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Qatar & GCC Youth Statement


Rio + 20 Heads of State Summit

- prepared by delegates to EMPOWER 2012 for the World Youth Congress Statement Drafting Committee and the UN MGCY CSD group, 19th April 2012 Mission Statement: To develop a comprehensive, inclusive Green Transition Plan for the peoples and nations of the Gulf Region that can be presented as our regions voluntary commitment at the Rio+20 Summit. Objectives: In our lifetime to ensure that GCC Nations take advantage of our regions abundant solar resources to create a sustainable energy infrastructure. Sustainable provision of fresh water for all citizens in the Gulf Region in our lifetimes. Food security through developing vertical farms, hydroponic food agricultural processes and other necessary mechanisms to increase to 30% by 2030 the amount of locally produced food consumed in our region. To call upon the governments of Qatar and the GCC UN Member States to include a young person on their official delegation to the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012. Strategies: Youth of the Gulf Region and Yemen agreed at the EMPOWER 2012 Conference in Doha, Qatar organised by Reach Out to Asia (ROTA), a branch of the Qatar Foundation to create a common Green Transition Plan for the whole region to seek a transition to a Green, Sustainable Economy and new systems of governance to ensure long-term sustainability of their lifestyles, society, economy, environment and values. The key elements of their Green Transition Plan are as follows: Peace and Islamic Principles: All youth of the region recognise that the teachings of the Prophet and the Holy Quran call on us to revere, conserve and treasure the precious environment of our planet, and secure the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is a central pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and it is a vision and a principle shared by all peoples of the Gulf Region, who seek to work in peace, collaboratively, to achieve this common vision of sustainable prosperity as part of the true path of Islam. Awareness-Raising: Youth of the Gulf Region and Yemen call upon their governments, Ministers of Education and Culture + media organisations, university and school principals and teachers to do the following to assist young people, and the public at large, to understand the issues under discussion at Rio+20: New Syllabus on Green Energy in all schools; Education on Sustainability to be started in Primary Schools and continued through Middle and High Schools, on up to Universities and life-long learning programmes including education of public officials, private sector leaders, and all registered voters. Improve education throughout the region to bridge any remaining elements of the digital divide, eliminate illiteracy, train green entrepreneurs and support the pursuit of excellence with regards to the highest standards of educational achievement. Students must be encouraged to set up green energy clubs in schools with the correct guidance from neighbouring NGOs and other willing bodies to learn how to produce green energy and make their schools zero carbon Public campaigns to raise awareness about policy changes required to achieve sustainability In the media on above the line and bellow the line social networks, therefore promoting

widespread awareness equally across the GCC nations; Encourage the development of sustainable clothing that uses organically produced fabrics in places such as but not limited to schools, universities, and art colleges baring in mind

Gender Equity: Advocate gender equity in the development of sustainable households and families, recognising that women and men are equally responsible for the delivery of sustainable behaviours in their households, communities and nations;

Price Signals, Regulations & Green Taxes: Prices must be set to instruct the public that it is more expensive to buy goods produced by unsustainable means, and cheaper to buy products produced sustainably. This must be achieved through green taxes, the removal of harmful subsidies and the introduction of green subsidies for sustainable behaviour. Regulations must be strengthened to ensure that polluters including noise polluters are to be monitored and if necessary required to pay fines. Fines must be imposed on companies that continue to pollute and exploit the environment unsustainably. Create incentives and prizes for individuals who make sustainable purchasing decisions and have a high rate of waste recycling. Also offer prizes and incentives to architects, builders and landlords who design, build and rent zero carbon buildings. Transportation: Governments and the Private Sector must be inspired and encouraged to develop a much stronger, expanded public transportation infrastructure including the following: o Expansion of High Speed Rail Network linking the major cities of the Gulf Region o Improved bus and Light Railway system for the cities of the gulf with restricted access for private vehicles in city centres to reduce traffic congestion o Develop the infrastructure to support the widespread introduction of Electric vehicles to be charged by electricity from solar power; Research: Governments of the region must invest more in research into sustainable technologies, the green economy and resource efficiency through means such as but not limited to: o Linking existing university departments and research facilities in the Gulf Region into a single network promoting excellence in sustainability research in the GCC. o Sharing and peer-reviewing results with each other in order to strengthen the development of their ideas by widening their horizons on the newest technologies; o Results and data must also be shared with partners in other countries globally, to further encourage the widespread sharing of the best practice; Diversify the Energy Supply and the Economies of the Region: Develop a policy, with milestones, to ensure that 10% of Gulf Region energy comes from renewable / sustainable sources by 2020; 20% by 2030; 50% by 2050. This can be achieved with the support of the research and development of technologies by the GCC Scientific excellence in sustainability research network; All youth recognise the danger of a homogenous economy based on a single, hydrocarbon export industry and call upon governments, the private sector and the educational establishments to develop polices that will result in a heterogeneous economy in the region with widely diversified industries, agriculture, fisheries and job-creating / income-generating

activities that conserve resources for future generations;

Agriculture and Fisheries: Eliminate agricultural practices that deplete non-renewable ground-water sources, or that rely on polluting insecticides; Increase the use of coastal plains, and desalination plants, to develop new and productive agricultural land; Develop urban and rural forestry to encourage the planting of trees and drought resistant vegetation throughout the Gulf region; (Ensure that there are more trees per person than cars per person across the Gulf); Governments must take steps to certify the sustainable management of fishing in the Gulf further ensuring issues such as but not limited to: o Protection of fish stocks o Encouragement of the development of aquaculture o Protection of artisanal fishermen; Waste & recycling: Set up eco-friendly facilities across the Gulf Region to convert waste material to energy; Finance, Investment and Insurance: Nations who are members of the GCC alliance are encouraged to support the alliance in developing a solid financial capacity to research and deliver the technologies and investments needed to create the infrastructure necessary for sustainable communities; We encourage Governments of the GCC alliance to set up a Committee to oversee the development of a sustainable investment code for all business, individuals and companies; Banks and Insurance companies are encouraged to work together for the sake of ensuring things such as but not limited to: o Rigorous environmental impact assessments of all investment decisions o Introduction of regulations to ensure the long-term sustainability of investments and insurance policies. Civil society organisations and youth must rise to the challenge of holding governments, banks and insurance companies accountable for the delivery of long-term sustainable investment decisions;