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Tunza Youth Conference Kicks Off in Bangalore

Young environmental leaders meet in Bangalore, India

UNEP conference for young people to discuss the environment and the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Nairobi, 13 October 2005 – Over 150 youth leaders from 67 countries are meeting in Bangalore, India, for the second UNEP Tunza International Youth Conference, with the theme ‘the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and cooperation among youth organizations’.

Organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the conference is hosted by the India-based Centre for Environment Education and the Ministry for Environment and Forests of India, and sponsored by Bayer.

Participants at the conference will focus on three of the MDGs: MDG1, “to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”; MDG3, “to promote gender equality and empower women”; and MDG7, “to ensure environmental sustainability”.

The conference will give participants an opportunity to review their involvement in helping to achieve the MDGs, share experiences, and inspire each other to do more for the environment.

Among the scheduled activities are plenary discussions with environmental and sustainable development experts, educational workshops, and field trips for participants to learn about local sustainable development projects around the city of Bangalore.

The conference will also review progress related to individual commitments, dubbed "The Road to Bangalore", made by youth leaders at the February 2005 UNEP Global Youth Retreat, held in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference will culminate in the development of individual commitments for contributing to the achievement of the MDGs. Participants will develop partnership projects and model action plans for youth organizations to adapt for their communities’ environmental activities.

The Tunza International Youth Conference will also elect a new Tunza Youth Advisory Council, with two advisors for each of the six UNEP regions.

Notes for editors

The Tunza International Youth Conference is one of the key activities under UNEP's Tunza long-term strategy for engaging young people in environmental activities and in the work of UNEP.

Tunza is a Kiswahili word meaning ‘to care for’ or ‘to nurture’. Kiswahili is a language spoken throughout East Africa, including in Kenya where UNEP’s global headquarters are located.

UNEP’s Tunza strategy provides a platform for cooperation and interaction between UNEP and its youth partners.

UNEP’s vision is to "foster a generation of environmentally conscious citizens who will better influence decision-making processes and act responsibly to create a sustainable world".

Organized for young people (15-24 years), the UNEP’s Tunza conferences for youth and for children provide opportunities for young people to learn from one another, share experiences and ideas for community-based environmental actions, and to develop joint strategies for promoting environmental protection.

The 2005 Tunza International Youth Conference follows in the footsteps of the 2003 Tunza conference in Dubna, Russia. Prior to the adoption of the Tunza strategy by the UNEP Governing Council in 2003, UNEP had organized regular Global Youth Forums for the environment.

For more information please contact

Eric Falt, Director, UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information, tel: +254 20 623262, mobile: +254 733 682 656, e-mail: eric.falt@unep.org or Theodore Oben, Head, Children and Youth Unit, mobile: +254 724 255247, e-mail: theodore.oben@unep.org.

More information about UNEP’s Tunza activities for children and youth can be found at www.unep.org/tunza




Further Resources

Daily Updates from Bangalore

Tunza International Youth Conference

TUNZA Youth Website

TUNZA Youth Conference Media Cover

UNEP & the MDGs

Tunza Magazine: MDGs Issue

Global Youth Retreat 2005

MDG Committments
Tunza Youth

Jeju Youth Files

Global Youth Retreat 2003


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