Children, Youth and the Environment

 

Acting for a better world!

In February 2003, the Governing Council of UNEP adopted a long-term strategy for engaging young people in environmental activities and in the work of UNEP. The strategy was entitled the Tunza Youth Strategy. The word “TUNZA” means “to treat with care or affection” in Kiswahili (a sub-regional language of Eastern Africa). The overall Tunza Concept, therefore, aims to create a global movement in which children and Youth will actively participate in sustainable development. The initiative is meant to develop activities in the areas of capacity building, environmental awareness, and information exchange, with a vision to foster a generation of environmentally conscious citizens, capable of positive action.

Important by-products of this strategy include the annual Tunza International Children and Youth Conference, Tunza Youth Advisory Council, Tunza Junior Board and a quarterly Tunza magazine.

Under the overall concept of Tunza, the 25th session of the Governing Council in February 2009 adopted the second long-term UNEP strategy for the engagement of young people in environmental issues.

In line with this strategy, UNEP Regional Office for Africa works with young people, both children and youth within the region through the Tunza African Youth Environment Network (AYEN) and the recently formed Tunza African Children’s Environment Network (ACEN).

UNEP ROA aims to produce stronger, cohesive and sustainable children and youth networks within Africa in order to not only better engage young people in fulfilling its mission, but also help them build each others capacity in environmental conservation and be better prepared for the future.

Specific objectives include to:

  • Build the capacity of young people in matters of environmental conservation focusing on issues related to Climate Change;
  • Provide young people with a forum for exchange of ideas and experience thus enhancing inter- country cooperation;
  • Facilitate youth participation in national, regional and international environmental fora whenever possible;
  • Encourage young people’s involvement in key decision making International environmental fora such as the, African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Convention on the Biological Diversity;
  • Raise the visibility of environmental conservation through environmental awareness campaigns using media, sport, art and other cultural activities targeting young people from across the region.

By supporting and aligning their myriad efforts and synergies in the region –through policy advocacy, action campaigns, clean energy projects, outreach, science, communication, arts and culture, sustainable consumption, Young environmentalists have clearly showed that UNEP ROA would unleash a powerful force acting on a noble cause,; an entire generation mobilized for a healthier climate and a sustainable future for Africa.   

For more information on the activities , please contact:

Mr. Maurice Odera,
Tunza Children & Youth
Regional Office for Africa

+254 020 762 3018
or send an email

Highlights

2010 Tunza Regional Youth Conference
Climate Week in Around Africa
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Green Campus Initiative, Cape Town, South Africa
28 September to 2 October 2009


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2009 Tunza Africa Regional Children's Conference on the Environment
Durban, South Africa
7 to 10 August 2009

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Publications
The Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) for Youth

[English]
My Future Begins Now
"Environment in Children's Eyes"

[English]

Further Resources
UNEP TUNZA Website