By: Amanullah Porag, South Asia Mobilisations Coordinator,

World Social Forum activist doing action


Energized wasn’t enough to describe the air at the World Social Forum this year. Thousands of passionate young people, myself included, crackled with energy in Nepal. Amongst the buzz, 350 Asia hosted a side event that became more than just a “side” thing: Asian Youth for Climate Justice was a platform to unleash our voices, share struggles, and forge a path toward a sustainable future.

Climate Crisis Hits Home
As a South Asian youth activist, the crisis isn’t some distant threat. Back home, erratic weather patterns and rising sea levels are already a reality. But this wasn’t a despair-fest; it was about hope.

Stories that Sparked
Fellow activists across Asia shared their journeys. Amalen, the Malaysian artivist, used art to spark conversations, while Joshua from the Philippines battled polluting coal plants. Nepali voices, Dikshya and Omkar, highlighted their region’s unique challenges. I spoke up about youthwashing (adults pretending to care about youth voices) and tokenism (using young people for show). Every story resonated. We discovered diverse efforts, from organizing communities to advocating for policy changes. But there were hurdles too: limited resources, ingrained systems, and silencing norms.

Building Bridges, Not Walls
This wasn’t just a story-sharing session. We brainstormed ways to collaborate, swap knowledge, and amplify each other’s work. The vision was a more cooperative Asia with joint initiatives and unwavering solidarity.

Showcasing Solutions Asia showcased initiatives like the Power Up campaign and the South Asia Just Transition Report, all aiming for a sustainable and just future. The discussions revolved around six key goals:

  • Amplifying Youth Voices: We, the youth, must be heard loud and clear. Together, we can solve Asia’s climate challenges.
  • Meaningful Youth Engagement: We’re not tokens for a dirty agenda! We’re the changemakers! Give us the space we deserve, and stop youthwashing!
  • Building Networks: Strong foundations like the Asia Solidarity Lab and Asia Network Council will support our work.
  • Intersectionality: As we approach COP30, partnerships that acknowledge the interconnectedness of social and environmental issues are crucial.
  • Collaboration: Stakeholders across Asia, let’s work together for a more impactful climate justice movement!
  • Renewable Energy: We need clean energy solutions! Advocating for them while ensuring energy justice for vulnerable regions is key.

Empowered and Ready
We left the session feeling energized, connected, and equipped to fight for climate justice. The call to action is clear: join us! Let’s raise our voices together, for a future where people and planet thrive!