Landell Mills organises Panel Discussion – Promoting a Climate of Change – to voice young people’s opinions on climate change issues in Sudan

On 10th July 2018 Landell Mills held a lively Promoting a Climate of Change Youth Panel Discussion at the University of Khartoum as part of the EU financed Global Climate Change Alliance+ project: Strengthening Local Communities Resilience to Climate Change in Sudan. Landell Mills is implementing the following contract under this project: Provision of Technical Assistance to Enhance Local Capacities Regarding Environmental Management and Environmental Governance. The event was organised to coincide with the European Union Climate Diplomacy Week and highlight the role of youth in addressing climate change issues through an interactive workshop and talks focused on the following three themes:

  1. Youth, innovation, technology and climate change

  2. Education, social behaviour change and communication – engaging youth to address climate change

  3. Enterprise and the green economy – opportunities for youth in the context of climate change

 Participants at the  Promoting a Climate of Change  panel discussion – including Mr. David Lelliott OBE, Deputy Head of Mission (2nd from left, backrow), H.E Hans Henric Lundquist, Ambassador of Sweden (3rd from left- backrow), H.E. Jean Michel Dumond (centre, backrow) and Dr. Hana Hamadalla (Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development, Director of the General Directorate of Climate Change). Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Participants at the Promoting a Climate of Change panel discussion – including Mr. David Lelliott OBE, Deputy Head of Mission (2nd from left, backrow), H.E Hans Henric Lundquist, Ambassador of Sweden (3rd from left- backrow), H.E. Jean Michel Dumond (centre, backrow) and Dr. Hana Hamadalla (Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development, Director of the General Directorate of Climate Change). Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

The Panel Discussion

The panel brought together representatives from the Government of the Republic of Sudan, the international donor and diplomatic community, national and international NGOs, as well as fifty Sudanese young people from various disciplines and with different backgrounds to identify the key issues and discuss policy solutions.

The speakers at the event included H.E. Jean Michel Dumond, Head of Delegation for the European Union; Dr. Hana Hamdalla, Director of the Directorate for Climate Change, Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Physical Development (MENRPD); Andrew Billingsley, Landell Mills Team Leader, and Dr. Mey Ahmed from the United Nations Environment Programme.

Presentations were also given by young people involved in the sector. This session demonstrated practical ways for young people to engage in positive action to address climate change and to encourage creative solutions to a range of pressing climate related issues. Khalid Ali from Impact Hub, for example, noted that youth represent more than 60% of the Sudanese population and that climate change is going to affect them the most. He also explained that the local context is complicated and required a range of innovative solutions, and that Sudan has a decent telecom infrastructure, which he thinks is a great opportunity to reach a wide range of stakeholders, especially in remote areas. 

 Basil Ahmed presenting:   Education, Social Behaviour Change and Communication – Engaging youth to address Climate Change ,  Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Basil Ahmed presenting: Education, Social Behaviour Change and Communication – Engaging youth to address Climate Change, Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Education, social behaviour change and communication – engaging youth to address climate change

On the topic of education, social behaviour change and communication – engaging youth to address climate change, Basil Ahmed from the Arab Youth Climate Movement highlighted key methodologies for the communication of messages and the techniques for engaging youth, children and communities in climate change activities.

 Amro Khalafalla presenting on   Enterprise and the Green Economy – opportunities for youth in the context of Climate Change .  Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Amro Khalafalla presenting on Enterprise and the Green Economy – opportunities for youth in the context of Climate Change. Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Enterprise and the green economy – opportunities for youth in the context of climate change

On the theme of enterprise and the green economy – opportunities for youth in the context of climate change, Amro Khalafalla, co-founder and Head of the Founding Committee of the Sudanese Solar Energy Society, discussed economic development opportunities for youth in the context of climate change. He also addressed the background to the green economy and environmental entrepreneurship, and, critically, the various possible entry points for youth, especially in the energy sector. Finally, Lujein Mohamed talked about her experiences in running a recycling project that won her a national award for her efforts. 

The Discussion

In the afternoon, a discussion session was held in which participants were divided into two groups in order to discuss the role of technology and the importance of policy in addressing climate change. 

 The Panel Discussion participants. Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

The Panel Discussion participants. Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

 Discussion groups of young people addressing questions on technology and policy to address climate change. Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Discussion groups of young people addressing questions on technology and policy to address climate change. Photograph by Nisreen Alsaiem

Discussions during these sessions concluded there is a need to improve environmental awareness using both technology and social media. Workshop participants also felt that further campaigning is needed to increase environmental awareness in remote areas and access to technology. It was proposed that the government, experts, civil society and the private sector should coordinate to create an enabling environment for technology. Finally, the group discussed the need to increase awareness and ensuring implementation of national and international policies and proposed a series of possible next steps including:

  • Awareness events with the private sector that focus on how they can adapt their activities to mitigate and adapt for climate change and what support they can offer to young people in tackling common challenges.  

  • An annual event that brings together software developers, inventors and engineers to showcase technologies to address climate change.

  • Bi-annual events with inspirational Sudanese speakers.   

  • Engagement with diplomatic cultural centres such as the British Council and French and Italian organisations to encourage the spread of climate change related messages through their events.

  • A training programme for CSOs and journalists on Social Behaviour Change Communication and climate change focused project fundraising.