My impressions of COY 6 so far...
The Conference of Youth (COY) 6 has been a great experience so far. The COY 6 is being held at the Universidad del Caribe in Cancun, Mexico which is being offered for FREE to youth around the world to use as their meeting place! I had little idea of what to expect, other than the fact that there would be many youth delegates from around the world. I didn’t know how many youth would be there, or how it would be structured. I’m happy to report that COY 6 is a safe and comfortable environment, where youth have been getting together in informal chat settings to discuss their passion: climate change.
The energy level has been immense! COY 6 began on Friday the 26th, on a beautiful day of about 25°C. We began by learning the history of COY 6 (which began in Montréal, Canada in 2005). After that, we had the option of choosing from a variety of workshops and seminars that spanned from “UNFCCC for Beginners” to “How to Communicate Climate Change”, and everything in between. I chose to go to “UNFCCC for Beginners” because, while I’m educated in climate science, my policy knowledge is not as strong. It was very beneficial to learn about all of the acronyms and dates associated with the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Since then, we’ve had “working group” (such as: media, actions, and policy) meetings and met representatives from various NGOs.
We’ve also participated in other workshops, such as “Girls, Young Women, and Climate Change” (which was facilitated by WAGGGS). All of the workshops and seminars have been great and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the level of commitment and inspiration. Before yesterday, I had no idea of the scope of the youth climate movement. So - World, keep watching for youth to SPEAK OUT and make LOTS OF NOISE at COP 16. We’ll make our voices heard.
By Megan Van Buskirk, WAGGGS Youth Delegate from Canada