Thematic Area

Climate change and disaster risk

The impacts of climate change are increasingly undermining human wellbeing, livelihoods, and sustainable development efforts, especially in developing countries. As projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, weather-related disasters, and slow-onset impacts such as sea level rise. In addition, climate and disaster risks aggravate existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities of communities and threatens them with food and water insecurity, malnutrition, displacement, diseases, ecosystem degradation, and loss of livelihoods.

To work toward the Sustainable Development Goals and guarantee an equitable, healthy, and prosperous future for today’s youth, it is imperative to address these risks. Risk prevention, reduction, transfer, and retention measures can be part of a robust risk management framework and help communities adapt to climate change or reduce their losses and damages. Possible action areas include creating awareness, building capacities, increasing access to financial and technical resources, innovation and education, reducation, reduction of underlying risk factors through climate-related risk planning processes, and strengthening of disaster preparedness.


Thematic Area

Oceans and coastal ecosystems

Oceans and major seas cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface. They are home to coastal and marine ecosystems including sand dune systems, freshwater, saltwater, nearshore, coastal, and open ocean ecosystems that provide food for billions of people, sustain livelihoods, act as natural shoreline protection against storms and floods, support tourism opportunities, and maintain basic global life support systems.

Climate change and anthropogenic activities significantly contribute to coastal degradation and the loss of coastal and marine ecosystems. Major drivers of this change include ocean warming and acidification, destructive fishing practices, pollution, population growth, unsustainable tourism, and the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. The conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems requires local, regional, and global action at all decision-making levels. It is important to consider inclusive stakeholder engagement that gives a voice to vulnerable communities and youth and allows them to be active participants in decision-making processes as well as on the ground.


Thematic Area

Sustainable food systems

Food systems encompass the entire supply chain of food production, from processing to distribution and from consumption to disposal. However, current food systems are by no means ideal. Some of their issues include complexity, high dependency on imports, fossil fuel usage, and fragile interconnections that are vulnerable to shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also market allocation issues, leading to a quarter of food globally going uneaten while nearly a billion humans suffer from chronic hunger or undernourishment.

Regarding climate change, food systems are vulnerable to its impacts while at the same time contributing high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions through agriculture and animal production, deforestation, land-use changes etc. It is vital to transform today’s food systems to become more sustainable, regenerative, and resilient while delivering food security for all communities. Youth can play a huge role in making this transformation a focal point for development processes and work toward better food systems through participatory and inclusive action.


Cross-Cutting Themes

The Global Youth Forum will also address a number of cross-cutting themes that are relevant for all of the thematic areas listed above: just transition, participation and inclusion, education and capacity-building, means of implementation, and just recovery.
1. Just Transition aims to secure the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities in the transition toward a low-carbon economy and shift to sustainable means of production and consumption, by finding inclusive, fair, just, and long-lasting solutions without creating more challenges or widening the gap of inequality. It involves diversifying local, regional or national economies, building relevant knowledge, expertise and supply chains, providing training or skills development programmes, and offering interim support such as relocation aid and social protection.
2. Participation and inclusion of stakeholders from all levels of society is vital to tackling climate change and designing solutions. Not only are those who least contribute to global greenhouse gasses often impacted the most, they are also underrepresented in decision-making processes. Achieving inclusivity and participation is a two-fold goal: the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable populations must be minimized, and the benefits of climate action must be inclusive, with a special focus on women, indigenous people, and other marginalized groups.
3. Education and capacity-building are essential for people of all ages, especially children and youth, to raise awareness and promote action to address the wide-ranging impacts of climate change. Currently, there is limited access to innovative and effective forms of climate change education to enact change within local and global environments and communities. Capacity building is necessary to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to train and develop the capacity of stakeholders to engage with climate action and communities in an effective and efficient object-oriented manner. Strategies to build capacity and educate can include media campaigns, programmes within schools, research, extracurricular activities, community-based projects and programmes, and training workshops and initiatives.
4. Means of implementation refers to the combination of financial resources, capacity building, and technology development and transfer as an integral part of implementing the sustainable development agenda. These key elements must be enhanced through global and public-private partnerships. Developed countries in the 2015 Paris Agreement in particular should support mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries by enhancing the provision of means of implementation. A transparent and accountable national enabling framework is also a key element of the means of implementation, especially in developing countries.
5. Just recovery is the process of recovering from a disaster or crisis in a just and equitable manner built on socioeconomic, gender, and environmental justice. There are a few primary principles of just recovery that include addressing the root causes of both the crisis at hand and the underlying inequalities and structural issues that worsen the effects of the crisis, redistribution of resources with a focus on supporting marginalized communities, internationalism and building collective responses to crises, strengthening democracy by empowering disenfranchised groups, self-governance on a community level, and ecological restoration. These principles will promote a recovery that ensures resilience in the face of future crises.

EthicalX: General Sessions

18th February, 2022 - 22nd March, 2022
Virtual Event

EthicalX: General Sessions

18th February, 2022 - 22nd March, 2022
Virtual Event


The EthicalX initiative by SLYCANTrust aims to support and scale up ethical, sustainable, and climate-friendly entrepreneurship through activities related to capacity-building, technical support provision, and support in raising seed funding with a special focus on vulnerable communities, women, and youth. The programme focuses on thematic areas food systems, fashion, waste management & tourism. EthicalX consists of the EthicalX: Incubator & Accelerator which is established for knowledge generation and sharing.

Under the EthicalX: Incubator & Accelerator a series of general capacity-building sessions will be conducted on Start-up Ecosystems, Economics & International Trade, Climate resilience, Communications & Outreach and Certification & Accreditation processes.

Key Focus Areas

  • Just transition in the energy sector
    - Key elements to ensure just transition in the energy sector
    - Gaps and challenges faced in integrating aspects and strategies of just transition in the energy sector
    - Institutional structures and role of actors in achieving just transition in the energy sector
    - Entry points and opportunities for integrating just transition into climate policy initiatives and actions
    - Success stories, best practices, and experience sharing on initiatives

  • Ensuring just transition in the food sector
    - Key elements of just transition and their relation to global and local food systems
    - Gaps and challenges faced in integrating aspects and strategies of just transition in the food sector
    - Institutional structures and role of actors in achieving just transition in the food sector
    - Entry points and opportunities for integrating just transition into climate policy initiatives and actions
    - Success stories, best practices, and experience sharing on initiatives

  • Gender, inclusion, social protection, and cross-cutting aspects related to just transition
    - Key cross-cutting aspects related to just transition
    - Interlinks for integration of just transition with climate action and into different climate policy and action processes
    - Impacts of COVID-19 and the role of recovery actions in contributing toward just transition
    - Success stories, best practices, and experience sharing on initiatives

Key Focus Areas


18th February, 2022,  06.00 p.m. – 08.00 p.m.

Session 1: The 10-Year Overnight Success - The Startup Journey

This opening session for EthicalX will focus on providing a general understanding of the start-up and entrepreneurship landscape of Sri Lanka, which includes the different business models for enterprises.

Chalinda Abeykoon

Technical Expert
Start-up Ecosystems & Business Models

23rd February, 2022, 06.00 p.m. - 08.00 p.m.

Session 2: Navigating Trade and Business Opportunities in an Evolving Local and Global Landscape

The second session of the capacity building series will focus among others on how trade and businesses work at national as well global landscapes. It will focus on understanding opportunities that can be seized by entrepreneurs and startups by linking national to global expansion.

Mr. Anushka Wijesinha

Technical Expert
Economics & International Trade

1st March, 2022, 06.00 p.m. – 08.00 p.m.

Session 3: Climate & Resilience

The third session will focus on how climate change could be addressed through entrepreneurship, as well as build long term resilience through climate risk integrated processes. It includes an introduction to better understanding climate risks, as well as identifying opportunities to build on in startups and enterprises for scaling up action related to climate-friendly business practices.

Ms. Vositha Wijenayake

Executive Director

8th March, 2022, 06.00 p.m. – 08.00 p.m.

Session 4: Meta Apps & Services for Business Growth

The fourth session will focus on promoting and growing a business through online outreach, marketing, and communication, particularly by using Meta apps and services. It will focus on how these apps could be leveraged effectively to promote your business venture and the challenges that need to be overcome in taking the messages to the public.

Mr. Udara Dharmasena

VP - Client Success, Meta ASP
University College London, Roar Digital

15th March, 2022, 06.00 p.m. – 08.00 p.m.

Session 5: Sustainable Business Practices & Reporting on Sustainable Development Goals

The fifth session will focus on sustainable business practices and how to link entrepreneurship with reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals, including indicators and monitoring mechanisms.

Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala

Senior Technical Expert
Climate Change & Sustainable Development

22nd March, 2022, 06.00 p.m. – 08.00 p.m.

Session 6: Certification & Accreditation Process

The sixth session will highlight the importance of certification and accreditation processes both for the domestic and international markets. Among other aspects, it will focus on the potential of certifications for sustainable and climate-friendly practices, developing standards nationally, and on how to adhere to global standards.

Dr. Sampath Wahala

Chairman of the Governing Council
Sri Lanka Accreditation Board

13th May, 2022, 04.00 p.m. - 06.00 p.m.

Session 7: Legal aspect of start-ups & entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka

The seventh session will focus on the registration process of start-ups, how the tax structure/EPF-ETF works, legal requirements during exports and any other legal related matters for a start-up ecosystem

Shehan Liyanage

Attorney at Law & Company Secretary