The Mediterranean Initiative for Climate (MIC) Paves the Way for COP 27
Before the COP 27, 55 passionate young men and women worked together for 3 days, in El-Alamein, Egypt, from August 31, 2022 to September 04, 2022 to find innovative solutions for one of the most important issues that faces the Mediterranean region, which is the climate change
Before the next United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC, COP 27) that will take place in Egypt in November 2022, the Mediterranean Youth Foundation for Development (MYF,) hosted in cooperation with the “Oceans Network” through the Erasmus+ student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA EU,) funded by the “European Commission” with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, brought together 55 youth aged 21-35 from the Euro-Mediterranean countries for a 3-day training covering the topic of climate change, in August 2022 in El- Alamein, Egypt.
How It Worked?
The aim of the initiative was to raise awareness about climate change and building the capabilities of youth in the field of climate change. In addition to the training, awareness raising campaigns and contests that have been organized on the same topic, engaging as many youths as possible with the priority topics of the upcoming COP27 (unemployment, The climate crisis, migration, gender inequality) and building the capacities of young men and women to face these challenges.
In a multicultural atmosphere, the Mediterranean Initiative for Climate was launched, with participation of 55 participants from different Mediterranean countries from Spain, Lebanon, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt which included about 10 workshops and panel discussions with approximately 50 training hours, and addressed a number of main topics of concern to everyone interested in the environment and climate change, namely environmental peace, challenges of the environment in the Mediterranean and mechanisms of mitigation and adaptation.
The workshops also dealt with how to write a policy paper specialized in the environment, and at the end of the program, the participants worked on writing and submitting policy papers, which will be evaluated and reviewed, to be presented to the officials.
How was social media used?
Before the workshops started, the Mediterranean Youth Foundation launched an online awareness campaign to educate the audience about the issue of climate change, the dangers of using plastic, and how they can contribute to reducing the effects of climate change by publishing a set of posters and infographics.
Also, two competitions were launched. The first was a question competition, the winners received a set of prizes, from an opportunity to participate in the workshops to financial prizes and certificates of appreciation, and the second competition was an article competition, where the participants worked on writing articles on the issue of climate change in Arabic and English. A team of professionals assessed them, and the essay competition winners were allowed to participate in the workshops and receive monetary prizes.
We are at a critical moment in human history. We are facing a dangerous issue that needs individuals, communities, local, regional and global organizations and governments to come together to reduce the effects of climate change. In November 2022, world leaders will gather at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, an important event in our journey to tackle climate change. We came out of the Mediterranean Initiative for Climate with a set of recommendations, which are as follows:
- The necessity of activating and accelerating climate policies worldwide and involving youth in a greater way in limiting the effects of climate change.
- Climate action cannot be postponed for the next decade, next year, or tomorrow. We all have to take action now.
- There is an urgent need to view the environment as an essential human right.
- Governments and local, regional, and international organizations need to strengthen the channels of communication between them, and governments should strengthen the channels of participation at the national and international levels in all stages of planning, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring of climate action policies and programs.
In the end, it can be said that this initiative was an excellent opportunity to pave the way for the Climate Summit, as it was necessary to involve a group of young people from all over the world to exchange views, experiences, and cultures, to come up with a set of policies that can be presented to governments to reduce the effects of climate change.
Ahmed Shawkat Ali and Youssef Aroog
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Egypt, Cairo, 15.09.2022