Forward Thinkers: Webinar Series 2021

This webinar series is designed for forward-thinkers:  decision-makers from the policy level, civil society, science, and business. We are sharing and discussing existing and proven policy solutions to tackle the world’s most urgent challenges: climate change, loss of ecosystems, the food crisis, rights of children and youth, protection from hazardous chemicals and peace and disarmament.

Grown from the conviction that solutions for the most essential challenges to humanity’s future exist, Forward Thinkers Webinars highlight awarded exemplary policy solutions of the Future Policy Award – and beyond. The presented solutions contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Councillors of the World Future Council and Winners of the Future Policy Award will share their insights and expertise. The webinars will go alongside UN international days, taking place Thursdays around international UN days.

Launched in 2007, the World Future Council works to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren with a focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions.

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Towards a healthy planet: Implementing the right to a clean, healthy and toxic-free environment

Towards a healthy planet: Implementing the Right to a Clean, Healthy and toxic-free Environment  

Thursday, January 26, 2023, 11:00 a.m. CET 

Climate and environmental crises have devastating impacts on the well-being and future of children. Environmental hazards take 1,7 million children’s lives each year. Many children and young people are forced to leave their homes, suffer from diseases, early marriage, exploitive labour or miss out on education. Their future is at stake. We must protect the rights of children and young people for a clean environment to save lives.  

With 161 votes in favour and eight abstentions, the UN-General Assembly adopted a historic resolution in July 2022, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as a universal human right. The UNGA calls upon States, international organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders to “scale up efforts” to ensure a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment for all. 

In 2023 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will publish its General Comment no. 26 on Children’s Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change. 

Children and young people all over the world are standing up for their environmental rights and calling on governments to take action on the environmental crisis. 7416 children from 103 countries shared their views and ideas in a global consultation that was designed with members of the General Comment No. 26 Children’s Advisory Team. 

In anticipation of publishing General Comment No. 26 in 2023, we will discuss the UN initiatives on protecting children and young people against environmental hazards and how they affect how we work towards strengthening the rights of children and youth and ways forward at our webinar. 

In our series Forward Thinkers webinars, we deepen our intergenerational dialogue and address the nexus of peace and hazardous chemicals. 

Let’s make an important step in building the planet as a safe and just home for all of us already now.  


  • Moderator: Jeffrey Opoku, Youth:Present representative, Youth Sustainability Leader 
  • Bea Albermann, Youth:Present Representative
  • María Fernanda Espinosa-Garces, Councillor, World Future Council, Former President of the UN-General Assembly, Executive Director of GWL Voices
  • Neshan Gunasekera, Councillor, World Future Council, International Lawyer and Educationist 
  • Raina Ivanova, Youth:Present Representative, Climate and Child Rights advocate 
  • Alexandra Wandel, Chair, Management Board, World Future Council 
  • Alyn Ware, Councillor, World Future Council, PNND Global Coordinator

More webinars coming soon!

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