Young people are integral to climate action: after all it’s their future, their planet and their involvement with environmental action and global policies which will help seal a legacy for future generations. The 2015 Paris Climate Change agreement has given young people a voice and a right to be heard by environmental policy makers. Climate change education is at the heart of this issue, to bust myths and present hard facts about the need for immediate measures and for a sustainable low carbon future. The UN acknowledges that young people have a crucial role to play in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, and that there is a need for mentorship and financial resources to ensure it happens.

In 2018, World YMCA hosted Camp Climate to advance the International Climate Negotiations following the Paris agreement. It was an opportunity for  young people to work together around advocacy action, capacity building and networking. We need to continue this work and lead the way with coordinated and focussed action for young people to share in their communities.

Our Environment themed workshops focus on shaping global action, climate education and how to collaborate with decision makers on a sustainable future for the planet.

Click through the workshops below to see which ones appeal to you – they are all led by experts who are passionate and knowledgeable.


How can we achieve climate action now? (Sponsored by Wells Fargo)

Moderated by Hannah Skeates (Wells Fargo USA). Panellists: Jo Herbert-James, Tearfund (UK), Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Alejandra Alfaro (Nicaragua), Karen Fatelvaro (Philippines), Lawrence Fahnbulleh (Liberia), Tony El Mir (Lebanon)

Hear from a diverse group of experts engaging in a conversation on climate and environment. Young people are activating globally on climate action in ways that have never been seen before. But how can young leaders transform this into sustainable action?

Mon 5 Aug, 2-3:30pm, Auditorium


How to be a Zero Waste Hero
Presented by Jo Herbert
Mon 5 Aug, 6pm-7:00pm, Room 7-12 ICC Capital Suite

Living a waste-free lifestyle for the good of the planet.

Zero waste. It’s an amazing goal if we care about the health of our planet, but so often seems unachievable. Don’t let it overwhelm you, come and hear from Jo about easy steps you can take to begin your zero waste journey. Jo shares some of her theological reflections as well as tips and simple swaps that she has been making in her life to move to a zero waste lifestyle.


Be BOLD & Go GOLD: A new approach to environmental education
Presented by Courtney Aber
Wed 7 Aug – 5-6pm, Room 13 ICC Capital Suite

Explore how to use environmental education to reach youth development goals and bring together people from different backgrounds for a life-changing experience

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Join us for a hands-on session on creating an environmental education program with lasting impact on both participants and their relationship to the natural world. We’ll use BOLD & GOLD, an immersive outdoor program that focuses on bringing together young people from very different backgrounds to feel more confident and courageous while learning about and appreciating each other, as an example. Together we will explore how to intentionally design a program around multiple and complex goals and look at how those can be integrated into all aspects of the program from outreach and marketing to evaluation.

Wed 7 Aug – 5-6pm

Participatory Sustainability Visions and their Implementation
Presented by Marianne Pfaffinger
Mon 5 Aug, 4-5:30pm, Room 2-3 ICC Capital Suite

Explore benefits and effective ways of engaging people in creating positive visions of sustainable organisations, cities and lives.

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Young people all over the world are protesting the injustice of climate change, demanding action. Global challenges abound, yet despite the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, local implementations are generally lacking. Come explore effective ways of engaging people in creating positive visions of sustainable organisations, cities and lives. Reflect on shared foundations and motivation, such as faith. Learn about benefits, prerequisites and limitations of participation. Experiment with methods and take different viewpoints. Share your experiences and discover the fun of collaborative sustainability planning. The focus of the workshop is flexible and will be chosen in a participatory manner.

Access to Nature as a Human Right
Presented by Jackie Ostfeld 

Tue 6 Aug, 4-5.30pm, Room 2-3 ICC Capital Suite

Presenters will explore the concept of access to nature as a human right.

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Explaining what the participants will experience and get out of the session:

Far too many communities suffer from polluted air, contaminated water, and a lack of access to public open spaces. In the US, the greatest disparities in access to nature are found in low-income neighbourhoods and communities of colour as a result of a long history of discriminatory policies and practices.
Presenters will explore the concept of access to nature as a human right, elevating challenges, solutions, and examples of youth leadership to advance outdoor equity. The session will engage the audience in table discussions where youth can share insights and approaches to nature access from across the globe.

Carbon Footprint
Presented by Ianne Christine J. Aquino

Mon 5 Aug, 2-3pm, Room 2-3 ICC Capital Suite

How well do you know your carbon footprint? Join us as we discover our share in the world’s biggest threat – climate change.

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Understand humanity and the world better through a short yet fun video walk through of how we had become in time. Integrate in a challenge that will assess our carbon footprints from our household to our respective local YMCA associations. As we evaluate our actions, together, we will come-up with a strategy that will enable each of us and our neighbors to become the solution and commit to this life changing process of environmental efforts.

Green Neighbourhood in High-density High-rise Cities
Presented by Tony Ip

Mon 5 Aug, 2.30-3:30pm, Room 2-3 ICC capital Suite

The higher the building, the more the liveable green spaces. Green neighbourhood contributes to health and wellbeing of urban children and old adults.

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The higher we live from the ground level, the more disconnected we feel from the natural world and even from each other within a community. Furthermore, the intense urban heat island effect in built-up areas leads to heat stress and other related health problems. With better understanding of the dynamics between the built environment and the microclimate, and advocacy of human-nature interactions in urban living, could we design a more liveable and healthier urban environment?

Rambling Tours to Overnight Camp: YMCA Camping, Outdoor Education and Environmental Stewardship
Presented by Jonathan Weier

Wed 7 Aug, 5pm-6pm. Room 6 ICC Capital Suite

Explore the origins of YMCA Camping and its evolution into environmental education and stewardship.

Learn how the Great Outdoors became a significant aspect of YMCA in the 19th and 20th century, and how it was the model on which the Boy Scouts was built. A fascinating insight into early YMCA culture and the commitment to the natural world.

Green Vibes: Diversity Outdoors, Environmental Justice, and You Presented by Kaylé Barnes
Tue 6 Aug, 1-2:30pm, Room 6 ICC Capital Suite

Join a conversation about inclusion in outdoor recreation and exploration, environmentalism, and more that is rooted in environmental justice.

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Green Vibes: Diversity Outdoors, Environmental Justice, and You is an invitation for participants to think about the ways they interact with their natural environment at home and to think about how people, the world over experience the outdoors, climate change, and more.

Participants will walk away with a better understanding of how an inclusive approach to environmentalism and recreation can advance environmental justice and ultimately help repair the world.

Communications for Climate Justice Presented by Jeff Shaw | Mon 5 Aug, 5-6.30pm, Room 1 ICC Capital Suite

How communications work can help achieve equity goals, grassroots power-building goals, and move the world beyond dirty fuels to 100% clean energy.

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This workshop will discuss communications tools for climate justice, and how best to integrate media and communications work with organizing, campaigns, and other aspects of climate justice work. Specific examples will be covered, along with tips and tricks on creating communications plans.

Be part of a sustainable change! A workshop on youth and Agenda 2030
Presented by Caroline Daly | Tue 6 Aug, 3.30-5pm, Room 13 ICC Capital Suite

An interactive workshop for your YMCA to be part of the implementation of the SDGs at all levels

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In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

A global agenda, a promise and a roadmap with the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change.

Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us to work together to build a better future and make sure the goals are met!

The YMCA has a unique position to make youth voices heard and assure youth are involved in the implementation! This workshop will create space for your YMCA to find ways to be part of strengthening the voice of youth in SDG work at local, national and global level!

G Corps – Be the change
Presented by Malik Zacharias, Struan Jaime Robertson
Tue 6 Aug, 6:30-7:00pm, Room 14-16 ICC Capital Suite

With only 11 years left to stem climate catastrophe, the world’s youth are now calling time on climate inaction.

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G-Corps – a Peace Corps for the planet – is set to reach millions of young people to unite, up-skill, and unleash their power to make an impact towards the UN SDGs.

G-Corps is creating impact using digital tools that harness the power of the masses, digital masterclass training to empower youth, and volunteer-led bootcamps for youth to innovate, develop, and scale their own solutions. G-Corps aims to inspire young people, everywhere, to become future changemakers

Partnership for the SDGs: How can we achieve the SDGs by 2030? Presenter to be confirmed | Wed 7 Aug, 4.30-6pm, Room 7-12 ICC Capital Suite

Understand how the UN’s sustainable development goals can bring about global change, from eradicating poverty to effective climate action.

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The aim of YMCA175 is to shape the future world we all want to live in. How do we continue to provide the ongoing space to connect and create the future we envisage and want.

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