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NYSC of Sri Lanka and UNICEF Forge Partnership for Youth-Led Climate Action

The National Youth Services Council (NYSC) of Sri Lanka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF to promote “Youth-Led Climate Action” in the country.

This partnership aims to benefit children and youth, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, by enhancing critical climate awareness, making climate knowledge more accessible in various languages, developing essential skills, and fostering collaboration among climate change and environmental conservation stakeholders, according to a UNICEF statement.

The agreement was signed today by Mr. Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka, and Pasindu Guneratne, Chairperson of NYSC. This collaboration signifies a unified commitment to creating a better future for children and youth by empowering them to lead and innovate in response to the climate crisis.

“Young people, especially children, are the most affected by the daily harsh realities of climate change such as extreme heatwaves, flooding, and disruptions to their lives. These climate change episodes not only pose immediate threats but also have long-term consequences on children’s opportunities to grow and develop,” said Mr. Skoog.

Pasindu Guneratne, Chairperson of NYSC, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are dedicated to mobilizing youth to catalyze positive community transformation. Through our collaboration with UNICEF, we aim to empower young leaders with the expertise and capabilities required to address climate change proactively and make a lasting impact.”

Under the agreement, UNICEF and NYSC commit to a series of structured activities and events focused on raising critical awareness and developing skills related to climate change and environmental conservation across Sri Lanka. The partnership also seeks to enhance collaboration between the government, civil society, and academia in the field of climate change and environmental conservation.

UNICEF’s work on climate change for children is grounded in the Sri Lanka Children’s Declaration on Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction, drawing on a long history of experience and a deep understanding of the needs of children in the country. This includes advocating for children’s rights through various programs and an extensive network of partners, including government, non-profit, and community organizations.

NYSC contributes to the partnership with its infrastructure and human resources, supporting innovative activities, and leveraging its network of youth clubs and the startup community across the island, according to UNICEF.

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