality Nepal. The conference was an incredible platform for me to understand the climate change scenario with the youth participation perspective and to connect with these inspiring organizers and participants. The decision making as well as world climate simulation was a realization to the major hindrances and differences in opinions that result in discord in climate negotiations. The other participants from Nepal to this conference were Dr. Bindu Bhandari, Vice President of CliMates International, Sagar Aryal, Founder Vice-President of Nepalese Students’ Club and CEO at Cisco Infor Tech Pvt Ltd, Prayash Adhikari, Founder Advisor at NYCA Lumjung and Community Manager CliMates Nepal, Asmita Aryal, Vice President of CliMates Nepal, Santosh Subedi, Human Right Activist and Program Coordinator of the A Team Nepal, Abhisek Niraula, Treasurer of CliMates Nepal and Sanju Shrestha, NYCA National Coordinator.
Mr. Sagar shares “Well being a Student Activist and a Young Entrepreneur, I had mostly been engaged in Leadership and Personality Development Conferences. Though I had been to some of the Climate Action Conferences but LCOY13 literally changed my whole scenario towards Climate Action. Here at LCOY13, I learnt how Climate Change is actually affecting our Global Shelter. Alongside, I came up making good bondings with my other fellow mates who were just stupendously great working in their own field for Climate Action.
In a nutshell, LCOY13 was a full package of new experience, ideas, bonding, learning and much fun.
Green Cheers !!! ”
Dr Mohd Zeeshan, another delegate from India, is a researcher who is hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, India. Initially he was engaged in preparing a management plan for the first natural world heritage site in India, the Keoladeo Nation Park (KNP), Rajasthan, India. However, for the past six years he is working on adaptation and mitigation strategies towards climate change by covering its vulnerable sectors in Western Himalayas, India. Recently, he has been awarded doctorate in Environmental Sciences from Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), India.
He shares, “To me this conference was a very good platform to interact and share experiences to various stake holders, researchers and young enthusiast. Unlike to most of the conferences wherein you need to have similar background this was different. As the participants from various educational backgrounds were found keen to combat with issues pertaining to climate change and thus were involved. The structure of the COY was divided under 6 major themes and some of the sessions such as Decision making Simulation, hand print haat and World Climate Simulation. Under the decision making simulation, participants were grouped with a facilitator to frame environmental management plan on various core issues. Another session under “hand print haat” wherein I could share my work and field related experiences about climate change issues. To me this session was very interactive as I could interact with various researchers and participants who were engaged in environmental friendly activities even at their graduation level. The conference was concluded with its last session World Climate Simulation, wherein the participants were grouped and given task in framing up policies to combat global temperature below 1.5 C.”
All the participants share similar sentiments and all in all the program was a very effective one, in which all the youths came to connect with each other and be more aware about the present climate crisis and the negotiation issues.