I'd like to share these three upcoming initiatives that youth who want to have their voices heard can participate in.
1. UNEP Tunza International Children and Youth Conference on the Environment
UNEP is sponsoring the biggest ever children and youth gathering on climate change in South Korea in August, to call for real action at the climate change summit in Copenhagen.
Although the "real" participants have already been selected, there seems to be an opportunity for virtual participation at a Global Town Hall on 20 August 2009 that will use state-of-the-art technology to link the gathering to hundreds of other young environmental leaders around the globe to agree on a message to deliver to world leaders.
The Seal the Deal! Global Town Hall will be facilitated by the Washington-based nonprofit Global Voices, which has pioneered the use of technology to convene large-scale deliberations to impact policy making.
For more information, see the UNEP Tunza International Children and Youth Conference on the Environment website.
2. Climate Neutrality with Honours - Climate Neutral Network
Universities are joining the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), an initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to promote global action to de-carbonize our economies and societies.
The first universities on board are the pioneers among hundreds of universities, colleges and other academic institutions worldwide that are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote "greening" of their campuses and invest in low-carbon research and development.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner [quickly becoming a climate hero in my eyes!] said: "The Climate Neutral Network was inspired by a simple idea that a transformation to a low, even zero emission future is a learning process. It is therefore fitting that universities from all over the world should join this global networking platform and help make the best knowledge on climate neutrality available to all."
For information, visit the Climate Neutral Network.
3. YouthXchange E-Bulletin Seeking Contributions
The next e-bulletin of YouthXchange will focus on Youth and Sustainability. Everyone is asked to send their comments, stories and ideas to the YXC team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the YouthXchange website, which they call "a training kit on responsible consumption." It's posing some serious questions and challenges to get people thinking about their consumption patterns.