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Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste


Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste

The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have launched a Community of Practice (CoP) on Chemicals and SDGs to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a summary of the discussion on Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste, which took place on 26 May 2021.

Presenters: Dickson Ho (UNEP-MGCY), Leselle Vincent (Columbia University), Emiel Dobbelaar (German Young Chemists Network), Vittoria Magrini (UNEP/SAICM Secretariat), Marijana Todorovic (UNEP/SAICM Secretariat)

Youth is more than an age range. Young people make up more than 50% of the global population and they are vastly diverse. Whether they are navigating the 21st century’s new work order post-COVID, in an increasingly automated and globalised gig economy, supporting their families and communities with establishing sustainable practices, fighting to increase awareness of growing inequality and wealth gaps or struggling with the physical and mental health issues that come with living a highly digital and hyperconnected world, the youth around the world face a very wide range of challenges on many fronts. The challenges of chemicals and waste are not an exception this. Meaningful youth engagement around chemicals and waste is an important, often neglected, topic. There is no one-size-fits-all method for meaningful youth engagement. There have been, however, some frameworks and development (e.g., Hart’s Ladder and the work of youth organizations) that can help guide discourse around meaningful youth engagement. The Chemicals and Waste Platform of the Major Group of Children and Youth to UN Environment (UNEP-MGCY) hopes to act as the bridge between decision makers and youth to foster cooperation towards meaningful youth engagement in chemicals and waste. This was the backdrop to the dynamic and engaging discussion held through the SAICM/UCT Chemicals and SDGS Community of Practice. An overview of this discussion is presented in this digest.