SCO Young Leaders Address Measures to Tackle Shared Climate Challenges

ASTANA – Young leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Youth Council convened in the Kazakh capital on June 20 to address youth leadership in the environment and create a path to a sustainable future.

Young leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Youth Council convened in the Kazakh capital on June 20. Photo credit: Amanat

More than 150 delegates from ten SCO member states and observer countries participated in the event, hosted by the youth wing Zhastar Rukhy (Youth spirit) of the Amanat party, according to the party’s press service.

Yerlan Koshanov, chairman of the Mazhilis, the lower house of the Parliament, and chairman of the Amanat party, welcomed the meeting participants.

“As part of its SCO chairmanship, Kazakhstan declared 2024 the Year of Ecology. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized that improving the well-being of society is impossible without promoting the environmental agenda. In general, we must understand that climate change, the increasing frequency of natural disasters and their scale require joint efforts from us. In this regard, the youth must play a key role. I am confident that today you will propose fresh and bold solutions to overcome environmental challenges,” he said.

Koshanov emphasized that almost every SCO member country has recently faced climate change’s consequences. Thus, India suffered abnormal heat, heavy rains and storms affected some provinces of China, Russia faced large floods, and Kazakhstan struggled with the most significant floods in the last 80 years.

“For all of us, this is a real signal showing that urgent measures must be taken. Therefore, we all need to work to strengthen the legislative framework and create conditions for promoting the green agenda,” said Koshanov.

The Chairperson of Zhastar Rukhy Akerke Iskanderova. Photo credit: Amanat

The Chairperson of Zhastar Rukhy Akerke Iskanderova spoke about the work of Kazakh youth to protect the environment. More than 2.4 million people participated in the Taza (Clean) Kazakhstan environmental campaign, collecting over 900,000 tons of garbage and planting nearly 2.5 million green spaces. More than 5,000 historical and cultural heritage objects have been brought into proper condition.

Iskanderova also focused on the joint work of the SCO Youth Council members to combat drug crime.

Representative of China, Deputy Secretary General of the All-China Youth Federation Dong Xia drew attention to the importance of improving the environmental education of young people.

Denis Kravchenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Economic Policies Committee of the State Duma of Russia, spoke about the role of creative industries as a driver of economic growth. Deputy Secretary of the Youth Affairs Department of the Indian Government Nitesh Kumar Mishra spoke about programs for cleaning rivers and reservoirs and sustainable water consumption. Director of the Institute for Research of the Youth Problems and Training Prospective Personnel under the Youth Affairs Agency of Uzbekistan, Aktam Jalilov, spoke about the contribution of volunteers to the reclamation of the Aral Sea bottom.

Following the meeting, the participants adopted a joint resolution to strengthen cooperation between youth organizations of the SCO countries. The document envisages the creation of an international headquarters of eco-volunteers, organizing annual competitions for environmental projects.

The delegates unanimously approved Belarus and Iran’s bid to join the SCO Youth Council, bringing the number of member states to ten. China assumed the presidency of the SCO Youth Council.

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