Climate change is one of the most pressing issues affecting youth today. Young people happen to be among the groups most vulnerable to climate change impacts, particularly in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. At the same time, they are also the future leaders and decision-makers whose actions will prove decisive in how the world addresses climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean with a youth population of roughly 2.6 million between the ages of 18 and 25 years. If the age bracket is extended to 15 and 29 years, approximately a quarter of the total population classifies as youth.
This research was conducted in early 2021 through a representative sample-based survey of 1,000 youth across all nine of Sri Lanka's provinces and their districts. Additionally, ten focus group discussions (FGDs) and 25 key informant interviews (KIIs) with youth, older youth and technical experts were conducted, along with a literature review analysis to establish baselines and define the scope of the research.
The British Council Sri Lanka has a number of projects planned as part of the Climate Connection program. Youth engagement and our youth leadership program will continue to remain the main vehicle for addressing climate change issues at the community level, bringing positive change to society at large. Through our overall scope of work in Sri Lanka in the Arts and culture, English, and education strands we aim to actively contribute to the National Action Plan for climate action at a policy level.
“The climate emergency is the biggest crisis facing our planet so it’s no surprise that British Council research has found it’s the number one priority for young people the world over. I’m proud of the Sri Lankan young people that have put their signatures to our Global Youth Letter so far, calling on world leaders for urgent action. I hope that this sends a strong message about the importance of including youth voices in the climate change conversation.”
British Council Sri Lanka Country Director, Maarya Rehman