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COP28 from the Lenses of Tasnia Ahmed

A Promise for a Resilient Future for Women, Children and Adolescents on Climate Action and Health


Photo Courtesy: Markus Spiske, Pexels

The world witnessed an important first for UNFCCC COP28: a dedicated Health Day that saw the agreement of a Climate and Health Declaration signed by over 120 Member States. This development comes as the negotiations for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) on climate change continue to unfold in Dubai. The global health community is buzzing with excitement at this extraordinary promise, which represents a huge step forward in recognizing and addressing the crucial connection between health and climate change.

With that mesmerizing achievement, I, Tasnia Ahmed, joined the session as a speaker on ‘Delivering changes by institutionalizing youth participation’ at the Climate Live pavilion by Climate Forward Global, NDC findings presentation in the sessions, followed by the process of Bangladesh factsheet development on climate and SRHR, by UNFPA and session speaker at networking workshop by women and gender constituency. She was also interviewed by the Africa News on sharing the climax of climate and SRHR. Moreover, she joined the climate reality networking reception with the climate reality alumnus.

“While the COP28 Climate and Health Declaration does not formally refer to women's, children's, and adolescent health (WCAH), it is important for us to continue advocating for the explicit recognition of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on these diversified vulnerable groups as this remains crucial for effective, just and equitable gender solutions to climate action, and to protect health”, says Tasnia Ahmed, Climate Reality leader, PMNCH Adolescent and Youth Constituency Member,  SERAC Bangladesh Program Manager and UNFPA Joint Youth Working Group on SRHR and Climate Change COP28 Delegate, “Let us not forget that climate change is the biggest intergenerational injustice of our times. We need to be engaged in the decision-making affecting our future.”

Climate change is the greatest intergenerational injustice of our times, and we have no time to waste. The aim will not just remain a statement but that governments deliver on their obligations and drive transformative change in each country to ensure better, just, and equitable integration of health considerations into climate policy processes, and of climate considerations across health policy agendas.

There is an unbreakable relationship between gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and climate change in terms of consideration of young demands. To effectively address climate change, build resilience, and promote climate justice, SRHR is essential and it must be promoted so that extra resources have been allocated especially for vulnerable communities.

Photo Courtesy: Markus Spiske

For investors, climate change is a significant source of both opportunity and risk. to reach the CO2 stabilization level that is deemed to be reasonably safe, and also secured for pregnant mothers as salinity is increased in climate-prone areas and polluted air makes it clumsier and a barrier to healthy life. So, investment in climate and SRHR can be the source of empowerment for women. So only .76 finding is not enough where capacity building for women, more advocacy and power authority must be created for young women and adolescent girls.

Collaboration and multidisciplinary partnerships are urged, so that SRHR integration can be considered at the country level to global level and disaster policy programs. Gender and reproductive health rights must be addressed in the national plan of action and youth integration is a must for policy and operational plan development so that insights have been shared with full attention.

About the Author:

Tasnia Ahmed is a youth development expert on public health and climate action working for 7 years professionally and over a decade of volunteerism. She is working as a Program Manager at SERAC. She is heavily involved with the UNFPA Youth Task-force Committee on Population, SRHR, and Climate Action; NDC Reviewer; serves as CSO Asia Representative of the GFF-CSCG steering committee, Country Coordinator of Global South Coalition of Dignified Menstruation, Representative of the International Youth Alliance of Family Planning-Bangladesh, WORTH fellow on Climate Action and Women Empowerment, and Fellow of Climate Reality Leadership Program. She trained up to 13,000 youths and adolescents on leadership, and comprehensive sexuality education, and collected endorsements from 27 Parliament Members to seek support for it. She has spearheaded projects with USAID, Pathfinder International, Plan-International, Rutgers, IPPF, PAI, Dance4Life, Global Affairs Canada, PRB, HealthBridge Foundation of Canada, Nuffic, KIT, and Share-net International. She received the Special Mention Award (Youth Activist) at the Women Leadership Summit 2018. She has represented young people at several international meetings and conferences including COP28, COP27, Women Deliver 2023, Co-Creation Conference 2022, Girls not Brides Global Meeting, COP26, African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, WHO Youth Town Hall, World Youth Summit 2021 (Online), Regional Climate Summit 2023, 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive, Sexual Health and Rights, SRHR Knowledge Fair, and International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH). She is also mobilizing young activists in Bangladesh to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition and advocate for it at both the local and national levels. She is the national coordinator of the Youth Coalition of Climate Justice (YCCJ) in Bangladesh and facilitates 27 civil society organizations for climate action. She is the Global Vice-versa Champion.

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