As a first step, UNDP partnered with three organisations – CHANGE in the South, WildAct in the Central Region, and Live&Learn in the North – to organise 3 regional consultations, building on their extensive knowledge and networks to gather youth leaders together. They joined a 2-day event to gain exposure to climate policies in Viet Nam, start unpacking the specific challenges they are facing in their localities, and document local practices and youth-led initiatives. UNDP and its partners further selected and invited outstanding youth from the event who demonstrated active participation, creativity, and high performance to join the National Writeshop in Quy Nhon.
The National Writeshop offered an unprecedented space for lively discussions between all participants, where youth got the opportunity to learn directly from a number of high-level speakers. Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General of the DCC at MONRE, outlined the efforts conducted by Viet Nam since the Earth Summit in 1992, while Mr. Lai explained the role of UNDP in supporting and enabling civil society participation. UNDP partners Ms. Le Thi Ngoc Bich from the UK Embassy and Prof. Marco Abbiati from the Italian Embassy introduced the road to COP26 and the objectives of international climate negotiations.
Mr. Pham Van Tan highlighted that “Climate change is a challenging game for all of us. In that game, you and me and everyone, we must win.” Thus, youth need to be empowered to take on a significant role, mobilise others, and create the green, inclusive future they want. Guest speakers further stressed that acting and speaking out loud will make youth action more visible, and that this will go hand in hand with the search for funding.
Inspired by the presentation and advice from Prof. Tran Thuc, which quoted the words attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," participants were reminded to come up with practical solutions that address localised impacts of climate change and invent collaborative mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Led by an enthusiastic Youth Special Reporter, they collectively wrote the first version of the Youth Statement, which will be the cornerstone of their upcoming collective climate action.
While participants gained hands-on knowledge of policymaking, climate science, community mobilisation, international negotiations, and creative communication, the National Writeshop also applied a collective intelligence lens through the event. As such, active listening, teamwork, system mapping, and innovative thinking methods were actively promoted, such as using mind maps, theatre play, surveys, crowdsourcing, and collaborative writing.