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COP 20 – Youth Climate Activists Panel

Youth Climate Activists speak out at COP 20 on Youth participation and engagement in the IPCC COP conferences and Youth being part of the solution, with host John Foran, co-founder of the Climate Justice project, [www.climatejusticeproject.com] and International Institute of Climate Action and Theory [www.iicat.org], introducing speakers on the panel.

Youth Climate activist, Ms Raquel Rosenberg, Co-founder and General Coordinator of Engajamundo, [“engage the world”],  our focus and mission is mobilizing and engaging young people in activism and advocacy on global issues: climate change, gender equality, sustainable development and habitat.  We currently have more than 700 members from 16 different states in Brazil, and our main idea is to help them master the necessary advocacy tools to go and put their issues on the table at local, national and international level.
Part of the strategy of empowering young people, is being part of the ‘sexify’ movement, a joke maybe, but in all seriousness, Climate Change needs to be sexyfied, making difficult technical issues easier, sexier and more attractive, which has been very successful to date, otherwise young people of Brazil would never be interested in climate change and sustainable development.
In our generation, climate change went from science to ‘real impact’ in people’s lives, affecting especially the poorest and marginalized – the goal of millions of young people is to make sure that the next generation only get to know climate change from the history books – “Youth is going to be part of the solution, in Brazil, and everywhere in the world!

Mr Nathan Thanki, youth climate activist, has been involved in Environmental justice activism since 2011, through (EARTH)-Earth in Brackets, the Youth Constituency, YOUNGO, visit http://www.youthclimate.org , Third World Network and recently, Tipping Point Collective, through which most of the work has been done, focusing mainly on the political agendas at the high level conferences, etc in order to make them more accessible and understandable with info-graphics about process, themes, up for discussion, etc, bringing a sharper analysis to youth participation in many multi-level environmental agreements.  Continuing the thread in the Tipping Point collective – see ‘Rules of Game’, a re-introduction to the NFCCC publication, explains some of the underlying political currents and unwritten rules about the process. More importantly, we need very strategically and concretely to establish what tactical and strategic planning and implementation will be required for the ‘Concerned’ groups and those who are organizing under the umbrella of Climate Justice for the next few years.
In closing, the Youth have a lot of good demands and ideas of their own, a very strong demand for inter-generational equity, but which at times has been appropriated by others to serve their own needs, which undermines the youths own demands.

Mr Juan Vázquez, besides a youth climate activist, also a homeopathic practitioner and meditation teacher at Toro Holistic Health Centre, Quebec and Youth coordinator for the environment initiative of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual organization which links spirituality with ecology.  We study the relationship that exists between the environment and spirituality which is basically a dimension of the self, on a personal level.  It is a topic that goes deep into ‘Who we Are’, ‘What we Do’ and our Consciousness, which eventually translates into the actions that are being implemented in this world.  We need to start looking at things in a different way – to start focusing on the positive and on things that are working, based on that, we can create change.

A quote from Mahatma Gandhi : “You must be the change you wish to see in the world“!

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