The efforts of the Youth AgriChampions were recognized and celebrated in the closing ceremony of the Youth AgriChampions Peer2Peer Workshop Series last week. Coming together for the last time in this series, the participants presented their conclusions and demands, reflected on the past month of work and on how the workshop series has provided them with new tools to continue addressing climate change.
Opening the workshop was BKMC’s Co-chair Dr. Heinz Fischer who underscored how critical the work that the AgriChampions do in their communities is to tackle climate change and elevate agricultural adaptation. Dr. Fischer committed to sustaining the AgriChampions´ demands and to bringing forward their messages in high-level fora. Finally, he stressed the importance of consolidating the network created through the workshop series as a way to share lessons learned and foster transnational cooperation.
Following Dr. Fischer´s remarks, representatives of the two working groups – “Women smallholders in capacity-building” and “Smallholders & policy makers/innovations” – presented the results of their discussions and laid out their demands for their respective thematic areas to be brought to world leaders.
Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also sent his words of congratulations to the Youth AgriChampions. “Your work plays an important role in fighting climate change, improving food security, and bettering the future of our planet for your communities at large,” emphasized Co-chair Ban. Moreover, the 8th UN SG Ban maintained that “the Ban Ki-moon Centre and I will highlight your demands whenever and wherever opportunity arises”, and he encouraged them to continue working together to overcome key-challenges of our time.
The closing ceremony ended with a feedback session from the participants who recognized the value of the workshop series as a platform for dialogue and as a stepping stone in their work to implement climate adaptation practises. After weeks of engaging discussions, learning from each other’s diverse experiences and working hard to develop the demands, the Youth AgriChampions Demand Paper will ultimately serve Ban Ki-moon and the BKMC team in their advocacy efforts towards agricultural adaptation to climate change at COP28 and beyond.