I Vote for Climate campaign was organized in Cameroon on the occasion of the recent presidential election that took place on the 9th October 2011 and was run by Vital Actions for Sustainable Development (AVD) a youth-led NGO coordinated by Jean Paul Brice Affana, a One Young World Ambassador from Cameroon. Supported by the Global Campaign for Climate Action of Green Peace (GCCA) and a number of national and international organizations/networks such as Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE)'s Cameroon chapter, Youth Synergy for Development (SYJEDE) as well as the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), the campaign first step runs from 1st 8th October and aims to raise awareness of sustainable development and climate change among citizens and asks them to sign a petition requesting that all the twenty three candidates at the election include strong policies on environmental sustainability and climate change fighting in their proposed action plans in case they were elected by the people.
The OYW Ambassador and his peers took the presidential election in Cameroon as a good opportunity to raise awareness among citizens on the importance to support with their votes candidates who agree to include strong climate change and sustainable development policies in their proposed plans of action as a crucial topic to be addressed. ‘’I Vote for Climate‘’ campaign was launched on the 4th October in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, in the same time with a press conference that brought together more than fifty (50) journalists from various media including TV stations, newspaper, radio stations and online media. Other participants were civil society and diplomatic mission’s representatives, a group of local young musicians and artists as well as many other ordinary citizens.
Over six thousands petitions with as message ‘’I encourage all candidates at the presidential election 2011 in Cameroon to consider climate change and sustainable development in their proposed plans of action’’ have been signed in the country. Candidates at the presidential election were also invited o sign a second petition that has been developed for them with as message: ‘’I commit myself, as candidate at the presidential election 2011 in Cameroon, to consider climate change and sustainable development in my proposed plan of action’’. Some candidates have signed the petition as well as some key people involved in the election organization who show their support to the initiative they found relevant for the country. Other signatories were coming from citizens sharing different backgrounds and religions. Their signatures were collected inside Universities, markets, schools, streets, public administrations, hotels, villages, rural areas, and during medias programmes. The youth organizers of the campaign also used the power of media to raise awareness among citizens on climate change and sustainable development. They got support from various national and international media who attended the press conference and the launch ceremony. Medias also invited them to their programmes and talks related to the election in order to promote the campaign, get citizens' support and encourage all candidates to sign the petition. This enables young people to meet with some candidates participating in the same medias programmes.
After the first step of the campaign in Cameroon, the OYW Ambassador started the second step aim at sharing this experience with others. He therefore went to Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, where he presented the outcome of the project at the 1st Climate Change and Development Conference in Africa (CCDA-1) that took place from 17th to 19th October and organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), ClimDev and the African Union Commission (AUC). He also travelled to Perth, Australia, where he shared his experience with all delegates attending the 8th Commonwealth Youth Forum from 23rd to 27th October. Now he is planning to go to Durban, South Africa, where he will promote the campaign at the 17th Conference of Parties at the (COP17) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The next destination will be in New York in mid-December for the second Intersessional of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
Press conference and launch ceremony: http://www.voxafrica.com/vod/videos/&v=0_k58i9d62&p
VoxAfrica international TV Part 1:http://www.voxafrica.com/vod/videos/&v=0_icii4ouc&p=0_1moic6io
VoxAfrica international TV Part 2:http://www.voxafrica.com/vod/videos/&v=0_efdkt1cw&p=0_1moic6io
Journal du Cameroun online media:http://www.journalducameroun.com/article.php?aid=9922
UNCSD website blog post: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&nr=401&type=230&menu=38
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