Unesco Green Citizens

COP27: Making Decisions to Tackle Climate Change

30 November 2022

Citizens around the world are creating solutions to fight climate change, but institutional decisions have to be taken to address the core of the problem.  

It is with that perspective that world leaders gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6th-20th November. With negotiations going into overtime, this marked one of the longest COP events, demonstrating both the importance and complexity of working together to tackle environmental issues at different levels.

A call to be part of the solution

“On every climate front, the only solution is decisive action in solidarity.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at a press encounter on Pre-COP27.  

Around the world, citizens have already understood this by developing solutions on the ground and encouraging others to act for the environment. These four UNESCO Green Citizens projects are developing solutions that focus on environmental issues, whilst also helping with social issues in their country, through education, food and water security, and clean cities. 

Helping populations protect biodiversity and secure food production

The project Securing Community Livelihood and Nutrition unites citizens from 60 villages in India around two problems: food security and biodiversity conservation. The solution? Sharing knowledge about inexpensive farming methods, creating a wild plant inventory, and seed banks. Local citizen-led actions help to conserve indigenous crops and improve the soil quality whilst fighting against poverty and malnutrition.   

Education is at the heart of changing habits. In Peru, the project School Garden Initiative creates greenhouses in schools to teach students, but also teachers, about sustainable agriculture and more responsible forms of development. It provides nutritious meals and protects the environment, combining solutions for food insecurity and environmental issues caused by intensive agriculture.  

Innovating to help populations live in safe and healthy environments

Access to clean water is a major problem is many parts of the world. CityTaps is a prepayment service providing a solution by helping to bring water to citizens in urban areas without access to running water. As such, they improve their health and finances, while allowing utility companies to invest in infrastructure and improve their water supply.   

Water and health are deeply linked, even more significantly in the context of cities. In some cities, the permanent circulation of waste in rivers can only occasionally be collected, which is not enough. To improve this situation, the innovation River Whale helps filter water and retain waste in rivers with a permanent mechanism inspired by whale’s baleens. It allows waste to be recycled, avoid micro-waste and improves the global quality of water in cities. 

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