Working with UNICEF as a UN volunteer over the past year, my assignment included building awareness among staff on climate change, its impact and how we can mitigate its effects. I also advocate for sustainable practices in the way people consume energy and resources and manage waste both at work and in their personal lives. These efforts are in line with one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 13: to improve education, awareness-raising, human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Drawing from a recently published book by Dr Richard Munang, Regional Climate Change Coordinator for Africa at UN Environment (UNEP) titled “Making Africa Work Through the Power of Innovative Volunteerism”, the key take-aways of the inaugural event were:
Africa is at a demographic and development tipping point
Currently, Africa’s population stands at almost 16 per cent of the world’s total population. By 2050, the United Nations projects that Africa will account for half of the world population growth.
For COP 23, UN Volunteers has recruited more than 650 volunteers to support a wide range of operational tasks throughout the event. They all attended a full-day training on October 30.
Follow the involvement of volunteers during COP 23 here (hover over the image and scroll down):
The UN Climate Change Conference COP 23 is taking place in Bonn, Germany, between 6 and 17 November. UNV is also present in different ways to make sure volunteerism is part of the conversation around the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change.
The Global Environment Facility project on which I am working endorses the "farmer-field-school" approach to train farmers in how to adapt to climate change. It is an outdoor school where learning and sharing takes place through hands-on practical training.
There is an anticipated participation of about 25,000 people from around the world for COP 23, which will be made possible with the help of many volunteers. Out of them, more than 600 are trained today at the World Conference Center in Bonn.
Harare, Zimbabwe: When Amy Wickham, an international UN Volunteer, joined the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."
When Amy Wickham, an international United Nations Volunteer, signed up to work with UNICEF in Zimbabwe, she didn't know what to expect. Yet this experience changed her life. "The experience and exposure that I've got since I started as a volunteer has been phenomenal", she says. "The ownership that I've been given over the projects, as well as the time and responsibility that I've been given from professionals that I've worked with has been fantastic."
During the first two weeks of December, the eyes of the world will be on Lima, Peru, in order to follow the COP20*, an event of utmost importance in terms of negotiation in order to advance to a new Climate Change Protocol in Paris next year. A team of 10 national UN Volunteers has trained more than 1,200 youth volunteers who will be active during the whole event, especially in the
UNV has made a commitment to protect the environment and take action against climate change. The mitigation of negative effects, risk reduction, environmental management, adequate climate-change responses, better access to natural resources and food security, all require an integrated approach from a large scope of stakeholders. UNV's efforts encompass activities on people-centered and grassroots level to national and international campaigns.