About Us

We are dynamic, dedicative, energetic, enthusiastic and laborious young people (aged 16-29 years) who are solely concerned about the future, coming generations and sustainability of Planet Earth.

Since April 2011, we have been mobilizing Asia Pacific Youth focusing on different Issues on The Himalayas (Mountains, The Water Tower), Inputs on Zero Draft and Status of Nepal in Rio+20. We have also drafted Asia Pacific Youth Position Paper towards Rio+20 and Asia Pacific Youth Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development which are also published in the website of UNCSD. We have been raising our voice for "MOUNTAINS" extending our network from Asia Pacific Region at global level.


South and Central Asian Youth Perspective on Rio+20

-By Jeeban Panthi
Consultation Methodology and Participation of Youth
The youth consultation was made in the South and Central Asia as “South and Central Asia Regional Virtual Consultation on Youth Perspectives on Rio+20”. The consultation was open for all the participants in web based through community group (Dgroup), social networks (facebook and twitters) for the three weeks (9-29 May 2011) on three different themes compatible to Rio+20. Weekly Skype conferences among the country focal points appointed and the facilitators were organized to summarize the discussions. Altogether, 550 youth were participated in the consultation representing 9 countries. Youth had raised their issues and moderators were facilitating the discussion to make sure that the debate is in right track. Different case studies related to sustainable development from the region were also posted in the group compiled by a team. The consultation was organized jointly by The Small Earth Nepal (SEN) and Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Theme I: After 20 years of Rio – where do we stand? What are the new issues and challenges? 
The Rio Summit 1992 was the milestone in highlighting sustainable development globally with its outcomes as Rio Declaration, Forest Principles, Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Agenda 21. Climate change and its uncertainty, which was not addressed enough in 1992 Rio Summit, has become the most threatening global, environmental and social problem of this time. Rapid melting of glaciers with erratic rainfall and less snow fall may have severe water scarcity in near future. Monsoon is getting more flooded and winter is getting drier. Himalayan nations are facing the consequences of the climate change day by day and inch by inch in fact. Despite of very little contribution for climate change, Himalaya, the water tower of Asia, which feeds water to more than 1.3 billion people in Asia is ruining with changing climate. Many people think that mountains will be the last resort for people of the world, after urbanization has completely transformed our societies. The trend seems to be more than a myth because we can see with our own eyes that the rate of urbanization across South Asian countries is expanding rapidly, due to availability of economic opportunities. Coastal countries are also equally vulnerable to the climate change as adverse impact have already been started, extreme events like severe cyclones and increased salinity in the coastal region, prolonged and repeated floods and river bank erosion. Climate change is expected to impact on agricultural productivity and shifting crop patterns. The policy implications are wide-reaching, as changes in agriculture could affect food security, trade policy, livelihood activities and water conservation issues, impacting large portions of the population. During monsoon high flood water is creating huge damage to crop production where in dry season water becomes precious than bloods and in the coastal region water and water but all of it out of use for its high salinity. We have already been sacrificing at the cost of developed countries and now its time to raise our voices to stop being sacrificed. Making false promises for financial and other supports by developed countries to developing countries is creating another crisis. Important is also to consider rise of China and India as the new economic powers hub with more net emission in comparison to many developed nations. The Rio summit created the foundation provided a guide how to cope with the situation. Action was also initiated and actively implemented, but entering the crux of real problem was not carried out and lacks in the estimation of magnitude of the problem, its potential and growth was neglected. It demands action to be taken but surprisingly demanding concrete actions to be taken were not observed. This could have been resulted from the lack of seriousness from legislative interest. We know the problem, its consequences but we never acted for its solution due to political and other issues, we just cover these solutions with baseless talks. Agenda 21, a blue print of sustainable development, clearly shows links between sustainability and development but where we failed is gap between our objectives and actions.

There is also a little bit of frustration at the global leadership for not doing nearly enough to come up with a binding road map to deal with climate change for instance. Climate change, together with other drivers, is already impacting the earth system, in a way we have barely scratched the surface of. 

There has been some progress made in developing transformational technologies especially climate friendly renewable energy and water-related technologies that may someday take us away from fossil fuel. But these have not permeated the mainstream markets, including rural markets, in the way the mobile phone has. Also another positive change has been the rise of the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) and social media tools - and the growing chorus of "Stop climate change", "Another world is possible", "Feed the hungry billions" from all segments of the society, including the youth.

Theme II: Looking at the green economy for low carbon future in the context of poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The new concept, green economy, is still is in incubation stage so its comprehensive analysis is necessary before switching towards. The term “Green Economy” incorporates many sectors and issues in the Earth so it is like a Green Umbrella giving shelter to the Earth. Assuming the green economy a guitar of poverty alleviation, improved livelihoods, peace and security, and equitable distribution of resources are its strings. we just need to adjust the strings and fine tuning to play soft and eternal music of sustainable development. Agriculture, forestry and tourism are the backbones of the economy in this region, therefore, those three sectors should be “Green” at first for ensuring the green economy is tuning well. On the other hand, due to unstable economy and research gap, switching to green economy is a bigger challenge. Strengthening private sectors, Public Private Partnership (PPP) along with the linkage of client, companies and financing institutions are needed to achieve long term sustainability in development sectors. Therefore, institutional mechanisms should also be strengthened for regional cooperation towards sustainable development. At the outset of growing economy of developing countries, there remains the challenge they have in capacity to develop and use new and advanced cleaner technologies. Also, the region consists of many barren areas where medicinal herbs can be planted to enhance the livelihood of communities. Tourism is a major industry in this region and also livelihood is attached with it especially in mountainous region but escalating problems related to pollution and poor sanitation are faced by the majority of tourism locations. Tourism Impact Assessment (TIA), thus, could be a substantial step for sustainable tourism development. An option in shifting towards village level tourism where the waste can easily be managed and the livelihoods of the local people be enhanced is viable enough.

Energy is the major driver for carbon emission and it leads to green economy. The concept of bio-fuels, solar powers, winds mill, decentralized micro-hydro projects are potential as many parts are occupied by villages in remote areas. But, there is a large gap of research for their proper harnessing for benefiting the community, therefore, the time has come to go for the action oriented researches. Few examples that can be replicated towards the low carbon are production of ethanol which substitutes the use of fossil fuels as the ethanol can easily be produced from the waste straw of rice and wheat which are abundant in this region. Also, one more example is “Car Pooling” system, which is like travelling all the staffs of a company in a single vehicle, in which one pays for fuel, another for hiring the car and so on, which eventually reduces the number of vehicles. The economy of developing countries is growing however their capacity to develop and use of new and advanced cleaner technology is very limited. Therefore, there should be technology transfer mechanism from developed nations to the developing nations which is also a way for re-uniting between developed and developing countries but at first the developing nations should try to explore those technologies and their alternatives within themselves.

Theme III: Environmental laws and governance for establishing an institutional framework for sustainable development.
Environmental law and guidelines has a pervasive influence in virtually any kind economic or environmental activities these days. It is a complex mix of state and local laws, regulations, policy choices, and science and health concern. One cannot undermine its grave importance and role in transforming the society and eventually our planet which has been tangled into all sorts mess due to anthropogenic activities into more clean and green place to live. Weak implementation of the existing laws, rules and regulations regarding the environmental conservation is the major issue in the region. Various laws and programs are made, sometime they are duplicated and somewhere a single program is not there. Despite of having the proper laws and regulations they are only confined to paper and not much has been done in the ground level. Complex natures of political and societal matrix are main hindrance for the implementation of the policies. Besides that prevalent corruption, lack of respect of law, lack of formal enforcement procedures and non availability of the tools for implementation, and lack of accountability and monitoring are the factor contributing to the present environmental woes. To appease the existing environmental “lawlessness” there is need of concept of political ecology which studies the relationship between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes. Regional cooperation on environment and sustainable development issue like expertise and knowledge transfer, technology transfer and developing low carbon strategy can be the best way for mutual promotion of sustainable development with others. Developing the framework for trans-boundary tourism activities in this region which would not only open avenues in benefiting local community but also can open channel for dialogue to resolve previous unsettled issues within the region was really high point of the discussion.

Conclusion: Youth for Sustainable Development
Youth are seeds, they do not turn themselves into plants unless they are sowed in soil, nourished with water and other required minerals. Youth require skills to function, but skill is not an alien thing, it has to be developed since it is rightly said leaders are not born but are made. However, there are few circumstances that limit the ability of youth to explore their skills and capabilities within themselves which is the very essential phase to be boosted up. The voice of youth should be raised and heard in every decision making process as those decisions made today will eventually affect to the youth in the future that have direct impacts on sustainable development. Old schools of thought do not have proper implementations and practices over the power and skill of the youth to change and have clear objectives for their own future. As even alone but innovative voice has a greater impact numbers of innovative minds together certainly play vital role to bring the greatest influence. So it is high time for the youth not only to sit together and build a pyramid of novel ideas to save the Planet Earth for us and for the future generation but to ACT here and now. Youth must also move to the ground and be the real players to substantiate the idea ‘green economy’ in sustainable development. Therefore, youth are encouraged to join hands to protect the mother earth and pool our knowledge and skills to bring about a Green Change instead of Climate Change.

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