Over 30 young climate activists, aged 13 to 16 years, gathered in Bakuriani on 20-28 June to work with environmental experts and discuss the strides they can make in raising public awareness about issues surrounding climate change.
The Green Camp ‘Climate Ambassadors’ brought together youngsters from twelve Georgian municipalities (Akhmeta, Gardabani, Gori, Gurjaani, Khobi, Kobuleti, Lagodekhi, Senaki, Sighnaghi, Tbilisi, Telavi and Zugdidi) offering them an inspiring and informative pastime full of interactive activities, discussions, role-plays and hiking.
The Green Camp was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Environmental Information and Education Center (EIEC) of Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. UNDP and EIEC invited prominent environmental experts to lead in educational activities and the National Environment Agency assisted in arranging a hiking tour to a meteorological monitoring station.
This educational initiative draws on the resources provided by the Green Climate Fund and the governments of Georgia, Sweden and Switzerland. It is part of an awareness-raising effort supported by this nationwide program to better inform Georgians about the impacts of climate change, protect communities from climate-induced disasters and inspire national and local climate actions.
Many of the Green Camp participants have been already involved in the program activities, including school contests, youth campaigning and climate volunteering.
Environmental education is a critical part of climate action. The Government of Georgia is taking active steps to introduce it in schools and increase public awareness about climate change
UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia Nick Beresford, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Solomon Pavliashvili and EIEC Director Tamar Aladashvili addressed young climate ambassadors at the Camp opening and encouraged them to continue their education and activism for a sustainable and climate-smart future.
“Environmental education is a critical part of climate action. The Government of Georgia is taking active steps to introduce it in schools and increase public awareness about climate change,” Pavliashvili said.
“Our Climate Ambassadors are not just gaining technical knowledge but also learning how to network and be effective activists and leaders in their communities. All of us can act as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint but that is not going to stop climate change on its own. Government leadership is the key to making this work. We need young Climate Ambassadors to become adult activists, influencers, voters and leaders to drive the change needed to save the planet,” Beresford noted.
The Green Camp is expected to inspire youth projects all over Georgia and drive local climate action in municipalities. UNDP, in cooperation with local and international partners, will support this effort with funding and expertise.