Youth and Climate Change Image

The British Council study “Young People on Climate Change: A Perception Survey” (2021) found:

  • Climate change awareness among youth was limited.
  • Unwillingness to implement ideas from youth.
  • Fewer opportunities and platforms for youth initiatives
  • Fewer decisions by youth on climate change

The Youth Leadership for Climate Action (YLCA) project was designed to contribute to filling this gap. It built on the British Council’s legacy initiatives including Active Citizens, Future Leaders Connect, Climate Champions and the Climate Connection. 

The project's aim is to contribute to the development of a generation of young Sri Lankans who can effectively contribute to Sri Lanka’s climate action and green recovery process, working with the most vulnerable communities and in the most endangered ecosystems.     

Watch the video here.

Facilitator development workshops helped participants from the Youth Wing of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society develop their facilitation skills and facilitate community-owned climate solutions

The specific objective of the programme   

Enhance knowledge, skills, and networks of youth for effective and inclusive climate and environmental action through community mobilisation. 

Project outcomes for climate and environmental action:

  • Improved knowledge, skills, and connections of youth at community level
  • Effective and inclusive climate action carried out by youth. 
  • Inspire and motivate youth through shared experiences. 
  •  Stakeholder support, collaboration, and recognition received for youth.

From 2022-2024, the project benefited 150 youth in Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Kalutara, Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya Districts. British Council partnered with the youth wing of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka and Biodiversity Sri Lanka in implementing the project. 

Watch the video here.

Commercial exploitation of invasive water hyacinth. 

The youth received opportunities to develop their knowledge of the climate emergency and to uplift their leadership skills and networks through training workshops, field visits and expert lectures. Subsequently, they were guided and mentored to design and implement climate and environmental interventions, addressing issues identified by themselves. The youth were then provided small grants to implement their projects.Over the two years, the youth initiated 40 climate and environmental action projects on themes ranging from:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Wetland and marine environment protection
  • Waste management
  • Developing eco-friendly products.

Watch the video here.  

Streamlining municipal waste collection. 

As of March 2024, the British Council has supported six promising youth projects to scale up through Climate Challenge Grants. Throughout the process, youth had the opportunity to network with counterparts from other districts as well as government and non-government stakeholders and platforms to showcase their work.

See also