W ith the UAE hosting COP28 in 2023, we are committed to ensuring meaningful participation and inclusion of youth into decision-making processes,” said H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change & Environment of the United Arab Emirates at the MENA Youth Adaptation Forum.

The MENA Youth Adaptation Forum 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 Middle East North Africa (MENA) region has a rapidly growing youth population, expected to double in size by mid-century with approximately 271 million youth living in the region. Several countries are expected to experience population growth of nearly 50% by 2030, with Egypt experiencing the largest increase in absolute numbers. Despite the potential of a large youth population, civic engagement is the lowest in the world, owing to violence, social norms, and other factors (UNICEF, 2019). As a region set to experience devastating climatic impacts that can exacerbate existing tensions, it is crucial to engage young people for a climate-resilient world and create green jobs in the process.

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