Vientiane, 1st November 2021 – While hundreds of young climate leaders gathered in Italy for the pre-COP26 on topic “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, more than 200 volunteers and officials from Laos attended the Youth 4 Climate Change Conference organized by Zero Waste Laos on Saturday 30th October.
What does the Lao youth have to tell the international business and development community about our current practices and our way to tackle climate change? This is the message Zero Waste Laos, active nationwide to inspire young people to engage in solving environmental problems, especially on waste issues, is trying to pass across the country since 2019.
Nam Theun 2 has partnered with Zero Waste Laos since the beginning of their actions, to bring its stone to the building of sustainability. On Saturday 30th October, for the second time, more than 200 young volunteers, representatives from the international community and officials of the Lao government gathered physically and virtually to reflect on concrete paths to embark society on the way to sustainability, bearing in mind that young people will be the one whose lives will be most impacted by climate change.
One “Case Challenge”, supported by Nam Theun 2, to tackle concretely waste issues in Laos
Going beyond awareness-raising action, Zero Waste October’s event aimed at stirring solutions and at strengthening the technical capacities of Lao youth on climate change. The Case Challenge of Climate Change, whose award was partially financed by Nam Theun 2, precisely invited junior teams to develop and present their own project to tackle environmental issues.
Nam Theun 2’s CEO, Mr. Olivier Didry, joined remotely the event to congratulate the 3 winning teams, whose work focused on waste issues. To encourage youth to take action, 1 one of the 3 laureates projects will be implemented in Nakai, where it will benefit from Nam Theun 2’s expertise of the ground. Therefore, Nam Theun 2’s Environment Team Manager, Axay Vongkhamsao, was among the judges brought together by Zero Waste Laos, to distinguish between the best projects out of the 7 proposals.
Nam Theun 2 is proud to partner with Zero Waste Laos to contribute to the establishment of this youth-led community that tackles environmental changes, betting on the fact that connecting networks of stakeholders sharing the same goal is one of the solutions to leverage actions’ impact, as stated in the SDG 17 “Partnerships for the goals” of the United Nations.
A growing success, 1 year after the first “Youth for Sustainable Development Goals” Conference organized in partnership with Nam Theun 2
In December 2020, Zero Waste Laos and Nam Theun 2 partnered to offer a 2-days event focusing on youth’s involvement for Sustainable Development Goals. Last Saturday, Zero Waste Laos’ teams demonstrated anew their growing anchoring among Lao Youth and more generally Lao society, with high-ranking officials and motivated youth joining from.
Representatives of the Lao government (the Secretary-General of the Center Committee of Lao Youth Union and the Vice Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), diplomatic corps (EU and UK Embassies), development organizations (NPA) and international community (UNFPA) attended the event, though it was the 200 young volunteers who occupied the center stage during the majority of sessions (Climate Talks, Breakout Sessions …).
H.E. Mr. Alounxai SOUNNALATH, Secretary General Center Committee of Lao Youth Union, who co-chaired the event with H.E. the EU Ambassador to Lao PDR, recalled that “[t]here is 60 % of young population in Laos. Thus, the future of [Laos] is in youth hands, and we need to support and build their capacity to be ready for country development. Also, we need to involve them on solving environmental issues both in urban and remote areas. Creating youth network is a key driver to strengthen and make changes.”