UNU-IAS and AEON Environmental Foundation Announce Expanded Collaboration

Expansion includes the launch of a capacity development programme for youth.

On 6 June 2024, UNU-IAS and the AEON Environmental Foundation hosted a joint press conference to announce expanded collaboration, including the launch of Global Youth MIDORI platform (GYM), a project aimed at enhancing the capacity of youth to develop solutions for biodiversity loss and other global challenges.

Highlighting the significance of a partnership with one of the largest private companies in Japan, Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) stressed that UNU-IAS had been strengthening collaboration with multiple stakeholders to advance actions for carbon neutrality, nature positivity and the achievement of the SDGs. As part of the institute’s youth empowerment efforts in Asia, GYM will offer the opportunity to join the UNU delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP16).

Yuriko Yamamoto (Executive Director, AEON Environmental Foundation) emphasized the critical role of environmental and peace education, noting that war is a major cause of environmental degradation. Adding that the agreement is a new challenge for the foundation as it targets youth internationally, she expressed her hope that GYM would promote sustainability and peace to future generations by accelerating youth capacity development.

Akio Takemoto (Head of Programme and Administration, UNU-IAS) pointed out that although youth are more impacted by global environmental issues in the long term, their participation in decision-making processes such as Conference of the Parties to UN treaties remains limited. GYM is one of the pioneering efforts to provide young people with opportunities to contribute to international policymaking and encourage Member States to promote meaningful youth participation.

Q&A session discussed the unique framework of GYM as a platform for youth to mentor the next generation and connect with various stakeholders. In closing, UNU-IAS and the AEON Environmental Foundation confirmed their commitment to strengthening outreach and sharing the experiences of GYM participants.

The press release is available here.