Thursday, August 18, 2011

Asia Pacific Youth Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Asia Pacific Youth Declaration on
Climate Change and Sustainable Development


12 August 2011

We the youth from 17 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, being aware of the urgency and threats posed by different global changes especially environmental changes including climate change and believing that the current global economic models are affecting the overall environment and natural resources creating undesirable ecological footprints that has exceeded the CO2 emission by 30% and accelerated  global warming, have agreed to work together for the betterment our planet especially the Asia Pacific region.

We call on the Asia Pacific leaders to make sure that the institutional frameworks and Green Economy solutions prepared at Rio meeting, should be based on the specific and diverse  situation of the Asia pacific region and address the lack of political and financial commitments which are cited as the main reasons for poor progress in the implementation of the Agenda 21 and especially Chapter 13 has been slow and largely failed to meet the expectations from the developing especially mountain countries.

We therefore strongly advocate for the global policies and instruments that can promote equity (intergenerational equity and north-south equity) and global sustainability. Specially, we have collectively decided to make the following declarations:

1. Be aware of the impact of climate change and vulnerability of the poor people in Asia-Pacific region ranging from top of the world to low land coastal areas. We are facing the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, melting of glaciers and Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), declining water resources, loss of forest coverage and biodiversity, declining agricultural productivity and increasing food insecurity, health impact, sea level rise and coastal flooding, environmental refugees and many new problems

2. Act urgent and immediately to mitigate the climate change by reducing emission of GHGs at sources, the global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 degree C from the pre industrial level and CO2 concentration should return below 350 PPM

3. Immediate commitment for the mitigation of emission of Black Carbon and develop strategies to minimize the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (Trans-boundary Air Pollution) within the region

4. Strong commitment from the advance developing countries within the region (like India and China) and globally to revise their development path and made transition to low carbon development path. We also urge to our respective government to follow the low carbon development path

5. Provide adequate and long term financial support as a grant to the poor, most vulnerable and marginalized community for the climate change adaptation (NAPA implementation) and mitigation at the national and local level. Any funds related to climate change to be channeled via globally agreed framework within the UN process. We are strongly against any financial assistance as a loan (climate loan) and the finance should be free of climate corruption and should follow the principles of good governance i.e. authority, responsibility, accountability and transparency

6. Respect our right to move towards prosperous future and support the low carbon development path through the development and transfer of clean technologies, research, conservation, promotion and sharing of traditional indigenous knowledge, belief and values

7. Increase significantly investment in promoting green technologies and economic sectors like alternative energy resources, waste management, electric transport system, development of green parks and recreational sites in urban areas

8. Develop flexible, transparent and accountable mechanisms and common strategy and platform with multi stakeholder approach which should address all the dimensions of sustainable development i.e. social, environment and economic.
9. Agree to develop standards for all environment goods and services and setup certification mechanisms when they go the market

10. Agree to establish simple but efficient environmental governance from central to local level in all member countries and in development arena to ensure environmental issues are better coordinated, and more reflective and responsive to public interest

11. Develop compensatory mechanisms for upstream resource managers and as well people living in the rural areas for their contribution in environmental conservation and have benefit sharing mechanisms in place

12. Promote research, scientific study and information sharing within the region and globally to understand the problem more clearly and develop sustainable solution

13. Enhance the role and capacity of youth to contribute for the sustainable development by including them in the decision making process nationally and globally

14. Finally, we urge to the youths around the glove to develop environmental voluntarism within themselves and take lead to ensure sustainable future

Asia-Pacific Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues, 8-12 August 2011, which was attended by  43 youth from 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region representing diverse geography, rich cultural background and variety of issues, concluded with the launch of two important documents prepared in the context of ongoing debates on ‘Climate Change Adaption’ and ‘Rio +20’ preparation. The ‘Asia Pacific Youth Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development’ and the ‘Asia Pacific Youth Position paper on Rio +20’ both were launched on 12 August in a special function organised to mark the International Youth Day (IYD), conclusion of the International Year of Youth (IYY 2010/2011) and ‘key message communication’ session of the Youth Forum.

Organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) through its Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN), the event was technically supported by more than a dozen global and Asia Pacific regional initiatives promoting climate and sustainability actions including  Rio+Twenties, Road to Rio +20, UN CSD Youth Caucus, 350.0rg, Activating Talent in Sustainability (ACTIS), Adaptation Knowledge Platform (AKP), Asia and the Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), Eco-Singapore, Peace Child International, Schumacher College UK, Systainability Asia and UNEP TUNZA.

For more information, write to Initiative Leader and Event Manager Mr. Tek Jung Mahat at

No comments: