13 September 2023, Victoria, Canada - UNITAR is thrilled to present the publication "Youth Championing the SDGs - Living with Climate Change" as a tangible result of the contributions made by UNITAR, CIFAL Victoria, the University of Victoria (UVic), relevant stakeholders, but especially, the UVic's youth community, who took a vital leading role in making this publication a reality to advance climate action.
Established as the first CIFAL center on the West Coast of North America, CIFAL Victoria hosted by the University of Victoria, fulfills a key part in connecting the region with the global community. It plays a critical position in facilitating international knowledge exchange and forging partnerships that align with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CIFAL Victoria is determinedly committed to making a substantial impact in key realms, particularly climate action. Within the UVic community, the collaboration between UVic's youth and CIFAL Victoria is increasingly at the forefront of endeavors aimed at implementing enduring solutions.
This student-led initiative encouraged members of the University of Victoria campus to embark on a creative exploration and sharing of their experiences concerning life amidst climate change. Through a diverse dispose of arts-based workshops, including an art exhibition hosted at the UVic library, students immersed fresh ideas, creativity, and narrative into addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by sustainability and climate change.
This narrative was designed to confront climate change-related anxieties through dialogues, workshops, and field excursions that revolve around several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was purposefully timed to coincide with the United Nations COP 27, as it aspired to spotlight the critical importance of these negotiations in the context of escalating climate change impacts.
The youth of today represent the forthcoming generation of leaders in our ever-evolving world. They are instrumental in boosting the United Nations Agenda 2030 forward by mobilizing communities, enhancing awareness, and committing to actionable initiatives. Undertakings like "Living With Climate Change" offer invaluable experiential opportunities for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to converge, acquire vital leadership skills, foster collaboration, nurture critical thinking, and simultaneously contribute to the realization of the SDGs.
Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) stated:
Launched in November 2022 during COP27, UVic community came together to reflect on Living with Climate Change. Through the lenses of mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and transformation, these artistic responses to climate change presented in this publication aim to channel the emotional intensity of our time, inspiring us to see a path forward together.
Mr. Kevin Hall, President and Vice-Chancellor CIFAL Victoria Chair highlighted:
The University of Victoria is immensely grateful to every participant and each contribution made toward advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through CIFAL Global Network of training, research, and collaboration. It’s our multisectoral, connected, and aligned approach that enables us to train and inspire the next generation of thought leaders to help tackle the world’s biggest challenges.
We extend our invitation for you to examine this publication as a source of inspiration, while also elevating the voices of youth on a global scale. Our strategic positioning allows us to persist in our pursuit of a brighter future, and it is through your valuable contributions that we are actively transforming this vision into reality.