Continuing its successful Be Seen Be Heard campaign for the second year, The Body Shop has launched the 2023 pledge to increase youth participation and leadership in climate and environmental decisions, in association with Emirates Nature-WWF’s Leaders of Change program, which provides a curated journey for youth empowerment.
Be Seen Be Heard is a joint global campaign with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, aiming to raise youth voices in public decision making in more than 75 countries.
The Body Shop UAE along with Emirates Nature-WWF has recruited over 109 youth since the start of this campaign last year with 89 recruits from the Ministry of Youth and 20 from Khalifa University. These youth have been provided with opportunities such as working alongside experts in the fieldthrough the Emirates Nature-WWF, attending different majlis discussions on environmental issues such as climate action, local biodiversity preservation, green recovery, water, and food security.
To actively drive transformative change among youth, The Body Shop aims to sponsor the enrolment of up to 300 young people in its “Leaders of Change '' program by 2024 with key program milestones that include:
- Get educated and skilled with expert-led training and certification.
- Collaborate and grow with a community of change-makers to co-create solutions for sustainable development and shaping national policies.
- Give back to people and nature via unique volunteering opportunities.
The aim of the program is to empower the next generation of changemakers and enable UAE youth to make a bigger and better impact on a sustainable environment with every action they take.
Some of the local findings from The Body Shop’s 2022 Global Youth Survey about young people’s perspectives on climate change include:
- 94% of youth want to prioritise their relationship with nature.
- 78% of youth would like to see a culture of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
- UAE youth are keen to act for the environment and 73% of youth think that reducing single-use plastic should be a priority.
With global climate change conference COP28 being held in Dubai in December 2023, the program aligns with the UAE’s goals towards environmental responsibility and sustainability. Ramzy Al Omrani, Brand Director for The Body Shop says, “Young people are our future and their inclusivity on every platform is important. Signing a pledge might feel like a small act, but when we work together, we can all make our voices heard and change the world for the better.”
Hossam Nasef, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Emirates Nature-WWF commented : “We are so proud to be part of this unique opportunity that not only recruits youth to a mobilisation programme, but also provides them a defined journey, in line with this year’s COP28 UAE agenda. This is a first of its kind example of a corporate organisation such as The Body Shop making use of the great progress and efforts the nation’s leadership has undertaken over the years”.
Since the Body Shop first debuted Be Seen. Be Heard, the campaign has helped lower the voting age from 21 to 18 in Malaysia and encouraged the UK's House of Lords to amend two clauses in its Public Order Bill to better protect the right to protest.