The Blue Climate Action Summit Series gave inspired, solutions-minded young people a chance to meet virtually and in-person in at eight locations around the world during the last weekend of July 2022. More than 600 Planeteers from 17 nations participated in the series of events to celebrate and protect their local waterways, and collectively define the coming year’s priorities for the segment of the Planeteer Alliance community focused on climate action related to water.
Powered by the Planeteer Alliance, a program of the Captain Planet Foundation, the Summits were focused on the importance of working for a healthy ocean, lakes, wetlands and mangroves in creating a climate positive future. Eight in-person Summits were organized and hosted by Planeteers under the age of 25, all focused on celebrating and protecting local waterways in following locations:
- New Delhi, India
- Kingston, Jamaica
- Kisumu, Kenya
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Mérida, Mexico
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Lima, Peru
- Kings Beach, USA
Host teams invited speakers (60+ total speakers) and organized activities to have participants explore and celebrate their local waterway, identify threats to these systems, and develop action plans to address these threats. In addition to being more prepared to tackle issues facing their local water bodies, hosts gained a sense of empowerment and community while guiding other young people through the Summits.
“I had a great time hosting the event. It gave each of the participants and volunteers in my community a sense of satisfaction and also, it helped me boost my confidence and made my dream of being a host, a dream come true.”Ruth T., Nairobi, host of the Nairobi River Basin Youth Summit.
In addition, the Planeteer Alliance team hosted a virtual Blue Climate Action Summit to engage young people in places where in-person events were not being held. This virtual Summit focused on some of the universal threats to healthy water systems such as plastic pollution, deep seabed mining, and mangrove destruction.
“Thanks to BCAS2022, I learned more about lakes and how complicated and fragile they are! Human activities can increase sedimentation and nutrients in the lake, which can contribute to the rapid growth of algae. Algal blooms can significantly deplete the oxygen levels of a lake. Low oxygen levels can kill fish and hurt the biodiversity in the area.”Emery M. F., Philippines, Global Virtual Blue Climate Action Summit attendee.
The action plans that are emerging from all of the Summits will define the priorities for the Water community of the Planeteer Alliance for the next year.
“One of our main goals for the Planeteer Alliance is to allow young people to lead the way. We want to create the opportunities for Planeteers in all parts of the world to convene their peers, and decide what actions we need to prioritize to build a climate positive future. Then, the Planeteer Alliance can support that work. This event was an experiment in getting out of the way, and it was an incredible success.”Courtney Kimmel, Vice President of CPF.
The Blue Climate Action Summit Series was the first in a rotation of youth-led Summits that will define climate solution priorities for the Planeteer Alliance under the five Planeteer Elements — Water, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Heart.
The guiding principles for the Blue Climate Action Summit, and the Planeteer Climate Solution Summits generally were developed by the organizers of the Nam Lolwe Youth Summit (NALYS), Michelle & Jeremy Muchilwa from Kisumu, Kenya, and Diego Arreola Fernandez from Mexico City. The NALYS Model emphasizes:
- Uplifting young people’s voices and ideas
- Empowering young people to connect with, protect, preserve and restore their environment
- The importance of history, story, and culture in creating connections
- The importance of indigenous wisdom and different ways of knowing in restoring our planet
- The interconnectedness of problems facing our planet and the intersectional approach needed to solve them.
The next Planeteer Climate Solutions Summit will be focused on the WIND Element and will take place in Winter 2023.
“By organizing the Summits by Element, we have the opportunity to focus on truly nailing down the root causes of the many issues related to climate change, and developing a holistic approach that encompasses multiple elements, sectors and social issues. I am beyond excited to see this vision come to fruition and for the Planeteer Alliance to create a model for future generations to participate in climate activism, as well as creating the opportunity for all people to access support to launch their communities into a decade of climate aware policy, businesses and individuals.”Planeteer Alliance Wisdom Council member Steph E., who leads Seas of Change in Australia, an affiliated organization of Planeteer Alliance.