Study: Research

Meaningful Climate Action: Young People as Changemakers in the MENA Region

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English, Arabic


PDF (4.2 MiB)


Save the Children Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe Regional Office

Save the Children Regional Office in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe – in partnership with the Regional Youth Committee and Voluntas research consultancy – collaborated with children and youth across the MENA region to produce this participatory research study, aiming to map child and youth inclusion in the climate policy landscape in the region, and to identify concrete entry points to make young people’s participation in climate action more meaningful. The research methodology aimed to educate, engage and put forward the power of young people both in contribution to climate education in the MENA region and to drive the conversation about the entry points to meaningful participation in climate action. The outcomes of the research are therefore a co-creation both by and for young people.

With countries in the MENA region experiencing different climate challenges, diverse socioeconomic and security conditions, and differing levels of political will regarding climate action and policymaking, there is a need for both a regional and country-level analysis of the opportunities, barriers, and entry points to ensure meaningful child and youth participation in climate action. Children and youth each navigate distinct challenges and opportunities within the realm of climate policymaking. Children often have limited participation avenues, and their contributions, though valued, are sometimes seen more in the context of their vulnerability rather than as proactive stakeholders. Meanwhile, youth have broader access to participation platforms, but it is rather tokenistic in large-scale regional or global events, and these may not always be meaningful opportunities to influence local policymaking and implementation.

This research study brings children and youth aged 8-35 to the forefront of the climate crisis discussion by helping them understand the existing policy environment and working with them to identify the relevant enablers and barriers to children and youth’s participation in climate action. The report gives an overview of climate policies in the region and the impact of climate change on children and youth, and dives into an analysis of opportunities and barriers to children and youth’s participation at a policy level. Finally, the report highlights existing examples of successful child and youth engagement in the region to encourage and identify potential strategies for children and youth to meaningfully participate in climate action.

In addition to the study report, the Meaningful Climate Action participatory adolescent and youth research package includes the full research data collection toolkit in both English and Arabic with consent and assent forms, enumerators’ training slides and youth climate dictionary. The publication also includes summarizing slide decks in both languages, and annexes the country-level climate policy tables from the desk review, and detailed research risk assessment.

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