Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is dis-rupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
The United Nations System recognizes the key role that youth play in tackling climate change and works closely with youth-led and youth-focussed organizations around the world.
In 2017, UNESCO Office, Jakarta and UN CC:Learn (One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership) orga-nized the “Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change”. The programme was to provide them with an un-derstanding of climate change in agriculture and energy, marine and fisheries and forestry sectors. At the end of the camp, three youths were selected to participate in the Tribal Climate Camp in Washington DC, USA to build their capacity to address climate change and associated economic, social, cultural, regulato-ry, and technological trends and impacts within and between communities.
In 2019, UN held the first-ever, UN Youth Climate Summit. The UN Youth Climate Summit was a platform for young climate action leaders to showcase their solutions at the United Nations and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.
The Summit was attended by over 600 outstanding youth climate champions chosen from around the world, including young representatives from seven biosphere reserves from Southeast Asia and Pacific. They are Ms Ari Iswandari (Leuser National Park, Indonesia), Mr Hamid Arrum Harahap (Batang Toru, Indo-nesia), Ms Sukma Riverningtyas (Lore Lindu National Park, Indonesia), Mr Rey Antony Ostria (Albay Bio-sphere Reserve, the Philippines), Ms Kanoktip Somsiri (Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve, Thailand), Ms Cao Ngu-yen (Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam) and Mr Onneil Nena (Utwe Biosphere Reserve, Federated States of Micronesia). These outstanding young leaders were nominated to participate based on their demonstrated commitment to addressing the climate crisis and advancing solutions. During the Summit, the youths shared specific conditions and examples from their region and Biosphere Reserve sites.
The Youth Climate Summit featured a full-day of programmes that brought together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the climate challenge. The programme culminated in unveiling the ActNow platform that encourages people to take action on climate action. The youths will continue taking positive climate action.