The Noosa Environmental Education Hub (Noosa EEHub) will host an inter school Youth Climate Conference in the spring of 2024. Held by and for youth, the event will unite students in Australia to highlight sustainability and climate action taking place in schools.
Noosa Youth Advocacy Group (NYAG) is a collective of young individuals who are working to further embed concepts of sustainability and cultural viewpoints into school curricula. Their 2024 Custodians of Place – Youth Climate Conference will focus on the climate crisis and sustainability for students of all ages.
Students will have the opportunity to share ideas, present, and celebrate the actions they have taken in their schools and communities. This summit will serve as a follow-up to the first youth-led climate summit held by the Noosa EEHub in 2021.
“This upcoming conference is shaping up to be a day full of education, collaboration, inspiration, and celebration; as the outcomes of the 2021 conference, in combination with the progress being made in schools and the community, are brought together,” Ashley Sinclair, Youth NYAG Member, tells Food Tank.
During the 2021 summit, attendees had the ability to create target actions to reach zero net emissions, zero emissions transport, nature based solutions, and zero waste.
“The solutions-based approach gives young people hope that there are things we can do within our power and that collectively these make a big difference,” Dalia Mikhail, Managing Director at the Noosa Environmental Education Hub, tells Food Tank. “They are embracing the ideas and connecting the dots around Reconciliation and Climate Action and influencing their school communities to make meaningful change.”
Sinclair says that “the outcomes of projects, Noosa Youth Advocacy Group meetings, and the 2021 conference are helping us to identify what is most needed in these youth climate conversations and what has and needs to be prioritized in our community.”
The Noosa EEHub delivers immersive and community relevant environmental education programs, engaging students in real-life projects tailored to the local ecosystem. In 2021, these programs were honored with the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation Award for People & Economy. They provide students with opportunities for hands-on learning, and empower students to meet curriculum requirements while making a positive impact on their community and environment.
“Having a space to meet like-minded youth, discuss our aspirational visions, concerns, and projects, and have opportunities to bring a youth perspective into other groups such as the Noosa Council, has made me feel less alone, less anxious about the state of the world, and more hopeful than ever,” says Sinclair.
As the conference takes shape, the organization hopes to establish it as an annual event and “build on our previous work till we reach net zero emissions, reduce waste and improve biodiversity across our region,” Mikhail tells Food Tank. “We are working to bring the community values in line with the tourism expectation that Noosa is a green and environmentally valued location.”
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Photo courtesy of Dalia Mikhail