By: Maggie .M. Mwape
The Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Ms. Amina Mohamed, Durban, (03 December 2011) presented the UNEP processes for young people, dubbed the Road to Rio+20, to an international group of young people attending COP17.
In her presentation, Ms. Mohamed introduced the UNEP Tunza Programme for young people and the environment which was endorsed by the UNEP Governing Council in 2003 and currently engages a network of over 40,000 children and youth organizations from around the world.
Ms. Mohamed briefed the youth about the various processes that UNEP is undertaking with young people to ensure that their voices heard at the COP17 and in the RIO+20 sustainable development meeting to be held in 2012. Some of the processes held as a lead-up to RIO+20 include the recently held UNEP Tunza Conference in Bandung which culminated in the Bandung Declaration by young people on the environmental issues (www.unep.org/tunza), the Tunza Africa Youth Summit and the Climate Change Awareness Raising side event for young people hosted by UN agencies at the COP17.
She alluded that the success of these events clearly shows that young people are committed to action and want to influence environmental decisions that will impact on their lives.
|Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Ms. Amina Mohamed|
She also mentioned that UNEP will be hosting a global Tunza Conference and a number of regional meetings to sensitize and engage young people in the Rio+20 preparations. She informed the youth that UNEP is coordinating the development of a youth version of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO5) and invited them to contribute towards this publication which will be launched in Rio.
Ms. Mohamed appreciated the collaboration between UNEP and other UN agencies, NGOs and community organizations in involving young people in environmental issues. She urged the youth to contact UNEP regional offices near them to find out how they can contribute to the RIO+20 process and how to be involved in the Tunza Programme.