2018 Review: One Wild Year
By Josephine Crouch
Hello fellow conservationists,
Josephine and Cecile here, the co-directors of Y4WC. 2019 is here and while probably a lot of us are still recovering from the celebrations, we thought we would reminisce, take a look back at 2018 and all we have achieved together.
2018 has been wild! (Okay, that’s one pun out of the way early, but it really has been). This year, we took Y4WC to the next level, becoming our own fully-fledged organization and welcoming two more people to the Y4WC team (thank you Tiff and Sultan).
Our first mission: Stand up for Big Cats: Predators Under Threat on World Wildlife Day. For this we partnered again with CITES and the United Nations. Furthermore, Y4WC member and our dear friend Mingyu from China, who works to protect snow leopards, headed to the UNHQ in New York City to share his knowledge and passion with the world! With the help from our network (thank you Lynsey!) and the Global Landscapes Forum, you can bet the rest of us did not stay quiet. We hosted our own roundtable discussion on the role of young conservationists in big cat conservation and shared young voices and their best practices from around the world.
As the summer days got longer and the VAR screens way overused, we also kicked back and had a little fun. Putting our own spin on this year’s Russia FIFA World Cup, we hosted our own #WorldCupOfWildlife, sharing stories and #ConservationGoals of animal species from across the globe representing their respective countries participating in the World Cup.
With France’s Rooster raising the trophy, Russia still remained in our spotlight. In October we joined over 700 representatives from more than 80 countries and over 100 IGOs and NGOs at the CITES SC70 meeting in Sochi, Russia. We all gathered to see parties debate and agree on concrete measures to achieve compliance with CITES’ international wildlife trade regulations in the build-up to CoP18 (oh and youth engagement and empowerment was on the agenda of course)!
Anyone who has ever been to a global convention like this knows that policy change can be tiring, but no rest for the wicked…or should I say wild. Just days after CITES SC70, we headed to London, where Y4WC took an international delegation of 25 early-career conservationists to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference and provided unique opportunity to witness global policy in action and a chance to actively participate in the event. Of course, in true Y4WC fashion, we couldn’t leave without putting our two cents in. We hosted our own side event, exploring young people’s roles and perspectives on illegal wildlife trade and shared our commitment to #EndWildlifeCrime.
Over the year, we have shared over 100 global opportunities with you all to get more involved in wildlife conservation and further your career, and we have more scheduled for the new year. We brought you news stories of what is happening with wildlife in the world and shared some of your experiences too. We are just a small team, run mostly voluntarily and so of course, all of this would not be possible without you, your contribution and support. We are thankful for each and every one of you that has contacted us and contributed to building the network this year. Thank you!
2018 was fun, we made some new plans, met new connections with conservationists all over the world and learned a lot…. But 2019 is our year!
And we are looking at you to come along with us on this journey, share your conservation action and help build the movement for wildlife conservation globally.
Our big plans for 2019, will be our Y4WC forum at CITES CoP 18 taking place in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We have received a mind-blowing 2627 applications from 139 countries to attend. Thank you to all that applied and shared. Currently, we have a shortlist and have the almost impossible task of selecting our final delegates. We will be contacting all who applied later this month!
Wildlife and our environment need leaders and changemakers more than ever. Together we can be the force of positive change, we will build the future we want to see for people and animals.
But for today, kick back, celebrate your successes this year, be proud of all you have achieved!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
Josephine, Cécile and all of us at Y4WC!