The 23rd Convention of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Change conference convened in Bonn, from 6th to 17th November this year. The COP was a next step for governments to make progress on the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, adopted by consensus in 2015, and accelerate the move to sustainable, resilient, and climate-safe development.The COP was intended to further define the frameworks necessary to make the Paris Agreement operational, while mapping out the needs that countries have to successfully achieve their climate change goals and meet their NDCs. COP23 was presided over by the Government of Fiji, who brought the perspective of SIDS and LDCs, with a pervasive and urgent call for action.
At COP23 SGP co-organized two side events recognizing civil society winners in partnership with International Institute of Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), one to recognize the engagement of the civil society in Africa to address climate change and one on South-South cooperation in Francophone Africa. SGP also partnerned with Initiatives Climat to organize an award ceremony to honor the winners of “Trophees Climat”, climate champion communities that include civil society representatives, green entrepreneurs, and women leaders from Francophone Africa. Among the projects featured by Initiatives Climat in 2017 are two SGP grantee partners. One is the Association TAGADIRT from Morocco, an organization that works with sustainable land management and addressing climate change through reforestation in an Oasis in the Fam El Husn community. The other one is former grantee partners Sidis Bel Abbes in Algeria, an organization that has planted 60,000 trees in 52 communities in the Sidi Bel Abbes municipality, while raising awareness of the role of forests in combatting climate change.
For the third consecutive year, SGP also partnered with the UN Climate Change secretariat’s “Action for Climate Empowerment” initiative, Connect4Climate, and Television for the Environment (tve) to organize the Youth Climate Video Competition. This year, videos were submitted under the categories ‘Climate friendly and resilient cities’ and ‘Oceans and climate change’. 247 videos were submitted from 94 countries, and two young climate leaders were selected as the winners of the 2017 Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change.
On the evening of Thursday 16th, the winners of the COP23 Youth Climate Video Competition were recognized during the Youth Climate Action Awards Ceremony. Mr. Younes Lamsaoui won in the ‘Climate friendly and resilient cities’ category, with the video “Turning green.” It highlights how Marrakesh, the “red city”, is responding to the challenges of climate change and how he is contributing to this transition. As a teacher, he is educating the next generation on how to help make their city greener and live sustainable. Mr. Adarsh Prathap is the winner of the ‘Oceans and climate change’ category. The video “Let mangroves recover” underlines the importance of mangroves and shows how their preservation can save thousands of lives. His video, concluding with “sometimes nature is the only answer”, sends a strong message on the significance of this ecosystem for the region for saving its vulnerable coastline.
SGP believes that recognizing the success of these climate leaders and communities is key to scaling up sustainable initiatives both locally, nationally, and regionally. SGP plans to continue these important partnerships, and particularly supports the focus on South- South cooperation and youth.