Together with the Swiss Embassy in Cairo, UNCIEF and the Government of Egypt have launched a new national initiative, titled Caravan for Climate Action “Youth For Climate” to advance youth-led climate action.
The inaugural event was held at the Maadi Olympic Center in the presence of HE Dr Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Ali Abu Sena, Head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Ms Elena Panova , UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, and Actor Ahmed Helmy, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador.
The “Youth For Climate” caravan, an equipped and gas-powered mobile van, will be led by a team of young people traveling to all Egyptian governorates and will start on September 5, according to a statement released by UNCIEF on Sunday.
The Caravan will organize various activities during its journey which includes capacity building sessions, youth dialogue, competitions, festivals, theater performances, bootcamps; as well as awareness campaigns, the statement said.
Essentially, the caravan touring the country would encourage young people to fully engage in the climate discussion and pave the way for COP27 scheduled for November in Sharm El Sheikh.
Egypt is keen to empower adolescents and young people to play an effective role in international efforts to combat climate change.
Globally, all children face challenges related to climate change and the degradation of the natural environment. Some children; however, are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than others – largely dependent on the availability, quality, equity and sustainability of key and essential services for children, such as water and sanitation, health care, nutrition and education.
In his remarks, Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, said: “I am delighted to join you today in launching the Youth and Climate Caravan to raise awareness on an issue that directly affects our lives, namely climate change. »
Highlighting the threats of the climate change problem, Hopkins said the climate crisis has put children, on every continent, at increased risk of more destructive climate hazards, from heat waves and droughts to cyclones and floods, as well as than to the rising levels of pollution in the water and the air, which makes us all extremely concerned.
“We are proud to be part of the Youth Climate Caravan that will travel through Egypt with stops along the way to listen to children and young people and voice their concerns, ideas and recommendations on what we we can do to adapt, mitigate and slow climate change.
He continued, “I am also happy that the young people are participating in interactive activities with all young people throughout the Caravan journey to ensure that the voice of young people in Egypt is heard at the Climate Change Summit.” .
“I would like to express my gratitude to the GoE for their tireless efforts, and also thank USAID and the Swiss Development Cooperation for their substantial support.”
For his part, Sobhi, the Minister of Youth and Sports said: “The approach of the Ministry is to educate children and young people on climate change, and the importance of preserving the environment through a set of various projects and programs in cooperation with institutions concerned with climate change. and going green, as well as international development partners in light of the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Still in this regard, the Minister indicated that the Caravan “Youth for the climate” will be animated in the climate and environment clubs of the youth centers located in various governorates.
In the same vein, the Minister indicated that the Ministry of Youth and Sports will organize next October the festival “Meeting of the children of the world”, within the framework of the agenda of the youth program preparatory to the Summit on (COP 27), and the ministry is also working in liaison with the Youth Directorate of the United Nations Convention Secretariat, and in coordination with a number of local organizations, to implement the Youth Conference on Climate (COY 17), the Ministry is also working to organize a special day for climate-conscious young people and to recognize the efforts of volunteers who would be held during the COP 27 summit.
Ms. Elena Panova, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said, “The Climate Change Caravan is a youth-led, forward-looking and inclusive climate action initiative. It brings local climate-related solutions from across the country and provides a space for consultations by and for young people in Egypt. She added, “Youth engagement is at the heart of the UN’s work in Egypt. We pledge to stand with them as they aspire to a more prosperous and resilient Egypt.