Today, on August 12, the entire world celebrates International Youth Day to mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
Youth is one of the GEF SGP priority groups and it supports many youth-led organizations through a regular programming as well as a targeted Innovation Program on Youth and Climate Action. SGP mainstreams Youth Climate Action and awareness in partnership with UNFCCC and other Rio Conventions. The goal is to make climate action more ambitious and youth-responsive.
Recently, the GEF SGP Ukraine has supported five youth-driven climate projects at the local and country levels that aims to provide young people an opportunity to implement impactful and innovative local ideas. In Chernigiv region one of the projects has established a Youth Climate Center that unites active rural youth, provides them with new knowledge sharing and learning opportunities, as well as serves as a startup platform for youth climate initiatives. Another project is piloting practical, economically sustainable and community-based solutions addressing climate change and improving livelihoods for young generation. For this purpose, Center for Climate Action Initiatives is established in Zaporizhya region to promote youth-led climate initiatives including renewable and energy efficiency technologies for youth employment and entrepreneurship, as well as provide learnings opportunities and professional trainings, create new jobs and empower local youth to lead climate action. One more Environment Monitoring Center is established in Sloviansk, Donetsk region, to create a youth- and community-led environment monitoring system. Moreover, the initiatives have a strong focus on social inclusion of young people with disabilities. Other initiatives are aimed at raising awareness, skills and competencies of young people to lead climate action on local, national, regional and global levels, as well as developing partnerships and networks to ensure youth rights for meaningful participation in the development, implementation, monitoring and amendment policies on sustainable development and climate action.
Hopefully, these projects will help to identify successful approaches, which can be elevated beyond local level to help raise ambition and inspire youth at the country and global levels. SGP Ukraine also aspires to connect young climate activists and practitioners globally to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange of good practices.