At the beginning of May, a hundred young leaders from more than 18 different regions of the country got together in Lima for the first meeting of Young people heading for the COP20*, as part of the Global Youth Service Day.
This event was organized by the Ministry of the Environment in Peru, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the National Electoral Panel and the international youth organization AIESEC. The aim of the event was to provide a forum for young people to learn about climate change and the COP20, to share their experiences and to come up with concrete plans which would contribute towards caring for the environment.
The meeting took place in the United Nations House in Lima and was attended by leaders representing youth and volunteer organizations.
Experts in climate change issues from the Ministry of the Environment, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other organizations were on hand throughout the event to provide factual information which formed the basis for round table discussions in seven specific topics: forests, mountains, glaciers and water security, energy and energy matrix, sustainable cities, oceans, gender and climate change, and health and climate change.
In each of the workshops the young people identified the common environmental problems and the capacities and opportunities for working towards a solution. During the second day, the young people developed action plans for social enterprise, advocacy, publicity campaigns and networking. These actions were guided by specialists who gave examples by sharing their own experiences and stories.
The activities and exchange of ideas at the meeting enabled the young people to return to their own communities with concrete action plans to put forward and eventually put into practice.
The academic presentations, panel sessions and case studies could be followed live and recordings (in Spanish) of these can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdwPV47uQM0.
The meeting for Young people heading for the COP20 is one of several volunteering initiatives around climate change being carried out throughout Peru.
*United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Twentieth session of the Conference of Parties (COP20)
Article translated from Spanish by UN Online Volunteer Judith Mcinally.