LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’s Civil Society Network for Climate Change (CISONECC) with its partners Action Aid Malawi (AAM) on Saturday, September 8, challenged the on going United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s extra-ordinary session of climate negotiations in Bangkok that must provide predictable and enough funds for adaptation programs.

The funds must cater for young people and women who are mostly affected by effects of climate change.

The two organisations want the meeting to provide practical roadmap that incorporates youth and women in the planning, implementation and monitoring of adaptation programs that tackles effects of climate change.

Addressing the news conference in the capital Lilongwe with the position paper, Julius Ng’oma, CISONECC Executive Director reminded world leaders to put much effort that empowers youth and women.

Below is the position paper issued after the press briefing;

A. Background

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is holding an extra-ordinary session of climate negotiations in Bangkok. The session is taking place from 3rd to 9th September 2018.

This is important session as the United Nations is expected to finalize the development of “Rulebook”
for implementing the Paris Agreement. The “rulebook” must be completed and agreed by parties during negotiations at the COP24 in Katowice, Poland in December 2018, so that the Paris Agreement can being implemented on schedule starting in 2020.

Malawi is one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The anticipated
detrimental impacts associated with the environmental challenge of climate change will ultimately
modify Malawi’s economies, livelihoods, health, social structure, infrastructure and natural systems.
Young people and women are mostly affected and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due
to lack of access to basic services such as health, education and they are also highly subjected to the
risk of diseases and displacement in cases of disasters such as droughts and floods. Water scarcity,
higher temperatures and an increased threat of heath-stress contribute even more to the vulnerability
of young people and women by affecting lives.
The negotiations in Bangkok, Thailand and Katowice, Poland therefore is an opportunity particularly for
young people and women in Malawi to raise their voices on key issues to ensure climate justice and
protection that their rights are protected in the new Paris Agreement rulebook and subsequent actions
be initiated at local level. This will also provide young people and women access to climate finance.
In addition, the Bangkok meeting provides a “hook” for media work, digital communications and
campaigning for interested country offices to participate in at home. This includes an international day
of climate mobilisations taking place across countries (including in Bangkok) on the 8th September, led
by 350.org.
The Malawi Government through the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) has developed a Country
Position towards COP24. The issues highlighted in the position paper are very critical in making sure
that all parties work towards a common goal of minimizing the impacts of climate change through
implementation of the Paris Agreement. This will help address the impacts of climate change and
address issues of poverty particularly among poor youth and women. Young people and women who
are in majority and hugely affected by impacts of climate change have the potential to manage their
own challenges when empowered however government, civil society organizations and development
partners must put in place deliberate efforts to support their initiatives. Social inclusion should be a
priority to ensure that, young people and women are engaged in designing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these plans at all level.

However young people and women have limited capacity, knowledge and skills on climate negotiation
processes and have little knowledge to appreciate what the Paris Agreement is all about. This
knowledge gap on the global climate related policies and lack of interest on climate negotiations, make
them hard to actively participate and contribute meaningfully to the global climate discussion, while
initiating local climate actions to combat and manage the impacts of climate change and also being
able to advocate for green, pro-poor climate policies, advance issues of accountability by being able to
raise, voice out their concerns and also hold leaders to account on their decisions.
Key Demands
i. Enhancing Climate Change adaptation including Agriculture
Climate change threatens our right to food and Nutrition Security and there exists opportunities for
young people to attain a Climate Resilient Malawi. Government and development partners should:
• Provide incentives for young people at grassroots and national level to identify and promote
adaptation innovation and initiatives. The incentives should ensure the fulfillment of best
innovations and recognized in our NDCs.
• Make special investments in education and training for youth in agriculture in formal and informal
education systems; particularly the Value market chain including seed grants to support youth
beyond their training.
• Facilitate linkages with National and International organizations in Agriculture innovations,
productivity and Value addition whilst recognizing the role of Indigenous Knowledge.
ii. Integrating Gender and fulfilling Climate Justice
Women, youth especially young women and girls and the poor are disproportionately affected by the
impacts of climate change due to their reliance on Natural resources and limited socio-economic capital.
• Government should make deliberate efforts to communicate to young women and youth about
gender equality to bridge the knowledge gap on climate change issues while empowering
marginalized groups in culturally appropriate ways. Youth will be engaged in the design and
communication of Climate Change.
• Government should have a special training for youths in the existing policies and opportunities
for young people in implementation at National and Local level. As such Youth will be presented
at relevant National coordinating bodies and youth based agencies will be named in the policy
Implementation plans and recognized as required.
• Youth should be engaged in tracking, monitoring and promoting accountability and transparency
to ensure that policies in Malawi are implemented
• Development partners will support the Youth movement by providing technical, financial and
administrative support to the Youth movement in Malawi and the information will be
disseminated through National Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC) and annual
gatherings
• Government, development partners and Civil Society Organizations to continue supporting
annual youth conferences on climate change by including specific budget lines in their
programming.
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Government should increase social protection programmes, which helps address unpaid care work,
including effective cash based programming promoting supporting women’s rights in emergencies.iii.
Access to Climate Finance
Financial support is key to implementing policies and programmes for a climate resilient Malawi. The
current existing Finance mechanisms cannot be accessed by Community Based Youth organizations or
start up initiatives.
• Government should introduce a Youth Climate basket fund: with an open policy and ease access
for young people and their respective organizations. The funds will be derived from the country’s
annual budget, development partners and from UNFCCC funding sources.
• Government should exempt tax on Green Energy products (such as solar, wind, biogas) to
enable young people to engage in and start up initiatives as well promoting government’s efforts
in Mitigation and Adaptation.
• Government relooks and addresses Tax injustice to encourage National agencies and
organizations and young people to make meaningful investments in climate adaptation and
mitigation
• Government should build and strengthen alliances to demand resilience financing ensuring
communities, particularly women and young people, have access to and control over this
iv. National Mitigation actions including Green entrepreneurship
Despite Malawi being amongst the least emitters in the world, there are existing development and
economic benefits to implementing mitigation measures such as Green Energy. The country is currently
facing serious power shortages (even though only less than 10% of the population is connected to the
power grid) which threatens investments and the situations is expected to worsen due to the
overreliance on hydro power. Government should
• Create a robust investment fund on Green energy which can specifically act as an
entrepreneurship opportunity for young people
• Put in place Incentives (including the Green Award, 15 annual Scholarships, quarterly trainings
and Six week fellowships) for young Innovators and Innovations. We have the solutions!
• The development partners should provide opportunities and resources for youth and youth
organizations as grants/revolving fund
v. An inclusive and effective National and International Policy Framework
Malawi has comprehensive National Policy frameworks for managing Climate Change but there remains
challenges in youth engagement and effective implementation.
• Government and development partners should have or support a special quarterly training
programme for young people in policy issues and advocacy
• Government should ensure youth representations in all the meetings as regards to policy
formulation, implementation and negotiations. Particularly the Malawi delegation to any Climate
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Negotiation events in a year should have a youth representation to build capacity for sustainability.
• The government must have a fully funded youth delegate for any UNFCCC negotiations annually.
• Development partners should consider funding youth delegates to the UNFCCC negotiations and other climate meetings and trainings in the region and at international level.
• The constitution to have the right to environmental health in chapter 4 of fundamental human rights.
• Youth should engage in national and international processes to influence resilience processes (promoting adaptive, absorptive and transformation) and lead transformative recovery efforts to build back.
• Government should effectively engage existing youth networks in policy implementation and tracking of progress of strategies, plans and budgets. Such platforms should be recognized in Policy implementation plans and incorporated in National, District and Local structures. Such youth networks and organizations must not be limited to government initiated platforms only. We are a larger movement!
As the youth in Malawi, we remain committed to addressing Climate Change for our future and generations to come. Our window to turn the tide on the impacts of Climate Change grows thin each passing day but we remain committed. We look forward to continued mutually beneficial partnership

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