The application process for their participation was an opportunity for GWP Central America to identify possible national youth focal points that could be part of the GWP youth movement, initiated after the launch of the GWP Youth Strategy. A call for presentations was launched and the young people selected had experience and interest in the issues regarding water and youth.
The event was held at one of the auditoriums of the Mexican Congress, with the participation of approximately 130 youth from 10 Latin American countries. The event was organized around three main topics: Water and Climate Change, Biodiversity and Climate Change, and Local Development in Protected Areas.
There were four keynote speakers including Diana Ramirez of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Victor Manuel Chavez-Avila of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Fernando Camacho of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and Mexico (CONANP) and Oscar Prado Moon National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA).
Five thematic panels where the young people shared their experiences regarding initiatives related to the three themes mentioned above were organized. There were Central American participants in all of the panels. The participants were also able to exchange ideas and formulate key messages on climate change, which will be shared at side events during COP 21 in Paris.
“Young people must be 100% involved in all environmental activities - including water- it is a vital resource and we need it for our lives. We must be involved because we are the future… if we do not act now then it will be too late”, said Catherine Flores from Panama.
GWP Central America worked closely with Youth Movement for Water (MOJA) a Mexican based youth network and La Ruta del Clima, a Costa Rican based initiative, both working towards building a wider network in Latin America. Both have shown interest in becoming a GWP partner.
Photos, interviews and relevant website links on GWP Central America's homepage (in Spanish).