The environment is our playground and we are sharing with the tens of thousands of international non-governmental and governmental delegates at the event how scouting has always cared for the planet, not because we had to, but rather, simply that we are in the business of creating a better world.
The first day began with all accredited members of the delegation, Jared Abayo the Youth Director WOSM-CO, Amos Ndegwa the IT Officer and Communications Assistant WOSM-Africa,Magdalena Elisabeth Werner, Antje Kathrin Schroeder, Lars Martin Kramm, Daniella Drilling from DPSG, Jessica Von der Meden, Quintin Combrink, Sally Makofane, Previn Vedan, Ivan Povall, Yubishin Moodley from South Africa Scout Association.
YOUNGO is the officially recognised constituency of the Youth Non-Governmental Organisations by the UNFCCC, of which the World Oganisation of the Scout Movement is a part. The spokes council is the decision making body of YOUNGO, and is formed by representatives of the Youth Non-Governmental Organisations participating in COP17.YOUNGO makes statements and carries out actions on behalf of YOUNGO but at the same time it is representing all of its members.
The spokes council provides for a transparent and formal method of decision-making that includes all of its members in a meaningful andconstructive way.This first meeting of YOUNGO saw the constituency having to elect five of its members who would then go on to have access seats inside for the Plenary session for the official opening of the conference.
At this opening, the president of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma reinforced the importance of the next two weeks, he said, “Climate change poses serious threats especially in the developing world,” he added, “Africa is more vulnerable because of poverty which limits the ability of most African nations to cope with the impact of climate change.”
WOSM, as a leading global youth movement, will demonstrate its leadership and commitment to broadening the climate change dialogue. This follows a successful high profile discussion on climate change, involving Scouts aged 14–17 from 68 countries represented at the United Nations Simulation on Climate Change which was held at the Parliament Hall of the Region of Skåne, in Kristianstad, Sweden during the World Scout Jamboree.
Zuma ended off his opening address by saying that ‘Change and solutions are always possible. In these talks, States parties will need to look beyond their national interests to find a global solution for the common good and benefit of all humanity. We have come a long time since Copenhagen and Cancun. Durban must take us many stepsforward towards a solution that saves tomorrow today.’