Organization: Itijah Organization
Itijah youth organization in partnership with Climtes international held their first UNFCCC COP simulation on climate change and environmental issues in the Bethlehem Area last Thursday. The simulation was organised as part of the COP in MyCity initiative, which aims to mobilize youth around the world to be engaged in climate change issues in their country. Ramallah-based organisation Itijah facilitated the meeting of more than 25 young Palestinians whom expressed interest in joining international negotiations to solve climate change. The simulation was held at Tal Al-Qamar, a Bedouin campsite located in Dar Salah, surrounded by picturesque valleys and mountain chains- an area vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. A lecture was given by Mr. Dawood Tarwa, environmental activist, on how wakefulness to Palestine’s part in fighting climate change is imperative to a sustainable future. Afterwards, participants took part in a simulation of a COP conference to discuss possible solutions to climate and environmental issues. Saad yaser, volunteer with Itijah organization, expressed the importance of this first-ever simulation in “bringing awareness of climate issues to young people so they can be at the forefront in advocating on a national scale, and expanding research on the topic”. Despite Palestine being one of the first five countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement, there is still a lack of development in environmental research, and how changing climate patterns will affect the area. There are currently no UN records on climate change in Palestine. The simulation is the first step of COP in MyCity’s initiative to give young people an opportunity to engage in policy and decision making to shape the future of Palestine’s environment, and promote innovative research to find solutions. Climates and Itijah will continue working together, with plans to expand the simulation exercise across West Bank and Gaza. COP will be brought to universities to involve youth in discussion, and raise the collective voice of students to help fight climate change. Itijah is a non-profit, grassroots organisation based in Ramallah who advocates youth and women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability in Palestine.