UNAMI Climate Action Hackathon in Basra supports Iraqi youth political engagement with the government on climate change
09 December 2022
Iraqi youth supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) had the opportunity to present their ideas to the government on how best to tackle climate change. Twenty women and men from seven provinces engaged with government officials, including the minister of youth and sports and the climate as well as youth and sports advisers to the prime minister, at the Second Climate Action Hackathon that was held in Basra on 1-3 December.
Organized by the Office of Political Affairs and Analysis, the Hackathon brought together the youth from the provinces of Basra, Najaf, Baghdad, Thi Qar, Erbil, Sulaimaniya, and Dohuk. Out of more than 100 project submissions, 10 initiatives proposed by the youth were selected for a two-day intense project ideation.
Nine youth groups presented the results - proposals on how they aim to address climate change - to a panel of experts consisting of the Prime Minister's Adviser on Youth and Sports, Dr. Shahba Ahmed al-Azzawi, the Head of the Environmental Department, Dr. Waleed al-Mousawi, and the Head of Basra directorate for Agriculture, Hadi al-Ziyadi. The panel provided the youth groups with feedback on their initiatives and listened to the recommendations and requests for support.
At the closing session on 3 December, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ahmed al-Mubarqaa, highlighted in his address to the participants the importance of youth in building the future of Iraq and promised the continued support of the government to youth and their initiatives. The Prime Minister’s Adviser for Youth, Dr. Qasim al-Zalimi, welcomed the constructive suggestions the youth had made during the hackathon and promised to support concrete and realistic proposals.
To ensure sustainability after the competition, UNAMI will continue to support the development of the youth initiatives, together with the cohort of the First Climate Action Hackathon that took place in Kurdistan Region in 2021, and establish communication channels between the 'Hackathonians' and the Iraqi leadership at both the national and local levels.