Climate Change Communication for Myanmar Youth (11 – 13 December 2015)

In December 2015, COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Confemccarence, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Myanmar is highly vulnerable to climate change. The Global Risk Index ranks Myanmar second place globally in terms of vulnerability from extreme weather events related to climate change. This vulnerability results from the intersection between the country’s high exposure to climatic hazards, the sensitivities of key sectors (water, agriculture and biodiversity) and low levels of preparation and adaptive capacities. Myanmar, compared to other countries in the region, is less prepared to cope with the consequences of climate change, and less equipped to mitigate and adapt to the changes.

Evidence from the last 60 years highlights the following changes in the Myanmar climate:
• Increase in temperatures across the whole country (~0.08°C per decade);
• Increase in total rainfall over most regions, and notable decrease in others;
• Shortening and intensification of the monsoon;
• Increase in the recurrence and severity of extreme weather events.

Modelling for the next 85 years predicts a continuous increase in temperatures (to the height of 3.8 degrees Celsius), a surge in drought periods, changing and erratic rainfall patterns, further shortening of the monsoon, significant increase in extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones, and sea-level rise. The brunt of these changes will be borne by children and youth.

Following-up on COP21, the Government of Myanmar is planning to substantially enhance its Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Programming Framework, as well as accelerating Climate Change communication and education across the country. An important event will be held in January 2015, focusing on the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry’s Communication Strategy on Climate Change. Organised by the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance, the workshop will specifically aim to explore effective communication strategies for major groups; and UNICEF and ActionAid have been identified as partners to facilitate discussions between climate experts and policy-makers on the one hand and youth and children on the other hand.

Objectives of the Social Innovation Weekend

Ahead of the Nay Pyi Taw event, UNICEF, the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance and ActionAid are planning to organise a Social Innovation Lab week-end in Yangon gathering youth from across the country and aimed at generating innovative solutions and ideas for the effective communication of climate change messages to young people and children in all corners of Myanmar.

The plan is for solutions designed during the Social Innovation Lab to be presented to climate experts and policy-makers by youth representatives from the lab’s winning teams during the Climate Change Communication workshop in Nay Pyi Taw.

Venue: Myanmar Social Innovation Lab @ Kanaung Hub, MICT Park

Date: 11th to 13th December 2015

What is the Social Innovation Weekend?
The Social Innovation Weekend is a 2-day event where teams of young people from across the country will come together to develop new, innovative ideas around the theme of climate change communication for Myanmar youth. The event will be run in partnership with the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance and ActionAid. During the weekend, teams will ideate a solution, develop demos and prototypes, and design and pitch a business model. At the end of the weekend, teams will present their solutions in a 2‑minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Profile of the participants
A total of around 40 participants are expected to attend the event. These will be young people aged 15-24 from across the country with diverse backgrounds: community activists, development workers, private sector, technology, civil society. Interested young people can apply

Role of the Mentors
Mentors will meet with the teams to help them test their assumptions, understand the local context and advise on the feasibility and risks associated with their proposed solution. The primary role of the Mentor is to listen to the team’s idea and ask questions to help them identify potential risk areas or uncertainties and develop ways to prepare for them. Mentors will meet with two teams for 45 minutes each.

Mentor Session Date and Time:  Saturday, December 12th, 3pm – 5pm
Venue: Myanmar Social Innovation Lab @ Kanaung Hub, MICT Park

Role of the Judges
The panel of judges will include the UNICEF Representative and senior development professionals and entrepreneurs. Judges will listen to the team pitches and deliberate to make a selection for the most innovative, feasible and impactful idea. Project Hub will provide a simple rubric for judging.
Pitch Session Date and Time: Sunday, December 13th, 3pm – 5pm
Venue: Myanmar Social Innovation Lab @ Kanaung Hub, MICT Park

What is the Social Innovation Lab?
The converging country context and UNICEF priorities and strategies have led to the establishment of a Myanmar Social Innovation Lab in partnership with the Myanmar Computer Federation (MCF). Solutions co-created locally have the potential to be scaled to a variety of contexts, improve lives and generate impacts globally. The Myanmar Social Innovation Lab is located at the Kanaung Hub in MICT Park. The Lab convenes a range of partners to design innovative and locally-driven solutions to a set of common challenges facing communities across the country. Special focus is placed on the areas of participation & entrepreneurship, adaptation & resilience, and cohesion & inclusion. More at: