KIPPRA, in collaboration with Kenya Youth Climate Directorate, hosted 2nd youth symposium on climate change on 2nd and 3rd February 2023 at Kenya School of Government, Nairobi. Themed “Reflections from COP27: Sustaining Youth Participation in Climate Adaptation for Africa’s Growth”, the symposium brought together youths working in climate change to exchange views on how they can amplify their voices, strengthen their movement, reflect on resolutions of COP27 and work towards collective action in climate adaptation initiatives for Africa’s growth.
Speaking at the symposium, Principal Secretary, State Department for Economic Planning Mr James Muhati noted that there is opportunity to increase collaboration between the government, youth-led organizations, and other key stakeholders to have a strong front in combating climate change and increasing the country’s resilience. The PS underscored the importance of waste management in a bid to reduce environmental degradation and combat negative effects of climate change, stating that the Government has made efforts to promote sustainable development with reduced waste through promotion of circular economy and banning of single-use plastic bags.
KIPPRA Executive Director Dr Rose Ngugi reiterated the need to involve the youth in climate action and adaptation for Africa’s growth, stating that Kenya is a youthful country with those under 35 years comprising 75 per cent of the total population hence their involvement would greatly compliment the Government’s efforts in combating effects of climate change.
The first day of the symposium also saw presentations on capacity building on youth engagement in international climate negotiations by Mr Danny Rahdiansyah, Deputy Permanent Representative to UNEP. Mr Rahdiansyah underscored UNEP’s commitment to environmental conservation and support to Kenya in combating effects of climate change.
Youth who participated in COP27 in Egypt in November 2022 reflected on deliberations at the summit and urged the Government to promote appropriate technologies for delivery of adaptation and mitigation actions, such as water harvesting, climate information services, and clean lighting and cooking technologies. The youth stated that will they support technological innovations and contribute towards enhancing the technological capability of the country with the aim of addressing the effects of climate change.
Mr Hurdson Thomas, Executive Director, Youth Greenspace Action and Network lauded the Government for recognizing the need to address inequalities and vulnerabilities in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALS) by creating State Department for the ASALS and Regional Development, which has prioritized coordination of development in ASALS; resilience building; socio-cultural integration; and governance. Mr Thomas urged youth to use innovative ideas to solve perennial food shortage and contribute to mitigation of climate change effects.