POST COP27 Youth Debrief


Following the Pre-COP Youth Forum held on the 28th of October 2022, SLYCAN Trust hosted a Post-COP Youth Debrief on the 2nd of December 2022 to share with youth updates received through engagements and partnerships formed at the 17th Conference of Youth (COY17) and the 27th meeting Conference of Parties (COP27) for scaling up youth engagement in climate action in Sri Lanka. The objective of this event was to share the outcomes from COP27, share the experiences of the youth participants and convey the youth priorities for the year 2023.

The 17th Conference of Youth and the 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 2nd- 20th of November 2022. During these events, the SLYCAN Trust Youth team had the opportunity to engage with many stakeholders, including youth working on climate change, policymakers, and experts on different thematic areas related to climate change. 

They also had the opportunity to observe the negotiation processes, take part and speak at several side events while sharing good practices and lessons learned from youth engagement in climate policy and action in Sri Lanka. The SLYCAN Trust Youth Team made it a priority to share inputs and ideas they received from our youth participants during our Pre-COP Youth Forum.

Commencing the Post-COP Youth Debrief, our Director of Research and Knowledge Management, Mr. Dennis Mombauer, highlighted the objective behind SLYCAN Trust Youth and the importance of youth engagement in climate action. “SLYCAN Trust Youth focuses on youth empowerment in climate action to build long-term resilience through capacity building and innovation. We have initiated several youth-led actions, including the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change 2022-2023, climate-induced loss and damage and youth-led resilience-building, youth, and entrepreneurship: the EthicalX Program and the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), policies and UNFCCC process.”

Youth play an important role in climate action, and it is crucial to identify the priorities of youth and how they can better engage in climate action. SLYCAN Trust engages with youth in Sri Lanka and other parts of the world to ensure meaningful participation in climate discussions and actions through its youth programmes. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Kavindu Ediriweera, Director Youth Programmes, SLYCAN Trust, highlighted the key outcomes of COY17 and COP27 and the work carried out by SLYCAN Trust at COP27. 

“At COP27, the SLYCAN Trust team hosted, co-hosted, and spoke at close to 25 side events, in some of which our youth participants had the opportunity to contribute as speakers. These side events were organized under different thematic areas such as resilience and risk management, Action for Climate Empowerment, Global Youth Forum on Climate Change, entrepreneurship and innovation under EthicalX, just transition, law and governance, climate- induced loss and damage and migration and food systems.” 

Youth are an important stakeholder group in national and international decision making and allowing them the opportunity to gain experience at national and international level is important. Discussing the key outcomes of Action for Climate Empowerment negotiations, Mr. Ediriweera further said most countries had given the opportunity to youth to participate in ACE decision-making. 

During the event, our youth representatives, Ms. Sajani Ranasinghe, Mr. Ashan Karunananda and Mr. Mayantha Madurasinghe, shared their experiences from COY17 and COP27 and spoke on the value of gaining exposure to international processes where they had the opportunity to observe negotiations.

Ms. Sajani Ranasinghe highlighted the diversity of knowledge, experience and lessons learned that were shared between youth participants at COY17 and COP27. “I had the privilege of being introduced to different perspectives and solutions to issues related to climate change. Engaging with youth from across the world introduced us to lessons learned which I believe benefits the work we do in Sri Lanka.”

Speaking about his experience, Mr. Mayantha Madurusinghe said, “In discussions surrounding climate action, youth bring forth new knowledge and experiences as well as enthusiasm, commitment, and energy necessary to drive towards actions. To me, this experience was very positive and eye-opening.”

Mr. Ashan Karunananda sharing his experience said “COY17 and COP27 provides a good platform to identify opportunities for youth engagement in conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems.” 

Following the sharing of experiences, Ms.Thilini Gunathilake, a member of the SLYCAN Trust youth team, presented the key findings of the Pre-COP Youth Forum, following which the participants engaged through break-out group discussions to identify key actions needed for scaling up youth engagement in climate action in Sri Lanka; skills and capacities required for enhanced youth contribution to climate action at local and national levels. 

Moving forward, SLYCAN Trust aims to engage with youth interested in taking initiatives for on-the-ground work, research, and communications. In addition, SLYCAN Trust is focused on ensuring youth participation and engagement in climate action through our youth programmes. In this regard, in the coming months, the Global Youth Forum on Climate Change aims to provide young climate activists and champions to discuss and speak on issues related to climate change and to suggest solutions to provide a way forward in climate action. This will also allow them to build their capacities and network with like-minded youth.