“Together, we can harness the power, knowledge, and innovation of our youth, while also recognizing the responsibility of the older generation in addressing climate change. It is crucial that political leaders work hand in hand with youth, civil society, and the private sector to design an economic model that is sustainable and climate proof. This is the only way to preserve the beauty and the potential of Lebanon for future generations” stated Ms. Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative.
“Lebanon's challenges are great, but so is its potential, which is why the ministry has made youth inclusion in the delegation a priority in the past two years. For COP28, 34% is youth, including two young technical negotiators that will have a seat at the table and negotiate on behalf of Lebanon. By ensuring the participation of youth in the delegation, we tap into a wellspring of enthusiasm that can drive the transformative changes we need and ensure that the priorities of young Lebanese advocates are reflected on the international climate stage” stated the Minister of Environment H.E. Nasser Yassin regarding the importance of youth involvement at the policy level.
Ms. Ryme Assaad was selected together with other young leaders from all over the world for the first phase of the program, whose goal was “training the trainers”. The event hosted at the Embassy inaugurates the second phase, where peer trainers can now disseminate the knowledge acquired with the I.ACT toolkit to other young leaders, promoting the empowerment of young generations, the real actors of change. The results of the workshop will be presented during the upcoming Youth4Climate flagship event that UNDP is organizing in Rome this coming October. The Youth4Climate initiative, which Italy launched in 2021 ahead of the COP26, is now a well-structured mechanism coordinated by UNDP, which provides young leaders with a formal opportunity to present concrete solutions to political leaders involved in climate negotiations.
For the past 15 years, UNDP has been working with the Government of Italy to mitigate the impact of climate change on Lebanon and to mainstream it in development plans and reforms. The collaboration spans over different sectors, such as contributing to the enhancement and improvement of nature reserves in Lebanon; improvement of solid waste management in Baalbeck and the operationalization of the Zahle Wastewater facility.