Nepalese youth leader visits COP16 to draw attention to the effects of climate change in the Himalayas

COP 16 was different from COP 15 in that, although it had lesser number of youth participants and civil society members and wasn’t as hyped, it was still very powerful. The Nepalese youth participants were limited to two people, myself Abhishek Shrestha and Alina Pokhrel, but we were actively involved – from organizing and supporting YOUNGO (Youth Constituency at UNFCCC) events to helping our Nepalese Government to have a stronger voice in the negotiations.

At COP 16, I worked closely with the organizing team of the Conference of Youth (COY). COY is a youth conference which is organized ahead of COP where youths share on issues ranging from climate change activities that they’ve been doing and UNFCCC’s structure and modalities, to policy paper ideas – with the sole aim of learning more and building one’s capacity. I worked closely with YOUNGO, and was involved in different actions and activities carried out by YOUNGO. Working as the YOUNGO delegation coordinator at COP 16 gave me the opportunity to interact with youth from all over the world where I helped them with different logistical matters and in the organizational process.

Besides this, I was involved with the South Asian youth Climate Action Network (SAYCAN) where we worked on the South Asian Youth Policy which we submitted to the governments of the respective countries. We also lead the Mountain Action in order to highlight the vulnerability of our mountains and pressurize countries to address this in the negotiations. I was also following our fellow Nepali negotiators with updates on the policy and Nepal’s stand. We organized a sharing and updating session on policy and activities with the youth and civil society of Nepal in COP 16 that was fruitful to understand where we stand and how to bridge the gap between our government and the civil society.

I worked with Article 6 Working Group where youth made a remarkable achievement at COP 16 and this success highlights the fact that “young people are potent agents for change.” Article 6 refers to climate education and training to youth and youth participation in Government delegation. We were all change makers, there to push the negotiators to bring real change very soon. I have started working back home educating and empowering youth on climate change issue especially focusing on the rural youth and will continue this work.

For more information on the work of NYCA please download the PDF at the bottom of this page.

I am very thankful to Artist Project Earth who supported my participation at COP 16 and for helping to give me the opportunity to work closely with energetic and passionate international youth and having such a great learning experience.

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