The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity is a prestigious biennial international prize organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the CBD Secretariat. It honours individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
“At a time when the world is facing an interlinked crisis of health, climate and biodiversity, it is crucial to work together to find solutions and ways to live in harmony with nature. Each of this year’s winners are contributing to these objectives and inspiring positive change for people and planet. I would like to express my deepest appreciation for their commitment and achievements and my wholehearted congratulations.” Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and CBD Executive Secretary.
As she took part in the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 in Nagoya (Japan), Melina Sakiyama met other young people who shared her vision. Together with Christian Schwarzer, she co-founded the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), with the aim to create a global coalition of empowered youth and youth organizations to build a shared future in harmony with nature.
Melina has led efforts for over 10 years to build capacity, raise awareness, and promote youth voices in their participation in global environmental discussions. GYBN’s youth empowerment programmes supported hundreds of young leaders and youth-led biodiversity conservation initiatives, thus contributing to the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the objectives of the Convention.
The Network comprises 551 youth groups, organizations and movements from 145 countries who participate and collaborate with each other on project implementation, policy-making and awareness-raising on biodiversity, and continues to expand across borders and issue areas.