Youth are the primary stakeholders of the medium-term (5 to 50-year) future, the period when climate change will have its greatest impact.
In contrast, today’s adults are the main stakeholders of now, a time when climate change is not severe. When climate change becomes severe, today’s adults will retire, and have little reason to care. They will not need to cope with significant climate change.
But Youth are marginalized from current decisions to cope with the future impacts of climate change.
In the 1970s, development practitioners like Robert Chambers learned the importance of including main stakeholders in planning and decision-making regardless of their social, political or economic status. These ideas became known as ‘participatory approaches’ – PRA, PLA, PME etc. The same participatory approaches of including the main stakeholders – Youth – in climate change plans and decisions, must now be applied.
Youth are the best Change Agents, because they are motivated by strong ideals, they are willing to take risks, they have a lot of energy, they are trend-setters for others, and they are highly communicative. But they lack power, technical knowledge, and material resources.
AYIP is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation under the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN). It is implemented by CtC and the Vietnam Youth Union in Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Da Nang and Can Tho cities. It enables Urban Youth aged 16 to 25 to implement their own climate change adaptation initiatives. Twelve Youth Groups are supported to implement initiatives of value between USD 500 and USD 5,000. Their initiatives include support to a vulnerable neighbourhood or community, to analyse their vulnerabilities and elaborate solutions; research into existing ways people are adapting to climate change; support to enhance existing community-based adaptation; support to new adaptation/resilience initiatives; adding value to existing government or ACCCRN initiatives; documentation of a climate change issue in the city; and start-up of a longer term cooperation, network or service for urban climate change resilience.
AYIP also encourages active collaboration between government agencies and Youth Groups in the three cities. This enables Youth to learn about climate change initiatives, and enables government agencies to see climate change from a new angle.
Youth Unions makes video-documentation of their climate change initiatives. AYIP provides each city Youth Union with a video camera, and provides digital film editing training. In this way Youth communicate their ideas and values, and we see climate change resilience through their eyes.