Our first Special Report ''Youth for Climate Action in Vietnam" submitted to COP26 President-Designate. What’s next from Vietnamese youth?
Back on May 29, 2021, Vietnamese youth had a unique opportunity to handover the Special Report “Youth for Climate Action in Viet Nam'' to the COP26 President-Designate Mr. Alok Sharma, marking a significant milestone of the Youth4Climate momentum in Viet Nam. The ceremony was organized by UNDP Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change (DCC) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) as part of the UNDP ‘Climate Promise’ programme.
The Report Launch was honored by the presence of Mr. Sharma, the DCC, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the UK Embassy and the Italian Embassy. Within 24 hours, the Launch attracted more than 2,750 views from a majority youth audience, ranging from 18 to 34 years old.
However, the report is only the first milestone of Vietnamese youth's journey in their run to implement the Youth-led Roadmap for Climate Action to COP26 in 2021 and their coming five year plan 2021-2025.
First Impressions on the Report
At the launch, Mr. Sharma, one of the first readers of the Special Report, remarked that the report is “very informative” and sets out a clear pathway with “creative solutions”.
The report’s action-oriented approach resonated with many young climate advocates across the country who have been following Youth4Climate’s activities since September 2020.
Ngo Quoc Hoang, a 17-year-old youth from Da Nang who joined the launch, shared that he would refer to this report and try to address all of the identified bottlenecks in his upcoming initiatives. “I was stunned by how well the report described my own challenges with running a youth climate project in a circular economy,” Hoang said. “Most importantly, the report proposed accelerators that are concrete and applicable.”
Mr. Ngo Van Cuong, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU)’s Central Committee, the oldest and largest socio-political youth organisation in Viet Nam, added that the HCYU can further spread this initiative for broader youth consultations after the report launch to gather additional data.
In the coming months, UNDP Viet Nam and the report’s youth authors, in collaboration with MONRE, the HCYU and other stakeholders, will continue sharing the Special Report to mainstream youth voices and recommendations to stakeholders at the local and national level. This report can help guide young leaders in anticipating and overcoming potential difficulties associated with climate action in Viet Nam.
The Report goes global
At the international level, Hoang Ngoc Xuan Mai, Lead Author of the report, will be presenting its key findings on youth climate action in Viet Nam at the pre-COP26 “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition” event in Milan this September.
“I’m excited to see what international youth will pick up from Vietnamese youth’s Report, and whether it highlights similar or different bottlenecks to youth action compared to those in their countries,” Mai said. “I also hope to collaborate with youth to produce a regional report as well.”
“Through writing this report, I hope to represent not only my voice but the voices of the most vulnerable Vietnamese youths who are currently experiencing grave climate impacts,” Nguyen Hoang Nam, a youth climate advocate and report co-author said. “This is only the first step, which will hopefully be followed by more opportunities for the next generation of youth to act and demand for action in Viet Nam.”
Already, the report is gaining traction among international youth. Chiagozie Udeh, a 2019 YOUNGO Global Focal Point from Nigeria, remarked, “I have also read through parts of the report—such a remarkable, practical and very relatable piece of work. That it was youth-led makes it all the more impressive.”
UNDP Viet Nam, in close coordination with Italy and UK, will continue to work and support the Vietnamese youth representatives in uptaking the Viet Nam’s youth priorities and initiatives in the COP26 process and in key decision making agenda of the climate negotiations. “Youth are the solution to climate change! We want to call on all our partners to join hands in aligning programmes and offering mechanisms to facilitate and advance an environment in which youth can fully occupy their roles as agents of change for a cleaner greener future.” Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative, highlighted.
A new momentum for youth climate action in Viet Nam
In Viet Nam, a number of accelerators are being shaped. Young climate leaders are sharing their Roadmap for action in 2021-2025 and call upon more youth to join them in reading the report, rallying together and racing towards net zero.
“After the report is published, I hope youth will read it and most importantly, pick up one action point or potential accelerator to pursue, so that we can collectively raise ambition for climate action,” Tran Do Bao Nghi, one of the report co-authors from Da Nang said.
COP26 is the first COP for which a civil society and youth advisory council was set up to ensure that youth voices will always be kept “front and center” in all of the discussions and planning leading up to key negotiations, Mr. Sharma shared during his keynote speech at the Launching Ceremony.
Beyond this year’s climate negotiations, there is strong momentum from key stakeholders to act collectively to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals in this ‘decisive decade’, as the COP26 President-Designate called it.
Supporting youth in the first step of the roadmap implementation, UNDP Viet Nam, in collaboration with HCYU, has launched the Youth for Climate Innovation Contest (Y4CIC) to encourage creative ideas across the country in climate mitigation, climate adaptation, climate communications and climate-responsible business.To provide a space for youth to learn about climate science and policy, UNDP Viet Nam is developing a Youth4Climate Learning Hub to be launched by August 2021.