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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Global Youth Forum on Climate Change

December 14th- 18th 2020
Virtual Event

P01

Conservation of Endemic and Endangered Plants and Wild Fruit-Yielding Species

Biodiversity

To conserve and restore biodiversity and wildlife in forests by conserving and protecting endemic and medicinal plant species, educating and training youth and local communities on endemic and indigenous species, studying the interaction between flora and fauna, and collecting and propagating seeds and growing methods.

P02

One Tree – One Student

Biodiversity

To provide children and teachers with healthy nutrition options and education on environmental opportunities in green compounds by planting fruit and shade trees, educating youth on establishing tree nurseries, and increasing environmental awareness.

P03

Biodiversity Check

Biodiversity

To prevent the loss of biodiversity and promote education on biodiversity, establish biodiversity centers, conduct research, and plant trees with a focus on indigenous tree species, and document and conserve indigenous knowledge and biodiversity accountancy.

P04

Win-Win Attitude on Wetland Ecosystem Conservation using Scientific Artwork

Biodiversity

To communicate the sustainable use of wetland ecosystem services and sustainable harvesting through the development and distribution of scientific artwork, including the development of training materials, drawings, and training sessions for youth of local communities living around wetlands.

P05

Sustainable Seaweed

Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems

To improve sustainable community-driven seaweed farming by increasing alternate income opportunities for vulnerable groups in the selected areas, creating awareness programs for youth and local communities on climate resilience through seaweed farming and the impacts of climate change, helping local fishermen with sustainable management, and forming multi-stakeholder partnerships.

P06

Marine Plastic Cycle

Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems

To incentivize fishermen and their families to collect ocean debris and control coastal pollution by connecting them with recyclers within the country to create an additional income stream for the local community. The project will use a community-based model to analyze business needs for recycling and the fishing industry value chain, conducting a feasibility study to create a community-based model for the project, and forming multi-actor partnerships.

P07

Community-Based Adaptation, Mangrove Restoration, and Campus Awareness

Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems

To promote green growth hubs through local community actions such as tenure agreements, community meetings, working groups, and fostering relationships within communities using climate targets. This involves working with youth groups and agricultural cooperatives on adaptation for organic agriculture, hosting joint civil society green growth training, and developing a youth policy document to validate a Youth Climate Action Manual.

P08

No More Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Wastage

Sustainable Food Systems

To mitigate the waste of seasonal fruits and vegetables by launching awareness campaigns and knowledge-sharing sessions targeting urban consumers and local farmers, supporting local farmers arrange contractual agreements with food processing companies, encouraging farmers to establish independent food processing units, and conducting knowledge sharing sessions with farmers, youth, and other stakeholders.

P09

Sustainable Development of Bio Fertilizer from Aquatic Invasive Alien Species

Sustainable Food Systems

To develop bio fertilizer from aquatic invasive alien species, develop better management systems for aquatic invasive alien species, and remove aquatic invasive alien species from water bodies by identifying and collecting suitable species to develop bio fertilizer.

P10

Permaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, Self-employment, and Healthy Lives

Sustainable Food Systems

To address food and nutrition insecurity, unemployment, land degradation, soil erosion and pollution, water loss and contamination, and climate change through permaculture, environmental conservation and restoration, sustainable beekeeping, waste management, eco-entrepreneurship, and sustainable business management practices.

P11

International Climate Adaptation Youth Summit: Connecting on a Global Level

Climate Change and Disaster Risk

To increase awareness and cooperation on climate change for relevant stakeholders on the national and global level, such as businesses, NGOS, and bureaucrats, through student panel discussions and lectures, afforestation efforts, and the creation of climate change declaration and implementation policy recommendations.

P12

Clean Coasts

Climate Change and Disaster Risk

To engage youth groups and recycling societies in conducting clean coasts campaigns and clean-ups, collecting plastic from beach vendors, and increasing youth participation on the national and international level.

P13

Save the Oceans

Oceans and Coastal Ecosystems

To conserve coastal and marine ecosystems, protect marine resources, establish coral nurseries, deploy reef balls, and promote marine wildlife conservation, ocean pollution reduction, and turtle conservation among youth. This project will also involve placing plastic recycling bins and sign boards in coastal areas.

P14

A Circular Economy: Waste Management

Climate Change and Disaster Risk

To foster a circular economy for waste management in guesthouses, develop economic community-based solutions for segregated waste, and control coastal and marine pollution by conducting data and information collection, workshops and/or training on waste management, composting, recycling solutions, permaculture, sustainable edible gardening, and eco-friendly pest management.

Further Information

Registrations for the summit will be open from 14th December, 2020 via SLYCAN Trust’s website: www.slycantrust.org
For additional information related to speaking slots and partnerships, kindly contact SLYCAN Trust’s Executive Director Vositha Wijenayake directly by email: vositha@slycantrust.org