The IFMSA COY Experience




Have you seen the word COY11 popping up in your newsfeed lately but you are wondering what is it about? The Conference of Youth (COY11) is a youth meeting that takes place in advance of the United Nations Conference of Parties on climate change (COP21). IFMSA was there to be part of the cause, networking with other youth passionate about climate change. As part of IFMSAs participation, we ran two workshops: one on project management in relation to Climate action (ran by Anne-Lou McNeil and Marwa Daly) and one on Climate Change and health (ran by Kit Moran and Alice McGushin).

From an idea to a project Workshop

How to translate great motivation and passion into real actions that make a real difference in someone else’s life? This is a question one can ask him or herself and this was the main objective of the From an idea to a project Workshop. Whether in advocacy, leadership, or communication, throughout the years, IFMSA has built a lot of capacity among its members and got a lot of expertise in trainings.The idea was to give a training on project management to young people from all over the world and multiple NGOs passionated by environmental issues so that they can join the effort and be the change they want to see happening and then create a hub of sensitive minds even beyond IFMSAs community. The workshop was a great success and the participants left with skills to go out and realise their ideas for climate change interventions.

Climate Change and Health Workshop

With more than thirty events happening simultaneously at COY, how do you get 20 medical students and other engaged youth excited about climate change? IFMSAs Climate and Health workshop managed the above, adopting the hopeful theme of the 2015 Lancet Commissions report: Climate change as the greatest opportunity of health in the 21st century. Our workshop content included not only the health impacts of climate change, but also the opportunities for health presented by climate change.

The first part of the workshop educated the participants on the direct and indirect effects of climate changes, with topics ranging from extreme weather events to climate displacement. Then during a break-out session, we challenged the participant to engage with the WHOs newly published Climate and Health country profiles, and look at how the climate change would impacts their countries. Finally, the workshop finished on a happy note: the great opportunities for health inherent in addressing climate change on a local and international level. We highlighted such opportunities as switching from fossil fuel energy generation to clean electrical energies which can save 3.7 million deaths

Road to COP21

Stay tuned for the COP21 delegation news, meanwhile were inviting you to sign up the call to action of the World Health Organization for greater inclusion of health in the Paris Agreement that IFMSA is supporting: WHO Call to Action

More information about COY is available at:

Graph COY

Article written by Alice McGushin (AMSA-Australia), Anne-Lou McNeil (IFMSA-Qubc), Kit Moran (CFMS-Canada) and Marwa Daly (IFMSA LOSO)

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