|© UNICEF Korea/2009|
|A young participant receives training on Unite for Climate at the TUNZA International Children and Youth Conference 09.|
By Cherif Zouein and Katie Mulloy
DAEJEON, Republic of Korea, 20 August 2009 – More than 800 young people from over 110 countries have gathered in Daejeon to exchange ideas and discuss solutions the global challenge of a changing climate.
The TUNZA International Children and Youth Conference, which lasts until 23 August, is an important milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen – which will take place in December 2009 – where global leaders and policy makers will meet to agree on new global climate policy.
As Copenhagen nears, UNICEF, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and other partners have come together to support youth action in a new initiative, launched today, called Unite for Climate.
Unite for Climate
Unite for Climate is a multi-component initiative. The project’s main element is an online community for young activists to encourage local organisations to collaborate and create global action.
An open-source, low bandwidth community, Unite for Climate provides tools to allow young activists to share media, assign tasks to peers, and cooperate with other organisations easily. It also seeks to engage users in the many youth campaigns on climate change present globally.
“Unite For Climate wants to support the global movement on climate change and feature inspiring youth campaigns,” said Chief of UNICEF’s Youth Section Gerrit Beger. “The initiative offers SMS polling and open-source social tools to engage youth and have their voices heard loud and clear. With the rapid proliferation of technology everywhere, it's been rewarding to see how young people from all parts of the globe can connect.”
Unite for Climate was started with the help of seed funding from UNICEF Denmark and the trust and commitment from its many partners.
The Youth Climate debates
The initiative will also serve as the official online platform of the upcoming Children’s Climate Forum Copenhagen 2009, which is co-organised by UNICEF Denmark and the City of Copenhagen.
|© UNICEF Korea/2009|
|A participant is greeted by Unite for Climate volunteers as she prepares to answer the first of the Youth Climate Debates questions.|
In the days ahead, concerned youth are invited to participate in the Youth Climate Debate, which is hosted on a dedicated YouTube channel.
The first of five questions asks, “Do you think our political leaders are doing enough to save the planet from Climate Change?” It has already received video responses from youth around the world.
With the help of partners such as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Unite For Climate is also provides FlipCams to youth in marginalized areas or circumstances so that they can also participate.
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