For the first time, a Junior Forum was held by the Citizen Process at the World Water Forum. For two days, the group gathered to identify priorities and share strategic visions for the 70 international youth leaders who participated on days 17 and 18 of the world's largest water event.
According to Brazilian student Paulo Roberto Mesquita, "the workshop was very interesting because it helped us to understand some of the water related global issues, as well as the international information networks that were created to help provide solutions."
Participants also became aware of the importance of young people involvement in establishing water security. "We have learned that there needs to be a dialog between generations, both to pass knowledge and bring innovations to the management process," Paulo said. He also reported that the largest delegation during the workshop involved young people from Italy.
As a result of the discussions, a statement was elaborated that will be included in the outcome of the Citizen Process at the end of the 8th World Water Forum.
Check out the full document:
“We, the youth, we recommend:
1. Youth and SDG 6
Redefine the value of water beyond its economic commercialization in order to recognize its cultural heritage, its medicinal, traditional and social value. This can be done through youth training and leadership programs and by finding mechanisms to integrate them into the formal education system to reach the young and most vulnerable in all regions.
2. Youth, Water and Innovation
Increase funding opportunities to support youth leadership initiatives for science and technology projects. These projects include the expansion of existing open online platforms in order to facilitate more interdisciplinary research, social innovation, networking and citizen reporting.
3. The importance of cooperation
The creation of legitimate spaces for the representation, inclusion and participation of youth and youth groups in the High-Level political, decision-making and organizational processes of the World Water Forums. This includes the institutionalization of the Youth Forum as part of all future WWF, ensuring the necessary funding to support youth leadership, participation and equal representation of all regions in the preparatory, implementational and follow-up processes for the youth forum. This approach will ensure continuity and smooth transition of youth leadership for all future forums and will provide new leadership experiences for young people by participating in the forum.
In addition, it is equally important to ensure the representation of young people and the incorporation of the declaration into the processes and outcomes of the World Water Forum, including young people in all sessions to share the main priorities of youth.
We acknowledge and appreciate the support we have received from WWF and partner organizations to successfully organize the youth forum. We know that we can count on your continued support for future World Water Forums and for implementing our Call to Action".
The Call for Action
World Water Forum Youth Forum
We, the participants of the first Youth Forum of World Water Forum, agree and commit to support each other in the implementation of the following actions:
1. The World Youth Parliament for Water commits itself to providing young people with the opportunity to access international water platforms and to provide space for discussion among young people and between young people and other concerned parties to encourage youth involvement in the water sector.
2. The Youth Delegates Program is committed to promote the youth assistance satellite events to organize three juvenile events related to water in the city of Belém in the next three years.
3. Youth delegates work to institutionalize Youth Satellite Events to be part of the World Water Forum's strategy to mobilize and engage youth in water governance and decision-making processes of the forum.
4. The Water Youth Network is committed to connect young people and organizations to high-level decision-making through meaningful interventions for knowledge and data sharing, incubating ideas, identify financial resources, develop partnerships in the water sector, between disciplines and generations.
5. The Central American Water Youth Network commits itself to promoting the involvement of youth in decision-making spaces in the water sector to strengthen the development of Central American countries from a more holistic and innovative point of view without tainting our messages and efforts with our political and personal interests. "
*Colaborator: Mathilda Saada