The Youth for Wildlife Conservation Forum
Colombo, Sri Lanka (20th-28th May, 2019)

Y4WC is actively seeking sponsors and philanthropic partners to underwrite this initiative. 

We offer great packages that can increase the visibility of your organization, provide valuable brand recognition, and give you the opportunity to inspire young conservationists from across the world!

Please contact Y4WC Co-Directors Josephine Crouch and Cecile Tang at here.



Download the two page concept note in
EnglishFrench & Spanish

Context & Background


Youth for Wildlife Conservation (Y4WC) is an organization that facilitates a global network of early-career conservationists aged 18-30 years old, brought together by our passion for wildlife and our strong commitment to its protection and conservation. We believe that youth worldwide play a major role in wildlife conservation efforts by engaging their community and leading innovative conservation projects. We empower youth by creating a space for international networking, peer-to-peer support, leadership and professional skills development. Currently our network spans 150+ countries.

Building on the success of the Youth Forum for People and Wildlife convened by IFAW held in the days leading up to the CITES CoP17 in South Africa; Y4WC is organizing the

Youth for Wildlife Conservation Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka in May 2019!

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Youth for Wildlife Conservation Forum Purpose

  • To bridge the gap between existing and future policymakers as well as grassroots conservationists, allowing for a new generation of wildlife conservation leaders

  • To catalyze a network committed to effective policy and management of wildlife that translates to practical, grassroot conservation efforts on the ground

  • To increase the presence and participation of minorities and Indigenous youth in international conventions and processes

Forum Objectives

  • Collectively explore and learn about wildlife trade from youth’s perspectives and personal experiences, and how it relates to our work/lives in our communities

  • Understand the impact and value of international fora such as CITES and how they relate to our work at a national or local level

  • Empower minorities and Indigenous youth with new knowledge and skills to contribute to wildlife conservation

  • Further efforts underway within CITES Parties and the Secretariat to create a mechanism that will encourage regular and ongoing dialogue with youth

  • Develop participants personal and professional network

Forum Format


A 9-day in-person youth-led forum for 21 delegates coming from all the regions of the world, alongside an online forum experience for the Y4WC community of 10 000+ young people passionate about wildlife conservation.



  • Peer-peer networking

  • Online skills development in preparation for the CITES CoP

Day 1 -3
The youth-led forum

  • Cultural sensitivity and team-building activities

  • Exploring local conservation initiatives

  • Skills development workshops

  • Individual pitch and poster session

Day 4-9     
CITES CoP18 negotiations

  • Daily briefings

  • Shadowing of Parties and NGOs

  • Endless networking opportunities

  • A youth side event in collaboration with the CITES Secretariat and Sri Lanka

Online engagement with the wider Y4WC network

  • Wider engagement of the Y4WC network to understand CITES and its implications from the youth perspective

  • Broadcast of skills development workshops on our website and social media platforms

  • Facilitation of meaningful discussions around CITES, wildlife trade matters and conservation initiatives

  • Additional capacity building resources provided



Early-career conservationists who are working to ensure a sustainable future for wildlife and communities. Participants will have a unique opportunity to see how real-world global policies are made, learn how these decisions impact their work on the ground, and how they can act to improve wildlife conservation policies in the future.
Y4WC believes that top-down regulations and international policies are only effective and impactful when all stakeholders are brought to table. Therefore, we will continue to engage youth from all over the world and increase our efforts to engage and empower participants that are representatives of Indigenous communities and other minority groups.


For more information please contact Y4WC Co-Directors Josephine Crouch and Cecile Tang
at contact @

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