The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQA) recently held a meeting with COP 26 president Alok Sharma at the British embassy here to discuss pressing issues related to the environment that the youth in Qatar want to address.

AYCMQA co-founder Neeshad Shafi said that during the meeting Sharma assured young people across the world that they would be given the opportunity to develop concrete proposals for the pre-COP 26 in Milan and at COP26 in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

“We had a fruitful interaction with Mr Alok Sharma, who was in Qatar to accelerate the progress on climate negotiations ahead of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26).

“Our group also had the opportunity to share about AYCMQA and the concerns of youth in Qatar, and the integration of youth demands to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of COP 26 to the UN climate change conference,” Shafi told Gulf Times in a statement.

Shafi also extended his thanks to British ambassador Jon Wilks and the British embassy in Qatar for providing the opportunity to AYCMQA, which is known for its “extensive work” on climate change awareness, advocacy, and policy work in Qatar and the Arab world.

Asked to differentiate AYCMQA from other environmental advocacy groups, Shafi said the organisation “is led by youth in Qatar and further in Gulf countries in the Arab Middle East.”

He said AYCMQA “is a first and only” registered, independent, nonprofit, and grassroots organisation in the State of Qatar, and “is completely led by young people and the youth in Qatar.”

“Also, unlike beach cleanup initiatives AYCMQ strives to develop scientific and policy-relevant knowledge. We enable our findings to influence decision-makers by publishing the reports in the media, handing out the reports to all the universities, other stakeholders, holding frequent public seminars, engage youth through social media, and actively participate in the dialogue and building solutions for various groups,” Shafi explained.

He said the mission of AYCMQA is to build a movement that fosters an understanding of natural ecosystems, empowers and inspires the community to take effective action in resolving the current ecological crisis, and advocates for evidence-based policies to adapt, mitigate, conserve and protect our ecosystem.

“AYCMQA aims to achieve its mission by pursuing the following strategic objectives: develop holistic educational programmes to raise awareness on the climate crisis, build local and international partnerships to expand knowledge, create a shared vision of Qatar’s ecological future, engage youth in co-creating solutions to local environmental problems, and advocate for behavioural and policy change through sustained grassroots campaigns, policy briefings, and reports,” Shafi further explained.

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