GCA CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel 2024 announced

Twelve young leaders from around the world have today been announced as the new members of the Youth Advisory Panel to the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA). 

F ollowing an open call for applications at the end of 2023, twelve young people were selected from over 700 applicants from 108 countries based on their experiences in national and local adaptation action, as well as their engagement in decision-making processes. The successful young leaders will serve on the panel for a year and advise the CEO of GCA, Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, on how to take forward the climate adaptation agenda. 

Last year was officially the hottest year on record. This reinforces the importance of preparing communities for the impacts of climate change. Following the agreement of the framework of the Global Goal on Adaptation at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, climate adaptation is expected to continue to rise up the economic and political agenda of leaders and policymakers worldwide. 

This year’s panel comprises young leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and North Africa, and Oceania and Small Island Developing States, reflecting a geographically and gender balanced representation of the youth adaptation movement. Their role will be to provide the CEO of GCA with strategic advice on youth engagement, support advocacy efforts to advance global climate adaptation efforts, and raise awareness amongst young people to drive the adaptation agenda. 

Harnessing the transformative potential of young people 

The first panel to Prof. Verkooijen was announced at COP26 in Glasgow, with the aim of providing strategic advice to him regarding youth engagement to drive the adaptation agenda. At the same climate summit, international leaders agreed to double adaptation financing to developing countries by 2025. 

Successive advisory panels in 2022 and 2023 collaborated with colleagues at GCA to mobilize over 13,500 young people around the world through 12 regional Youth Adaptation Forums as part GCA’s flagship youth consultation process. The outcome of this consultation process was the #Youth4Adaptation Communiqué, presented by the CEO of GCA and his 2023 Youth Advisory Panel at COP28 in Dubai. The communiqué presents the views of the global youth adaptation movement on the adaptation agenda and helped inform the discussions on youth engagement as part of the Global Stocktake and Global Goal on Adaptation. 

Meet the GCA CEO’s Youth Advisory Panel 2024:  

Ivy Wambui Muchoki (29) – Kenya

Ivy is a dedicated advocate for youth in agribusiness. She has actively engaged in various pan-African platforms, including the Pan African Youth Forum, Nasser Fellowship, and Women in Africa. Ivy is also a Global Youth Ambassador at the National Youth Council. Ivy holds a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Nairobi, and has developed community-based conservation programs in Kenya, focusing on endangered species protection.  

Kolade Victor Otokiti (32) – Nigeria

Kolade is an urban planner, geospatial analyst, and sustainability researcher dedicated to creating liveable and resilient communities. With over 7 years of experience applying GIS, data analysis, and planning principles to tackle pressing environmental challenges, he has contributed to numerous research and practical projects in Nigeria and beyond. Kolade has spearheaded awareness campaigns, led stakeholder workshops, mentored youth in geospatial skills and co-founded several youth-focused environmental initiatives, demonstrating his commitment to empowering people to create change.  

Rabeb Aloui (34) – Tunisia

Rabeb is an environmental youth advocate, journalist, and radio presenter, committed to fostering climate adaptation strategies within her community. In Tunisia, she has organized several workshops, awareness campaigns, and community engagement events to empower fellow youth and promote environmentally conscious behaviours. Rabeb is a youth advocate which represented Tunisian youth as a delegate in the 26th, 27th, and 28th COP. As a youth delegate, she advocates for inclusive and innovative approaches to climate adaptation, bringing the perspective of the youth to the forefront of discussions.  

Ahmed Fathy (34) – Egypt

Ahmed is a climate activist and Founder and CEO of the Youth Love Egypt Foundation (YLE). Under his leadership, YLE has achieved global prominence in climate action securing accreditations from prestigious organizations. Actively participating in COP25-28 and holding multiple senior positions, he contributes as a speaker and advocate in various international forums. As a distinguished graduate of the Max Tabasco Fellowship, Ahmed contributes as a speaker and advocate at various climate summits, UN General Assemblies, and conferences. Currently, Ahmed plays a crucial role in climate conference preparations, serving as the platform Coordinator of PAJCA and the official focal point for World Cleanup Day in Egypt.  

Nikka Gerona (23) – Philippines

Nikka, from the Philippines, deeply connects with the global climate movement as a super typhoon survivor in 2013. Nikka has collaborated with the Climate Action Programme of UNDP, contributing to the development of valuable resources for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in the Philippines. Within UNICEF EAPRO’s Young People’s Action Team, she has previously contributed to regional and global advocacy, serving as the Co-Chair. Nikka is also a member of the Thematic Working Group on Environmental and Climate Action within the UN Asia Pacific Interagency Network on Youth, enhancing coordination for youth environmental and climate action in the Asia Pacific.  

Sofia Barbeiro (29) – Portugal

Sofia is a project manager at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Holding a strong passion for the intersection of SDG5 – Gender Equality with SDG13 – Climate Action and SDG14 – Life Below Water, Sofia built knowledge on the nexus between women empowerment, climate action and ocean protection. Last year, she was appointed as the Portuguese Youth Delegate for the Council of Europe, and was selected for the 2022 IMF Youth Fellowship Program. In 2021, she was selected as the Portuguese Ambassador of the Global Youth Climate Network, and invited to represent Portugal at the PreCOP26 Youth4Climate event.  

Salim Stokey (24) – The Netherlands/Ghana

Salim is a Dutch-Ghanaian advocate with a strong commitment to youth-led adaptation action. Salim has actively engaged in the UN human rights youth consultation and participated in co-writing political parties’ election programs. Salim’s previous academic background includes experience in Crisis & Security Management and Political Science. Salim is passionate about youth engagement, and is determined to advance the adaptation agenda through his innovative ideas.  

Adolfo Urquizo (30) – Bolivia

Adolfo is an independent architect with a specialization in Project Management. Adolfo has received recognition at the Bolivian Architecture Biennial and carries an interest in future alternatives for urban management and development. He has been involved with student-focused non-governmental organizations since 2014, such as the Foundation for Economic Education, CLEA, and Students for Liberty. His previous academic experience involved training courses at M.I.T. and is currently a fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Master Degree student at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, in Spain.  

Ashley Lashley (24) – Barbados

Ashley, a 24-year-old Barbadian CARICOM Youth Ambassador and UNICEF youth advocate, is a prominent figure in social and environmental development. Focused on health, climate change, and women’s and children’s rights, she initiated The Schools Against Non-Communicable Diseases at the age of 16. Lashley, committed to social re-engineering, established The Ashley Lashley Foundation, aiming to raise awareness of global issues in Small Island Developing States. In 2020, she founded the HEY Campaign, addressing climate change and health globally, and the HEY Global Climate Fund to support youth-led climate projects.  

Anusha Seechurn (34) – Mauritius

Anusha is a professional with eight years of experience in the field of climate change and sustainability. She holds a master’s degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Mauritius and a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a specialization in Land and Water Management. She is an active national, regional and global youth leader and volunteer in the climate and sustainability spaces with a core focus on climate adaptation, education and policy-making, and has contributed to the NAP and NDCs of Mauritius. She was previously Coordinator of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) chapter, former contact point for the NDCs Working Group of YOUNGO, and was selected for the International Youth Climate Development Programme by the COP 28 Presidency.  

Julia Tubang (24) – Fiji/Papua New Guinea

Julia is a final year linguist student at the University of Papua New Guinea. She was born and raised in PNG, hence she’s always marvelled at the way her people despite not having specific scientific knowledge on climate science. Julia participates in several youth-led spaces and has a solid experience in civil-society volunteerism. She is a firm believer of indigenous culture and sustainable systems which believes that that is what Oceania can offer to the discussions of climate change and action.  

Joyee Chakma (27) – Bangladesh

Joyee is dedicated to creating solutions to address the impact of climate issues. She serves as a Youth Representative as the International Center for Climate Change and Development where she amplifies voices of young people on a global, national, regional and local scale. She has an academic background in Chemical Engineering, with a major in Environment and she is now pursuing her Master’s in Environment Science and Management. Joyee’s research revolves around sustainability and the intersection of culture, environment and social justice.

For more information about GCA’s Youth Advisory Panel, contact GCA’s Thematic Lead for Youth Leadership & Education, Ms. Adriana Valenzuela, at youth@gca.org

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