Climate change is a threat multiplier, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable girls and boys. Though children are the least responsible for climate change, those living in urban informal settlements, as well as fragile and developing contexts are among the most susceptible to its ravages. There is no silver bullet to the complex issue of urbanization’s rapid growth or climate change. No single actor can unilaterally address climate change and achieve the transformational change necessary to create urban contexts where girls and boys thrive. Developing strong multi-stakeholder partnerships and undertaking urban resilience activities, can be a powerful way to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
As children and youth are aware of the issues and challenges in the contexts and communities where they live, they bring their unique perspectives and solutions on climate change issues relevant to sustainable urban development. By recognizing their catalytic role in climate change mitigation, we should ensure children and young people’s voices and perspectives are front and center in national and global fora on climate change, and their needs and aspirations are reflected in climate change decision-making processes.
On June 30th, World Vision, together with Plan and UNICEF, hosted an UTC webinar in which young climate activists from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Uganda shared their experiences on climate action in cities and their perspectives on what can be improved. The webinar was attended by 35 participants, mainly from civil society organizations working at the intersection of cities, climate change and children. It also featured experts from the three organizations who shared successful practices on engaging children in cities in climate action:
· Anna Saxby, Senior Advisor - Gender, Urban Safety and Resilience at Plan
· Amy Wickham, Programme Specialist – Climate, Energy and Environment at UNICEF
· Yukiko Yamada Morovic, Senior Advisor of External Engagement and Programming, Livelihoods at World Vision
The experiences shared by the three agencies are documented in a policy brief that was launched following the UTC “Tackling a double-threat: Children at the front and centre of urban fragility and climate change”.
Article by Aline Rahbany, World Vision International