This Youth NGO is Leading Climate Activism in the Arab World

By +SocialGood Connector Neeshad Sharif

Welcome to a New Reality. A reality, a turning point where changing climate is no longer an abstract threat lurking in our distant future — it is upon us. We feel it. We see it. In our extreme rain, longer heatwaves and our ever more raising sea level and raging, hyper-destructive wildfires. And with that comes a new urgency, and a new opportunity, to act.

Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) Executive Director Neeshad Shafi at the opening of Earth Talks Series in Qatar.

We now have 11 years left to halve global CO2 emissions, if we want to prevent temperature increases from exceeding 1.5˚C or 2 ˚C, comparing to the pre-industrial era. Ever since the Paris Agreement was signed, climate charts still keep racing to the top, smashing new records every other month and year. The five hottest years ever recorded were the previous five years, and at no time have global emissions been higher than today.

As the impact of climate change worsens around the world, including our own countries, Young people have started paying attention to news across the Arab world as well, but there is a lot to be done in mainstreaming climate changes issues in the part of world.

A diverse group of young environmentally conscious banded in Qatar to ensure that climate change and broader environmental issues are brought to mainstream discourse. Also, to encourage Young and old citizens and policymakers to take necessary interventions to protect the environment for future generation. Consequently, Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) was established to create a network of dedicated environmentalist across the Country and region to spread awareness.

AYCM Qatar organizing on their strategic event called “Earth Talk” with full public attendance in the capital city of Doha in Qatar.

Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar LLC (G) is a first registered, independent, nonprofit, youth-led, grassroots organization in the State of Qatar. We are focused on raising environmental awareness at a grassroots level, targeting youth and adult groups. We seek to become an informed voice on climate and ecological crisis and co-create cost-effective solutions that are relevant to the local environment and culture.

For the last four years, Arab Youth Climate Movement made its presence in Qatar by actively engaging with the community in one form or other. The band comes together in Qatar highlighting the youths in Arab region are part global conversation on climate action. As hundreds of thousands of youth worldwide are participating in a school strike, demanding action on climate change, heeding a call by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, young people and organization like Arab Youth Climate movement Qatar (AYCMQ) is no different, where they are voicing for climate education and awareness as central to their strategic initiatives over past many years following the global call for climate action at COP21.

What young people in Arab world can help is to work tirelessly on building an ecologically conscious society, which is critical for the human survival and understanding our relationship with natural ecosystem will further help us to protect it and nurture it.

AYCMQ to aim to address this very issue by focusing on raising climate awareness at grassroots level targeting youth and adult groups thus seeking to become an informed voice on climate and ecological crisis and co-create cost-effective ideas and solutions that is relevant to local environment and culture in Qatar and region. Thus strive to develop scientific and policy-relevant knowledge which will help build environmentally conscious society.

Team Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) with UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Mr. Ovais Sarmad in Doha, Qatar

Today, fewer and fewer young people doubt the overwhelming scientific evidence, including youths in Arab world: By burning fossil fuels for energy, humans have added so much carbon to the atmosphere that we are changing our natural system itself, imperiling the delicate interdependence among species and putting our own survival at risk. Scientists say with certainty that we must radically transform how we make and use energy within a decade if we are to have any chance of mitigating the damage.

As the environmental activism entered its new era with science is clearer than ever and also more than ever empowered Youths in Arab world. One thing is clear and the idea is simple. We are work together in cooperation and shoulder to shoulder so that overall our voice represent Arab youths call for climate action. We will state clearly to our governments and corporations of the world to listen to young people.

The bottom line is this, climate change is affecting young people, you and me right here, right now, in the country where we live. But by working together, we can fix it. Sure, it’s a daunting problem. Nobody knows that more than us climate scientists. But we can’t give in to hopelessness. We have to go out and actively look for the hope that we need, that will inspire us to act. And that hope begins with a conversation today. Start it now here.

We are in the midst of a new reality. The actions that we take today will dictate our entire Arab region.

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