Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum
The Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum is aimed at ensuring youth voices from the region are present, heard and considered in the adaptation agenda, including in the review of the Global Goal on Adaptation.
The Pacific islands are amongst the most vulnerable nations in the world to the impacts of climate change. IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) shows that risk related to sea-level rise is expected to rise significantly by the end of the century along all low-lying coasts in the absence of major additional adaptation efforts.1 Annual flood damages are expected to increase by 2-3 orders of magnitude by 2100 if adaptation measures are not taken.2 This is especially of importance to the Pacific, where nearly all human settlement is on the coast. Adaptation efforts are crucial to avert the worst impacts and protect populations.
The Paris Agreement established the Global Goal on Adaptation, the first collective commitment to enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. In 2023, the Conference of the Parties will review global progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation through the Global Stocktake. The outcomes of this review will inform the updating and enhancing of states’ adaptation actions and support. At COP26 in Glasgow, states reaffirmed that adaptation action should follow a participatory approach. It is imperative that young people’s input is considered in the review of the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Pacific youth have showed resilience in the face of climate change, and are pursuing many initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, and to promote resilience. Young people are engaging in advocacy efforts and calling on leaders to strengthen policies, such as the appeal as part of UNICEF’s ‘Guardian’s of the Planet’ Report, and young leaders are engaging in multilateral forums to drive global climate ambition. Engaging young people in the Pacific is crucial to reducing vulnerabilities and promoting climate resilience. The World Health Organization puts it starkly: “The very survival of future generations in the Pacific depends on actions we take now.”
The Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum aims to:
- Identify youth priorities and recommendations regarding the achievement and implementation of the Global Goal on Adaptation
- Elevate youth voices across the globe through GCA’s platform allowing young people, especially those from marginalized and vulnerable communities, to shape the international adaptation agenda
- Showcase youth-led climate-resilient solutions to accelerate adaptation action
The Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum will contribute to the review of the Global Goal on Adaptation and bring together young people, youth organizations, students networks, policy makers, global experts, international organizations, the private sector and United Nations agencies, with the overall objective of elevating youth voices and increasing the power of influence of young people worldwide in the adaptation agenda.
The GCA Pacific Youth Adaptation Forum will consist of the following segments.
- Intergenerational Dialogue on Reflecting Youth Recommendations in the Global Goal on Adaptation between young leaders and decision-makers.
- Showcasing Youth-Led Adaptation Solutions where young changemakers present their entrepreneurship, identify their needs for sustaining and scaling impact, and share lessons learned.
- Designing a climate-resilient Pacific post 2030 is an interactive exercise where participants will be invited to imagine what a climate-resilient Pacific will look like post 2030 and identify five actions that can enable the transformational change at the regional level, and share the priorities for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
- Marketplace where UN agencies, private sector and international organizations present opportunities for young people.
To ensure youth voices are increasingly present, heard and considered in the adaptation agenda, including in the review of the Global Goal on Adaptation, GCA and its Youth Advisory Panel are organizing six virtual Regional Youth Adaptation Forums and a Global Youth Adaptation Summit. Recommendations by young people will be presented to decision-makers at global forums including the Friends of GCA High-Level Dialogue meeting and at the African COP27 in Egypt through partnerships with youth climate networks at the regional and international level. In addition, GCA and its Youth Advisory Panel will launch a publication at Pre-COP27 showcasing youth-led adaptation case studies and the key messages and recommendations collected during the Regional Youth Adaptation Forums regarding the achievement of the Global Goal on Adaptation.