Monday, December 21, 2009

Copenhagen: What's Next?

I have just come back from Copenhagen COP15. While it was a thrill and privilege to participate, it also made evident how far we still have to go to meaningfully address climate change and resource degradation.

I was touched to see the buzz and interest of 40,000 participants engaging at the official conference, and of many more participating in side events and demonstrations. Most paid their own way to Copenhagen, showing incredible commitment to making this world work for all, now and later. There is tremendous public will to make a difference, beyond the 193 country delegations, and possibly over 130 heads of state.

But much about the Climate Talks was quiet puzzling as well:

Most delegations seem to be unaware of the link between climate change and resource constraints. Why would Europe propose to reduce emissions by X, and to reduce even more if everybody participates? If they fully realized resource constraints, and recognized that without a strong Copenhagen regime the world will get volatile more quickly, their proposition would look differently: They would suggest to reduce emissions by X, and if NOBODY participates, would propose to reduce European resource use even more to get Europe ready for a wild and rapidly resource-constrained future.

Informed negotiators would arrive to Copenhagen with the mind-frame of “we have a big incentive to make this deal work, because without the deal, we will have to work harder," rather than “I will not reduce if you don’t”. Perhaps these Climate Talks should not be called negotiations (which connote: “How much am I willing to give?”). A better name would reflect designing a new framework for cooperation (“How do we need to work with each other in order not to sink the planet?”). It was particularly stunning to see how addicted we still are to outdated terms like “developing and developed countries”. These terms embody the linear development that is not only becoming physically impossible, but is also the one that got us into the climate problem in the first place. What we need is green prosperity, or green development, that works with, rather than against the budget of nature.
But there were also quite a few achievements:
Many local initiatives – cities, pro-active businesses, regions - are already moving ahead even without global agreements.

REDD+ (United Nations' collaborative programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) represents a solid recognition, that land-use and biocapacity are keys to the global carbon cycle. Many solutions to climate change will come from carefully managing our use of ecosystem services.

Delegations showed their level of commitment, negotiating through the night and working tirelessly towards solutions – all encouraging signs that we are at a historical crossroads. Sustainability is certainly no longer a sideshow.Nigeria delegation were very smart, hardworking and well prepared, with a Delegtion Office with enough staff to asisit with anything, There is an information website on Nigerian Particoation at COP15:

Nigerian Youth were not left behind, The Government supported a few to particpate while other were sponsored by Development Agencies. As the leader of the Nigerian Youth Delegation, I was invited to particpate at the Official delegation meetings and side event were I made presentations.

We the Nigerian Youth at COP15, have liad down plans for Post-COP 15 activities starting in January 2010 with a Youth Summit and exhibition in Lagos in Feburary 2010

With growing interest in resource degradation and climate change, Nigerian Youth Climate Coaltion (NYCC) will play an even more significant role in 2010. We are both excited about this prospect, and immensely thankful. We are grateful to you, our partners, and for your ongoing trust and interest.

Lets not forget that we as individuals still have the ability to tackle climate change ourselves. We shouldn't get the politicians of the global north get away with it but we have a HUGE responsibility ourselves! Lets slow down, consume less and enjoy life in a sustainable way!

Esther Agbarakwe
Lagos, Nigeria

Saturday, December 19, 2009

UN Climate Change Conference, COP 15: Failure or Success?

Copenhagen, Denmark - The UN climate talks in Copenhagen were inches away from total failure during the night and this morning were gripped by a last minute debate on the legally binding nature of an eventual agreement. It is clear, however, that the present ambition is far too weak to tackle dangerous climate change. 

Copenhagen was at the brink of failure due to poor leadership combined with an unconvincing level of ambition. Well meant but half - hearted pledges to protect our planet from dangerous climate change are simply not sufficient to address a crisis that calls for completely new ways of collaboration across rich and poor countries.

Politicians around the world seem to be in agreement we must stay below 2 degree C threshold of unacceptable risks of climate change-in theory.

However, practically what leaders have put on the table adds up to 3 degrees C of warming or more according to WWF estimates. Millions of lives, hundreds of billions of dollar and a wealth of lost opportunities lie in the difference between rhetoric and reality on climate change actions.

The draft Copenhagen Accord is a long way from developing into a legally binding framework for decisive action on climate change. We needed a treaty now and at best, we will be working on one in half a year's time, said Carstensen. what we have after two years of negotiation is a half backed text of unclear unclear substance. Noon of the political obstacles to effective climate actions have been solved with the possible exception of the beginnings of financial flows. 

The lack of clarity is illustrated by a call for a global peak in emissions as soon as possible, in contrast to the 2007 call of the IPCC for emissions to peak in 2017. Emission reductions pledges remain far lower than what is required, with a leaked analyst by the UNFCCC secretariat showing a shortfall that would lead to 3 degrees C of warming even without considering extensive loopholes. 

We are disappointed but the story continues, said Carstensen. Civil society was excluded from these final negotiations to an extraordinary degree, and that was felt during the concluding days in Copenhagen. 

Esther Agbarakwe
Copenhagen. Denmark.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Youth Climate Leaders Stand With Millions Demanding a Real Deal NOW

Youth address world leaders at high-level plenary at UN Climate Summit, demanding governments commit to bold targets to ensure survival and climate justice.

COPENHAGEN – With over 1000 youth leaders from more than 100 countries gathered in Copenhagen, the International Youth Climate Movement at the UN Climate Summit today sent a powerful message to the assembled world leaders that governments must rise above the divisive politics of the past and show true leadership to ensure nothing less than the very survival of current and future generations.

“We have all worked for the past two years with the promise of a strong deal in Copenhagen to safeguard our future. Now it seems you will not get it done,” said Juan Carlos Soriano, a youth delegate from Peru, addressing the summit plenary. “This is unacceptable. We placed our trust in you. You should be ashamed.”

“Our rivers are drying up. Our crops are turning to dust. An unrelenting sun scorches our land while other areas are ravaged by storms and diseases,” said Esther Agbarakwe from Nigeria. “If developed countries set aside just 5% of their GNP for effective adaption by the most vulnerable countries, we will survive beyond 2050.”

“I came as a part of the Pacific youth delegation, but here I united with the Caribbean, the Maldivian, and the International Youth Climate Movement as a whole, calling out with one united voice for only 1.5 degrees of temperature rise and 350ppm of carbon concentration in the atmosphere”, said Krishneil Narayan from Fiji. “If the youth can unite as one movement at COP-15, we expect the leaders deciding our future to do the same, and deliver a legal binding treaty to ensure our survival.

Youth are calling for a Fair, Ambitious, Binding deal in Copenhagen, to avoid catastrophic climate change and ensure the survival of current and future generations, that:
  • Ensures Climate Justice
  • Limits global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 °C
  • Reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide levels back down to 350 PPM or lower
  • Commits developed countries to financing for adaptation of at least 5% GDP by 2020
  • Reduces the emissions of developed countries at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020

For more information, please contact:

Matthew Carroll, External Communications Coordinator, UNFCCC Youth Constituency, +45 5010 3621,

Thursday, December 10, 2009


10 December is "Young and Future Generations Day"; Highlights Youth Call for Climate Action

COPENHAGEN -- Hundreds of youth from around the world will celebrate “Young and Future Generations Day” with the UNFCCC at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference on Thursday, December 10. More than 1,000 young people from over 100 countries are attending the UN Climate Summit calling for bold climate leadership by their governments. Their collective vision is to protect their future and the lives of future generations threatened by climate change.

Organised in partnership between the YOUNGO (youth) constituency and the UNFCCC secretariat, Youth  and Future Generations Day seeks to send a powerful message of intergenerational equity to COP15 delegates, as well as highlighting the vital role of youth as both advocates for, and implementers of climate solutions. Highlights of the day will include an Intergenerational Inquiry with Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, as well as the launch of "Growing Together in a Changing Climate", a publication featuring efforts by youth and the UN to engage young people on climate issues. Side events through the day will showcase Youth and Student Movements' leadership on climate, the role of education, and youth voices on deforestation and degradation (REDD).

“Today’s youth will live their lives with the decisions made in Copenhagen, and our governments have a moral responsibility to deliver a fair, ambitious and binding deal”, said Prisca Randriamampihavana, a 20 year old youth delegate from Madagascar. "We want to ask world leaders, how old will you be in 2050?"

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer adds that “Young people...have brought their energy and creativity to the intergovernmental process, demanding concrete action from their governments.”

The year 2009 has seen an explosion of youth climate advocacy, and the emergence of what many youth in Copenhagen are calling the “International Youth Climate Movement,” joining hundreds of youth organizations and climate advocates from around the world.   On 10 December, visit youth and youth organizations at the Youth Arcade and find out what they are already doing to tackle climate change and how you can engage with them on working towards solutions.

Esther Agbarakwe
Bella Center, Copenhagen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

HOPEnhagen! Conference of Youth at UN Climate Negociations.

After returning on November 24th 2009 home from the Schliersee Project  in Germany, full with energy, dreams,hope and inspiration I immediately began pursuing my plans on attending the biggest UN Conference on Climate Change, as one of African Youth delegate. I am here, in Copenhagen...HOPEnhaggen

Another major side event and the most important event for the youths is the  5th  Conference of Youth.(COY).  The event started on the 5th and ended on the 6th of December at Copenhagen University  with over 500 youth delegates in attendance. It  was aimed at building trust and solidarity among youth who will be attending COP15, and to share ideas, thoughts, successes and skills with each other. It also has the focus to build a truly global movement to stop the climate crisis.  The  Conference of Youth was so inspiring as the Global youth climate movement was TRULY Global for instance, Africa made History for having more 40 youths participants and over 150 youths from the global South. I am so happy too that for the 1st time many young Nigerians will be actively participating

As my dream plan project based on my Fellowship Program in Germany is on Green Education for Young people in Nigeria  to become environmental change makers in their local communities by taking action in local environmental service projects, being here was also inspiring and an opportunity to meet over 500 young persons from across the globe, to learn and share from each other. I am very Happy to be here. It a dream come true.

"Our destiny will be written by us...Youths are playing IMPORTANT role in the UN climate Negotiations. A struggle that began many years ago...This is the first time that the Global Youth movement is TRULY Global" This are the Words of Deepa, the founder of Indian Youth Climate Network.
Our strength is our passion and enthusiasm. We are strong. This is our future, this is our lives.

 ..But What does the principle of share, yet differentiated responsibility entails?

As explained to me, the principle of common, but differentiated responsibility remind us that in Rio de Janeiro 1992 the world recognized that we are facing common global problems, but that our capacities to respond and historical influence were different and that this had to be taken into consideration when setting commitments. Today, in Copenhagen, developed countries are trying to do away with the principle and are using it to put the burden on others.

The capacities of several developing countries and marginalized peoples and communities cannot respond to this burden and historical influence were different too; this has to be taken into consideration when setting commitments. Today, in Copenhagen, developed countries are trying to do away with the principle and are using it to put the burden on others as in the case of offsetting systems supported by carbon markets in developing countries.

In other words, developed countries in the negotiations are trying to twist the interpretation of the 'common but differentiated responsibilities" to mean slowly pass on the common challenges of humanity-- for which they are majorly responsible-- to those that have the least capacity.


Esther Agbarakwe
Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The CSD Youth Caucus is an international network of over 2,000 youth leaders from hundreds of individuals and organisations, many of which are themselves national networks, that brings together young people with a desire to build a more sustainable world. The focus of the caucus is two-fold. First, to facilitate youth input into the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the primary international forum concerned with issues of Sustainability, and secondly to foster information sharing and communication between a diverse network of youth organisations who share a common interest in sustainability.
The Youth Caucus is calling for inputs from youth in Africa on it 4th Implementation Cycle: Review Session (UN CSD 18).
As a Review year, the session will focus on the following thematic issues:
 4.  Mining
5.  10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns .
The kind of inputs that we are looking for are:
-          Case studies
-          Policy research and other conducted researches related to the topics
-          Regional needs/challenges which include local, national, regional needs. eg needs for education, etc with a focus on principles and rights such as right to health, education, etc.
 Please send your input to

 Warm regards
Esther Agbarakwe

Saturday, October 24, 2009

International Youth Preparatory Meeting for COP 15, Malmo, Sweden 23rd-25th October, 2009

Dear All,

Yesterday was the first day that of the International Youth Preparatory Meeting organised by Swedish National Council of Youth Organisations (LSU) and the European Youth forum (YFJ) here in Malmo, Sweden.

The event is participated by about 80 young leaders of various different network from those of the European Union, Nordic Youth and from other Developing countries.

This is the beginning of a 48 Hours crash course to bring the youth from all over the world up to speed and start to strategize ourselves towards COP15.

Below are what was covered on just half the day:
European Environment Agency & the Road to Copenhagen
Basic Crash Course of what UNFCCC is and what is happening up till now
Climate Negotiations (Advance info on negotiations)
Youth Regional Coordination: State of play of the youth efforts in the respective regions

Today, more are being covered and everyone is taking it well even though it can be information overload. So well done young leaders here for IYPM!

Hopefully, this will inspire many of you to be able to do some level of regional stratergizing or consultation so when we convene, we can confidently mention how many youth we have managed to involved beyond just those who are at COP itself.

44 more days to COP and we want your participation! Join the various working groups and you can start taking the lead to create the vibrancy within YOUNGO toward COP, at COP and beyond COP.

Among the four African Delegate is Esther Agbarakwe of Nigerian Youth Coalition(NYCC)

Warm Regards,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Changing seasons in India. Telling the EU to act on climate change.

A view from inside the EU parliament. Credit: Stack coordinator

The climate witnesses looked nervous as they took to the podium. It wasn’t surprising considering that in front of them were two hundred or so people, inside the grand building of the European parliament.

The parliament building is pretty overwhelming for anyone who goes inside it for the first time. Endless corridors, lifts and stairways, all busy with people in smart looking suits marching from one meeting room to the next. But Mohit was here for an important reason and had no need to be nervous.

He gave a very personal account of how climate change has altered people’s lives in Tallikhiya village, Uttar Pradesh. Farmers there are struggling as the seasons begin to merge. Winters are getting warmer and monsoons are becoming more intense, they’re also lasting for shorter periods of time.

This makes knowing when to plant crops increasingly difficult. All of which matters a lot when you’re a small-scale farmer. If a crops are planted at the wrong time or are washed away, it has devastating consequences.

What struck me most was when he said that they used to know when the seasons were changing by which birds were in the sky. This would help them to know when to plant crops, or when to prepare for the harvest.

Life would go in cycles and while there would be the odd drought, or particularly heavy monsoon, the people could cope. As extreme weather events become more frequent, the people of Mohit’s community are struggling.

Then it was the turn of the EU politicians to speak. Artur Runge-Metzger is the EU chief negotiator on climate change. He said that he “wants the EU to take a leadership role in Copenhagen and convince others to take things forward.”

Over the next few weeks the EU is set to agree their position for the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. His warm words will mean nothing if they don’t agree a position that leads to a fair and safe deal at Copenhagen.

By bringing people like Mohit to politicians from the European Union we are cutting down the space that exists between our officials and the millions of people that are affected by their decisions. As we hear more and more stories of lives being turned upside down as the weather changes, it’s clear that time is running out for the planet and the poorest people who live on it.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

..From the Heart!

Daries from my Fellowship in Germany!


During the last weekend of September, the World witness catastrophic floods in the Philippines rendering hundreds of people homeless and many killed. At least one town was completely under water. Power has been cut off to parts of the capital, Manila, where hundreds of people were trapped on rooftops.

The equivalent of a whole month's rain fell in six hours as Tropical Storm Ketsana, also known as Ondoy, lashed the island of Luzon, causing the worst flooding in Manila for 20 years.

We watched this sad news over over CNN (the only English News Channel) together with Denis, our co-fellow from the Philippines whose Family was affected. We Prayed for her and for the safety of her family members and i was inspired by the support of the fellows and the D&F to Denis but then personally something else was on my mind... CLIMATE CHANGE!!

Could this be an impact of Climate Change? This crisis happened after the UN Climate Change Summit in New York (SEPT.22ND)and hopefully the Government of the world will "seal the Deal" in COPENHAGEN!!

I wish Denis's Family and other Affected people quick recovery and let us remember that we live in one global world and we have a shared Responsibility and Accountability..Please support the victims/survivors of the Floods in PHILIPINES and GO GREEN!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

JUST FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS:My 2009 Fellowship with Dekeyser & Friends Foundation....Schlierseer, Germany

Life offers a multitude of exciting and wonderful possibilities– yet to find one‘s own way and belief in oneself is a lifelong endeavour. Especially young people are searching for meaning and are often left alone with it. On the other hand, experienced people would like to pass on their energy. What is often missing is a platform, which brings young people from all around the
world together with experienced and competent individuals to jointly engage in inspiring activities.

The Dekeyser&Friends Foundation aims to spread courage and optimism by becoming a central platform – offering unique experiences to young people, bringing them in contact with peers from different cultures and social backgrounds and fostering exchange between
them and distinguished personalities. Whilst the Dekeyser&Friends projects have very different
content – ranging from cultural to social issues, sports and start-ups – they all foster the same encounters and thereby trust, courage, respect, tolerance, optimism and
team spirit.

The goal is not only to inspire those young people but also to help them to become active personalities – changemakers – in their respective social environments.

Construct and restore a 17th century farmhouse at Lake Schliersee in the German Alps with 15 Fellows from all over the world starting in September 2009.

What did 17th century life in the Bavarian mountains look like? You can find out together with other Fellows from around the world. Together with Markus Wasmeier, I will restore a 17th century farmhouse with materials, tools and techniques originally used in these times. Together with the team I will rebuild the farmhouse from scratch and learn unique wood-crafting techniques and handicraft skills that are almost forgotten.

The Dekeyse r&Friends Foundation strives to create a platform, which allows young people from different cultures and social strata to have unique experiences, influential encounters and thus gain inspiration, optimism and courage for their own life journey.

Inspiration – Exchange of experiences – Courage

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, August 17, 2009


Dear Colleagues, friends and visitors,

Sequel to the on-going efforts of the Special Climate Change Unit of the Federal Ministry of Environment to seek stakeholders inputs into the Nigeria’s position, to engage the international negotiation process in Copenhagen. NYCC is seeking youths inputs on broad-based assessment of Nigeria’s current negotiation position in each of the Bali Plan of Actions at the UNFCCC as well as identify strategic gaps, and opportunities that can form an additional inputs into the on going negotiation positions for Nigeria and the Africa group.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD NOW! Remember that Our Climate is Our Future!

How has climate change affected you?

Do you think that the government can cutt down emissions by 2050?

What do you want Nigerian Government to do in Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change?

Please send your inputs to or post it on the NYCC facebook. page

These inputs will be shared at a forum organised by the Ministry of Environment in Abuja from August 20th - 22nd. The forum also provides an avenue for Nigerians to ask questions about issues of climate change and Nigeria contributions to the negotiation processes.


Esther Agbarakwe
Regional Coordinator, Africa.
UN Youth and Children Major Group

2009 Dekeyser & Friends foundation fellow

National Coordinator
Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Induction into Actionaid Nigeria General Assembly: Youth Membership

Esther Agbarakwe was selected into Actionaid Nigeria General Assembly as a YOUTH member to work on area of Youth Leadership and Advocacy. This is a great honor.

Actionaid Nigeria is one of the Actionaid Country Programmmes around the World. Actionaid is an International Non-governmental organization registered in the Netherlands and Headquartered in Johannesburg South Africa.

ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency whose aim is to fight poverty worldwide. Formed in 1972, for over 30 years we have been growing and expanding to where we are today - helping over 13 million of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged people in 42 countries worldwide.

The Induction of Nigerian Actionaid General Assembly members was held on July 9th at at Ibrahim Hall , Vines Hotel Abuja.

According to Dede Amanor-Wilks,A member of Actionaid International, The General Assembly is the most important part of Actionaid International with focus on accountability and decision making.

The members were drowned from Women group, youth and community development activist representing the six geo-political zone of the country,Among them is Esther Agbarakwe representing the youths.

Esther had also served as a volunteer to actionaid Nigeria under the Activista/HungerFREE Project.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Earth Charter Youth "Dialogue with the Elders Forum" on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability in Nigeria

Sustainable development cannot be achieved in Africa without the establishment of an effective intergeneration partnership for sustainability among the young people and the other generation. If Africa has challenges today, these are mere preludes to the looming threats of tomorrow. The youth have deep stakes in the future and we are eager to contribute our quota. The future belongs to us. The youths are full of ideas and we are waiting to share them

Why do we not involve the young people from Africa? An environment where elders believed that they have the monopoly of knowledge cannot lead into a sustainable future!. “Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to Sustainable development.” (Earth Charter 2000).

As a follow up to my participation at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development 17th session and in line with my Earth Charter Special Project, I am organizing a “Dialogue with the Elders Forum” on Intergeneration Partnership for Sustainability with grant from Earth Charter International on June 6th in Abuja.

The "Dialogue with the Elders" Forum is in partnership with Youth Aid Organization for Africa (YAOFA) and will focus more on the Earth Charter as a tool for achieving environmental sustainability and Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability among youths and older generations. "Based on the conviction that intergenerational partnerships are essential for achieving a just, sustainable, and peaceful world".

The meeting is aimed at bringing all youths in the Earth Charter Family to meet with Earth Charter Nigeria "Elders" as well as bring more youths into the Earth Charter Youth Initiative family and also inspire the formation of new Earth Charter youth Groups across the country. It will also afford us the opportunity to meet with invited guests who have a role to play in sustainability issues in Nigeria like the media, government and CSOs and people living in a community.

Date : June 6th 2009
Venue: Conference Room, Youth Aid Organization for Africa (YAOFA), 983,
Ahmadu Bello way, Opposite Legislative
Quarters, Apo, Abuja

Be there!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

UN CSD 17: From the Eyes of African Youth representatives

It is very instructive that Africa is one of the themes of the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Africa is indeed faced with the worst global challenges to sustainable development. She has a whole lot of resources, but the question is: how are the youths from Africa involved in the process of tackling the problems of the continent? It is very important that we contribute at the UN CSD. Our marginalization in decision-making poses a threat to good governance and development, especially as most of Africa’s development challenges impact on youths.

Young people, who constitute the majority of the Africa's population, are an important force and partner in the field of global Interdependence. It follows, therefore, that youths are social actors who should be recognized as having a role to play in development and who are capable of carrying out projects and programmes in the field of sustainable development.

It is a fact that no African Government has a youth on their official delegation or even a youth representative at the youth Caucus except those funded by the German and Swedish governments or NGOs. Why do we not involve the young people from Africa? An environment where elders believed that they have the monopoly of knowledge cannot lead into a sustainable future!

“Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to Sustainable development.” (Earth Charter 2000)
African Youths have a lot to contribute in decision-making processes but they are not supported by the adults except when making statements at conferences such as the CSD.

Barriers relating to demography – age restrictions, gender barriers, cultural factors and sometimes “extreme politics” exclude youth from decision-making. African Youth have limited time to develop skills and knowledge for decision-making compared to their peers from other regions. Therefore African youths should be given greater opportunities to participate in these decision-making because our opinion matters a great deal to our country and the world at large.

At the opening session of this meeting, the Youth Statement was delivered by Esther Agbarakwe, a youth representative from Nigeria whose participation is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Majority of Africa Women delegates have shown support to the entire youth representative from Africa, an indication of the strong bond between African mothers and their children. So these should be stepping stones the government and other stake holders should follow.

Sustainable development cannot be achieved in Africa without the establishment of an effective intergeneration partnership for sustainability among the young people and the other generation. If Africa has challenges today, these are mere preludes to the looming threats of tomorrow. The youth have deep stakes in the future and we are eager to contribute our quota. The future belongs to us. The youths are full of ideas and we are waiting to share them. Give us the space!

Esther Agbarakwe

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Youth at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development 17th Session May 4th -15th 2009

Youth Caucus Opening Statement

UN Commission on Sustainable Development 17th Session

New York, 4th May 2009

Esther Agbarakwe.

Thank you very much Madame Chair.

“Swords into ploughshares, words into action”. My neighbors in Nigeria and other parts of the world have to use those ploughshares everyday to feed their children. Some are not aware of the UN's discussions, but their futures depend on the decisions made here at the CSD and, more importantly, your commitment to implementing them nationally.

We have a common responsibility to leave a better legacy for our children.

All stakeholders, especially youth, need to be integrally involved in the process of information gathering, decision making, implementation and review. While youth and other major groups are ready in service, only you – the country representatives – can make these decisions happen.

Through collaboration, we can empower local communities to engage successfully in sustainable development initiatives, using innovative solutions to deal with global challenges.

We do care about what you say here, but our lives depend on how you implement these policies at home. So practice what you preach.

The urgency is immense for taking action now.

We can make the difference that is needed to create a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

Thank you.

UN Commission on Sustianable Development CSD 17th Session, UN HQ New York

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the UN General Assembly in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit.

The Commission is responsible for reviewing progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; as well as providing policy guidance to follow up the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) at the local, national, regional and international levels. The JPOI reaffirmed that the CSD is the high-level forum for sustainable development within the United Nations system.

The CSD has opened its sessions to broad participation from both governmental and non-governmental actors, and it supports a number of innovative activities, such as the Partnerships Fair, the Learning Centre and a series of panels, roundtables and side events. The High-level segment features dialogue among Ministers, and Ministers also hold a special dialogue session with Major Groups.

Monday, April 20, 2009

German Funded African Youth Representatives for UN CSD 17, New York, USA

Dear Collegues and Friends,

On behalf of the Youth Caucus, I am pleased to announce that after a through srutiny of all applications we come to the following decision for funding by the German Goverment, based on

a) the formal requirements that were mentioned in the application form,

b) the thematic fit of applicants' activities in their countries with the current CSD cycle's topics as well as their

c) plans to mainstream the work of CSD 17 into their daily work back home.
Eventually, the following finally emerged as winners of the race:

Female: Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe (Nigeria)

Male: Hubert Zirimwabagabo (Ruanda)

It was not an easy task to come up with these two because most of all who applied qualified but a lot more issues had to be considered.Let me also take this opportunity to thanks all those who applied and wish them success in all their endeavours. Should you have your funds, the youth caucus leadership will facilitate yor accreditation. For Esther and Hebert, you will shortly be recieving your accreditation letters, which will enable you to participate during the CSD 17th and you will also use this to secure your visas. Should you require more on logistical issues, please, get in touch with Doris Brunner ( The youth Caucus leadership doors remain open to assist you.

Congratulations to Hubert and Esther!!



Monday, April 13, 2009

Earth Charter Youth Initiative-Nigeria Special Project

“The Earth Charter Initiative” is an extraordinarily diverse, global network of people, organizations, and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of the Earth Charter.

The Initiative is a broad-based, voluntary, civil society effort. Participants include leading international institutions, national governments and their agencies, university associations, non-government organizations and community-based groups, city governments, faith groups, schools and businesses – as well as thousands of individuals."(

As part of the Earth Charter Initiative there is a bold, diverse and dynamic action-oriented youth network that promotes the principles of the Earth Charter among young people. This youth network involves active young people from over 70 countries, with more than 45 Earth Charter Youth Groups (ECYGs) and numerous partners around the world. The Youth Leadership Team and the International Youth Facilitator offer guidance to the youth network.

Earth Charter Youth Initiative Nigeria is made up of entrepreneurial youth activists committed to promoting the Earth Charter and sustainable national development through various ways like youth action projects, workshops on the Earth Charter and volunteerism.

Earth Charter Youth Initiative Nigeria through Earth Charter Youth Calabar is implementing a project called “Understanding and discovering the purpose of Earth Charter in achieving the MDGs: Towards environmental sustainability and peace building in the Niger Delta”. The project is one of the 6 Earth Charter International-funded projects. Earth Charter International funds the most outstanding project plans.

Project activities includes Workshop on the Earth Charter leading to Action projects and a “Dialogue with the Elders Forum on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability”.

Earth Charter Youth Initiative Nigeria is proud to have it active member as a member of the International Youth Leadership Team (YLT) in the person of Timothy Ogene representing Africa and the Middle East. We are also proud that the coordinator of Earth Charter Youth Group Calabar will be participating at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) 17th Session in New York May, 2009 with the generous support of the German Government.

Earth Charter Youth Initiative Nigeria Invites you to join us in make Nigeria become “ a more just, sustainable and people world”

For More info, please contact:

Esther at

Timothy at


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stay-Alive Safe Water Project-Nigeria

"One in eight people in the world do not have access to safe water. Many women and children in rural areas in developing countries spend hours each day walking kilometres to collect water from unprotected sources such as open wells, muddy dugouts or streams.
In urban areas they collect it from polluted waterways or pay high prices to buy it from vendors who obtain it from dubious sources. The water is often dirty and unsafe, but they have no alternative.

Carrying the heavy water containers back home is an exhausting task, which takes up valuable time and energy. It often prevents women from doing vital domestic or income generating work and stops children from going to school....."(waterAid website)

Diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery, are common across the developing world - killing 5,000 children every single day. It is on this background that the Stay-Alive Safe Water Project-Nigeria came to be.

Stay-Alive Safe Water Project-Nigeria is in collaboration with Safe the Future Initiative, Earth Charter Youth Initiative-Nigeria and EFEMMAB Foundation for Women and is aimed at advocating and campaigning for accessible Safe water for rural communiities; to adopt a more integrated approach to development that recognises how water and sanitation are vital in poverty reduction. It also involves community sensitization on sanitation and hygiene.
Pilot phase : Kwara State was selected as the beneficiary of the pilot phase of this project.
Our projects' impact
Once communities have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education, they can escape the water and sanitation poverty trap. Freed up from hours of water collection and the misery of water-related disease, communities are better able to channel their time and energy into more productive activities and simple enjoyment of life.
Project Needs
This project need resource for sustainability such as: Funds, Capacity Building , volunteers, expects etc..
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