“Youth Leadership Dialogue” for the Planet at UNESCO HQ – Paris

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"Youth Leadership Dialogue”. Youth constituencies gathering at UNESCO to speak with one voice for the planet prior to the Paris Peace Forum
Post2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support organized a one-week workshop at UNESCO HQ in the perspective of the Paris Peace Forum held right after. The objective was to facilitate coordination between youth leaders from different sectors of society.

Prior to the opening of the Paris Peace Forum held from November 11th to 13th, and right after the Beijing call from the Presidents of France and China, Youth organizations and movements for the environment urged decision-makers to go beyond declarations and take concrete commitments for a healthy Planet. A one-week preliminary leadership dialogue organized by Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support and the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) at UNESCO HQ brought together youth leaders from different sectors of society, to find common ground on the road to COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (Kunming, China, 2020) and beyond.

Together, they developed their messages and strategies to raise Youth voices and concerns for Nature and People.

Young people are a driving force of transformative change and are calling for strong commitments for a viable Earth. The Youth Leadership Dialogue explored the intricacies of Intergenerational Equity, in which all generations share a common but differentiated responsibility in ensuring a healthy planet for the generations that follow. Through this concept, generations in policy-making positions are held accountable for their choices and invited to acknowledge, respect, hear and give space for youth to be included in decision-making processes at all levels, in all fairness for current and future human populations and across ages and genders.

The dialogue gathered, for the first time ever, more than 20 international youth organizations and movements from constituencies across the activism spectrum.

Among them:

  • Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN)
  • UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Youth
  • European Commission Youth
  • EuroMAB Youth
  • Asia-Pacific MAB Youth
  • IberoMAB Youth
  • ArabMAB Youth
  • World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scout (WAGGGS)
  • World Organization of the Scout Movement
  • South African Youth Biodiversity Network
  • YMCA
  • Fridays for Future
  • Youth4Nature
  • Natural Justice
  • CoalitionWILD
  • ICCA Consortium
  • IUCN Commission on Education and Communication
  • Youth Engaged in Wetlands
  • Nordic Youth Council
  • International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA)
  • Water Youth Network

By the end of the dialogue, the participants prepared a draft common roadmap and work plan for a youth movement for the planet.

This preliminary workshop provided a space for collaborative thinking and coordination among actors that do not interact in other settings, and will facilitate an aligned youth voice, which may engage with decision- makers on biodiversity matters inside and outside the CBD”. Melina Sakiyama – GYBN.

The #BiodiversityNeedsYouTH campaign will further present young people’s ambitions on the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum, to gather international support and visibility. The #BiodiversityNeedsYouTH campaign is a cross-cutting initiative implemented in partnership with Youth movements, to raise awareness of all generations, whether at international, national or subnational levels, on the urgent need to protect biodiversity ahead of CBD COP15.

This Youth campaign is led by Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework-EU Support to help Youth movements taking the stage to participate to intergenerational dialogues and international negotiations.

Watch the teaser of our “BiodiversityNeedsYouTH!” campaign!

Read our position paper on Youth mobilization !


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