UNESCO through the Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021 seeks to promote youth engagement on issues affecting them.
It is with this regard that UNESCO Windhoek Office, in partnership with University of Namibia (UNAM) and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), is organising a virtual Water and Climate Change Conference on 11 August, to accelerate youth action on the innovative solutions for water challenging and climate change.
The youth constitute the largest population in the world of about 1.8 billion. The greatest percentage of these youth are found in developing countries where they constitute the greater proportion of the population.
Despite constituting the greatest population, youth are often left behind in decision making processes and development programmes, yet they are the most affected.
In Africa, youth are often found facing a number of challenges like unemployment, exclusion from policy making and economic ecosystems amid staying in an environment where there is no equality in accessing the resources.
The situation is worsened by impacts of climate change which has resulted in agriculture the backbone of family and national economy becoming unviable due to water stress.
Young people have the potential to be effective agents of change. But unless the need is acknowledged to provide an enabling environment for youth to thrive in, this remains an empty promise to the desperate yet capable young people.
The transition of youth from a target group to full partner lacks traction in many fields of the development domain. Engaging youth in all sectors is deemed challenging yet it is the necessary step to take in order to bring about change and positive development towards achieving the United Nations Agenda 2030.
The main objective of the conference will be to promote awareness and empower young people in advocating and initiating climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in the context of water security in their respective communities.
The conference will also be used as a platform to bring together water young professionals to establish the UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) youth network in Namibia.
- To build the capacity of young people in matters of water security focusing on issues related to climate change
- To provide the young people a platform to share and exchange ideas while showcasing their innovative solutions on water related issues affecting their communities and country.
- To facilitate an inclusive platform to effectively engage youths and youth-led organisations, governments and development partners to further strengthen inclusive youth participation.
Young professionals under 35-year-old in the fields of hydrology, environmental and related sciences.
The conference will invite 30 youth representatives to present innovative solutions for water challenging and climate change.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be online and open to all the participants.