Africa: Youth Launch Climate Justice Caravan Ahead of COP 17

News From Africa

The African Youth Climate Justice Caravan will bring together over 100 young environmentalists and climate change advocates and will start in Nairobi, Kenya, traversing through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho,Swaziland and finally into South Africa by road then back again at the end of COP 17.
By Staff Writer

NAIROBI—African youth organizations, networks and movements from all over the continent have come together this year to jointly undertake a massive Pan African youth mobilization towards the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which will take place in November/December in Durban, South Africa. The participating organizations from Africa include the following: African Youth Initiative on Climate (AYICC) and its national constituents throughout Africa, The Africa Alliance of YMCA/YWCA, Kenya Youth Climate Network, Enviro-Watch (Zambia) and  YEN Zambia. Youth organizations from other parts the world will join and support the African Youth Climate Justice Caravan. They include Norwegian Church Aid,  Ten Sing Norway (TSN), United Kingdom Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC), Norwegian YMCA/YWCA, Change Makers International (Norway, Finland, Iceland, Pakistan) among others.

The African Youth Climate Justice Caravan will bring together over 100 young environmentalists and climate change advocates and will start in Nairobi, Kenya, traversing      through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho,Swaziland and finally into South Africa by road then back again at the end of COP 17.

The caravan shall be launched at the end of the Pan African Youth Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi. In every country that the caravan shall pass, there are a number of planned activities to create awareness on climate change, to mobilize support for climate justice, to meet and interact with government officials and other leaders, and to discuss positive and progressive ways for youth of Africa to engage with climate change as one of the most important issues of our time. The caravan shall be received by youth movements, religious leaders and communities in the countries and will include music, dancing, capacity building, screening of films on climate change and other creative and youthful ways of sharing information.

In Durban the youth will be received by religious leaders in a massive African Faith rally in one of Durban’s new football stadiums.  The youth shall also be received by fellow youth gathered at the 7th Conference of Youth (COY 7). At the COP 17, the youth will hand over petitions collected along the way to Party delegations, the host South African government as well as the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Climate change has been described as one of the biggest threats to development and livelihoods in our time. Consensus has been built among climate scientists, especially those within the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the current climate crises have been caused by human action, and that urgent action is required to save the planet. The impacts of climate change in Kenya and Africa cannot be underestimated, with the recent cases of devastating droughts and floods in many parts of Africa, as well as increased intensity of tropical diseases like Malaria.

It is against this backdrop that the African youth seek to do something different and powerful to communicate the urgency with which we must address climate change. Thus in all the countries we shall pass the youth shall sing out and dance for climate justice in huge shows and concerts, and collect petitions from local youth organizations. Through music, dance and theatre, the youth will not only educate communities on climate change but also learn from them about what they are doing to combat climate change and most importantly communicate strong messages of why world leaders must not let these communities perish.

There hasn’t been a similar climate caravan before. It will be challenging, tiring, time-consuming, even strenuous but most significantly, it will be enlightening, impactful and world changing; and just maybe it’s the difference we’ve all been wanting to make……WE HAVE FAITH!

The odds are many, ranging from securing funding; getting visas to all the countries the caravan will pass especially for non-Kenyans, coordinating with youth from different countries, getting to the various locations on time, safety among others. But the youth are ambitious, and will not let anything stop them in this fight for climate justice.

Their ultimate goal: A Fair and Legally Binding Deal at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.

In order to successfully carry out this Road show, the youth are appealing for enormous amounts of resources. For transport, food, accommodation, insurance and probably medical cover, Visa fee and to carry out planned activities.

For more, visit their Facebook Campaign: www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_169936693063281

One thought on “Africa: Youth Launch Climate Justice Caravan Ahead of COP 17”

  1. As a group Promoting Music and Television from Lesotho, I find your blog pretty interesting, “Cry Freedom movie, shown on ASTRO on Myanmar Independence …” I will keep checking for additions.
    Well written, thank you 🙂

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