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Engaging Youth in Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific


This webpage showcases the work of the United Nations Regional Collaborative Platform in Asia and Pacific and its Issue-Based Coalition on Raising Ambitions on Climate Action on youth engagement in climate action, which is an essential component of raising climate ambitions. This issue-based coalition is co-chaired by ESCAP and UNEP, with the engagement of UNDP, the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre Bangkok, and other United Nations entities. Please find tabs below on the relevant publications and work from the coalition to help inform and guide your work on youth engagement in climate action, as well an interactive map where you can browse cases from Asia and the Pacific. 

Why Engage Youth?

Climate action demands innovation and new approaches, and nowhere is the need for accelerated climate action more urgent than in Asia and the Pacific. Youth are in a unique position to contribute as their energy, creativity, and passion are a force for action, and youth are also more likely to view climate change as an urgent issue. Also, their numerical significance can amplify their impacts. Over half of global youth are from Asia and the Pacific and children and youth number around 1.7 billion people in the region. It is in the long-term interest of society to meaningfully engage young people in important issues today as well, since it better prepares them to tackle these challenges well into the future and can also foster greater trust in public institutions. However, all these reasons aside, the climate crisis is a crisis of rights, and children and youthwho have contributed the least to the crisisare experiencing and will continue to experience the worst of its impacts. As such, young people should play a more active role in the actions that will shape their futures.   

 

Publications 

 


Policy Brief Cover. Three Young Women Tending to a Tea Tree.

Meaningful Youth Engagement in Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific
November 2023

This policy brief on "Meaningful Youth Engagement in Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific" intends to guide governments and other institutions in Asia and the Pacific towards achieving more meaningful youth engagement in climate action and provides a set of general recommendations to do so. It came in advance of Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023 as a response to the youth statement made at the 79th ESCAP Commission Session (see "Other Resources"). Recommendations surround capacity building for youth, public and political participation, and supporting youth solutions, as well as creating an enabling environment for meaningful and inclusive participation.
 


Compendium of Best Practices Front Cover

Compendium of Best Practices
May 2023

Explore the "Compendium of Best Practices on Youth and Climate Governance in Asia and the Pacific" from the Youth Empowerment in Climate Action Platform. Discover country success stories in advocacy, political participation, capacity building, innovation, research, and more. Learn how youth are shaping climate governance in Asia and the Pacific.


 


 
Report Cover

Advancing gender equality in Asia and the Pacific in the context of climate change
September 2023

Gender inequality, coupled with current climate and environment crises, is one of the greatest sustainable development challenges of our time. While the effects of climate change threaten everybody, the most affected are women and children, particularly older women, girls, persons with disabilities, ethnic and gender minorities and those living in rural areas. These people are disproportionally impacted in terms of access to food and nutrition security, clean water and health. This policy paper employs an intersectional approach to understand the risks and challenges that climate change poses for women and other marginalized groups in Asia and the Pacific, which stands as the most disaster-prone region in the world.


Report Cover

Asia-Pacific regional synthesis: climate change, displacement and the right to education
 2023

This regional synthesis report from UNESCO and UNU-IAS aims to guide policy-makers through providing operational policy recommendations on how to ensure education is protected in Asia and the Pacific in the face of climate change and displacement from a human rights-based approach.



 


 
Report Cover

2022 review of climate ambition in Asia and the Pacific: raising NDC targets with enhanced nature-based solutions with a special feature on engagement of children and youth in raising national climate ambition 
November 2022

This ESCAP, UNEP, and UNICEF joint assessment report conveys several recommendations for national policy and engagement and regional policies for the Asia-Pacific region for achieving  1.5°C pathway. The Special Feature on Engagement of Children and Youth in Raising National Climate Ambition shows that civil society, and especially young people, are leading the charge and are championing more urgency, faster action, and greater ambition. It advocates that creating a seat at the table for all stakeholders, and in particular children and young people in the design, development, and implementation of climate action policies, programmes, and decisions will facilitate implementing carbon neutrality and net-zero pledges.


 
Report Cover

Greening the Mekong: action for a greener economy with children and youth: a study on advancing inclusive green economy through empowerment and participation of young people in Greater Mekong
2021

This UNESCO and UNICEF study on advancing inclusive green economy through empowerment and participation of young people in the Greater Mekong intends to better understand the opportunities and barriers for young people to integrate sustainability into their current and future economic activity. Awareness of sustainability issues has grown over the past decade, but does not always result changes to the way we live and work. This report and the accompanying series of policy briefs examines current levels of awareness and support mechanisms in Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam, and explores opportunities to empower youth to play more active roles as agents of change for a greener planet.


 
First Page

Climate action and green economy with children and youth in the Mekong Region
2021

Mekong region countries are already among the most vulnerable globally to the impacts of climate change. Investment in environmentally sustainable growth strategies have a high potential to positively impact economic growth and other development objectives in the region. Young people hold the key to accelerating action towards greener economies that can tackle the challenges of climate change.


 


 
Report Cover

UNESCO Green Academies: guidelines for climate-resilient schools
2019

UNESCO Green Academies engage young people and their communities to transform existing buildings, for example schools, into climate-resilient structures, equipped with simple, affordable and replicable changes.




 


 

Opinion Pieces 

 


Youth Portrait

Is “youth climate advocate” still necessary in this era?
Op-ed by John Leo Algo
August 2023 

 
Youth Painting, COP 27

Engaging youth in climate action: Hope for the region's sustainable future 
United Nations ESCAP Blog
May 2023
 
 
Blog Image

Lives displaced and disrupted: How climate change threatens the right to education
UNESCO and UNU-IAS Blog

 June 2023

 
Other Resources
 
Youth4Capacity

Youth4Capacity
UNFCCC

This programme builds the climate action capacity of young people, (particularly in vulnerable countries), promotes the active exchange of experiences, and seeks to address the linkages between climate action and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the three Rio conventions. 


Youth Statement 79th Commission Session

Youth Statement for the ESCAP 79th Commission Session
Facilitated by YECAP
 


The Future of Work Podcast- Green jobs: A solution to youth employment and the climate crisis?

The Future of Work Podcast- Green jobs: A solution to youth employment and the climate crisis?
ILO

Green jobs can help tackle the climate crisis and the labour market challenges faced by young people. So what exactly are green jobs? And what can young people do to create a sustainable future for themselves?


Climate Science Literacy

Climate Science Literacy in Asia and the Pacific
UNESCO, ILO, IOM, UNDP, UNDRR, UNEP, UN ESCAP, UNFCCC, UNICEF, and UNOSSC

To advance climate science literacy across Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations in Asia-Pacific has developed a series of posters, social media graphics, and videos.  The materials are available free of charge for public adaptation and distribution under Open Access CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO.


 Climate Change and the Right to Education - Side Event at the 79th Commission Session of UN ESCAP

UNESCO and UNU-IAS jointly organized a side event on "Climate change and the right to education" on 17 May 2023 to discuss how the right to education, including access to and continuity of quality education and lifelong learning, are threatened by the effects of climate change.  A video of proceedings can be viewed in the link.


Youth Philosophy Webinar

Youth Philosophy Webinar: Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change
UNESCO

By interacting with a youth audience, this webinar encourages youths to ask and answer questions about existing problems caused by climate change and how ethical principles will transform society to be more inclusive and sustainable.


 

News and Opportunities 

 


 
11th APFSD

11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development
ESCAP, 20-23 February 2024

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) is an annual, inclusive intergovernmental forum to support follow-up and review of progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional level. The 11th APFSD will be organized under the theme: “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific.” Keep posted for opportunities! 


Credit: Rawpixel/Shutterstock

Climate Change Education for Social Transformation: Whole-institution approach to greening every school
UNESCO and UNFCCC

Following the success of the first series of eight monthly conversations on climate change education for social transformation on the road to COP27, UNESCO and UNFCCC are launching a second series of six webinars, from May to December 2023, on greening schools on the road to COP28 in Dubai, UAE. -Photo credit: Rawpixel/Shutterstock


 


Do you have any success stories of meaningful youth engagement in climate governance? We call on you to share them for the opportunity to feature these cases in the YECAP Compendium of Best Practices on Youth and Climate Governance in Asia and the Pacific, as well as in the map at the bottom of this pge. Please click the image to submit.
 

Call to Action

 


Examples from Asia and the Pacific
 


Last updated 16 November 2023