"The youths with innovative and creative ideas are the government`s partners and that they deserved a role in the fight against climate change," Youths and Sports Affairs Ministry`s deputy for youth empowerment Alfira Salam said here on Monday.
In a function to open the International Youth Conference themed "Youth Awareness on Climate Change", he said the negative impact of climate change has been felt by almost the whole world.
"Thus more and more people and groups are expected to play a role in jointly overcoming the impact of climate change," Alfira said.
He added that the conference was expected to produce a Yogyakarta declaration with a recommendation for the youths around the world to do something about climate change.
"The youths are expected to exchange ideas and experiences in environmental preservation that can be made into a recommendation to face climate change in the future," Alfira said.
Meanwhile, Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X said in his address the conference was expected to revive the spirit of young people around the world to preserve the environment.
"Environmental preservation is beneficial not only today but in the next generation. Therefore the International Youth Conference can increase the understanding of the young people about the advantage of environmental preservation," he said.
Besides Sri Sultan, Gajah Mada University (UGM) senior vice rector for cooperation affairs Toni Atyanto Daroko said the conference was a strategic forum for the youths around the world to establish good communications among them in the solution of climate change issues.
"Climate change is a real thing that we are facing today and thus the youths in the conference are expected to be more aware of and alert of climate change," Toni said.
The International Youth Conference which is to last until February 24, 2011 is joined by 148 participants from 33 countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Timor Leste, Cambodia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.