he Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to catalyze action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each and work together for a climate resilient future. GCA’s Youth Leadership Program aims to make young people central to driving the adaptation agenda worldwide.
In September 2021, Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, the Chief Executive Officer of GCA, launched the CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel. Two Panels were convened in 2022 and 2023 with the aim to mobilize young people around the world for adaptation and to provide strategic advice to the CEO of GCA regarding youth engagement to drive the adaptation agenda. The CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel comprises youth experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and Oceania.
The main activities of the CEO’s Youth Advisory Panels have included organizing GCA’s flagship youth consultation process – the regional Youth Adaptation Forums – to build momentum for international convenings for Africa including the Africa Adaptation Summit and the Africa Climate Summit. In 2022, seven regional Youth Adaptation Forums took place around the world from Senegal to Costa Rica, engaging over 2,300 young people and culminating in the Youth Dialogue on Adaptation Action. The outcomes of these global youth consultations on adaptation were presented at COP27 in the report Youth Engagement with the Global Goal on Adaptation. In 2023, five regional Youth Adaptation Forums and five African Youth Consultations on Adaptation engaged over 6,000 young people with adaptation policies and action at the international, regional and national levels.
Following these consultations and directly responding to youth calls for more adaptation information, the CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel developed factsheets for young people on climate adaptation. Based on GCA’s State and Trends in Adaptation in Africa reports, these factsheets make key adaptation information accessible to a wide youth audience. In addition, the Youth Advisory Panel has also contributed to the development of the Toolkit for Youth on Adaptation & Leadership, an online toolkit that equips young people across Africa with the knowledge and tools to take adaptation action.