Children and young people are the generations that will have to deal with the future impacts of climate change whether they like it or not. Unfortunately, they are the generation with the most to lose. But, that’s not deterring a group of children between 9 and 17 to make their voices heard, loud, and clear around the world. Their actions have caused tidal waves and some have made the headlines of media outlets. Let’s meet the youths who are already making a difference in the world.

The world is waking up to realize that climate change is a threat that can’t be ignored. From green groups to my next-door neighbor, people are taking it upon themselves to build practical solutions that could save the planet, or at least, mitigate its impacts.

Even more impressive is that children are already taking part in this debate, and with good reason. According to the CIA World Fact Book, children and young people represent 30 percent of the world’s population. Not only do they represent the largest group of people currently affected by climate change, but they are also more vulnerable than adults to its harmful effects.

Children and young people are also the generations that will have to deal with the future impacts of climate change whether they like it or not. Unfortunately, they are the generation with the most to lose. But, that’s not deterring a group of children between 9 and 17 to make their voices heard, loud, and clear around the world. Their actions have caused tidal waves and some have made the headlines of media outlets.

Let’s meet the youths who are already making a difference in the world:

1. Timoci Naulusala

Ladies and Gentlemen, speeches and talks won’t solve the problem but walk the talk is more effective.” — Timoci Naulusala

Pictured: French President, Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the COP23 President, Voreqe Bainimarama

Pictured: French President, Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the COP23 President, Voreqe Bainimarama

At only 12 years of age, Timoci Naulusala’s opening speech at COP23 in Bonn, Germany captivated world leaders at the UN’s high-level annual conference on climate change. Calling on the ‘global village’ to open their eyes to the impact of climate change, Timoci told world leaders that the blaming and waiting game was over. His speech, which won him Fiji’s National Climate Change Speech Competition, opened the doors to his participation at COP23, where he earned him a standing ovation from world leaders. Check out his speech here.

2. Ridhima Pandey

Ridhima Pandey

Often considered the Malala of her native India, 9-year-old Ridhima knows she has to inherit her country’s growing climate disasters. Ridhima was only 6 years old when floods ravaged Uttarakhand in 2013. The images and stories of the ecological disaster left a profound impact on the young mind. Since then, she has become an advocate and the driving force behind a 52-page petition before the National Green Tribunal on how the government has failed to scientifically tackle climate change, and how environment protection laws continue to be routinely flouted.

The class 6 student from Haridwar was invited to participate in a conference on climate change in Paris. The conference based on the theme ‘Engaging legal action for climate justice’ was organized by a Paris-based Foundation, Fondation Danielle Mitterrand.

3. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

The future of our generation is at stake,” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced “Shu-tez-cat”), 17, considers himself as part of the “generation with the most to lose” when it comes to climate change.

Xiuhtezcatl became a climate change activist at the age of 6 when he saw an environmental documentary. As an environmental activist, Xiuhtezcatl has spoken at the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to address the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York City.

He is the youth director of Earth Guardians, a worldwide conservation organization, and has worked hard to get pesticides out of parks and coal ashes contained. He is one of the 21 plaintiffs involved in a youth-led lawsuit against the US federal government for its failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations. Xiuhtezcatl is also a hip-hop artist and writes music advocating for climate change. He has shared his musical talent at TedX, Bioneers, and the United Nations.

4. Shalvi Shakshi

Shalvi Shakshi delivering her speech at the Youth and Future generations Day in Bonn, Germany.

Shalvi Shakshi delivering her speech at the Youth and Future generations Day in Bonn, Germany.

Shalvi Shakshi, 11, without a doubt captured the minds and hearts of people attending a Youth Action event at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany. With her energy and natural talent for speaking publicly, Shalvi reminded the crown that “every single person on this Earth has the power to change the world”.

The Year-5 student was the youngest from the Fijian delegation to attend COP 23, but when she took center stage, she delivered a powerful speech on the importance of taking climate action. Check out her speech here.

5. Jaden Anthony

Jaden Anthony

Jaden Anthony, 11, is on a mission. He is the author of Kid Brooklyn, a graphic novel series that strives to introduce children from 7–12 to the environmental and social issues that challenge the world today.

Through his graphic novels, Jaden addresses these issues through a fictional tale about a child from Brooklyn who together with his friends receives special powers to save the planet from evil aliens (disguised as corporations) and environmental crises. You can get your copy here.

For these young advocates, climate change is inevitable. They are aware and have started taking matters into their own hands to create a better today and a sustainable future. What about you? What climate action are you taking today? If you know any young environmental activists in your community, nominate them by leaving us a comment on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and we’ll get in touch!

Zimbabwe is engaging youth from rural parts of the country in its efforts to raise awareness of climate change. Over 600 people have participated in a series of itinerant workshops that were held as part of the implementation of the country’s newly launched National Climate Change Learning Strategy.

 

Read on and find out more about this initiative!

Climate change is increasingly becoming a dominant issue for governments throughout the globe, guiding policymaking and national planning. However, these policies do not always engage all spectrums of society, which seriously hinders the efforts to raise awareness of climate change at national, regional and community levels. In light of this issue, the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, along with African Youth Initiative On Climate Change Zimbabwe (AYICCZim) carried out a series of workshops to reach and engage more than 600 rural youth of the country, helping as part of the implementation of its National Climate Change Learning Strategy (NCCLS).

The series of itinerant workshops ran from 31 November 2020 to 19 December 2020.  Although being focused on young people, the workshops reached individuals from several different walks of life, such as farmers, high school students, student interns from universities, youth community leaders and selected youth individuals passionate about the environment.

Despite being unique events, in the sense that both audience and venue varied each time, the workshops walked participants through a single, comprehensive agenda that covered topics ranging from climate change mitigation and adaptation to youth engagement and climate action. Each session was a mix of presentations and group activities aimed at raising awareness of climate change while inspiring youth to take up active roles in championing climate action in their communities. At the end of each event, attendees were better equipped to take decisive climate action.

Moving forward, the main goal is to scale up this initiative and reach even more young people throughout Zimbabwe. A set of eight recommendations were proposed, all of which would contribute to further strengthening the role of youth in climate action in rural areas.  The recommendations were:

  1. Establishment of organized clusters in all the 10 districts
  2. Assessment of Community Information Centers to share Climate Change information
  3. Upscaling of the project to attract a huge audience
  4. Systematic follow ups
  5. Emphasis on Green Business Approach
  6. Meaningful youth engagement
  7. Engagement of children through formation of environmental clubs
  8. Publish a report of youth success stories

UN CC:learn has been working closely with the Government of Zimbabwe since 2019. Find out more about UN CC:Learn’s projects in Zimbabwe here.

“People’s Climate Vote”, the largest ever opinion survey on climate change, confirmed that there’s a clear correlation between the level of education and belief in climate change.

 

Read the article and watch the video to find out more about it.

The largest ever opinion survey on climate change was carried out by UN CC:Learn partner UNDP in 2020 and showed that 64% of 1.2 million respondents think that climate change is a global emergency. The survey entitled “People’s Climate Vote” covered 50 countries, reflecting a bit more than half of the world’s population, and its results were analysed by the University of Oxford. Over 500,000 respondents of the survey were under the age of 18 at the time of the poll, which made youth the biggest age group surveyed.

One of the survey’s key findings has proven that education is paramount to ramp up climate action: the poll confirmed that there is a clear correlation between level of education and belief in climate change. For instance, people who held university degrees or were attending university were way more likely to believe that climate change is a global emergency. This spanned across all surveyed countries, from low-income to high-income ones, with 82% of people in Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 87% and 82% in France and Japan, respectively.

Something we saw very clearly was the high correlation between education and belief in the climate emergency. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to think that there is a climate emergency.” Cassie Flynn – Strategic Adviser to the UNDP.

As a key player promoting climate change learning, UN CC:Learn has education at the core of its activities. With a bit over 120,000 certificates issued, the e-learning platform has become the one-stop-shop for climate change learning with a comprehensive offer of free, self-paced, online courses on climate change and green economy.

At the country level, the programme has been working along with countries and regional partners to integrate climate change into school curricula. In 2021, two National Climate Change Learning Strategies have already been launched in Malawi and Zimbabwe, which gives a glimpse of what is in the pipeline.

Moreover, UN CC:Learn has been actively engaging with youth and giving them the knowledge and tools to be drivers of change. At the global level, the Youth Climate Dialogues have reached more than 900 students in 26 countries, and more is being planned for the year ahead.

Find out how UN CC:Learn has been advancing climate literacy here.

The course aims to inspire increased climate change action among professionals engaged in-country programming and will allow you to explore the many tools and resources that you and your organization have to support your efforts—and the involvement of youth in your specific work areas.

Enroll
  • Climate Change
  • Youth

Self-paced course

3 hours

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges of our time. In this course, you will discover the stark realities of climate change impacts across the world, as well as inspiring insights into opportunities for ensuring that we mitigate the risks and adapt our systems as best possible to reduce damage and destruction to lives and livelihoods. This course will remind us that tackling climate change is not only something to do for our children, but with them, and sometimes with them leading the way.

With a specific focus on UNICEF’s work and programming, this course will provide examples of the specific impacts of climate change on children. The course aims to inspire increased climate change action among professionals engaged in-country programming and will allow you to explore the many tools and resources that you and your organization have to support your efforts—and the involvement of youth in your specific work areas. You will learn about some of the outstanding work happening in the education sector in Viet Nam, one of many countries hard hit by climate change. Finally, you’ll learn about the innovative work being done to fund climate change action and how to ensure you and your organization can successfully access and advocate for the resources you need.

The Course at a Glance

  • Module 1: Why Climate Change Matters for UNICEF and the World
    Lesson 1: Climate Change is a Children’s Issue
    Lesson 2 : It Starts With You
  • Module 2: Stimulating Engagement
    Lesson 1: Technical Tools and Resources
    Lesson 2: Progress in Viet Nam: Integrating Climate Change into Education Programming
  • Module 3: Understanding Means of Implementation
    Lesson 1: Financing Climate Change Action
  • Module 4: Wrap-up and Review
    Assessment
    Evaluation

What will you Learn?

After completing the course you will be able to:

  • Describe why climate change matters for UNICEF and the interlinkages with UNICEF’s core programmatic areas.
  • Explain the key planning tools used at the country level to integrate climate change into country planning and programming efforts (e.g. SitAn, CLAC, GRIP).
  • Analyse examples of how planning tools have been used to integrate climate change into Country Office programming including in the area of WASH.
  • Describe the role of sectoral tools and frameworks in integrating climate change into programming, for example in the areas of WASH and Education.
  • Explain the key principles for designing climate programmes/projects and accessing climate finance.

Get your Certificate

Once you have taken obtained a passing grade of 70% or more on all quizzes you qualify for a certificate of completion from the course. Be aware that you only have up to 3 attempts per quiz.

Your Certificate will become automatically available to download under the tap “Certification” on the main course page.

In the context of supporting countries through training, UN CC:Learn delivers regional and country-level trainings, to equip national policymakers with the skills needed to tackle long-term vulnerability to climate change. Mr. Aliou Gory Diouf, a Senegalese Geographer and Senior Programme Officer participated in one of our training workshops and told us about his experience.

Developing countries are more likely to be exposed to the negative effects of climate change. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves, and heavy precipitation present new risks to development work. How then, can people and societies adapt to new human-induced environmental changes?

To facilitate climate change adaptation planning, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process as part of a global effort to help the most vulnerable countries to design, coordinate, implement and monitor their efforts in managing climate risks.

NAP Training pm Executives of ministry of planning. Togo, 2015

The National Adaptation Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), provides a global support mechanism to enable countries to identify, finance and implement appropriate medium to long-term adaptation actions at national, sub-national and local levels. It is financed by the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The programme implemented by UNDP and UN Environment, in collaboration with other UN agencies, assists developing countries to advance their national adaptation plans (NAP) processes. The programme provides Least Developed Countries(LDCs) and other non-LDC developing countries with technical and organizational support to advance their NAPs.

NAP-GSP works in three areas: 1) institutional support, 2) technical support, and 3) knowledge brokering. As the principal training of the United Nations, UNITAR is a NAP-GSP partner that provides training and skills assessment services.

Training individuals to advance the NAPs

In the context of supporting countries through training, UN CC:Learn/UNITAR delivers Training of Trainers (TOT), regional and country-level trainings, to equip national policymakers with the skills needed to tackle long-term vulnerability to climate change and examine adaptation options through training workshops. These trainings are aimed at operationalizing tools (such as the LEG NAP Technical Guidelines) developed to assist countries in their NAP journeys. The trainings have been designed to enhance understanding of NAP processes and to provide tools to advance these at the country level.

In the spring of 2015, Aliou Gory Diouf, a Senegalese Geographer and Senior Programme Officer in the Climate Change Vulnerability Adaptation Resilience department of EDNA Énergie, participated in the NAP Training of Trainers workshop in Bangkok.

From learning to manage time better to structuring learning modules in a more efficient way, Aliou admits that he’s also been able to strengthen his network. Since the workshop, Aliou has been invited to lead or co-lead training in Togo (twice), in Benin, in Tunisia and in Senegal.

We interviewed Aliou, and this is his experience participating in a Training of Trainers from UN CC:Learn/UNITAR. I hope they respond to your expectations.

Aliou was training local policymakers, CSOs, women and youth on methods and tools of climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning. At Niodior Island, Senegal, 2014.

Which specific skills did the NAP Training of Trainers help you to strengthen?

AGD: Time management and workshop facilitation were extremely helpful for me. In Togo, for example, I had to run training for Executives of the Ministry of Planning for 4 days. I was in charge of preparing all the training materials, exercises, and logistics. Managing these activities, while also facilitating the training at the same time was a good test for me to practice and improve my time management skills.

How did the NAP Training of Trainers, as well as the NAP training delivery impact you as an individual?

AGD: The main impact, and subsequent training, is that I have organized and delivered training in other countries. This has helped my confidence and has given me the ability to master the NAP process of mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning. Second, I now have a clear understanding and vision of how the NAP process can help countries fight climate change impacts.

I am recognized as a NAP Trainer and have helped mainstream NAP policies and strategies in the fishery sector to help fund some adaptation actions by the Government and encourage donors to support the implementation of the policies in Senegal.

Community Training on climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning. At Niodior Island, Senegal, 2014.

How did the NAP Training of Trainers lead to an impact on your affiliate institution ENDA Énergie?

AGD: ENDA Énergie is benefiting from the NAP Training of Trainers through me as a NAP trainer working for them. In countries where I have conducted training, I am known as someone working at ENDA Énergie and this makes their visibility higher.

In your opinion, how could the NAP-GSP network enhance the potentiality of NAP trainings to generate positive outcomes at the individual and/or institutional level?

AGD: I think the NAP-GSP network could be known more if it engaged more trainers in Africa. I do not know of other trainers (I may be wrong), but my feeling is that the NAP-GSP network is a matter of some UN Agencies and bilateral institutions, where stakeholders in Africa are not very present. Perhaps, this is partly due to the fact that the engagement of trainers is not done with institutions but directly with individuals.

Organizing webinars would also be helpful, especially for recent trainers to come together and share their thoughts with other NAP-GSP members.

Prior to participating in the NAP Training of Trainers, Aliou was already conducting training on issues related to the NAP process. However, the training “added a great value” to his skills. For Aliou, two major takeaways from participating in the Training of Trainers are:

  1. The NAP process is crucial for developing countries, much more than he had been taught;
  2. There is a need for more time, resources, and activities than what is currently being mobilized to anchor climate change adaptation in structures, practices and the system.

 

The strong link that needs to be built between the NAP process and NAP implementation is still missing. Against climate change, it’s crucial to plan but it’s also vital to implement,” he conclude

Aliou is now the Head of the climate finance department at Africa Sustainability Center (ASCENT), a pan-African Project/Programme incubator for climate finance.

UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa are turning climate change into an everyday topic in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through a series of TV and radio programs, the two projects are streamlining the access to climate change discussions and raising awareness of this issue among people who previously didn’t have a chance to get any information about it.

How do we promote climate action even during a worldwide pandemic? That’s a question, that UN CC:Learn and MIET Africa asked and are trying to answer in three Southern African countries: Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through a series of radio and TV programs  called “Our Changing Climate – Our time to act!”, the two partners are raising awareness of climate change and fostering climate action in the region.

The idea of hosting programs to discuss climate change and related topics arose in the aftermath of the health, economic and social problems brought about by COVID-19. To come out of this situation sustainably, and ensure an equitable, environmentally friendly and climate resilient economic recovery, it is crucial for everyone to understand the interlinkages between climate change, human health, and socio-economic development. The TV and radio programs in the three Southern African countries supported by UN CC:Learn have proven to be the perfect opportunity to do that.

These country-specific programs allow climate change to remain a topical issue in the region while helping them with the implementation of their National Climate Change Learning Strategy by touching on specific areas addressed by the strategies, like energy, agriculture, and health. Each episode approaches one main topic and hosts exclusive guests, such as young climate activists, experts, and government officials. Although these programs are produced independently in each country, these project aims to address the following points:

  • The global significance of climate change and how it impacts countries, communities, and individual lives.
  • How one could adapt to and mitigate climate change at country, community, family, and individual levels.
  • Get an overview of global and national responses to the climate crisis and a “call to action” for communities, families, and individuals, particularly youths, to do their part as friends of the earth.

The TV and radio programs are divided into episodes and each episode is broadcast in three languages in each country: Tumbuka, Chichewa, and English in Malawi, Nyanja, Bemba and English in Zambia, and Ndebele, Shona, and English in Zimbabwe. Each country will have 36 radio episodes and 6 TV episodes in total, equally distributed in the aforementioned languages.

Follow us on social media to get firsthand information on the upcoming episodes: Facebook. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Ms. Asha Alexander, principal at GEMS The Kindergarten Starters in Dubai, told us how she has initiated an ambitious programme of embedding climate literacy in school’s curriculum. At her school, more than a 1,000 teachers, students and parents have been trained on Sustainable Diet e-course. In total, 37 schools have already joined her initiative and she aim at reaching 100 schools by 2021. She is calling you to embark on this programme in your country.

After conducting the World’s First School Conference of Parties (SCOPE-2020) in Dubai it was apparent that there was an appetite worldwide for embedding climate literacy in schools. However, teachers are often not familiar with how to get started and there is still a need to share best practice. There is a need to get quality content, adequate resources and at the same time train teachers to be able to deliver this curriculum. As such, GEMS Education has embarked on an ambitious programme of effecting this change worldwide.

Opening plenary at SCOPE 2020 lead by Ms Asha Alexander. Photo: Asha Alexander

The UN CC: Learn courses have been the bedrock on which we built the teacher training at our GEMS schools and while the interest levels were high, the ability to weave it into the existing curriculum was proving to be a challenge across multiple curricula. It struck me that there must be a simpler way to get started.

Having identified the hook, I chose the Sustainable Diet e-course from several that the UN CC: Learn boasts of and requested all the staff members at GEMS The Kindergarten Starters to complete the course. Three hundred plus staff members completed the course in the space of a week and we then engaged Grades 3-5 students to undertake the course. The e-course offered relevant and current information along with possible solutions for practicing a sustainable diet. It has helped students to develop an understanding of sustainability as a whole and its connection to all aspects of environmental issues like water shortage and pollution, so they were able to deal with the complexity of the subject.

Diet followed by students and parents. Photo: Asha Alexander

Greatly encouraged we reached out to all 37 participating schools in SCOPE-2020 to be a part of this journey. With that aim in mind, we have at present connected with 15 schools from 9 countries including Oman, UAE, India, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, USA and Australia who will also undertake to do the course and then work with students to practice a sustainable diet by monitoring the carbon footprint of what they consume.

We feel we will have made impact if students and parents truly understand the issues from a personal viewpoint and are able to look for possible solutions within their school and local communities. Our goal is to systematically implement education for sustainability through the development of evaluation. Our vision is to have moved the needle to lower carbon footprint across the world by encouraging schools and their local communities to adopt a sustainable diet. I have learned that small but consistent steps are a great way to get started. Our children will take ownership of their own learning. All we need is to point them in the right direction.

On 30 September 2020, a validation workshop was held in Zambia to validate the country’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy (NCCLS). The event brought together key stakeholders who worked together on the development of document and set out the pathway for its implementation.

The government of Zambia, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN) held a validation workshop on 30th September 2020, to validate the National Climate Change Learning Strategy (NCCLS) developed in partnership with UN CC:Learn. The event took place at Fringilla Lodge, in the city of Chisamba, and brought together key stakeholders who worked together on the development of the strategy.

The event kicked off with Mr. Nyirenda B. Steven, the Coordinator for the Zambia Climate Change Network, highlighting ZCCN’s role in disseminating climate change information. He acknowledged the fruitful partnership between ZCCN, ZEMA, the Ministry and UN CC:Learn that made the development of the NCCLS possible.

He was followed by Mr. Friday Phiri, the Assistant Communication Manager at ZEMA, who stressed that climate change is a serious global challenge that is already affecting Zambia. He recognized that the newly developed strategy would help build capacity on and promote climate change awareness within Zambia, especially among journalists, which would contribute to the dissemination of accurate climate change information.

Validation workshop participants.

The validation of the strategy was the culmination of a thorough review process. The first draft underwent 4 internal review phases before being brought for validation.  And Mr. Angus Mackay, the Head of the UN CC:Learn Secretariat, who joined the event virtually, acknowledged all this hard work in his remarks. He congratulated Zambia for achieving this important milestone and reminded everyone that, despite the negative impacts of Covid-19, the work towards the validation of the strategy progressed.

The pathway to the validation was as follows:

The Ministry of Lands and Natural resources was represented by Ms. Carol Mwape Zulu, Chief Climate Change Officer at Department Climate Change and Natural Resources Management. In her opening remarks, she stated that the Ministry is giving serious attention to all efforts aimed at raising awareness on climate change as this will empower key stakeholders to undertake actions to address mitigation and adaptation needs.

Regarding the implementation of the NCCLS, it was accorded that actions to build a climate resilient Zambia by end of 2030 will be achieved in three phases: short term (1 to 2 years), medium term (3 to 5 years) and long term (6 to 10 years). To attain all the strategy’s objectives, a workplan laying out the implementation process has been developed. The main implementation goals in the strategy are:

  • Raise awareness and strengthen climate change knowledge.
  • Build individual and institutional capacity in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Mainstream climate change learning into national development planning.

To find out more about UN CC:Learn work in Zambia, click here.

Chief Climate Change Officer, Carol Mwape Zulu giving her remarks

 

Between October and November 2020, UN CC:Learn invited youth from across the world to a series of online discussions: the Virtual Youth Climate Dialogues. We’ve received 300 applications for seven events in English, Spanish and French, which brought together over 80 youth from different ages and backgrounds, but united in goal: finding solutions for the climate crisis.

 

Read on and learn more about this enriching experience.

How can youth be at the forefront of climate change discussions? Aiming to answer this question by empowering those who will be the most affected by climate change, UN CC:Learn has come up with the Youth Climate Dialogues (YCDs). The first edition took place in 2015, and at the World Children’s Day on 20 November 2018 UNICEF global event “Kids Take Over” the programme committed to organizing 30 dialogues by the end of 2020. As of November 2020, 36 dialogues have been held with over 900 students from across the world.

Originally, the dialogues were held between schools from different countries, but due to the constraints brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of many schools, a new format has been implemented. In October 2020, UN CC:Learn sent out a call online, inviting youth to apply for a chance to be part of the Virtual Youth Climate Dialogues. This time, young people were invited to directly apply: the only thing they needed to do was to submit the registration form, share their “Climate Story” and have a stable internet connection.

In 4 weeks, 300 youth from different countries and backgrounds showed interest and competed for a chance to participate in these new YCDs. The first Virtual YCD took place on 30 October and brought together youth from Somalia, Zambia, and Jamaica to an online round-table discussion on climate change and how it is impacting their communities leading to personal reflection and learning . The format was adapted along the way, with the following editions offering more interactive options such as polls and group discussions.

If I were in a decision-making position I would introduce environmental education in all grades. I would also come up with a policy by which all presidential candidates would be vetted based on their climate action plans – Patricia,  YCD participant from Kenya

To celebrate and acknowledge the importance of World Children’s Day on 20th November 2020, four dialogues were organized: two in English, one in Spanish and one in French. The high number of applications led to these events being split into two days. On Thursday, 19 November, and Friday, 20 November, over 50 people joined the events and got a chance to discuss climate change and propose solutions for it. The 16-year-old climate activist Yande Banda helped co-moderate the English sessions. Her passion and eloquence reminded everyone of the power youth can have to drive transformational changes in their communities.

Photo taken during the Youth Climate Dialogue in English held on the occasion of World Children’s Day. Photo: UN CC:Learn

The last YCD of the year took place on 26 November 2020 and confirmed what had been seen in the previous ones: a diverse group of youngsters working both at personal and professional levels to raise awareness of climate change and bring positive transformation through their actions. From October to November 2020, UN CC:Learn hosted 7 editions of the Virtual YCDs in three languages, comprising people from every continent. Some of the countries represented were Australia, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Jamaica, Kenya,  Mexico, Niger, Peru, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe and many more.

If had the power, I would pass laws to protect natural habitats from deforestation and enforce these law strictly. I would actively listen and embrace all the voices from all political parties. And I would encourage the use of electric vehicles and solar panels. – Xinran, YCD participant from the United States

YCD in Spanish held in celebration of the 2020 World’s Children Day with young professionals and students from Latin America. Photo: UN CC:Learn

Moving forward, the programme is already planning future editions of the Virtual Youth Climate Dialogues. The idea is to make them more inclusive by holding events in other languagesand to enhance interactivity during the sessions through new activities and formats. Keep following our website and social media for any news on the Virtual Youth Climate Dialogues!

Find out how powerful youth can be!

Jaz Randhawa is a young 25-years-old student from Singapore who uses technology in her favor to raise awareness on climate change. She decided to enroll in our NAP-Ag MOOC and have learned more about climate change and how the rising temperatures are affecting the world’s land, water, and air. As a millennial, she doesn’t miss an opportunity to become a proactive member of her community and is already making a difference in her country.

Perhaps mine is not a story of what I do now to make a difference, but rather my goal, my dream, and what I aspire to be. Taking this course in climate change was my first real step in understanding what needs to be done and how people are making progress every day.”

Jaz Randhawa /©Jaz Randhawa

I found this course incredible in a variety of ways — how the content was interjected with real-life stories of people who are working hard to make a better world for all, having quizzes to make sure knowledge is retained, and the peer assessments.

The peer assessments, seem to have been her favorite. This unique learning tool asks participants to develop their own agriculture adaptation projects and share their work with their fellow learners for feedback and support.

Sentosa, Singapore

Through her peer assignment work, Jaz found that multiple adaption projects are currently underway that curtail low water supply by developing water reservoirs in-country and abroad in Malaysia. But these were not enough. For her,

Are you also using technology to tackle climate change? Spread the word, and tell us what difference are you making in your community or country. Share your story with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!