Friday, 13 April 2012

Green Economy Stakeholders Workshop

The Kenya Youth Network for Rio+20 and Beyond in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister and Transparency International Kenya, has organized a Green Economy Stakeholders Workshop on 17th and 18th April 2012 in Utalii Hotel.

The workshop whose theme is "Advocating for Green Economy Towards Rio+20" will bring together youth activists from every county, governments officials and representatives from civil society, NGOs, development partners and the media.

The involvement of all stakeholders is critical for the success of Rio+20. Kenya has been actively involved in the Rio+20 preparatory process, noting the Kenya Position on the Rio+20 Summit by the Government and the Nairobi Declaration by young people.

The workshop offers a perfect opportunity to discuss and identify Kenya’s priorities outcome expectations for the Rio+20 Summit as well as the sustainable development challenges affecting the country in our efforts of transition to Green Economy. Further, it will identify Green Economy needs and seek ways to support the efforts been made as well as to share knowledge and learn how to participate by facilitating the transition and addressing these needs as well as advocating participation and support of youth people in this endeavor.

Workshop Objectives:
1. To provide an effective platform for youth participation in sustainable development process of the Rio + 20 that is the key for its success – and this can only be achieved by embedding it in the hearts and minds of young development activists throughout Kenya.
2. To mobilise and create awareness for young people to take ACTION for long term sustainable development activities.
3. To develop a joint recommendations and implementation plan together with government and other stakeholders on sustainable development initiatives.
4. To develop and spearhead transparency, accountability and integrity in transformative leadership towards sustainable development.

Workshop Expected Outcome:
1. Development of a long term recommendations and actions for achieving a Green Economy in the country.
2. Promote the creation of a joint partnership agreement with government and other stakeholders for actions taken to achieve sustainable development.
3. Commitment to supporting and participation of young people in all efforts made to achieving sustainable development in the country.

Rio+20 Summit is an opportunity we cannot afford to fail in improving the well-being and social equity of people while reducing environmental risks. Young people should be at the centre of what we do in order to move more rapidly and more effectively towards eliminating poverty and achieving the results agreed on in the MDGs.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Road to Rio: Youth Perspective on Green Economy

Between 18th and 22nd Feb. 2012, the Network had representatives during the UNEP Governing Council meeting. Our team made together with other youth made the following proposals with regards to transition to Green Economy 

On behalf of Children and Youth, we would like to express the hope which the Rio+20 and the Green Economy brings, as well as the apprehensions. We see a tremendous opportunity here.  Young people are a pool of creativity; and what the transition to a Green Economy needs is creativity. Youth should no longer be viewed as a vulnerable group, but as an asset to make Green Economy happen.

Safeguards against misinterpretation, inaction and green washing: We therefore call upon the member states and UN representatives present to open a series of dialogues, to reach consensus on what Green Economy is, with a concrete set of criteria, timescale, principles, quotas, and accountability features, and we also believe that children and youth should be part of these discussions.

We would also call upon individual governments to initiate capacity building, with a particular focus on scientific capacity building , as well as providing youth with the funds and strategic support necessary to make green economy a reality. To this end, we believe that a commitment to introducing Education for Sustainable development in the national curriculum should be the first step.

Supporting youth through start-up loans, providing frameworks for green youth entrepreneurship and education, and subsidising technology-transfer and information consolidation will be the best investment that individual member states can make in a green economy. 

We would like to point out that the developing world and the developed world will experience the green economy on two tiers. It is therefore important to provide the best conditions for equality of outcome.

Agriculture, in developing countries, is one sector which youth have perceived as critical, and we believe that it should be rebranded, modernized and boosted into a hub for attractive green jobs for youth. Youth also call upon the UN systems and individual member states to bridge the gap with the financial sector and the international financial structures to prevent a dichotomy which could exacerbate inequality.

We are confident that the Green Economy can be a resounding success. However, we are cautious in our optimism, as it is the political will of the member states present which will make the difference, and we invite you to reflect that it is the youth of today which will inherit the legacy of the decisions taken today, and as such urge you to  take positive steps to depart from stagnant paradigms, and substantiate the optimism surrounding Green Economy with concrete principles, goals, and a timescale.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Road to Rio: Youth View on Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

Between 18 and 22 Feb. 2012, the Kenya Youth Network towards Rio +20 and Beyond took part in the UNEP Governing Councul and the Global Major Groups Stakelholdesr Forum.
As youth, we came up with proposals to for the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development
These are the outcome:

From a youth point of view, the answer to the questions asked today is very straightforward. Upgrading UNEP is a prerequisite for a successful conference in Rio. Failing to do so would make it simply impossible for us to call Rio+20 a success.
You have tried in Johannesburg to address the governance issue that you are discussing now without a major institutional reform, and we all know that this approach has not been successful.
The same goes for the establishment of a strong and central institution to address coherence and integration of all three elements of sustainable development. 
These two decisions to improve the existing institutional framework are conditions for a success in Rio. However, they would still fall short in addressing the root cause of the crises that we are facing. Our current decision-making processes only allows a limited amount of perspectives to be taken into consideration. It focuses on short-term incentives. 
With the youth involved in this process, I strongly believe that the Rio+20 needs to conclude on the establishment at the UN-level of an ombudsperson for future generations, and a commitment for similar initiatives at the national level. Those are 2 of the solutions that would ensure that we stop considering our short term interest but think about the long term impacts and benefits of our decisions
Rio+20 needs to also set the stage for more inclusive governance, from the local to the global level. The conference gives us a unique opportunity to adopt a global convention and regional agreements on Rio principle 10 to provide opportunities for stakeholders to shareexpertise and solutions
Rio+20 offers a unique window of opportunity for the adoption of the effective solutions needed for our planet and our people. We need to make use of this opportunity to not only change where decisions are made but also, and most importantly, how they are reached.