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Before COP 21, Paris Witnessed COY 11

by | 19-12-2015 09:40 recommendations 0

The COP 21 ended a week today but what the world probably didn't hear about the Climate talks in Paris was the gathering of Youths at the eleventh session of the Conference of Youths (COY 11) which was held at the Parc des Expositions of Villepinte, in Paris area from the the 26th to the 28th of November, 2015.

As has been the case since 2005, Youths from across the world gather annually just before the Conference of Parties to negotiate the position of the youths on Climate Change and convey same to the COP.

The COY 11 was special not just because it preceded a historic COP 21, but also because of the quality of recommendations that came out of the three-day youth negotiations especially as it concerns human rights in Climate negotiations. Part of the COY 11 manifesto on human rights read


"- Countries who have contributed more to CO2 emissions needs to ensure they pay for the damage caused by their previous development and the current impact on human rights. - States should integrate in their Constitution the respect for nature and environment they also should create a special agency or institution in charge of climate change questions, if it does not exist already. These institutions should ensure that climate change-related policies respect human rights they should also be in charge of education to environment".


"- Multinational corporations should actively participate in the fight against climate change and the protection of related human rights. They should be held accountable for the impacts of their operations on human rights and the environment occurring in their direct production and their supply chain. States and the UN should develop an international convention imposing direct obligations upon corporations. Finally, multinational corporations should face prosecutions in case of pollution, environmental damage or ecocide"The full COY 11 manifesto was also published here.


Thankfully, Rinmicit Temlong, a passionate Climate and Gender Activist from Nigeria participated in the COY 11 and also the COP 21.

Rinmicit, who was in the Make it Real team at the COY said having worked on food security and agriculture, her team came up with a new NGO named AGROTEX with which they will battle food insecurity.

Rinmicit Temlong, who also works with the Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria (CEPAN) in addition to consulting for many organizations in Nigeria, shared some of the COY 11 moments with me in this brief chat.



How will you describe the COY 11?

It was a great time to deliberate with other youths and to see the bigger picture and to know every life matters. To clearly see Climate Change is a reality and we can only overcome it collectively. We have gone beyond blame games but adaptation and mitigation is what we should work on... No Country should be left behind....

..Its importance to Africa and Nigeria?

For Nigeria it was more like a wakeup call. Looking at what other African Countries and Third World Countries are doing to Curb, Adapt to Climate Change is tremendous. The Recycling plants they have. The media awareness is very commendable.

 Do you feel your hardwork at COY 11 paid off at the COP 21?

Yes I think it paid off. COY11 gave COP a different perspective what the Youth know, think etc. and how they will drive this Change and Awareness. The Youths are the workforce and drivers of these policies without them it would just be another meeting... but this has changed because we now have Climate Change Ambassadors. ..Youths that are Environment Conscious and we know change starts with One Man. So, imagine what over 1000 Youths would do...

What part of your manifesto reflected in the Paris agreement?


Actions, adaptation, food, security and agriculture

Are you worried that the human right recommendations which you fought so hard to formulate at COY 11 was blocked at the COP 21, one of its lowest points?

Honestly yes I?m worried. Because human rights simply is the right to survival. .getting access to Food, water, shelter etc. But that is eluding us especially in Nigeria with high levels of Food insecurity, caused by floods and droughts and the most vulnerable are Women and Girls

Thanks immensely for your time and patience. Welcome back!


It was obviously a great outing at the COY 11 which manifested at the COP 21. I am also very happy to know that Rinmicit Temlong gave my country, Nigeria, a great representation.

Now, with the Paris agreement now in the kitty, we need not waste time in acting for Climate action. 2015 has indeed being a great year for the planet.

Photo 1 by: behance.com

Other photos: Rinmicit Temlong

1) French foreign minister receives the ManifestoRinmicit at the COYRinmicit with Josh Gilbert from AustrsliaRinmicit TemlongRinmicit speaking at the COY 11

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  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Well reported Udeh as usual. COY11 has a promising future indeed.
    Posted 21-12-2015 19:27

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Youth has immense potential to bring about any change so it is important to have youth conferences like COY11 to present global youth's voice before international forums like COP21.Glad to know about great recommendations generated from COY.
    Agrotex is a good initiative to battle food insecurity. Thanks for sharing and updating us, Udeh.
    Posted 19-12-2015 18:12

  • says :
    A new NGO (AGROTEX) is a great initiative. ... I think it would greatly help those countries suffering from food insecurity. .
    Posted 19-12-2015 14:04

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