Posted on December 01, 2012

The Conference of Youth (COY) 8, held at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Student Center, concluded after three days of activities that brought together 400 youth from all over the world.

COY8 provided youth aged 15-28, with the opportunity to meet, network and to discuss the pressing environmental issues facing their generation. They were also charged with developing an action plan to be presented at the Conference of the Parties COP18 to the United Nations Framework Convent on Climate Change (UNFCC).

“This conference managed to gather youth from all over the world into the heart of the Gulf to make a difference for a better world. It was life changing to not only be a part of it but to also help in organizing it,” said Rahma D. Abu Swai, COY8 local team coordinator. “We are beyond thankful to HBKU for providing us with the space needed, and all the resources to make this event successful, productive and effective.”

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Youth participated in more than 25 workshops and breakout sessions that ranged from a writing workshop, to panel discussions and UNFCC information sessions. COY8 encouraged youth to establish grassroots organizations, reach out to their communities through social media and be the change they want to see happen. It also served as a capacity building effort for the Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM), a youth climate coalition effort recently formed with over 500 members.

“Because of climate change, we all overcame our diversities and united our efforts for a single cause,” said Zainab Al Mahdi“COY brought together youth representing over 150 organizations to learn and share skills on how they can continue to be influential in the climate change movement,” said Christopher Silva, HBKU representative and COY organizer. “Participants were engaged, motivated and inspired; COY is a successful example of what we can achieve when we collaborate together.”

COY was established by the Global Youth Movement on Climate Change; a group of young people energetically leading the drive to finding solutions for the climate change crisis facing the worldwide community. The conference is held annually and aims to galvanize youth in the areas of climate change policy, capacity-building and knowledge.