Youths are at the forefront of the climate movement that emerged in the 1980s and gained traction in 2019 with the global climate strike organized by Fridays for Future and Earth Strike. Despite the fact that their region is warming at twice the global average, surveys show that youths in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region tend to be less concerned and active. In order to better understand MENA youths’ views on climate change and help make their voices heard, ARDD partnered with RNW Media to implement a project aiming to foster dialogue and encourage MENA youth participation in climate change debates. With the support of the Inclusive Green Growth Department (IGG) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NL-MOFA) in Jordan, a preliminary research work, a media competition “Arab Youth Green Voices Challenge” and a series of policy labs were conducted with young environmental activists and media makers from six Arab countries that resulted in key considerations and recommendations amplifying youth´s voices such as:
- Support climate initiatives that build bridges with the development and peace-building sectors, as enhanced safety, education, and economic opportunities
- Promote a regional approach toward protecting the environment and mitigating the effects of climate change, to foster more effective, holistic, and sustainable local solutions.
- Engage with and train Arab media on environmental issues to increase visibility, awareness, dialogue, and accountability on climate change and environmental protection in the Arabic language.
- Disseminate information and narratives that highlight youth´s climate action, innovation, and promising solutions rather than focus solely on the threats and scientific data.
https://www.unicef.org/mena/press-releases/impact-climate-change-children-mena-region According to UNICEF, by 2050, the region could be as much as four degrees Celsius warmer. This is way beyond the 1.5-degree Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement.