From left, Tatenda Mutasa UNFCCC ACE Focal Point ( Climate Change Department, Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife) , Cinderella Ndlovu (Green Hut Trust), Honourable Minister Of Environment, Climate and Wildlife Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu, Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache (AYICC Zim), Lisa Chitura ( Environmental Rights Advocacy Trust), Tashinga Chikomba (AYICC Zim) and Jean-Beatrand Takudzwa Mhandu (AYICC Zim)
The launch of “Zimbabwean Youth Voices in Climate Action,” a survey report facilitated by Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache, Programs Manager for African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Zimbabwe (AYICC Zimbabwe), Eric Morgen Moyo of Community Climate Action Trust, Cinderella Ndlovu from Green Hut Trust, and Lisa Chitura from Environmental Rights Advocacy Trust, was successfully launched at COP 28 in Dubai, UAE 2023. This youth-led initiative, created by and for the youth, aims to comprehensively understand the needs, perspectives, gaps, and challenges faced by young people in the context of climate change. The recommendations presented in this publication are valuable for any stakeholders looking to involve young people in climate change programs in Zimbabwe.
The survey results underscore a significant reality: children and youth are currently experiencing the tangible impacts of climate change, highlighting the need for swift action in adaptation, mitigation, and resilience-building measures. Notably, young respondents emphasized the interconnectedness of climate change with pressing issues such as water shortages, poverty, hunger, drought, and unemployment. These factors contribute to their vulnerability as victims of environmental shifts. Despite facing high susceptibility to climate change impacts, children and youth assert themselves as pivotal actors at the forefront of climate action.
However, the survey reveals a prevailing challenge: the concerted efforts of young people in climate action are hindered by a lack of substantial support. This deficit encompasses crucial areas such as climate financing, capacity building, skills development, green jobs, innovation, climate education, and assistance in project implementation. Young individuals are keenly aware of their potential to drive change but express frustration at the obstacles hindering their impact.
In response to these challenges, there is a resounding call from the youth for a more inclusive approach to climate finance, enhanced capacity development, increased opportunities for green jobs, and support for local initiatives. This collective demand stems from a desire to foster indigenous climate solutions and mitigate the progressively severe adverse effects of climate change. The publication emphasizes the urgency of acknowledging and addressing the needs and aspirations of children and youth, recognizing them not just as victims but as essential catalysts for effective climate action.