The African Climate Alliance is excited to be taking part and collaborating with 350Africa on the Digital Youth summit which started this week for Youth Month.
As a South African youth-led group calling for socio-environmental justice in South Africa, we see great value in the collaboration of youth and civil society from all around the country. It is the only way that we will be able to unite in the face of current and future challenges to build a fairer world for all people and maintain a habitable planet.
This summit, which aims to bring together South African youth leaders in order to network, share ideas and experiences, and devise actionable plans to increase momentum and efficacy of the South African youth socio-environmental movement, will hopefully be a positive step forward in this direction.
Two imperative aspects of the summit are:
- Providing youth with learnings and tools in regards to important facts and movement building
- Connecting the dots between all social and environmental justice issues.
An online conference, whilst imperative at this stage of the covid-19 pandemic, in itself, poses challenges and highlights issues of inequality such as the digital divide. Environmental and climate literacy is another issue that greatly needs to be addressed in the South African context.
More and more people are starting to understand that there can be no climate justice without social justice. Within the environmental movement itself, there has been and still is issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and classism. These need to be internally and outwardly addressed to ensure that we are fighting for a liveable and healthy planet with equal access and rights for all.