Launch of the Global Youth Movement for Water

In 2012, at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, youth mobilization was organized for the first time in a more structured way. It was at this event that key global networks in the water and sanitation sector were initiated. Over the last decade, youth water actors have multiplied, at all levels, giving more and more volume to youth water engagement. However, youth advocacy, engagement groups and network associations in the water sector have too often been fragmented, diminishing the collective voice and influence of young people.

This is why, at the last World Water Forum in Senegal, young people from all over the world were given the opportunity to work together and with key actors, to move towards the necessary transformations that our societies and our planet need to ensure a sustainable and more equitable future. The main output of the 9th World Water Forum was the announcement of the idea of creating the Global Youth Movement for Water, a coalition of organisations active in the water & youth sector.

Our mission is to enhance the recognition, role and impact of youth in triggering and supporting the necessary societal transformation for a water secure future for all. The Movement aims at gathering any youth-led structure to pool all resources and thus increase our bargaining power with the clear intention to influence decision making and stimulate concrete actions at all levels and in in all relevant fields. Therefore, the Movement shall connect organisations active in the water & youth space to foster collaboration and synergies and increase the outreach and impact of all actors in this sector, from the local to the global levels. It will provide youth-led organisations with more visibility, credibility and recognition to existing and emerging networks and organisations as they engage and support individuals who wish to take action.

List of organisations of the Global Youth Movement for Water (October 2022)

On the Road to the UN2023 Water Decade Conference

Objectives:

  • MOBILISE & EMPOWER youth on the Road to the UN2023 Water Decade Conference – Increase their capacities and knowledge of youth on a local and regional scale regarding advocacy and international policy processes in the water sector and more specifically, on the UN2023 Water Decade Conference;
  • INFLUENCE DECISION MAKERS on the Road to the UN2023 Water Decade Conference – Increase the awareness of local, regional and global decisionmakers on the priorities of young people in the lead up to the UN2023 Water Decade Conference and advocate for bold, ambitious and impactful commitments in the framework of the Water Action Agenda;
  • CONNECT the local to the global and show that youth all over the world are mobilized and proposing concrete initiatives.

In preparation for the UN2023 Water Conference, taking place in New York City in March 2023, six coalitions of youth-led organizations of the Global Youth Movement for Water are organizing ambitious national and regional dialogues. These organisations were selected following the launch of an open call. These events will advocate and influence local young leaders and decision-makers on the importance of this conference, identify the key priorities of the region and gather commitments for the Water Action Agenda. The outcomes of each regional will be presented during the UN2023 Water Conference contribute to connecting local youth movements to the global conference.

Águas Resilientes

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 28-29 January 2023 | Hybrid event

Águas Resilientes will organize a hybrid event for the youth of Brazil and South America, to gather their aspirations and inputs on the five themes of the UN2023 Water Conference. As an output of this event, an advocacy document will be created, brought to the UN2023 Water Conference and presented locally to the decision-makers of different sectors (public, private, and NGOs), in order to influence investment in improving water, sanitation, and hygiene. This opportunity will be used to mobilize and inform young people and decision-makers about the importance of projects improving the quality and quantity of water.

Red de Jóvenes por el Agua Centroamérica

Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ecuador, 28 January 2023 (in person) and 11 February 2023 (virtual)

Red de Jóvenes por el Agua Centroamérica and Red Agua Ecuador are coming together to organize face-to-face events in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ecuador in order to inform young people about the process of the Global Youth Movement for Water and gather the voices of Latin American youth in a joint statement that will be carried until the UN2023 Water Conference. A virtual event will also be jointly organized so that more young people in the region are able to join this process and continue to articulate joint actions.

Women for Water Climate and Environment

Abomey-Calavi (Benin), 8-10 February 2023 | Hybrid event

Women for Water Climate and Environment, in collaboration with the Land and Health Association, will organize a regional event for West Africa, that will bring together youth and all relevant stakeholders to assess challenges, water related opportunities and innovations in the region. The objective is to formulate a Water Action Agenda roadmap for accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to be brought to decision makers and to the UN2023 Water Conference.

North American Youth Parliament for Water

Columbia River Basin (USA & Canada), 11 February 2023 | Hybrid event

The North American Youth Parliament for Water (NAYPW) will create multiple synchronized Youth Forums for the Columbia River. These Youth Forums will be critical opportunities for youth in the basin to collect, organize, and empower themselves as water stakeholders during the current renegotiation period of the Columbia River Treaty governing the basin. The Forums will be co-organized with local partners and institutions to gather youth and young professionals from multiple areas and communities of the Columbia River Basin in Canada and the United States. The final outcome of these Forums’ proposal will be a report describing concerns, vision, and action commitments of youth for the basin: the “Youth Vision and Actions for the Future of the Columbia River”.

African Youth Parliament for Water

Online event for all 54 African countries, 17 February 2023 (TBC) | Virtual event

 Organized by the African Youth Parliament for Water, this event will be part of a process aiming to unlock the full potential of youth in Africa to advance a significant part of the global water agendas. The goal is to reinvigorate the 54 African youth policies to finally give youth an official place in decision-making. In close collaboration with the presidents of the national youth parliaments across Africa (23 chapters), a report is being drafted to summarize the status of these policies in each African country. During the online event, this draft will be presented and inputs will be gathered from youth across the whole continent. This report will then be brought as a proposed solution to the 54 African delegations (incl. Ministries of Water) to promote collaboration on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these youth and water policies.

 Mediterranean Youth for Water Network

Tunisia, Palestine and France, 24-26 February (TBC) | Hybrid events

 In collaboration with EcoPeace Middle East, the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network will organize three simultaneous events in different countries, to mobilize youth from three regions around the Mediterranean Sea. The objectives are to bridge the gap between grassroots and policymakers to inspire them to factor youth perspectives into their political agendas, build a strong coalition of youth voices from the Mediterranean who act as a group of advocates for climate justice and resilience, and to strengthen youth participation in politics, decision-making, and develop quality leadership of young voices to shape future water policies.

To learn more about the events and how you can take part, join us for an online webinar on January 11th, 10AM EST:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvc-Cgrz0qGtNcXVlZFcLdo6abWVQWnGnu

The Movement is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, l’Agence de l’eau ArtoisPicardie and the Netherlands Entreprise Agency.