This week the blog will cover climate change in Africa, including the efforts of youth organizations. This week-long focus on Africa will lead us into the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which takes place in Durban, South Africa from November 28th-Decemer 9th. Next week we will tell you all about the incredibly excited COP17 coverage we will have for you here on the blog, as well as on our Facebook page and Twitter (@ClimateUSGov) including guest blogs by youth delegates from SustainUS, members of the Rainforest Partnership, and live interactive web-chat programs with experts at Durban on a variety of climate-change related topics including agriculture and women and children.

Three incredibly active youth organizations are the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition, and the South African Climate Change Youth Ambassadors.

AYICC was conceived in 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya during the second international Conference of Youth before COP12. It was established to connect African youth in order to take action and make an impact on issues of climate change on country, regional, and continent-wide scales. AYICC has 42 country chapters, including Kenya, which has its own website.

There is a whole section of the AYICC website devoted to COP17. If you are interested in information about how to participate in youth activities during COP, there is information on applications, open positions, deadlines, etc.

The Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC) has a site that connects youth from all over Nigeria (and several from around the world) and allows them to share stories, messages of hope, photos, and information on events and workshops. There are even blog posts about COP17 from an African youth perspective.

The South African Climate Change Youth Ambassadors are three young people passionate about environmental issues chosen to represent South Africans at the Conference of Youth (COY7) before COP17. These youth will continue to work all over Africa after the conference finishes in early December, educating people about climate change issues and working with them on local action initiatives. In the weeks preceding COP17 and COY7 however, they are focused squarely on the conferences and what they hope to come out of them.

One of the youth ambassadors, 29 year old Aluwani Nemukulu from Limpopo, attends Durban University of Technology as a Biotechnology student. He talks about why we need youth involved in combating climate change: “The change in sea levels and climate patterns is affecting the African natural biodiversity. There is a need for youth engagement in preservation, protection of our natural resources and biodiversity in Africa to ensure food security and the prevention of extinction of our indigenous plant and animal species.”

If you are interested in any of these organizations, the links provided above take you to the websites, where you will find their contact information.

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