Today was Young and Future Generations (YoFuGe) Day. YoFuGe Day is all about raising awareness about how the current negotiations are shaping the future of youth worldwide.
Earlier this week we, the WAGGGS delegates, produced a video outlining an action song. The dance and song are simple and fun!! We asked our 10 million members worldwide to participate in the dance and song to raise awareness about climate change. We immediately had people pledge to dance with us from home!
Today, we facilitated an action with the other youth here at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. We led the dance in two different locations: the Moon Palace and the Cancunmesse. The Moon Palace is where all of the negotiations take place during COP, so it was incredibly important for us to raise our voices there. The Cancunmesse is where all of the NGOs (and others) have information stands, as well as where side events take place. At 12 noon, the dance and song began. There was a lot of participation, a lot of media, and the energy reached the sky! It was fantastic.
To those at home, thank you so much for your participation, your videos, and your photos. We are so glad you could join us today. Check the videos and stories we have received on the YoFuGe section! For those of you who did participate and haven’t shown us your videos or photos yet, please do! We look forward to hearing from you.
Here’s a video, compliments of www.oneclimate.net, which shows our dance today at Cancunmesse.
Other actions and side events
We celebrated this day with a lot of actions and side vents all over the two venues of the COP: Cancun Messe and Moon Palace. The first action of the day took place at the point were all the official country delegates are passing in the morning, to catch a shuttle bus to Moon Palace. We were standing in two rows wearing our blue Young and Future Generations Day t-shirts with a quote on the back saying: "You have been negotiating my whole life - you cannot tel me you need more time." This was said by a 17-year old gold from the Solomon Islands last year at COP 15.
Later on we participated in two side events about the importance of education and we danced a special climate dance. A lot of young people in blue T-shirts joined us in this action.- actually youth from all over the world did this dance today!
We also took part in an intergenerational briefing between Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of UNFCCC, and the youth delegates. In the meeting she said: "Climate change is the most complex challenge humanity has ever faced." She encouraged youth to be the agents of change and see beyond national boundaries. She said that youth have the vision, tools and responsibility to take care of the planet and start the energy revolution.
But what do you think? Should youth play a role in the climate change negotiations? Share your opinions on the site!
How to live up to the education challenge
The WAGGGS delegates were present at a side event called: 'Living up to the education challenge of Article 6: Preparing children and young people for climate change'. It was designed to help share knowledge and best practices in climate change education, including formal and non-formal. Non-formal education covers things like learning by doing and peer education, like Girl Guides, whereas formal education is what you get at school. WAGGGS was one of the event organisers and two of our very own delegates were speakers, Miriam Otieno was the mediator and Katie Scales was on the panel that was taking questions! Also on the panel, amongst others was Reuben Sessa from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as well as Stephanie Hodge from the UNICEF.
The side event was a series of questions posed to the panellist about issues with delivering climate change education and why it is effective as part of the solution to the Climate change challenge with a focus on non-formal education. Many people spoke as well as the panellists such as one of the UNICEF Climate Ambassadors, Walter Periatt from Belize. Walter is 12 years old and he got up in front of a crowded room and gave a great speech about how education about climate change gives you the knowledge of what to expect and can help communities to adapt to and mitigate the impacts. Another speaker was Ana Lucia Mamani Espinal from Bolivia, who spoke about the potential stumbling blocks that you may come across when developing education programmes such as poor Internet availability in some countries – in Bolivia, people can pay $1 for an hour of Internet!
The side show really highlighted all the great education projects that are already in place, but it also highlighted that there is still a lot of work that needs doing to get education to as many people as possible especially in countries in the Global South.
Non-formal education and Article 6 was the topic of the second side event organized by WAGGGS. The six panelists were: Moises Alvarez from the Dominican Republic, Jean Pascale van Ypersele, IPCC Vice Chair and Article 6 focal point in Belgium, Jean Paul Affana, official youth delegate of Cameroon, Jennifer Rubis from UNESCO and Katie Scales, a WAGGGS Youth Delegate.
Katie spoke about the benefits of non-formal education to fight climate change and explained how the Food Security and Climate Change Challenge Badge Curriculum and the Biodiversity Challenge Badge, developed by WAGGGS and the FAO, are used through activities, games and songs.