Region by region, all around the world youth have been leading the charge in the call for 350. I was immensely fortunate to witness that trend be reinforced over the last several days in Dhulikhel, Nepal. Over 100 youth from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka gathered for a 4 day summit on climate change — and the joint call for 350 resounded loud and clear.
350 ppm appears in the the newly established "South Asian Youth Declaration on Climate Change" (read on for the full text). And to highlight the point we managed a quick 350 action photo on the final day despite the fogs rolling in and obstructing the Himalayan view — a preview of the now dozens more exciting October 24 action plans in the works, including in two previously unregistered countries Afghanistan and Bhutan!
And best of all, this being the first ever regional youth summit on climate change of it’s kind, the summit marked the beginning of a very exciting new phase in the youth climate movement of South Asia. The Bangladesh Youth Climate Network and the Pakistan Youth Climate Network are now just getting under way. The Sri Lanka network is now picking up speed, and the summit witnessed commitments from new leaders who will be helping to spur new youth climate action movements in the Maldives, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
It was an honor for me to attend the summit and to meet all these remarkable leaders. It gives me great hope to know that this global climate movement is working in solidarity with them. Sisters and brothers, together in the movement to reach 350 and remake our world!
The South Asian Youth Declaration on Climate Change:
September 6 2009, Dhulikhel, Nepal
We the youth of South Asia are deeply perturbed by the impacts and causes of climate change on human and natural systems
We reaffirm the fundamental relationship between human and natural systems
We firmly support upholding principles of equity and human and eco rights in all processes of decision making and implementation of policies, laws and programs on climate change.
We recognize the extreme vulnerability of South Asia to climate change and its low historical responsibility for the contribution of atmospheric greenhouse gases
We appreciate the shared cultural heritage, common histories, geographical proximity and calling for a strong concerted community based, local, regional, and global action
We seek effective governance and management of resources that aligns efforts to eradicate social injustices and combat disaster and displacement caused by climate change
We believe in effective participation and negotiation by all countries, especially those most vulnerable, at the global level towards concrete solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change
We the youths from South Asia are committed to:
a. Forming a youth network that will unite grass-root and country level movements across South Asia.
b. Articulating and committing to a region wide and country level strategies that will address climate change.
c. Conducting follow up events that will review progress made, plan future events and provide a venue for sharing ideas and inspiring each other.
d. Playing a major role in sensitizing the society, youth in particular, and disseminating information on climate change issues and raising awareness.
e. Creating a generation of youth who will lead a low carbon life style ensuring sustainability for inter generational equity.
and we strongly demand that the governments of South Asia should:
a. Agree to the MVC/AOSIS position that temperature increase should be limited to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and CO2 concentrations should return to below 350 ppm. And ask Annex I parties that they commit to emission reduction by 45% by 2020 and 90% by 2050 with base year 1990 and emission peaking no later than 2015.
b. Remain cognizant of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the need to take nationally appropriate mitigation measures but also lobby for advanced developing countries inter alia India and China to take mandatory mitigation targets as well.
c. NAMAs of developing countries financed and technologically supported by Annex I parties must not be counted towards the domestic reduction targets of developed countries and emissions must be controlled at the source.
d. Raise a unified voice for adaptation funding that is adequate, predictable, additional and sustainable to ODA and targeted to meet the adaptation needs of the most vulnerable groups and communities. Adaptation needs must be country driven and the funds must be governed under the UN processes.
e. Call on developed countries to fulfill the commitment made in Marrakesh, Morocco to fund the implementation of NAPAs.
f. Move towards a low carbon economy through the support of developed countries in terms of grants in financing and technology transfer
g. Develop a mechanism in which Annex I parties support appropriate technology development and diffusion to the developing countries; encourage technology transfer and sharing of indigenous skills between developing countries
h. Ensure that the policies and programs of international funding bodies fully appreciate the grave nature of climate change and are climate sensitive
i. Establish South Asian regional center that is fully funded by Annex I parties for research, scientific development and economic diversification thereby building climate resilient socio economic systems in the developing countries.
j. Include youths in all policy matters surrounding climate change and more specifically for the inclusion of youth representatives in the official delegation to climate change negotiation. We also call on our governments to endorse the inclusion of youth as a constituency to UNFCCC negotiations.