Ecology Ottawa is thrilled to announce our “Youth Climate Ambassadors” Program: a year long project dedicated to equipping 40 young people from across the city of Ottawa with the skills and knowledge necessary to take on climate change at a local level. The Youth Climate Ambassadors program is designed to cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders, foster deep connections with the diverse range of local actors on climate change, and engage a large number of youth and the general public in youth-driven, peer-to-peer engagement.
The program, executed in partnership with CAN-Rac, Just Food, OREC, Ottawa Greenspace Alliance, Ottawa Healthy Transportation Coalition, Sustainable Eastern Ontario, and the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, will aim to provide training and mentorship opportunities to our Youth Ambassadors, both through a two-day, multi-disciplinary training, and through an intensive twenty-hour mentorship program, executed over the course of several weeks.
After attending their mentorship and training sessions, each Youth Ambassador will make a presentation to an audience of their peers, passing along the knowledge they’ve gained by being mentored and acting as a catalyst, encouraging them to take action within their communities. Each group of Ambassadors, or “cohort” will also be responsible for planning and executing an event for the general public, aimed at educating and engaging their communities around a single climate-related issue, and the solutions made possible through a deeper knowledge of the field.
Youth Climate Ambassador applications are open to all members of the public between the ages of 17 to 27. Whether you are new to the climate movement, or come equipped with plenty of experience, the programs multidisciplinary, municipal focus means that there’s something to be gained for everyone, no matter your experiential or educational background.
Youth Climate Ambassadors will be split into 4 sequential cohorts over the next year, following the timeline below:
- Cohort One: Late March to late May, 2019
- Cohort Two: June to August, 2019
- Cohort Three: September to November, 2019
- Cohort Four: December 2019, to February 2020
Each cohort will receive two days of training at the beginning of their quarter, touching on all things related to climate change and climate action in the city of Ottawa. From there, each cohort will be mentored as a group for twenty hours by either the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op, Just Food, Healthy Transportation Coalition, or the Ottawa Greenspace Alliance. Over the course of their mentorship, each individual Ambassador will give a presentation to their peers, colleagues, and community members on municipal climate action, and the many ways we can act to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The mentorship will culminate in the cohort planning and executing an event of their own, aimed at educating and engaging the general public on their issue area. It is our hope that by connecting young people with all of the ways its possible to act on climate on a municipal level, we’ll be able to shift the dial, and see change on this global issue, right here at home.
Still not sure about why Youth Climate Ambassadors are important? Check out this infographic by C40 on why our cities play such a huge role in the fight against climate change, and why action at a municipal level is so important to making sure we have a liveable planet.