Youth Ambassadors at LACCW 2023: Championing Climate Action for a Sustainable Future
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03 November 2023 Share article

Students from Zayed Sustainability Prize-winning Global High Schools, Destiny Perez and Nailyng Giovannetty Fontalvo, played a significant role at the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2023 (LACCW), held in Panama City, Panama, from 23-27 October. Representing Instituto Iberia and Air Batalla, the youth ambassadors actively participated in a youth-led session that focused on the vital role of stocktaking exercises in addressing the devastating impacts of climate change. 


Additionally, Destiny had the privilege of joining another panel, titled ‘Launch Green Jobs for Youth Pact in LAC: Approaches and Best Practices’ alongside esteemed figures, including UNICEF representatives, government officials from Panama and Colombia, and a Dominican NGO.


In the first session, titled ‘Stocktaking - An Opportunity for Ambition for Children & Youth’, both ambassadors explored the importance of stocktake exercises and emphasised the need for collective action by all stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on engaging youth and other vulnerable and underrepresented groups. 


One of the primary objectives of this session was to provide inputs for the Youth Stocktake report, a pivotal document aimed at assessing youth inclusion and policy implementation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. By taking part in the Youth Stocktake, the ambassadors aimed to assess the level of youth involvement, identify progress and gaps in youth inclusion, and set a path forward for meaningful youth participation in climate policy making.


The session pivoted to a discussion of the importance of intergenerational, intercultural and gender perspectives in enhancing climate action. The ambassadors highlighted the paramount role of children and youth in local stocktake processes and the Global Stocktake (GST). They identified opportunities and challenges in fostering climate action from these perspectives.


The panelists discussed the paramount importance of involving children and youth in the Local Stocktake and the GST. They addressed questions about intergenerational equity, local-level initiatives to enhance youth representation, and the vision for mainstreaming young people in UNFCCC and regional decision-making processes.


Throughout the sessions, the ambassadors actively engaged with the discussion, sharing insights and perspectives on how youth can leverage COP28 UAE as a catalyst for driving the Youth Stocktake and inspiring real-world action. Their active participation contributed to a better understanding of how climate action can be made more inclusive, transparent, and participatory at both local and global levels.


The efforts of these Youth Ambassadors reflect the Prize’s commitment to addressing climate change's impacts through meaningful youth engagement and intergenerational collaboration. They are contributing to a collective global effort to tackle climate change, ensuring that no one is left behind in this critical endeavour.