A strong youth commitment at COP24

Dec 2 – 14, Katowice, Poland. During the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24), we continued supporting the voices of youth and civil society in the public debate, highlighting the close links between climate changes and water issues.

We accompanied a delegation composed of 14 youth from 11 countries of Central and Eastern Europe to deliver their messages in the framework of the Youth Voices Policy Choices project.

The delegation had the opportunity to speak at various COP24 activities and used an innovative communication strategy to express their position: They provided the public and decision makers glasses allowing them to see their « Youth Vision ». This strategy aimed to demonstrate, in an unconventional way, the importance to include youth in decision making related to water and climate change and to convey youth priorities regarding climate actions.

This innovative operation caught the attention of government representatives and various climate actors to discuss youth inclusion in political and legislative processes.

We co-convened these activities:

  • Youth for Water and Climate – from local actions to policy making (Thursday December 4)
    Official EU side event organized with Global Water Partnership-Central and Eastern Europe, EcoOne and New Humanity

The panel explored the influence between local actions and policy making. How can we solve the climate crisis? How can we improve youth participation to induce political changes and support concrete actions for water and climate? After an inspiring presentation from the panelists, the audience was invited to reflect on the changes that could be brought by youth at the individual, community and global political action levels.

  • Intergenerational dialogue on youth-led water projects at the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie pavilion (Thursday, December 6)

The intergenerational dialogue provided a space for young leaders and experts to exchange and collaborate on the topics of water and climate. Thanks to the Quality Assurance Lab format, youth received expert advices to improve and guide the implementation of their projects. Projects in Haiti, Togo, France and Benin were presented.

On the left hand picture, the 6 winning projects from the Youth for Water and Climate call for proposals were unveiled and displayed at the Global Water Partnership booth during COP24. For more details, consult the official page announcing the winners. They were also displayed at the Global Water Partnership booth during COP24.

Meet the Youth Experts was a success! See above, center and right hand pictures. With the promotional material previously mentioned, young water professionals presented the Youth Voices – Policy Choices campaign and the ideas behind it.

  • Tea talks

Over the course of 4 days, youth had a privileged and informal access to various experts on water and climate during the Tea Talks. Thanks to the conviviality of a tea cup, they had the opportunity to ask all their questions and exchange with representatives from key organizations. Participants were: Nicole Webley from UNESCO-IHP (International Hydrological Program, the picture on the left), Amir H. Delju, from the World Meteorological Organization (center picture), Anjali Lohani from Global Water Partnership, and Maggie White from SIWI (Stockholm International Water Institute).

We also contributed to the following:

  • Youth-Led Research and Innovation that provide solutions for Water Related Climate Change challenges (Thursday December 6)
    UNESCO-IPH (International Hydrological Program) session with the participation of WYPW and YVPC

An example of project developed by young Albanese university students is: ‘Fish me Ishmi!’ dealing with plastic consumption and production waste that ends up in rivers. It focuses on the Ishmi river in Albania where youth lead cleaning actions and advocacy for plastic consumption reduction and better management of waste and wastewater in the basin. They are also seeking to map the presence of plastic in the basin using a drone.

  • Water Action Day (Friday December 7)

Through the ‘Fish me Ishme!’ example, Jelena Krstajic from Youth Water Community Central and Eastern Europe presented youth actions for responsible production and consumption, and active responses to river pollution.

Ziga Scuvkot presents youth-led research and innovations At the microphone, Jelena Krstajic, YVPC participant The YVPC delegation presents its messages

6 months prior to our participation at COP24, we started working with youth from Central and Eastern Europe, through different dialogue sessions dedicated to water and climate, advocacy and participation in the decision-making processes and continue to do so today. They have developed key messages that were presented at COP24.

We are implementing Youth Voices – Policy Choices in collaboration with Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) and the Youth Water Community Central and Eastern Europe (YWC CEE), thanks top the financial support of ERASMUS+.


Thanks to our partners