Antreas Pallikaras: “We both share the ambition of a sustainable and united Cyprus”
Antreas Pallikaras is a 22-year-old young Cypriot who always liked to get involved in programmes that promote conversations around the environment and climate change.
When he saw the call for applications for this year’s UN Youth Champions for Environment and Peace programme, he saw a perfect opportunity to learn more about the environmental problems in Cyprus as well as possible solutions.
During the programme, in addition to sharing and learning about the situation in the northern part of the island, he had a chance to meet people from other communities as well.
“It was very beautiful to meet people with similar ideas and ambitions to make collective plans. It was the first time I had the chance to exchange ideas with young people from the other community and it was very interesting. We have many things in common and the most important is that we both share the ambition of a sustainable and united Cyprus.”
For Antreas, having the chance to discuss with peers from the other communities was an enriching opportunity: “They switch from being the ‘strangers of the other side’ to friends and colleagues. This programme viewed Cyprus as a whole and not divided, therefore it promotes the idea of a united island without borders.”
Describing the 2-weeks as a “adventure”, Antreas explained that the UN Youth Champions for Environment and Peace programme was a unique experience for that helped him express and embrace opinions about the environment and peace. “I also had a very good time throughout it because of the way the programme comprised of several fun and interactive activities,” he stated.
Antreas was part of a group of 25 young men and women who joined the UN Youth Champions for Environment and Peace, launched in August. Together with experts and mentors from Cyprus and abroad, he and his fellow champions learned about the island’s environmental challenges and developed ideas for social enterprises to address environmental problems.
Building on the 2020 programme “UNFICYP Youth Champions for Environment and Peace”, and in collaboration with the British Council through the COOPower project this year’s edition offered to young people an intensive focus on Environmental Peacebuilding and Social Entrepreneurship.