Thursday, January 3, 2013

National Youth Forum on Green Solutions in Pakistan at NUST Islamabad from 5-6 November 2012

The National Youth Forum on Green Solutions in Pakistan was at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, Pakistan from 5–6 November 2012. Under ICIMOD’s Youth for Sustainable Mountain Development (Y4SMD) initiative, the  event was organized by the  Asia Pacific Youth Task Force on Rio +20 (APYTF) with support from the Peace & Development Organization (PDO) and a network of ICIMOD trained youth forum alumni in Pakistan. The event saw participation of some 40 youth from all provinces of Pakistan, who were selected through a rigorous application process while maintaining a balance with respect to geography, gender and age.

The two day forum provided a local forum for Pakistani youth for interaction and networking while helping them identify locale specific green economy initiatives. The forum oversaw keynote addresses by notable scientists, plenary discussions, group exercises and field visits to sites with a focus on sustainability and green solutions suitable for mountain communities.

Dr Abdul Wahid Jasra, Country Representative for Pakistan provided inputs on how youth can benefit from the various endeavors currently underway at ICIMOD and in Pakistan in particular. Dr Jawad Ali Khan, DG. Environment & Climate Change, provided the keynote address and the Minister for State- Ministry of Education & Training, Mr Sardar Shahjehan Yousaf graced the closing ceremony of the event Other notable resource persons included Mr Pirzada Moshibber, Director, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Mr Ashiq Ahmad khan, Technical Advisor ICIMOD Pakistan and Dr. Wajid Pirzada, CEO Agricol Pakistan among others. Furthermore Mr Tek Jung Mahat of ICIMOD led various sessions at the forum providing an overview of youth activities currently being undertaken at ICIMOD and future opportunities for youth from the region. Mr Utsav Maden shared an overview of social media tools that are being used for advocacy, information sharing and collaboration.

The National Youth Forum also saw the development of two important outcome documents - the Post 2015 agenda - Poverty Literacy & Environment Sustainability and the Youth Appeal for COP18. These documents, drafted though group work and further refined post forum virtually, also formed the agenda of the Global Youth Forum on Green Solutions organized by the APYTF in Doha as part of the UNFCCC COP 18/CMP8 event in Doha. The Global Youth Appeal for COP18, thus generated was further fine-tuned and shared with policy makers and delegates at COP18.

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