Youth leader represents Qatar, Arab youth in climate change forum
March 02 2021 09:55 PM
Neeshad Shafi, co-founder of Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQA).
Neeshad Shafi, co-founder of Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQA).

Efforts to protect the environment, specifically initiatives being conducted in Qatar, were recently highlighted during #Youth4ClimateLive Series hosted virtually by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.

Neeshad Shafi, co-founder of Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQA), was among the speakers at the online event, held in collaboration with Connect4Climate, a global partnership programme under the Communication for Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank Group, and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

In a statement, Shafi told Gulf Times that #Youth4ClimateLive Series is an interactive virtual series of events conceived to build momentum towards the ‘2021 Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition’ event in Milan, Pre-COP26, and COP26.

He said the series’ nine episodes covered “a wide array of climate change-related topics, with each session convening intergenerational discussions, featuring a diverse group of unstoppable youth at the forefront of creative climate action.”

During the episode titled ‘Driving Local Action’, Shafi spoke about the role of youth and local communities in the fight against climate change, where he shared “the incredible work” of AYCMQA, and discussed the historical, recent challenges, and opportunities, as well as ways to further enhance the youth’s role and action at the global level.

“It was a great honour to the represent the Arab youth, and especially our youth in Qatar and our work to the global audience along with high-level speakers,” Shafi pointed out.

He said, “Participation in the event is a much-needed appreciation and support to AYCMQA whose work has been recognised locally and globally. We are proud not only to represent our youth in Qatar, but the youth in the Arab world. This also showcases that we as youths in the Arab world are part of the global climate conversation and call of action and solution against climate change.”

Shafi explained that AYCMQ seeks to create a transformative change in the community by developing holistic environmental learning programmes, engaging in community activities, and supporting evidence-based policy research.

“For the last four years, Arab Youth Climate Movement made its presence in Qatar by actively engaging with the community in one form or another. Most notably, organising the ‘Earth Talk Series’ with high-profile environmentalists and experts, ‘Environmental Ambassadors of Qatar’ programme, ‘Eco-Literacy for Imam Initiatives’, and ‘Measure Your Household Carbon Footprint’ programme. Besides, AYCMQ participated in many international and national meetings and conferences, offered a critical perspective, and had a strong digital presence,” he continued.

He added: “Responding to the lack of effective environmental campaigns in the country, the core members of AYCMQ decided to register the organisation that will enhance our credibility and an opportunity to develop full-scale programmes to raise ecological consciousness in the community. In May 2019, we registered successfully as Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar LLC (G), which is a first-and-only registered, independent, non-profit, youth-led, grassroots organisation in Qatar.”

Aside from Shafi, the ‘Driving Local Action’ forum also featured Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan, and head of C40’s Global Mayors Covid-19 Recovery Task Force; João Henrique Campos, mayor of Recife in Brazil; along with fellow change makers Sarah Farheen Khan and Lodovica Cattani.

Video messages were also delivered by Italy’s Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Roberto Cingolani, UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinoza, and COP26 president (the UK) Alok Sharma.


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