Follow us on:

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Archive -Youth

UN Climate Change Conference of Youth and Conference of Parties in Marrakech |11 November 2016

Seychelles among youth delegation from Indian Ocean region


A delegation of five youth representatives from Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros and Madagascar are attending this year’s UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY) and Conference of Parties (COP) in Marrakech, Morocco.

The youth delegation is being led by Karuna Rana, co-founder of the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH), a regional youth-led organisation that connects young people from African and Asian Small Island Developing States (Sids) and also a leading Commonwealth youth from the Indian Ocean Region.

The youth delegation has been sent to the conference by the Indian Ocean Commission, through the ISLANDS project funded by the European Union.

Their involvement in the conference is in recognition of the important contribution of youth as key actor and partner in building a more sustainable and resilient future.

The COY has been organised alongside COP and aims to gather youths from around the world to discuss climate change.

The last such event was held from November 4-6, 2015 at the QadiAyaad University in Marrakech and aimed to consolidate the youth perspective and expectations to the COP22 dialogue and negotiations process.

“Considering the importance that the IOC members states put on climate change and environment and the work being done by the IOC, I want to contribute to making a change in this complex process and being here will enable me to have a better understanding of how to meaningfully influence the negotiations,” said Meghna Raghoobar, part of the Indian Ocean youth delegation and co-founder of SYAH.

Anne-Joelle Lisette, an educator from the island of Rodrigues (Mauritius), was particularly excited to be part of the delegation and said “this is proof that youth contribution is important and validates the local efforts we are undertaking to help combat the effects of climate change”.

Islands in western Indian Ocean region are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and its related impacts on ecosystems. The IOC, through its regional programmes, provides support to initiatives on tackling climate change across its member states involving a wide range of actors.

“The decision to send a youth delegation from the Indian Ocean to take part in the COP22 further reiterates the commitment of IOC to engage the youth in decision- making processes and their commitment to contribute to sustainable development. Our youth is our future and we need to entrust them and let them be a partner in shaping the future we want for our region,” stated Olivier Tyack, ISLANDS project team leader.

In terms of take away from this experience, Karine Rassool, a young environmentalist from Seychelles, anticipates to not only broaden her knowledge on the negotiation process but also to use this opportunity to meet other climate change activists and learn about successful climate adaptation measures which can be replicated in her country.

Following their participation at COY12, youth delegates from Seychelles and Mauritius are currently taking participating in the first week of COP22 whereas the delegates from Comoros and Madagascar will attend the 2nd week of COP22 deliberations.

The IOC, through the ISLANDS project, has constantly engaged young people of this region in educational programmes. In the area of involving youth in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and in building their capacities to understand and effectively influence climate change negotiations, the ISLANDS project has supported:

• The organisation, in August 2015, of a workshop ‘From Samoa to Paris’ attended by 250 youngsters from African and Indian Ocean Islands to give them an insight into climate change issues and the importance of COP21, followed by the publication of a booklet in French explaining climate change and means to tackle its effects;

• The regional Conference of Youth (COY11) held in Madagascar in 2015;

• The implementation of one-day Post-COP21 Youth Workshops themed around ‘The Paris Agreement: Walking the Talk’ organised in Mauritius (including Rodrigues Island), Seychelles and Comoros;

• The production of a Youth Toolkit on Sids and climate change containing key information on climate change science, impacts, negotiations and youth advocacy in a youth-friendly language in 2016;

• The 2016 Climate Change Diplomacy and Advocacy Training Workshop for Commonwealth Youth which has resulted in the initiative of creating an annual training programme, titled #Prep4COP, focused on empowering young people from the most climate vulnerable nations to effectively engage their peers and policy-makers within the global climate change policy debates and negotiations.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and convenes yearly with the objective of evaluating progress Parties are making in addressing the existential threat of climate change. The Paris Agreement, adopted at COP21, is the first legally binding treaty to combat climate change and involves 187 countries, with member states of the IOC being amongst the first to ratify it. With the coming into force of this Agreement on November 4, 2016, the IOC believes that COP22 is a stepping stone in transforming commitments into actions.




» Back to Archive