Climate change has been the defining environmental issue of our times affecting every segment of society in one way or the other. Climate change has put the Himalayan region in center of the international attention - as one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world severely impacting its social and environmental security.
Climate change is one of the most critical global concerns of this generation where the youth of the region will face enormous challenges in future. It is therefore important to bring about awareness among youth and actively engage them in areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation. Youths have innovative ideas, knowledge and abundant energy to undertake local actions. Youth can play “agent for change” and act as effective communicators in their communities and be involved in regional and international arenas.
In this regard, Earth Observation has proved to be a vital tool to improve our understanding of the climate change phenomenon by providing information on the changes on various attributes which are indicators to climate change. Henceforth, ICIMOD is implementing the SERVIR-Himalaya programme supported by NASA and USAID with an overarching goal to improve environmental management and resilience to climate change. The SERVIR-Himalaya science applications include the areas of cryosphere and water, ecosystems and biodiversity, agriculture and food security, disaster risk reduction and air quality monitoring. Information derived from earth observation helps visualizing the impact of climate change and take appropriate actions. The SERVIR-Himalaya programme is putting increasing emphasis on education and exposure of innovative tools and technologies to youth that will enable rapid response on issues related to climate change in the Himalayan region.
The aim of youth forums is to raise awareness among young people, and help them understand climate change and take appropriate actions in their local communities.
Youth forums have been organized in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.