Day 1 Tuesday 27 September 2011
The Tunza International Children and Youth Conference kicked off on Tuesday 27 September, 2011 attended by over 1400 participants in Bandung, Indonesia. Bridging the skills gap amongst young people through improved education and training was the key message in moving towards a global Green Economy.
The opening ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Professor Dr Gusti Muhammed Hatta, Minister of the Environment of Indonesia, Professor Armida Alisjahbana, Minister of National Development Planning of Indonesia, Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar, Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, Ahmed Heryawan, Governor of Java, Vincent Jugault, Senior Environment and Decent Work Specialist with the International Labour Organization and Yann Arthus-Betrand, internationally-renowned photographer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador.
Day 2 Wednesday 28 September 2011
On the second day of the conference, children and youth received a video presentation by Sara Canning, a young hollywood actress known mostly for her role in the TV series Vampire Diaries. She called upon young people to stand firm and demand for positive change as a lead up to and during the forthcoming Rio+20 conference to be held in Brazil. Delegates participated in parallel plenary sessions based on the themes of Global Environmental Governance and Sustainable Lifestyles. Whilst children discussed sustainable lifestyles and waste management, previous youth participants and environmental leaders offered their perspectives on Rio+20 and advice on how to make an effective impact.
The afternoon focused on interactive workshops moderated by mentors and facilitators. Children’s sessions included discussions on renewable energy and sustainable development, ecological monitoring, communication through media, green economy and poverty eradication, reforming communities and engaging children in green economy initiatives.
Day 3 Thursday 29 September 2011
On Day 3 plenary sessions exposed participants to the State of the Global Environment in particular forests, followed by the Tunza Youth Advisory Committee elections. In the afternoon, participants enjoyed interesting workshops including one for song composers, where 10 year old Ta'Kaiya Blaney amongst other talented young artists rocked the show.
Day 4 Friday 30 September 2011
Under the slogan “Reshaping our future through a green Economy and sustainable lifestyle”, The Tunza international conference for youth and children aims at creating the Bandung Declaration as the youth position for the Rio+20 meeting on sustainable development.
“States need to feel the pressure”, says Ben Vanpeperstraepe from Belgium. “The Rio + 20 meetings are in less than a year. Nobody knows about it and nobody cares about it. Before the COP 15 in Copenhagen, States felt they had to deliver something. There were public demonstrations. The general public doesn’t know about Rio+20. If people are not aware, there will be no demonstrations.”
Mr. Vanpeperstraepe is the co-founder of the website www.rioplus20s.org. Rio+twenties is a completely volunteer-based organization which strives to create a platform for active youth participation in the UN Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio + 20). The organisation is led by young people in their 20’s.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Brazil on 4-6 June 2012. “We expect a blueprint on how to move forward for the next 20 years”, says Mr. Vanpeperstraepe. “We have failed in the last 20 years.”
Day 5 Saturday 1 October 2011
The 2011 Tunza International Children and Youth Conference ended with the successful drafting and presentation of the Bandung Declaration. The Declaration is a result of months of deliberations amongst young people from over 100 countries worldwide and they aim to present this to world leaders at the Rio+20 in June 2012, Brazil. The Bandung Declaration also contains an action plan on what the children will do to lobby this document and their cause.