Children and young people have a new platform to engage in climate solutions, with the launch of UniteforClimate.org today at the International Children & Youth Conference in Daejeon, Republic of Korea.UNICEF, as part of a diverse coalition of UN agencies, civil society groups, youth activists, universities, and private partners, built the open-source online engagement platform for youth people and children to collaborate on solutions to climate change.
Young people from the developed world have pioneered uses of new media for advocacy and partnered with youth networks around the the world to build platforms, like YouthClimate.org. However, UNICEF and the other Unite for Climate partners have developed appropriate technology to connect young people without access to the internet and computers or in low-bandwidth areas, by using SMS polls and other online-to-mobile technology to reach youth in the developing world.
Another focus of the effort is online video, with low cost video-camera manufacturer FlipCam, YouTube, and the 1 minute to save the world contest coming together to provide equipment, host content, and screen video. Alongside the online video initiative, the site will have social networking tool available on the Unite for Climate site, for young citizens engaged in facing the challenge of climate change.
The platform was unveiled at the TUNZA International Children and Youth Conference in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, which is organized by the youth network affiliated with the UN Environment Program, TUNZA. Children and youth from some 110 countries participated in the launch of United for Climate, as well as released a statement they are delivering to world leaders.
The statement, titled “Listen to Our Voices”, led with this statement
We, young people – 3 billion of the world population – are concerned and frustrated that our governments are not doing enough to combat climate change. We feel that radical and holistic measures are needed urgently from us all. We now need more actions and less talking.”
The statement also made commitments by young people to work for sustainable solutions, work to green schools, campuses, and communities, as well as mobilize around the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, this fall.
To support this youth commitment on campuses and schools, Unite for Climate will connect at least 150 schools around the globe from September 2009. The Connecting Classrooms project will foster dialogue on climate change between school children, and is supported by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Mediterranean Center for Sustainable Development.
For more information:
United for Climate: www.uniteforclimate.org
Youth Climate Debates: www.youtube.com/youthclimatedebate
Youth Climate: www.youthclimate.org
It’s Getting Hot in Here – dispatches from the youth climate movement – http://www.itsgettinghotinhere.org