Reading Time: 2 minutes
There are 1.8 billion young people in the world, aged between 10-24 years. Over two-third of this population reside in developing countries, where the impacts of climate change will be nothing short of dire in the near future.
In Bangladesh, this number is around 48 million, and it will continue to increase. Developing nations that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change like Bangladesh, will face strong adversities due to their geographic location and struggling economy.
The younger generations from developing countries are more likely to bear the burden of climate change to two-fold due to the prevailing and impending climatic shocks. Bangladesh lacks adequate measures in empowering its young generations with the right skills to address the upcoming environmental challenges.
Recognising the concern, BRAC’s climate change programme conducted a two-day interactive training session for the young professionals (YP) of BRAC. The training – Enhancing BRAC Young Professionals’ Knowledge on Climate Change – was facilitated by some of the country’s leading climate change experts. A total of 35 YPs currently involved with different BRAC programmes attended the sessions.
Some of the facilitators included Dr Atiq Rahman, Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies; Md Ziaul Haque, Director, Department of Environment (DoE), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Dr Ainun Nishat, Advisor, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University; Dr SM Munjurul Hannan Khan, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC; and Dr Saleemul Huq, Advisor, CCP and Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).
Discussions took place on various aspects of climate change, including its impacts and projections, global negotiations, policies and plans, and climate financing. The YPs will be a part of the network that will capture and document the lessons learned from the trainings. They will then culminate the findings into a roadmap towards making BRAC a climate-smart organisation by identifying and integrating aspects of climate change into BRAC’s development interventions.
BRAC Advocacy for Social Change in collaboration with the Climate Change Programme will soon be conducting a consultation with young people from climate-vulnerable districts across Bangladesh. The consultation will collect their views and proposed solutions as recommendations, so that they can be reflected into the upcoming National Adaptation Plan.
Young people need a seat at the table when deciding how the future of the world is going to be. The youth are being called to attend different international platforms to provide solutions to these issues. The Youth Climate Summit is one such event, being organised by the UN as part of the United Nations General Assembly this year. This historic event, scheduled for September 21, 2019, in New York, will feature a full-day programme with participants comprised of young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers who are dedicated to fighting the good fight. The summit will be action-oriented and all-inclusive, encompassing equal representations of young people from all walks of life across the globe.
The lessons learned from the summit will be instrumental for BRAC to bring in innovations and further diversify its approaches in engaging young people on the climate emergency that the world faces today.
Md Abu Bakar Siddique is a senior manager for knowledge management and communication. Tahmina Hadi is a deputy manager for knowledgement management and documentation at BRAC Climate Change Programme.