International Children's and Youth Conferences
A Network Spanning the Globe
The TUNZA International Children’s Conference for participants between 8 and 14 and the TUNZA International Youth Conference for young people between 15 and 24 take place in alternating years. Young environmentalists are given the opportunity to regularly exchange knowledge and experiences from their respective countries and to build up sustainable international networks.
The first conference that was jointly organized by Bayer and UNEP took place in Bangalore (India) in 2005. Bayer hosted and organized the Youth Conference at the company’s headquarters in Leverkusen (Germany) in 2007. During the one-week summit young environmentalists from all over the world attended workshops and debates related to the theme "Technology in Service of the Environment".
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A joint conference for children and youth was organized in Bandung (Indonesia) in 2011. Around 1,400 children from more than 100 countries participated. The conference agenda, "Green Economy and Sustainable Lifestyle", reflects the subjects that will be debated at the “Rio + 20 Summit” taking place in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
The conference delegates adopted the manifesto "The Voice of Children & Youth for Rio+20“. The so called “Bandung Declaration” states the hopes and expectations children and youth from all over the world have towards the governments attending the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil.
Regional Youth Networks
To promote youth environmental initiatives worldwide Bayer supports UNEP in organizing annual youth network meetings in all six world regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and West Asia. Representatives of these networks take part at the global Children's and Youth conferences. Two representatives from each region are appointed for two years to the TUNZA Youth Advisory Council. This council coordinates the positions and demands of the young people and also represents them in environmental decision-making processes of the United Nations.
TUNZA is Kishwahili, spoken in parts of East Africa, which means "to treat with care and affection". This motto is the overall title for UNEP's programme for children and youth. Some of the projects include the word in their title: The TUNZA Children's and Youth Conference and TUNZA Magazine.