Peace & Justice Network Pakistan (PJN) in collaboration with the Federal SDGs Unit, Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives (MoP&SI) has launched the first-ever “National Fellowship Program on Climate Justice Action” to develop and equip the next generation of leaders to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts in Pakistan.
The Fellowship is a 3 months program that upscale and provides learning and development opportunities to 20 young champions/small youth-led organizations/social enterprise initiatives each year working to address climate change effects in their respective communities by equipping them with necessary skills and mentoring support, outreach, connecting with relevant national and international forums, building their government liaison, continuous knowledge and opportunities sharing, and provide them with needed resources to ensure their meaningful engagement to combat climate change and its impacts in Pakistan with a direct contribution in Pakistan’s SDG 13 Climate Action 2030 Agenda.
With the world being in a Climate emergency, Pakistan ranks among the top 10 most vulnerable countries on Climate Risk Index, though contributing less to this havoc as compared to the developed nations. Climate change is a real and undeniable threat to Pakistan’s social and economic stability. The effects are already visible and will be catastrophic unless we act now. Through education, innovation, and adherence to our climate commitments, we can make the necessary changes to protect Pakistan. In order to do so Youth voices are pivotal to elevating climate ambition and driving systemic change.
The Fellowship Program will directly be contributing to the promotion and implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 Climate Action around thematic areas, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Clean and Affordable Energy, Solid and Liquid Waste Management, Water Conservation, Promoting Adaptive Lifestyle and Technology and Innovation.
Selected participants will get to join the three-month Fellowship program that will provide them an opportunity to learn climate advocacy and world-class knowledge in climate change and sustainable development, including a certificate, extensive training for the Fellowship, and the social action plan including digital advocacy. The fellowship will be an opportunity to develop leadership skills and outreach and explore the network of inspired young leaders from around the country. In addition, a Rs 50,000 grant will be provided to the three best social enterprise initiatives on climate change.
The Fellowship Program is specifically designed to focus on SDG 13, which addresses Climate Action targets. These include strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in Pakistan, introducing measures to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Also included are improving education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning and the promotion of mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management including focusing on women, youth, and local and marginalized communities.
These young leaders trained under the program are expected to implement action plans to combat climate change and its impacts in their respective communities, which will further ensure the participation of the community and their sensitization towards the climate crisis. Special seats of fellowship have been allocated for the transgender community and persons with disabilities to ensure inclusive climate action response.