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Climate change ambassadors develop environmental solutions for Irbid, Zarqa and Balqa

Thirty youth and 30 CBOs begin training to draft climate change adaptation strategy for their governorates

By Camille Dupire - Jul 09,2018 - Last updated at Jul 09,2018

Climate change youth ambassadors and community-based organisations take part in the first workshop of the climate adaptation programme in Amman this weekend (Photo courtesy of WANA)

AMMAN — Thirty climate change youth ambassadors and 30 community-based organisations (CBOs) from Irbid, Zarqa and Balqa recently started a training programme on climate change adaptation, aimed at building their capacities to draft a climate change adaptation strategy in their governorates.

Organised over the weekend by the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute, which is a non-profit policy think tank chaired by HRH Prince Hassan, the first workshop is part of a national project seeking to “empower local communities to design climate change adaptation plans, taking into account the effects of climate change on gender roles”, said Sawsan Batarseh, team leader and senior researcher at WANA.

In February, the WANA Institute conducted a road show around the Irbid, Zarqa and Balqa governorates, asking youth between 19 and 25 years old to submit videos or photo stories explaining an innovative solution they developed to counter a water, energy or food issue linked to climate change in their area, Reem Al Haddadin, a researcher at WANA, told The Jordan Times recently.

“Through this project, we wanted to move from the Amman loop to reach more students in Irbid, Zarqa and Balqa governorates. These areas suffer from a lot of environmental issues such as water, sewage and waste, among others,” Alhaddadin explained, noting that “students who were selected to be climate change ambassadors had to be enrolled in a university located in the governorate and live there as well”.

The project will include various capacity-building sessions on climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate change and gender, social media, advocacy and campaigning, as well as proposal-writing, WANA’s communications manager Lien Santermans stated, noting that youth ambassadors will also make field visits to the Azraq Wetlands and Shaumari reserve.

“After the capacity-building programme, the youth ambassadors and CBOs will draft a climate change adaptation plan for their governorate, which will be shared with decision-makers in 2019,” Batarseh told The Jordan Times over the phone.

According to climate change youth ambassador from Zarqa Tasneem Al Shamaileh  this project will be a great asset in her professional career and her passion in protecting the environment. “As I am studying law, this workshop will help me to participate in drafting new laws that benefit and preserve the environment in the future,” she stated. 

“In this first training, where we acquainted them with the basics of climate change, the science behind it and the history of the issue, youth showed great interest and passion in the topic. They are really eager to learn and apply what they learned in their area,” Batarseh noted.

The project is funded by the embassy of The Netherlands in Jordan and supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a WANA statement said.

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