Young people raise their voices at the inauguration of the Latin American and Caribbean pavilion at COP28

With an event on the role of young people in the fight against climate change, CAF – development bank of Latin America and the Caribbean – inaugurated the first pavilion dedicated exclusively to addressing the interests of the region at a climate summit.

The first event of the Latin American and Caribbean pavilion at COP28 in Dubai was dedicated to the role of young people in energizing global climate action and encouraging more awareness and social activism to confront climate change.

CAF has brought, for the first time in the history of climate summits, a pavilion to articulate the interests of the region. The LAC Pavilion is a space for meeting, debate and analysis on the most burning issues of climate action in the region, and is available to Latin American and Caribbean delegations, media, NGOs, community leaders, indigenous communities, and Afro-descendant peoples. and civil society.

“At CAF we generate spaces for debate so that youth can have their voice. Young people are part of the structures and define agendas, and that is why we must give them the appropriate spaces so that they can be heard and integrate their positions. We play an important catalytic role. We provide financing to make this representation of youth possible,” said Alicia Montalvo, manager of Climate Action and Positive Biodiversity at CAF.

This meeting is the result of the collaboration between CAF, the International Youth Organization for Ibero-America (OIJ)the Regional Youth Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (RCOY), and the Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES), and had the objective of promoting collaboration between generations to confront the climate crisis.

The event began with the dialogue «When I was young» between Jhoanna Cifuentes, Climalab executive director and general coordinator of the RCOY LATAM 2023, and Víctor Viñuales, director of the Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES), who appreciated that the LAC pavilion claimed solutions to climate change and highlighted intergenerational work as a way to advance against global warming. Cifuentes commented that “it is encouraging to see more and more young people in scenarios like this one at #COP28, in a place so far from our homes. «We are excited to see that there is interest and potential in seeking financing and breaking down barriers.»

For Max Trejo, secretary general of the International Youth Organization for Ibero-America (OIJ), “young people are victims as a result of others, but they take action to change reality. Decorative spaces are useless; “We need mechanisms that allow cooperation and action to be articulated.”

“Latin America is part of the solution not only because of its natural resources but also because of the youth who know how to go from protest to proposal. Young people installed the concept of climate crisis in 2019, and young people must be part of the dialogue and the solution,” said Ramiro Fernández, Campaigns Director, Climate Champions Team.

According to Benjamin Carvajal, president of Uno. Cinco and General Coordinator of RCOY LATAM 2023, “we youth represent different sectors that must be part of the conversation. «We not only protest but we propose to integrate young people into our delegation, giving them the space they deserve.»

The closing of the event was a conversation between Mónica Monsalve, journalist from El País, and Ángel Cárdenas, manager of Urban Development, Water and Creative Economies of CAF, who assured that the solutions to many of these problems lie in youth, and that is why «In the projects there must be an incorporation of populations and components from the beginning, in a consensual manner so that they are part of the solution.»

This inaugural event of the Latin American and Caribbean Pavilion at COP28 «We are a solution» is the culmination of the route of the young people of our region towards COP28, which has been accompanied by CAF experts and organizations allies such as OIJ and ECODES, to improve the impact capacity of the youth of our region on the global climate action agenda.

This advocacy space that CAF has provided to the different participating organizations has allowed us to reaffirm the interest in promoting cooperation spaces in Latin America and the Caribbean to energize and strengthen youth participation in the global climate action agenda, aligned with shared values ​​aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The cooperation mechanism will promote cooperation to share knowledge, audiences and initiatives that accelerate climate empowerment and the dialogue capacities of the youth of Latin America and the Caribbean on the path to COP30 in Brazil.