BY: MAGGIE .M. MWAPE
Throughout the climate negotiations, young people have shown that they will not wait to inherit a world damged by climate change, but that they have to be part of creating solutions. They have brought their energy and creativity to the intergovernmental process, demanding concrete action from their governments.
However, young people know that change must not be only taken in terms of government, but also at home. They have changed their lifestyles, altering their consumptions patterns to make ecologically conscious decisions.
We expect young people to continue to lead us by launching environmental responsible business and engaging in scientific research for clean and efficient sources. Yvo De Boer, former Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2006-2010.
It is then not surprising that since COP11 in Montreal, youth movements in the UNFCCC process has significantly increased. From 2009 onwards, youth have been recognized as a civil society actor in the negotiation process. This was the result of a serious desire expressed by young people to gain a louder voice within the intergovernmental process and of our commitment to ensuring such involvements
This year 2011, Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia and Zambia Episcope Conference came to together in helping the Zambian Youth organisations and movements in doing preparatory activities towards COP17. In History, about 12 Zambian youth are participating in the COP17 in Durban , South Africa. The Norwegian Church Aid Zambia sponsored 8 and YMCA 4. Our inspirations and the contributions have been welcomed to continue to make this process.
I hope this will foster greater awareness of how young people can get involved as well as promote further system with the Zambian government , United Nations and other youth organizations in the area of climate change.