A joint event by the Delegation of the EU to Malaysia and YELL.

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 October 2023 — The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Malaysia and Youth Environment Living Labs (YELL), a joint initiative by UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and UNICEF Malaysia, supported by Amanah Lestari Alam (ALAM),  co-organised a Youth Aspirations Dialogue on October 28 in the spirit of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which is set to take place on November 30 at the United Arab Emirates.

EU-YELL COP28 Youth Aspirations Dialogue Organising Committee Lead and UNICEF Youth Climate Champion, Nurfatin Hamzah presenting the opening remarks. Photo credit: YELL/2023/Anusha

UNICEF Youth Climate Champion, Nurfatin Hamzah said, “Our voices represent a force for urgency, innovation, and accountability in addressing climate issues. Hopefully, this can inspire leaders and decision-makers to take more ambitious action, and let our presence serve as a reminder that the decisions made today will shape the world for generations to come.”

“I think while high-level policies are important, we also need to bring action down to the local level and recognise the integration of traditional knowledge practices and nature based solutions in youth programmes” said a participant from a youth-led environmental organisation.

Deputy Head of Mission of the Delegation of EU to Malaysia, Mr. Timo Goosmann welcoming participants to the COP28 Youth Aspirations Dialogue. Photo credit: YELL/2023/Anusha

“We are excited to see the passion, dedication and knowledge of young people in Malaysia to address climate change. The EU is proud to create this highly specific interface between decision-makers and youth to have an open and constructive discussion.” said Timo Goosmann, Charge d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Malaysia.

The dialogue aimed at outlining Malaysia’s priorities for COP28 from the point of view of the youth, in order to provide concrete and tangible recommendations to the Malaysian delegation to COP28.

Mr. Ahmad Farid from the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) said, “The Ministry applauds the Delegation of the EU to Malaysia and YELL as a joint programme by UNDP and UNICEF, supported by ALAM for creating this opportunity for Malaysian youth to have their voices heard and share their aspirations for COP28.”

Participants from various youth and environmental organisations at the COP28 Youth Aspirations Dialogue. Photo credit: YELL/2023/ShuMin

Some of the aspirations shared include: just transition to renewable energy, establishing local funding mechanisms for youth groups to implement environmental initiatives, addressing the longer-term need for quality education and skills development, increased promotion of sustainable lifestyles, and support for youth climate advocates who engage with decision-makers at various levels to represent their communities.

Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam shares how young people can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo credit: YELL/2023/Anusha

Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam added, “The perspective of young people is invaluable as we work towards a more sustainable future. Their potential as powerful agents of change must be acknowledged and supported at all levels in shaping the climate agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Sanja Saranovic, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Malaysia encouraging young people’s participation in climate and environment action in Malaysia. Photo credit: YELL/2023/Anusha

“There is a great opportunity to integrate the needs and rights of children and young people, including their right to be heard into climate policies and action. This will lead to significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of children and young people, while fostering the resilience of communities more broadly.” said Sanja Saranovic, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Malaysia.

The dialogue was held at the Co-labs Co-working space in Naza Tower and attended by 35 local youth climate advocates. The dialogue was co-designed and moderated by YELL and UNICEF Youth Climate Champions. During the event, concrete youth aspirations for COP28 as a result of the dialogue were handed over to a representative from the Climate Change Division of NRECC, Mr. Ahmad Farid Mohammed, by the youth participants themselves. The proceedings were observed by representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, UNDP Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam, UNICEF Malaysia, and Amanah Lestari Alam (ALAM).