Youth-led advocacy is full of energy. Amira

ECO’s Adaptation Policy Focus


Amira is a member of ECO Singapore, hoping to bring forward the gravity of the climate change issue in Copenhagen this December. The group is part of the International Youth Climate Movement (IYCM) at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) .

Announcement: The Adaptation working group has been allocated a slot to deliver an intervention at the COP session on 10 December 2009.

I am really excited about the working on policy issues at COP15. I’ve been working with youths from the International Youth Climate Movement (IYCM) in a policy working group on climate change adaptation issues.

We are looking at the Adaptation policies being debated at COP15 with a view to propose amendments and improvements to the adaptation text, and hopefully contributing positively to debates on funding structures for adaptation financing.

Working with the most dedicated, insightful, knowledgeable young people I ever met, it has been an exhilarating experience to not just talk about adaptation issues, but also discuss solution to improve adaptation around the globe. As some of you may already know, climate change has had a severe impact on least developed nations and small island states in many ways.

Climate Change not only threatens food and water security, but also exacerbates the effects of natural disasters, displacing communities. This further entrenches poverty cycles and reverses progress already made on economic development. Even in the developed world, adaptation to climate change leaves much to be desired, as evidenced by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.

To start off, we are currently examining the various texts and papers related to the Adaptation policy. This includes delving into the massive text of the Ad-Hoc Working Group Long Term Cooperative Agreement (AWG-LCA), acquainting ourselves with the suggestions and positions of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the African bloc, as well as the positions of the Annex I countries. We will also be coming up with our own positions and suggestions to the language of the text.

We fear that our efforts will fall on deaf ears, so we have planned several deliverables for ourselves. We aim to forward our ideas at the official level by delivering a short intervention at a COP session or a working group session on the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). We are also coming up with a lobbying strategy to promote policy solutions that take in account of the concerns of Least Developing Countries (LDCs) and other non-Annex-I countries and hopefully persuade the Annex I countries to adopt our suggestions.

We will also be writing an article for COP15’s daily publication Outreach, to discuss youth-led solutions for Climate Change Adaptation. We will also put up a video discussing adaptation from the perspective of an Annex I and a non-Annex I parties, made by our talented and technologically-inclined team mates!

While it is tall order to influence the outcome of adaptation policy, we are aware that this effort needs to be a long-term contribution. Our idealism is tempered not only with the ingenuity of purposeful solutions, but is buoyed by the possibility of youth. Invoking Martin Luther King’s call for the “fierce urgency of now”and Kumi Naidoo’s advice not to “wait for leadership”, my new colleagues and are bringing our vision to the table. And hoping those at the table listen.

In other words, watch this space for more adaptation policy contributions.

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