International Youth Day 2008

International Youth Day,12 August 2008


Message of the Secretary General on IYD2008
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The selection of this theme for IYD 2008 is in recognition of the fact that climate change has already begun to devastate communities and deepen the effects of poverty and hunger. This situation complicates the challenges that youth face. However, young people are increasingly adding their voices to the call for action on climate change.

It is important to actively engage youth in areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation:

  • Preparedness and disaster risk reduction is about building individual and community capacities so that the likelihood of climate change-induced disasters is reduced and that people are able to respond promptly, expeditiously and effectively.
  • Adaptation entails actions that moderate harm, or exploit benefits, of climate change.
  • Mitigation entails actions that minimizes or cushions the adverse impacts of climate change.

International Youth Day gives the world an opportunity to recognize the potential of youth, to celebrate their achievements, and plan for ways to better engage young people to successfully take action in the development of their societies. It presents a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to rally together to ensure that young people are included in decision-making at all levels.

Find out how young people can find the social space to participate, influence, and benefit from global and local responses to climate change!

How you can commemorate International Youth Day 2008

Team up! Create a strategic youth team in your own community. This is a great opportunity to rally support and get key stakeholders involved – Governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses, municipal authorities – everyone has a role to play in making climate stabilization a priority! Find out more about youth organizations that exist in your community or if your National Youth Council or other local youth organizations that are taking meaningful action on climate change.

Organize! A major benefit to International Youth Day is that it can be used to forge new partnerships and launch practical action to rally Governments and the private sector to act and implement concrete solutions. Conduct research on how your local community contributes to climate change or plan a local project to promote sustainable development strategies in your community.

Take action! Hold forums, public discussions and campaigns to find out more about how young people can act to address climate change issues. Research and evaluate what has been done successfully in other communities. Often, International Youth Day can be used to raise awareness about climate change issues that are important to young people through newspapers, radio and the Internet. The media are important partners that can greatly increase public awareness on youth action for climate change.

Celebrate! Use International Youth Day for an event to highlight issues related to climate change or showcase the outcome of your project in your community. Invite Government and local UN officials, community and business leaders to participate in your event. Celebrate International Youth Day 2008!


What is happening around the world to mark the day *

Email us at to share unique ideas and plans for commemorating International Youth Day in your local community that show effective collaboration and partnerships between young people and their Governments, UN offices and national youth organizations. Please note that this opportunity should not be used for self-promotion or publicity.


  • World Youth Congress, Quebec City: To commemorate the Day, UN Programme on Youth will join hundreds of young people in an international youth event celebrating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary, the World Youth Walk. The Walk will end at a concert where performances will be conducted along with the reading of the Message of the Secretary-General to commemorate the Day. The Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs will also be attending. 
    See photographs: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10.
  • Global: Shoot Nations International Photography Competition: Young People in a Changing Climate gives youth from around the world the chance to express their views on how their environment is changing and what they can do about it. To enter the competition, young people between the age of 11 – 24 must submit 3 photographs or drawings on the subject of climate change. Great prizes! Winning photographs will be exhibited on 4 continents, as well as at the World Youth Congress in Quebec, Canada in August 2008. To enter or find out more about the project please visit Shoot Nations or look on Plan for accompanying lesson plans and teacher resources.
  • Europe: Young Friends of the Earth Europe, an informal network of young, grassroots environmental activists, plan to organize a Wrap Up Climate Change action in which members of the public will be invited to paint and write messages on squares of fabric that will then be delivered to world leaders and climate negotiators at the UN climate summits in Poznan this December and Copenhagen in 2009. Members will be conducting activities around Europe and of course, any all young people are welcome to participate. (More information:; or
  • Armenia: The Armenian UN Association in partnership with the Regional Youth Centers’ Shirak branch and with support of UN Department of Public Information on 10 August in Gyumri. Thirty participants between the ages of 18-25 will engage in a Model UN Conference to simulate a Security Council session with the theme “Peacekeeping in Kosovo”, chosen in relation with the 60th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping. Two preparatory seminars and one pre-modelling session will be organized by AUNA volunteers at the Regional Youth Centers’ in Gyumri before the Conference to provide participants with the necessary skills and guidance. Informational materials and other relevant publications will be provided by DPI. (More information at:;
  • Australia: The Bendigo Regional YMCA along with partner agencies will call on the schools across the City of Greater Bendigo region to take part in the walk for reorganisation for Climate Change. This walk will be conducted from the Tom Flood Sports Centre through Pall Mall and across to the Civic Gardens. The Day’s celebration will include the participation of local environmentalists, a barbecue, music bands and the signing of a petition. (More information:
  • Bangladesh: A non-governmental development organization along with Government offices will organize activities that include the distribution of a theme paper, posters, T-shirts and other promotional materials highlighting the theme of IYD2008 to youth organizations, local NGOs, Government offices, universities and colleges calling on them to observe the day in their local communities. A press conference and seminar, along with a youth rally will also be organized. (More information:;
  • Cameroon: A national NGO will organize the first Cameroon National Youth Festival, CAMNYFEST 2008 that will include events held at provincial levels from the 9-12 August. Around a thousand young people from around the country are expected to meet in Tiko, in the SW Province of Cameroon, to discuss climate change and other issues of concern to the youth. The celebrations include cultural displays, traditional dance, music, theatre, technological exhibitions, debate and symposiums, art exhibition, and a rage of other activities. The organization hopes that the event, CAMNYFEST, will become an annual commemoration of IYD to further promote youth participation in development. (More information:;
  • Cyprus: Following last year’s first-ever celebration of IYD, a regional youth club will organize a similar four-day festival. The festival will include a women’s football tournament and a bicycle tour of the historic part of the capital city of Nicosia. During the festival, two groups of young people from the North and South will paint a long piece of cloth using climate change as the theme. The activity would be a symbolic gesture that would serve to remind people that issues of climate go beyond political barriers. A section of this cloth would be presented to the UN office in Cyprus. The festival will then continue with a photography exhibition and stage performances that include a shadow theater, sketches, various dance performances and concerts. A trash-art statue will be in created in the shape of a recycle sign decorated with aluminium cans and plastic bottles, to point out that even individuals can help mitigating the effects of climate change simply by recycling. Young and amateur performers have been chosen to further promote responsibility and participation among youth. (More information:
  • Estonia: In Haapsalu, the National Youth Council will organize several events to commemorate the Day. On 8 August, an international youth seminar entitled “Youth in Action” will be held for young people from fifty countries of the region. On 12 August, IYD starts with a human train from the centre of Haapsalu and goes to the beach where IYD events will being held. Events will include an exhibition by youth organizations, a football match between young people and the local officials, a skate and graffiti competition, a live library, as well as a workshop for knitting graffiti with social messages, which will be displayed around the town. The Day’s events will culminate in a large concert where many famous Estonian bands will perform. (More information:;
  • Georgia: With support from the Swiss Embassy in Georgia, a local NGO has organized a week-long summer camp on the Black Sea coast for 30 multi-ethnic youth aged 16-21 from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The camp will provide the young people with an opportunity to discuss multi-ethnic integration and initiatives to build a framework for peace. Most camp sessions will be dedicated to learning about multi-ethnic conflict and provide tools and training in leadership-skills to help resolve conflict. On IYD, the participants will plan actions to address climate change and then carry out the plans in a nearby town. The Day’s events will end in a party for the young people. (More information:,
  • Ghana: Three second cycle schools in association with the National Department of Parks & Gardens will participate in a re-vegetation project. The Day’s events will include presentations by Government officials and a parade with floats and brass band through the areas being re-vegetated. (More information:
  • Greece: UNESCO Club Serron and it’s youth team in will organize a walk from the central park in the city to an IYD exhibition on the theme of the Day. Related activities will be covered by the media and include a short YouTube clip from the central park. (More information at;
  • Guadeloupe: ONG PLAC 21 has organized the second sports and cultural tournament “Angloma Challenge” that will be held in Saint-Louis de Marie-Galante. Young people are invited to create teams with 13 people between the ages of 12-24, as well as two adults. The teams will participate in various sports, cultural challenges, quizzes and also create a large wall painting. (More information:
  • India: A voluntary NGO that works towards the equitable and sustainable development of the mountainous regions of India will be organizing a three-day training programme for youth leaders from the local district. The programme entitled “Enabling Young Leaders to Combat Climate Change” will be the first of its kind in the state and the organization aims to replicate the same at other parts of the state. The organization will partner with the relevant Government Departments, business groups, NGOs, CBOs, educational institutions, media and youth associations. (More information:;
  • Indonesia: The one-day training event on nature and climate change will be held on 30 August and involve high school students from Bandung. Participants will continue as climate change volunteers and be encouraged to further organize campaigns in their schools, along with their teachers who have also participated in a similar training event. (More information:
  • Iraq: A national youth foundation will bring together managers and young people in Iraq to discuss problems and causes of unemployment and the negative impact on their lives. The outcome of the conference would be the establishment of an office for youth employment during the summer vacation and to provide life-skills training to young people. Several developmental workshops would work to build the capacity of youth that cover topics related to writing resumes, dealing with the local labour market and finding a job. Additionally, posters and T-shirts on climate change would be also produced. (More information:
  • Kenya: A major NGO will organize a conference summit to raise awareness about MDG 7 that is related to environmental sustainability. The summit will also be an opportunity to launch the Take Action Now Project (TAN – PROJECT) that will enable research, advocacy and help to identify key partners in the public and private sectors. The summits goals and outcomes also include efforts to clean up the Nairobi river. (More information:;;
  • Malawi: A youth-led NGO will launch its project on Climate Change titled, Re-thinking Our World Initiative, a Nationwide Youth Campaign on Climate Change. The project shall be launched during a panel discussion the theme of the Day. Other local media campaigns and promotions will also be conducted to promote the Day. (More information:
  • Malaysia: In Melaka, The World Assembly of Youth, an international youth NGO will actively engage young people and youth leaders in areas of preparedness, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation. An event will be organized in which participants will make presentations relevant to the theme on climate change in manner of their choosing, which could include slides, skits, songs, dances and drama. The Chief Minister of Melaka will open the event along with the President of the organization. (More information:;
  • Mali: Young people in Koulikoro will organize a series of workshops over nine days in nine communities on the concepts, causes and effects of climate change. They will also review solutions to address the effects of climate change and discuss what young people can do to mitigate its effects. The workshop aims to inform and sensitize young people and to bring about behavioural change. Young people will draw up their own action plans and means for its implementation. The programme of the day also includes the reading of Declaration of Montreal 2005 and the planting of one hundred feet of trees in the nine communities. (More information:
  • Mauritius: Ministry of Youth and Sports in Mauritius will conduct an explanation workshop near the estuary of river Terre Rouge that will be followed by a cleaning up of litter in the wetlands and the planting of mangroves. Young people will also participate in a reforestation project with the support of the local authorities and restore an area into its original state before it was exploited by man for timber and fuel. All exotic and invading plants will be replaced by endemics trees. The activities are supported by the National Park and Conservation Service, the Ministry of Environment and other local authorities. Maintenance of the projects will be ensured by youth organizations that have agreed to regularly monitor and perform follow-up actions. (More information:
  • Nepal: 1. A youth NGO is organizing a collaborative youth rally with ministerial representation in Katmandu. Regional offices are organizing local events and discussions on climate change. In Biratnagar, 30 youth organizations are organizing a massive youth rally will participants from several colleges. In Pokhara, similar rally with other youth organizations is being held for the second consecutive year. Youths from Nepalgunj and Butwal too are coming together with thematic representation of youth led movement via youth rally. Other locations are Janakpur, Bharatpur, Dang, Jumla and Dhangadhi.(More information:;;;
    2. A youth-led forum that promotes the use of ICT tools to bridge the digital divide between the rural-urban youth in Nepal will organize a talk show on the effects of global warming. The programme will inform young people about global warming and provide information on actions that can be taken to address the effects.
    3. A youth led human rights organization will rally several other youth organizations to hold a youth bicycle rally around the capital city that will provide information on environmental issues, youth and public responsibility. It will promote the benefits of using bicycles instead of motorized vehicles and address social stigma related to using bicycles. Each bicycle will be provided a placard featuring information about issues related to youth. The participants will be provided with a paper caps and T-shirts. (More information:
  • Nigeria: 1. The YMCA Northern Zone Youth Forum is marking the Day with an 8-day summer camp. Besides regular camp activities, the commemoration includes a visit to the Plateau State House of Assembly to encourage legislators to support action on environmental issues. (More information:
    2. A young student who started a company in January this year, to make button badges, will be making and distributing buttons on IYD to tell young people about the part they play in saving the planet. (More info:
    3. A road show and an endurance trip from one end of Abuja to the other, which will pass through major city centres and present messages on the theme of the Day. (More information:;
  • Serbia: 1. Serbia: The United Nations Association Serbia will hold a media conference and a present a policy paper on climate change that was prepared by a team of students in the youth section of UNA Serbia. The project team was created from participants of the Belgrade International Model United Nations Conference. After three months of intensive work on the project, the team analyzed different aspects of climate change and drafted concrete recommendations that will be sent to Government ministries, as well as to UN agencies, the media and other institutions. (More information:;
    2. A concert will be organized to commemorate IYD. (More information:
  • Trinidad and Tobago: The National Youth Council of TNT will organize a family day on 10 August, themed Building Sustainable Families. The Day’s events will include family telematches, a family-photo booth and other educational programmes that encourage team participation as a family unit that provide an opportunity to learn and appreciate several aspects of the family as an institution while educating multiple generations about the environment. Environment Information Tents will allow participants to better understand environmental issues and how these issues impact upon the family. The Day’s events will also include theatre as an educational tool to promote health family dynamics as it relates to its important role in nurturing and national development and in preserving the environment. (More information:;
  • United Kingdom: 1. In New Forrest, 20 students aged 13-16 will meet 40 students from a Junior High School in Japan for a five-day camp in the area. While taking part in a variety of activities at the camp site and in the local area the young people will be assessing their carbon footprint and discussing the pros and cons of reducing it. (More information:
    2. In Coventry, to mark the Day, a local chapter of a youth volunteering charity have organised a week of voluntary events (Youth Action Week, 11-15 August) to encourage and educate people on climate change and discuss what each individual can do to make a difference. Young people will produce a film, others will to go into the Town Centre to encourage recycling, as well as organize a celebration, workshop and performance. A youth task force group will be on hand all week do good “environmental” deeds among local voluntary and community organizations. (More information:
  • Zambia: A sport for development organization working with children and youth in disadvantaged communities in Zambia will organize a Youth Forum on Climate Change in which African Soccer icon, Kalusha Bwalya will participate. Related football teams will join together in a community clean up, that includes the football fields. A Football Tournament under the theme “Save the Earth” would serve to bring together youth in our communities to celebrate their contribution to the development. At this tournament through music, poetry, games and literature, community members would be engaged in discussions on climate change. (More information:
  • Zimbabwe: A young entrepreneurs’ organization will partner with other organizations to commemorate IYD and organize a one-day workshop/conference for 100 young people. Activities will include discussions on the MDGs and policy implications, motivational presentations and break-away practical sessions, including discussions on climate change and what young people can do in their own communities, market investigation to help the young people generate business ideas. Other activities will provide opportunities for young people to learn about business and employment creation options. (More information: