The 2022 winter youth initiative aimed to strengthen youths’ civic participation through empowering them with voice and agency. The objective of the project was to:
  • Test the implementation of a Digital Citizen Engagement Platform that will source diverse citizen views on policy and legislative issues.
  • Capacitate the youth with a deeper understanding of the issue (focus area) that is critical to generating constructive and meaningful responses.
It gathered 26 youths with diverse backgrounds from all over the country and generated 24 seed responses including graduates, to learn about climate change and brainstorm ideas of mitigation and adaptation to the global issue creating potential solutions of how Bhutan can address climate change. 
  The 2022 Winter Youth Initiative brought together 26 youths from various educational institutions, including graduates, to learn about climate change and brainstorm on Bhutan’s response to mitigating and adapting to the global issue.  An eclectic mix of 6 speakers from government agencies and CSOs, independent consultants and researchers shed light on issues of urban development, transportation, industries, agriculture, and waste, their relation to climate change, and existing opportunities to address climate change in Bhutan.  The sensitization on climate change enhanced the youth’s understanding of the topic and highlighted the need for consulting youth on this topic as their future will greatly be impacted as a result of climate change.    
  "Until today, I was oblivious to the adverse impact that climate change is already having on the rest of the world," said Gyanzo, a student of CNR. Similarly, other participants expressed feelings of sadness knowing how people elsewhere are already bearing the brunt of climate change, and of guilt and anger at themselves for ignorantly aggravating climate change through their everyday acts and habits.   The consolidated 24 solutions from this two-day exercise were uploaded  on the Youth Conversations ( a digital engagement platform) that was live for about 2 months. In total, 7,359 people engaged on the platform to vote on the proposed solutions and provide additional responses to “What should Bhutan do to tackle climate change”.  The diverse responses range from talking about amending policies to mitigate climate change such as increasing royalties on the mining industry to adapting innovative planning such as including climate risk scenarios in local development plans. Collaborating with schools to educate and emphasise climate change was a popular solution, thus highlighting education's role in changing mindset on climate change.    The consolidated themes and responses generated from the youth camp which were uploaded to the Youth Conversations Platform for nationwide polling
Themes Issues Solutions
Urbanisation
  • Unsustainable urban development
  • Incentivsing good practices to encourage sustainable urban developments
Agriculture
  • Environmental impacts of harmful existing practices 
  • Degrading soil fertility
  • Create public awareness of existing harmful practices in agriculture
  • Promoting the idea of permaculture instead of single product so that soil fertility can be improved.
Industry and Production
  • Food waste
  • Mining companies impact
  • Collaboration with hotels to facilitate food waste for animal shelters
  • Holding mining companies accountable by penalising them for impacting their environment 
Waste
  • Lack of segregation of waste
  • Increasing plastic use
  • Improving existing services to make segregation easier 
  • Incentive switching to alternative non-plastic packaging or carry bags
Transportation
  • Inefficient use of public transport
  • Addressing effluent from workshop 
  • Improving existing bus stop infrastructures to make it more user-friendly
  • Research on effluents generated from automobile workshops and to hold them accountable