A report released by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2015 stated that, besides the direct risks of climate change, children are also affected when climate change hits their parents and other caregivers, through such things as loss of livelihoods and crop productivity. Moreover, when climate change sparks conflict over dwindling resources, it impacts children.
The same report said that over half a billion children are living in areas with extremely high incidence of floods, and nearly 160 million live in areas of high or extremely high drought severity. Under these circumstances, children and young people are indeed at special risk of being deleteriously affected by climate change.
On 1 February 2018, with Trang Hoang, Regional Climate Change and Resilience Specialist at Plan International and Julisa Tambunan, Director of Mercy Corps’ GirlSPARKS we discussed what kind of vulnerabilities children, youth and woman have, why are they amongst the most at risk, and how to inclusively involve them in our resilience practice. This webinar is facilitated by Farraz Theda, Member Relations Coordinator of ACCCRN Network.
“It’s important that we are not speaking for the children, but instead we are encouraging them to speak about their own action and knowledge,” said Trang as explained how she and her team work together with children and young people through the Child-Centred Climate Change Adaptation program. “Understanding the diversity,and embracing it are crucial to promoting inclusion,” she added.
Meanwhile, Mercy Corps’ GirlSPARKS is focused on working towards unleashing the power of 500 million adolescent girls living in poverty and fragility. “Girls have different access to opportunities than boys, and migration which is caused by conflicts and climate change has led to bigger pressure. Most of the migrants are girls and this has increased their vulnerability”. Julisa answered on why it has to be adolescent girls.
Julisa added: “We usually treat young people as a one homogenous group. Girls are neither young children nor women. If we don’t deliberately target girls, it will reach older males instead.” She highlighted the importance of tailoring the approach to adolescent girls’ specific needs.
Hear more from our “Leading Inclusive Resilience: youth and women’s priorities, practices and innovations” through the recording below: