As a leader in the Planeteer Alliance community, Ruth Tanui has hosted two Planeteer Element Summits in Nairobi, Kenya. Through her continued commitment to the community and the work of Planeteers in her area, Ruth was awarded a leadership scholarship to attend the Africa Climate Week conference in September 2023.
By Ruth Tanui
September 12, 2023
Africa Climate Week 2023 was nothing short of a transformative experience, featuring a plethora of enlightening sessions and events. While I can’t possibly encompass the breadth of it all, I’d like to delve into the topics that resonated most deeply with me and our Planeteer Alliance community during this remarkable event.
Africa Climate Week was an extensive affair, with countless discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities. It was an incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations, all united by the shared goal of combatting climate change. I had the privilege of attending these events with my fellow Planeteer Alliance member, Natalie Bullut, which added an extra layer of camaraderie and collaboration to the experience.
1. Harnessing the power of innovation in Africa to address the Climate Crisis:
One of the sessions that captured my attention was the one dedicated to innovation in Africa’s climate response. The continent is facing immense climate challenges, but it’s also a hotbed of creative solutions. From innovative solar technologies to groundbreaking sustainable agriculture practices, Africa’s innovators are leading the charge.
For the Planeteer Alliance, this session was a revelation. It showcased how innovation can be a potent driver of change in the climate arena. Africa’s success stories serve as a rich source of inspiration for our community, encouraging us to think beyond conventional boundaries and develop innovative solutions to environmental problems. Furthermore, it presented an opportunity for cross-continental collaboration, fostering fresh perspectives that can invigorate our initiatives.
2. Devolved Finance: Experiences and lessons in support of Sustainable locally-led Climate solutions:
Another captivating session revolved around the crucial role of financial mechanisms in supporting local climate solutions in Africa. Empowering local communities to drive their own sustainable initiatives was the core theme. We explored various funding models, capacity-building programs, and community-driven projects that are making a tangible impact.
For the Planeteer Alliance, this session underlined the importance of supporting grassroots environmental efforts. These lessons can fine-tune our approach to providing resources and training to local environmental advocates within our network. It also encouraged us to explore innovative funding models and strategies, ensuring that our efforts have a lasting and meaningful impact at the local level.
3. Harnessing the Power of Youth in national Adaptation plans:
The session on youth engagement was especially close to my heart. It showcased the pivotal role young people are playing in shaping national adaptation plans across Africa. The energy, passion, and commitment of the young participants were awe-inspiring. They exemplified that youth-led initiatives are not merely the future but the driving force of climate action in the present.
Additionally, during this session, we had the privilege of connecting with remarkable Planeteer Alliance members from Osiepe Sango, who are contributing significantly to the innovation sector. It was inspiring to meet Michelle Muchilwa, Jeremy Muchilwa, and their team, including their mother. They are not just flying the Planeteer Alliance flag high but also making remarkable strides in the innovation sector, exemplifying the spirit of our community.
Africa Climate Week 2023 was an extensive tapestry of experiences, and these are just a few threads of the rich fabric. The event was a testament to the global community’s commitment to combatting climate change and showcased the potential for meaningful collaboration. Attending it alongside Natalie Bullut, another dedicated member of the Planeteer Alliance, underscored the strength of our community.
As we absorb these insights and experiences, let’s leverage the power of innovation, support local climate solutions, and amplify the voices of youth. These lessons should not only enrich our individual journeys but also fuel our collective mission within the Planeteer Alliance. Together, we can ignite the environmental torch that will light the path to a sustainable and environmentally conscious future for our planet.
As I close, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the Planeteer Alliance leadership team. Being a part of this extraordinary community has been an incredible journey. I can genuinely attest that it is an honor to belong to the Planeteer Alliance, and here’s why:
From the very beginning, Planeteer Alliance provided me with unparalleled support and mentorship. They held my hand as provided me with leadership opportunities and brought forth the Blue Climate Action Summit in 2022 which I was able to successfully host with their help. It was my first time into the climate space, and their guidance and encouragement were invaluable. Their unwavering belief in my potential and their willingness to nurture my growth as a young environmental advocate has been truly remarkable.
This support didn’t stop with the Blue Climate Action Summit. In fact, it continued with even more enthusiasm during the Wind Summit in 2023. The Planeteer Alliance community has consistently sent opportunities my way, helping me develop leadership skills, and fostering a sense of purpose in my environmental efforts.
When I received the invitation to represent Planeteer Alliance at the Africa Climate Summit and Week 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, I was both honored and humbled. It was a pivotal moment for me, and the Planeteer Alliance once again came through in a big way. They provided me with a generous grant that not only made my attendance possible but also allowed me to fully immerse myself in this transformative event.
The Planeteer Alliance is more than just a community; it’s a family of like-minded individuals committed to making a positive impact on the planet. It’s a safe haven for aspiring leaders, a place where you’re encouraged to explore, innovate, and take on new challenges.
I would like to encourage all members of the Planeteer Alliance and those considering joining us to embrace this community wholeheartedly. Don’t be shy to try new things, take on leadership roles, and seize opportunities. You are assured of a supportive network that believes in your potential and is always there to lend a helping hand.
As I look to the future, I promise to fly the Planeteer Alliance flag higher than ever before. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities, guidance, and unwavering support I have received from this exceptional community. Together, we will continue to be a force for positive change in the fight against climate change. Let us inspire others to join us on this incredible journey, and together, we will create a more sustainable and environmentally conscious world. Thank you, Planeteer Alliance, for being the wind beneath my wings!
This was originally published on the Planeteer Alliance blog. Planeteer Alliance, a program of Captain Planet Foundation, supports young people who are taking action for a climate positive future. Please visit planeteeralliance.com for more information.