What Tanzania youth activists want from COP28

Archive image of the COP28 logo on a display during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The conference will bring together heads of state and government officials, international agencies, corporations, civil society and young people to negotiate and coordinate global climate actions

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian youth environmental activists are set to champion a common agenda in the coming climate change meeting COP28 in Dubai, demanding resources for underfunded youth-led climate organisations and emphasising the need for capacity building to drive meaningful change.

The annual global United Nations Climate Conference that will take place from November 30 to December 12 will bring together heads of state and government officials, international agencies, corporations, civil society, and young people to negotiate and coordinate global climate actions.

The local youths says regardless despite their commendable efforts, these young activists face a significant challenge—limited resources to support their initiatives and a lack of recognition for their impactful work.

The youths were speaking during a ‘Youth Voice on climate change’ event organised by the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation last Thursday.

Speaking to The Citizen, climate change activist and environmentalist Laurel Kivuyo said the Tanzania youths are carrying a united front in the COP28 with the hope to attract attention to the challenges they face and garner support for their initiatives.

“Our main agenda at COP28 is to secure finances and resources for youth-led climate organisations. We have a strong commitment to making a difference, but without adequate support, our efforts are hindered,” she said.

Environmental activist and social scientist Shamim Nyanda has encouraged young people to unite behind a common agenda to support the goals of their respective countries.

She said this important as the nations will raise questions arise about the funding for loss and damage, adaptation, and mitigation efforts.

Ms Nyanda said, “Personally, I’m planning to focus on issues related to the blue economy and is involved in the platform for marine conservation,”

The young leader emphasizes the importance of not only protecting marine resources but also attracting more investment to the ocean.

Country Director for SNV in Tanzania Michael McGrath said the organization which has been working to support communities in Tanzania over 50 years, is committed in cementing youth involvement to solutions of climate change.

“SNV and I personally are committed to ensuring youth are actively involved and play a real role in the development and implementation of solutions to climate change,” he said.

“Not purely tokenistic role but one where young people are trusted to play critical role in impacting solution in climate change and in other areas,” said Mr McGrath.

SNV in Tanzania’s diverse portfolio covers climate-smart agriculture, landscape conservation, renewable energy, and water, sanitation and hygiene.