The new leaders of the Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN) were appointed today following a public call for applications launched in May 2016. The announcement is made on the occasion of World Oceans Day, celebrated today across the world, under the theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”, which aims to place oceans at the heart of our planet.
The Commonwealth’s philosophy and focus on youth empowerment includes meaningful access to development and policy processes, as a critical way of ensuring that young people’s unique perspectives and ideas are heard and included in decision making. On the issue of climate change in particular, young people have more at stake than any other demographic group, and their energy, innovation and commitment will be critical to identifying and implementing strategies and actions that will shape our future. The CYCN and the contributions of its members were applauded by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their Special Session on Climate Change held during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in November 2015.
More than 70 candidates from across the Commonwealth applied for the vacant positions, and had their applications reviewed by a Selection Committee comprising representatives from the CYCN, the Youth Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC). The Committee conducted audio interviews of some shortlisted candidates, and met on 7 June in order to determine the final results.
Karuna Rana from Mauritius, the new Network Coordinator, said, ‘‘I am very much honoured to be chosen for this important role. I take the opportunity to send a vibrant call to all my peers across the Commonwealth to support me and the new team in ensuring the CYCN can deliver much more than in the past years. This Network aims to be inclusive and strong, and this can only be possible if we work together. We can do it, and we have the mandate now.’’
Jean Paul Brice Affana, the outgoing Network Coordinator added, ‘‘I am very confident that the new team will do a great job as they have all demonstrated significant commitments and achievements within their own organisations and communities. I am leaving with the expectation that CYCN will engage young people in the planning steps of the Paris Agreement’s implementation and in the Commonwealth nations’ Nationally Determined Contributions that were submitted for COP21’’.
The CYCN was established in 2009 by young environmental leaders. It aims to build the capacity of young people in their endeavours to address climate change and other environmental issues, and advocate on climate change from a youth perspective. The network is run by a team of dedicated volunteer professionals and young people, and is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Division and other partners, including the CYC.
Read the full list of newly appointed members of the CYCN Leadership Team.
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