Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Road to Rio+20: Mobilising Asia Pacific youth for promoting sustainable mountain development

As the world community takes further steps towards the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly known as Rio+20, awareness is increasing about the role that youth can play in ensuring sustainable development and eradicating poverty through promotion of green economy and low carbon economic activities. In 1992, Agenda 21 identified nine major groups through which all citizens could participate in UN sustainable development activities. As one of these groups, youth around the globe – however diverse in socio-economic, political, and environmental situations – are preparing for this important event.

To help mainstream this important group in the Rio+20 processes in the sustainable mountain development context, ICIMOD, through the Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN), has organised a series of activities since early 2011. The ‘South and Central Asia Regional Virtual Consultation on Youth Perspectives on Rio +20’ attracted 550 participants from 38 countries worldwide. Outcomes of this consultation were presented and discussed during the World Leadership Conference 2011 in Singapore and the ‘Asia Pacifi c Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues’ organised at ICIMOD headquarters in August 2011. The Youth Forum, attended by 43 young people from 17 Asia Pacifi c countries, adopted the ‘Asia Pacifi c Youth Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development’ and the ‘Asia Pacifi c Youth Position Paper on Rio+20’, which are now being used by the Major Group on Children and Youth for Rio+20 debate and have been submitted to Rio+20 Secretariat. These documents were also shared at the ‘Regional Sharing Workshop on Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities in the Asia Pacifi c region for Rio +20’ (ICIMOD, 23-25 August 2011), the ‘International Conference on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development: Opportunities and Challenges in View of Rio+20’ (ICIMOD, 5-7 September 2011) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) TUNZA Conference 2011 (Indonesia, 26 September to 1 October 2011).

ICIMOD plans to continue similar youth oriented activities to advocate the mountain agenda and mainstream youth in the sustainability debate.

- Tek Jung Mahat,

Mahat, T. J. (2011), Road to Rio+20: Mobilising Asia Pacific youth for promoting sustainable mountain development, in the Earth Observation and Climate Change – ICIMOD Newsletter Sustainable Mountain Development, No. 60 autumn 2011. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal. Available online at:

No comments: