Armenia signs the Intergovernmental declaration on children, youth, and climate action
18 January 2023
Minister of Environment of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Hakob Simidyan signed the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action today.
Armenia is the thirty-eighth country and the first in the Caucasus region to sign the Declaration. By signing the declaration Armenia has pledged to ensure that priorities for children and youth are included in climate action.
"Today, climate change has become a priority not only for Armenia, but for the whole world, and children and young people are, in fact, the most vulnerable target to climate change. The declaration signed in collaboration with UNICEF, will become the foundation for significant changes in terms of expanding access to knowledge and information about climate change. Today’s work will bring more awareness and inclusion to future generations. In addition, we expect young people to actively offer their own solutions regarding climate change," noted Minister of Environment Hakob Simidyan.
Nora Alanakyan, Deputy Head of the Office of the Austrian Development Cooperation in Armenia welcomed the signing of the Declaration and pointed out that this document demonstrates Armenia’s commitment to acknowledge and consider the needs, rights, and perspectives of children and young people when it comes to climate change policies at all levels.
“Climate change has and will continue to cause higher temperatures, more dramatic weather events, more crop failures and increased water scarcity, and children are always the most vulnerable to these threats. In the recent years, we have seen more and more children and young people unite in a call for action. UNICEF was pleased to support two young people from Armenia to attend COP27 to join those efforts. I am now very happy to see that the Government of Armenia acknowledges the importance of including children and youth in climate action,” noted UNICEF Representative in Armenia Christine Weigand.
One of the aims of the Declaration is to expand participation by children and youth in the climate change mitigation and adaptation processes through more education about climate change and the environment, as well as acquisition of knowledge and skills required to protect themselves and contribute to a safe and sustainable future.
The signing ceremony was attended by the two young delegates from Armenia to COP27 Narek Ohanyan and Yerazik Hoveyan who also served as the high-level youth climate champion from Europe and Central Asia.
“The climate crisis is a child rights crisis, and water insecurity is a child rights crisis. It is no secret that human action around the planet has led to what we have to experience today, so the solution also starts with each and every one of us. Let’s change ourselves and not the climate. However, to do this, we need to ensure comprehensive and universal climate change education and climate literacy for all and adequate funding for it. Our call to the Government is to do what it takes to empower people of all ages with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to address climate change,” said Narek and Yerazik.
With support of the Austrian Development Cooperation, UNICEF will continue to work with the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, and other partners to continue training schoolteachers on climate change and environmental issues, enhance school curricula and develop learning materials that will effectively engage students in taking actions to mitigate climate change in collaboration with local authorities and the community at large.