The sessions of the “Green Voices” project, held by the Arab Renaissance Organization for Democracy and Development (ARD), in partnership with RNW Media, and funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands, were concluded, with the participation of 14 young men and women who were shortlisted for the “Green Voices” challenge, which was launched within the same project. Where young people participated in a group of articles, blogs and video clips that talk about climate change issues and their solutions. The challenge aimed to raise the voice of youth in the Arab region and increase their positive impact on climate change issues, to be a main topic for dialogue between them.
More than 60 young men and women participated in the challenge, and they were wonderful in choosing topics, whether those related to waste recycling, the role of women in climate change issues, environmentally friendly entrepreneurial projects, or the green economy. Different thinking to develop dealing with climate change, and therefore the orientation was towards young people as they are the leaders of change and builders of the future, and the method of selecting the winners of the challenge relied on originality, reliability, clarity of the idea, the relationship of the topic in question with existing issues and its impact on the current situation, as well as the technical level and innovation.
The first place was won by Saed Hanani from Palestine, a student in electrical engineering and renewable energy at the Arab American University, for a video in which he presented the possibility of making environmentally friendly fashion by using food waste from orange peels and others, as cellulose is extracted from these wastes to convert them into rayon fabric that Modern and environmentally friendly clothes are made from it, and it is the same project he is working on at the university, where he confirmed that the manufacture of clothes from cotton and natural fabric pollutes the environment and consumes a lot of water, in addition to infringing on plant wealth through cutting trees and leading to desertification.
While the second place went to Abd al-Malik al-Nimri from Yemen, a journalist and environmental activist, for a blog titled “The World of Hind…a Green Footprint in Taiz”, in which he highlighted the contributions of Yemeni women in adapting to climate change, mitigating its severity, and responding to it to build a better future. Sustainability for all, as the blogger talks about a girl who transformed her home yard into a small paradise, and with time she transformed her passion into launching green economy projects.
The two winners considered that the experience in the Green Voices project and challenge added many opportunities to them, and brought them together with activists and environmental experts who benefited from their experiences, while Abdul Malik al-Nimri stressed that he aspires to pay more attention to climate change and its humanization because talking about it is not a luxury as some think, stressing that war And the conditions in Yemen will not deter him from continuing in this field, while Saed Hanani made his intervention in front of an Israeli checkpoint that prevented him from reaching his home, to affirm the determination of the Palestinian people to preserve their land and confront climate change despite all circumstances, indicating that the winning video and its idea only came Because of the motivation provided by the Green Votes Challenge.
While 10 participants out of the 14 qualified will have the opportunity to participate in a side event to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) for two days in Sharm El-Sheikh, the head of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, Nisreen Al-Saim, said that there are many outstanding challenges that will be discussed during the summit. (cop27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, which are the same challenges that were discussed at the (cop26) summit in Glasgow, which are very basic and articulated problems specifically in the African continent and related to financing for adaptation to climate change and compensation for the damages resulting from it, and global consultation to consider this financing, And changing the language of the agreement to move from the term fossil fuels to reduce fossil fuels, stressing that the required work is great and the coming days are decisive for determining the fate of the conference and judging it by success or failure.
She also called on young people to work hard and start bringing about change first, each in their location, then on the scale of their society, and then advocacy and action on a larger scale. And on how to proceed with advocacy and involve others in seeking to solve these climate issues, she stressed the importance of explaining the impact of this crisis, which affects every member of society in terms of his environmental, health and job security as well. Examples of this were the problems of environmental refuge, desertification, water scarcity, and the social problems that follow and threaten peace. Societal and economic for all countries and at the global level.
The youth participants emphasized the importance of these projects, which contribute to raising the voice of young people and shed light on their contributions to the central issues of climate change, especially the initiatives of the countries of the South that do not receive the necessary recognition or coverage in the media at the Arab or international level, in addition to their role in highlighting the role of youth and sharpening their concern in Determine the parameters of a better future for themselves and their children.