A virtual Challenge Grant Certificate Presentation and SAP Showcasing programme' was organised on 18 August 2021, by the British Council in partnership with The Hunger Project. The programme was organised to celebrate and recognise the exciting community work on climate action by 32 Active Citizens Alumni from Bangladesh under the 'Youth Engagement COP26: Challenge Fund for Young People' project.
In November 2021, the UK will host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) for 30,000 delegates. Millions more will connect globally through public engagement campaigns and exhibitions. The Climate Connection is a global programme and campaign designed to support COP26 ambitions by drawing on the British Council's global network to provide a platform for climate cooperation, dialogue, and action through Arts, Education and English. The Climate Connection programme aims to reach 233 million people across the 110 British Council countries. The British Council is working with partners worldwide to support the success and legacy of COP26, creating opportunities for cooperation, dialogue and action in arts, education and science that address the shared challenges of climate change. The 'Youth Engagement COP26: Challenge Fund for Young People' is an innovative and creative programme of activity and engagement which brings together young Active Citizens from around the world to share learning, engage in advocacy and build networks.
Active Citizens alumni in Bangladesh are taking part in the Climate Connection programme to support the success and legacy of COP26 through climate change-focused Social Action Projects under the 'Youth Engagement COP26: Challenge Fund for Young People' project. The implementing partner is The Hunger Project. 32 grants have been awarded out of 68 applications to expand youth networks nationwide and support the continued action of grassroots Active Citizens alumni engaged in environmental and climate change-focused social action projects at the community level. The 32 Social Action Projects focused on the following COP26 priority areas:
- Adaptation and Resilience: 'Helping people, economies and the environment adapt and prepare for the impacts of climate change.'
- Nature: 'Safeguarding ecosystems, protecting natural habitats and keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.'
The 32 young people have done fabulous work on climate action through hard work and dedication over the last nine months to implement their projects, despite having a challenging time due to Covid-19. Six projects showcased their results on how they are making a positive impact in communities. One of the Challenge Fund grantees, Aowlad Hossain said, 'Sustainable Urban Environmental Management could be a way to break urban development's volatile and privatisation patterns and provide vitality by greening the mechanical city'. Another CoP26 Challenge Fund grantee, Injamul Safin said, 'Building Future Climate Experts project is working to make the younger generation of coastal areas more efficient in tackling climate change.'
Monomita Nag-Chowdhury, Programme Lead - The Climate Connection, British Council, Shazia Khawar, Director, Inclusive Communities, South Asia, and Dr Badiul Alam Majumdar, Global Vice President and Country Director, The Hunger Project, attended the programme and shared their remarks.
'Climate Action is a global priority and individual responsibility. We must build up a future cadre of climate experts with the knowledge and skills to support mitigation and adaptation strategies for the long-term, utilising this group as a voice for advocacy, public awareness-raising and local action in their communities. Our fabulous young people need to bear a tremendous responsibility to respond to climate-induced changes in the future by engaging stakeholders in civil society and at the policy level, as well as making mass awareness an individual responsibility,' said Dr Shahnaz Karim, Director Inclusive Communities and Arts - British Council Bangladesh.