Youth for Wildlife Conservation
Run by Youth, For Youth, Promoting Youth

About Youth Empowerment and Engagement in CITES

Photos taken during CITES Cop17 and the Youth Forum VIP Event in Johannesburg, South Africa September 2016 

Y4WC promotes youth engagement and empowerment within policy making processes at the international level. With the generous support of the CITES Secretariat, the governments of the United States and South Africa, a Youth Resolution was introduced by one of our founding Youth Delegates during the CITES CoP17. In this resolution (Resolution Conf. 17.5) we called upon parties to acknowledge that today’s youth will one day be in decision-making positions and that we as youth, coming of age in a generation different to those before it, can contribute different skills and opinions to wildlife conservation today to ensure that wildlife trade is legal and sustainable. We encourage Parties and observer organizations to include youth delegates on official delegations and provide learning opportunities during CITES meetings.

We aim to bridge the gap between existing and future policy makers and grassroots conservationists so a new generation of doers and thinkers can contribute to effective policy and management of wildlife that translates to practical, grassroot conservation efforts on the ground. Finally, we invite Parties and the CITES Secretariat to work alongside us to achieve these aims.

The Secretariat has developed a dedicated page on the CITES website on capacity-building, which is available at https://cites.org/eng/prog/capacity_building/index.php. In accordance with Decision 17.34 paragraph a), the page contains a list of references to capacity-building found in the current Resolutions and Decisions, and a list of possible financial resources and mechanisms to support the implementation of CITES, as well as other information relevant to capacity-building. An update on the implementation status of these Resolutions and Decisions is contained in Annexes 1 and 2 to this document.

Discussion 21. The Youth Conservation Programme of South Africa demonstrates that youth engagement and empowerment can and should take place at all levels including at grassroots level and can be best achieved with due consideration of local situations. The Secretariat is very appreciative of the participation of Minister Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, at the high-level event at UN Headquarters on 3 March 2017 to mark World Wildlife Day to promote youth engagement in wildlife conservation, including in joining the opening panel and the award giving ceremony. Minister Molewa has demonstrated the role that political leadership can play in advancing youth engagement in wildlife conservation. 22. Decisions in CITES are collectively made by Parties to CITES at the international level. At the national level, some Parties have established mechanisms to solicit public comments on draft amendment proposals and resolutions for consideration at meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Youth and youth organizations should take advantage of such opportunities and Parties should also alert the youth of such opportunities. 23. The Secretariat is of the opinion that, due to the complexity of the Convention, the youth will benefit from some guidance from Parties on the basics of the Convention. For example, youth should be made aware that science and rule of law are the backbone of the Convention in its decision-making process as they participate in CITES meetings

https://cites.org/eng/prog/capacity_building/index.php

https://cites.org/eng/engaging_and_empowering_the_youth_is_the_call_of_next_years_UN_World_Wildlife_Day_19122016

https://cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/cop/17/Plen/E-CoP17-Plen-01.pdf

https://cites.org/eng/engaging_and_empowering_the_youth_is_the_call_of_next_years_UN_World_Wildlife_Day_19122016

Read our Youth Resolution 17.5 passed at CITES CoP17 

We called upon parties to acknowledge that today’s youth will one day be in decision-making positions and that we as youth, coming of age in a generation different to those before it, can contribute different skills and opinions to wildlife conservation today to ensure that wildlife trade is legal and sustainable.

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Youth forum 2016 link