• Sunday, Feb 05, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

How to ensure youth voices in climate policy

  • Published at 08:07 am November 4th, 2020
Climate Change
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

It is their future that is at stake  

Both youth voices and actions are vital in the process of advocating for adaptation when tackling the impacts of climate change. As a society, we need to look past the mass individualism and come together as a community, as one person may possess skills that another does not. 

Greta Thunberg’s lone initiative, for example, has set in motion a set of events that have cascaded, one of which is the climate movement known as Fridays for Future. Before we address youth in policy and climate change adaptation, we need to first assess the barriers that the youth face in policy dialogues and policy-based adaptation and how they can be addressed. 

If we are to quantify the barriers that youth face in trying to take part in policy dialogues, they can be summed up in four points.


Proper education for youth is necessary, as young people may have the drive/passion for participating in policy dialogues, but they lack the prior knowledge required to take part in it. Resulting in their energy being misguided in many scenarios.

Institutional barriers

Even though many youth have access to education they may not have the support from a proper institution. Albeit trying to take part in stakeholder meetings may gain them some foothold, the access they have may be due to an ulterior agenda. The youth are accepted into the discussion panel to meet certain criteria or quota, which may give them some form of access to a relevant platform but does not fully allow them to take part in active policy designs.

Lack of credibility

The youth lack the credibility to have their voices heard. If we are to address the previous two points, we need to allow the space where youth can undergo capacity development to form the necessary credentials and effectively engage. 

Lack of finance

Financing has always been a struggle, even if youth may have the institutional backing to engage. Most of the financing or money is controlled by the governmental agencies or donor organizations, which requires the youth to jump through a lot of hoops to gain access to. 

It is of high importance that donor organisations and governmental agencies start taking the concerns of youth when drafting policies, otherwise there is bound to be a gradual decrease in youth engagement when it comes to community development. 

Given the current landscape, decisions are taken by the older cohort, although the implementation and groundwork are looked after by mostly those from younger generations. Steps need to be taken to allow young people to take initiatives in social ownership and social leadership. 

We need to start pushing youth into community-based participation and community-based policy dialogues and allow for better youth engagement. After all it is the younger generations moving forward who will have to deal with the impacts of climate change and those whose futures are dependent on the decisions made today.

Shohail Bin Saifullah is working in the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) as a Project Associate, his research interest lies in understanding the internal migration of Bangladesh.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail