Promoting Youth Leadership in Climate Camps in China

Environment and Public Space

To continue the Equity for Children series of case studies on climate change and youth engagement, we focus on climate camps for children in China. Since 2009, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has partnered with UNICEF to promote young people’s participation and leadership on climate change through a series of ‘climate camps’.  Students participating in the camps learn about climate change mitigation and adaptation with the goal of igniting action among the generation most affected and promoting international dialogue. These camps have paralleled the rising importance of climate change as a policy issue for China, both domestically and internationally. As this case study shows, underlying that shift were deliberate efforts to change attitudes and behaviors within the country, with children and youth contributing from the outset.

As a still developing country, China is in the position of having to tackle climate change mitigation and adaptation for a large population of vulnerable poor at the same time. One of the impacts of climate change has been on groundwater supplies, affected by overuse and extreme weather events. In addition to joint work on children’s leadership, the Government of China and UNICEF have been working with disadvantaged communities to safely and sustainably manage water. Children have been involved in all phases, from the initial ground water studies to school-based projects.

Equity for Children has highlighted the Government of China’s and UNICEF’s collaboration as a rare example of a national government recognizing the value of children’s involvement and leadership on climate change. Working with international and national partners, the country has been able to equip a new generation with the skills and knowledge to lead change and shift mindsets.

Read the full case study here.

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