One hundred young Fijians plead for intergenerational solidarity in climate action

Suva, Fiji, August 10, 2022 – Ahead of International Youth Day on Friday 12 August, around 100 young Fijians from Central, Western, Northern and Eastern Divisions share their experiences and renewed commitment to intergenerational solidarity in the fight against climate change.

“I find this platform very useful as my village has been suffering from the effects of climate change for a few years now,” said Adi Ana Tibinaliva Raloga, from Nakama Youth Club. “My village is surrounded by a river, so during heavy rains we experience flooding and through this workshop I hope to learn ways to work collectively with my village to mitigate the effects.”

A series of three one-day workshops kicked off in Nadi yesterday, Labasa today and Suva on Thursday and Friday, to advance youth-led community initiatives. Workshops provide a platform for them to come together, share information and lessons about their club’s activities; as well as discuss how they can best contribute to the overall efforts of communities

These workshops also provide an opportunity for youth clubs to strengthen climate action and disaster risk reduction work in their communities, further implementing the commitments of the 2021 National Youth Climate Action Summit, including the creation of divisional advisory working groups on climate action.

Youth participants also took part in the imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge, which is a global initiative with young people to design and deliver youth-led solutions that are gender transformative as well as inclusive and non-discriminatory in nature.

“Human life based on the cycles of life, from birth to childhood, adulthood and old age, also leads to attitudes and ways of seeing things based on generations,” said the Fiji Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala, while officiating at the International Youth Day celebrations in Labasa today. “This is how human society has evolved on a global scale – yet there are important local elements in how we see and define intergenerational relationships, and how we can then approach intergenerational solidarity.”

Fiji’s youth have immense potential to positively influence the country’s development. These workshops will be an opportunity to raise awareness and dialogue on the work between all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.

Solidarity between generations is the key to sustainable development. As we navigate the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is particularly important to recognize and overcome these age-related barriers to “build back better” in a way that leverages the strengths and insights of all generations.

New knowledge and ideas shared among youth through an interactive boot camp will also renew commitment to youth-led community action to address climate change. It will enable young people to better communicate and network on this issue with government ministries and development partners.

“Nearly a third of Fijians are young people in this country, and they have the power to reach out to the most marginalized to drive change – starting in their own homes,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative , Jonathan Veitch. “UNICEF is honored to partner with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to provide a dedicated platform for amplifying the voices of young people, especially as the climate crisis is one of the five opportunities that UNICEF globally has prioritized for children and young people to take action.”

This three-day youth workshop is organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF. On Friday, August 12, the Ministry and UNICEF will join UNFPA and UNAIDS in celebrating International Youth Day filled with activities such as music, talanoa session, mobile clinics, a workshop on public speaking and a fashion show at the civic center in Suva.

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