To fully engage and empower early-career wildlife conservationists in the CITES processes we are organizing the Youth for Wildlife Conservation Forum. We aim to bridge the gap between existing and future policymakers as well as grassroots conservationists, catalysing a new generation of wildlife conservation leaders committed to effective policy and management of wildlife that translates to practical, grassroot conservation efforts on the ground. This is an event no to be missed.
It all commences in ....
Hosted by the UK government, this landmark international conference on illegal wildlife trade (IWT) brought together global leaders to help eradicate illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction. Y4WC teamed up with the organizers of the conference, to give our network of early-career conservationists a unique opportunity and a chance to actively participate in the event.
Not only did we take a delegation of national and international youth to observe the conference sessions and witness global policy in action, we also organized a side event at the conference on the 11th of October at 4:45 pm. Our panel discussion explored young people’s roles and perspectives on illegal wildlife trade. #EndWildlifeCrime
Countries commitments to wildlife conservation and youth empowerment on the agenda at the 70th CITES Standing Committee meeting
Over 700 representatives from more than 80 countries and over 100 IGOs and NGOs, and of course Josephine and Cécile from Y4WC, gathered to see parties agree on concrete measures to achieve compliance with CITES’ international wildlife trade regulations (oh and youth engagement and empowerment was on the adgenda of course)!
“From African rosewood, sei whales, pangolins to elephants, many compliance issues were brought up and we witnessed heated discussions and debates. One of the breakthroughs? The “introduction from the sea” of sei whales (considered international trade under CITES) by Japan was determined to have major commercial motivations (and not for scientific research as claimed!) - now let’s hope that Japan’s remedial actions, to be assessed in May 2019, are swift and adequate!” - Cécile Tang (blog coming soon).
For a second year now, Y4WC partnered with CITES and the United Nations to celebrate World Wildlife Day. 2018s the theme was 'Big Cats: Predators Under Threat.'
We took part in a number of activities that highlighted the role of youth in big cat conservation, including sending a delegate to the UN WWD Celebrations in New York, and hosting a youth roundtable.
Along with our intervention, Y4WC also submitted an information document outlining our engagement with CITES processes so far and providing a summary of our 'Millennials in Wildlife Conservation, Project Report'. It gives practical suggestions to organizations, governmental institutions and all those involved in engaging youth in conservation worldwide with a basis for constructive discussions around youth engagement, in order to ensure that young people are able to participate fully and effectively in all aspects of the conservation field.
To champion young people in conservation 2 members of the Y4WC network travelled to the Cartagena, Colombia to take part in the panel discussion “Millennial Conservation: How Today Youth Will Shape Tomorrow Conservation”.
We also proudly presented our poster based on our project report entitled; Millennial Engagement in Wildlife Conservation: motivation, challenges and opportunities of youth globally.
'Budding and perennial conservationists need to feel inspired and continue in the profession, not put off by pessimism.'
For too long news about nature and the environment has focused on negative stories and spiralling statistics, it is time for a new narrative. Conservation works and there are many positive stories out there. The #ConservationOptimism movement is spearheading this change and Y4WC is right along with it. At the gathering, 6 members of the Y4WC network presented a interactive workshop on the importance of diversity in conservation for positive change and a better world.
A core belief of Y4WC is that the world should ‘Listen to the young voices’ not simply because youth are underrepresented in conservation and international conventions, but because we are already making positive impacts in our communities and may have new solutions and perspectives on conservation matters. As well as our global campaign Y4WC member Swetha represented Y4WC at the United Nations HQ in New York.
The CBD is a multilateral treaty whose objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 4 members of the Y4WC network headed to Cancun for CoP13, there they learnt learn how young conservationists can be more involved in the global negotiations that affect us all, networking with practitioners, policy makers and other early-career conservationists from across the world.
Through interactive workshops, field visits and lively debates, 34 early-career conservation delegates discussed issues and solutions related to wildlife conservation, animal welfare and trade in endangered species. Joining them were 1300+ virtual participants from around the world tuning in online.
Taking place a week before the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (also known as CITES CoP17), in Johannesburg, South Africa, South Africa, the forum was the perfect opportunity to cultivate youth engagement with CITES parties and representatives.