One of the highlights of this opening day was also to be found in the Global Youth Summit. Following the incredibly successful outcomes of its online segment, which was held in April 2021 and led to the preparation of an outcome statement to be presented at the IUCN Members’ Assembly, the GYS kicked off a week of events, discussions and activities, including a Youth Oasis exclusively devoted to showcasing young people’s leadership in conservation and nature action. A delegation of over 10 young leaders was also welcomed by the project, with some high profile representatives giving inspiring addresses to the GYS audience. They recalled how inclusion was a concept that should go beyond presence and “tokenism”, and towards full and effective participation of youth groups in environmental decision-making.
The IUCN WCC, running from September 3rd to 11th, 2021, represents the first occasion for an in-person meeting since the start of the COVID19 pandemic. It will set the tone for the upcoming rounds of negotiations on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, at the outset of the third session of the Open-Ended Working Group and before the first virtual segment of COP15. To reinforce these links and increase the ambition levels at Congress and beyond, Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support will build on past successes in cooperating with GYBN and the organizers of the first IUCN Global Youth Summit, to ensure significant youth participation in Marseille.
Firstly, the project will accompany a youth delegation of more than 10 leaders from across the globe, representing different sectors of environmental action and sustainability. From GYBN, Youth4Nature, the scouting movement or the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, participants will attend selected events and meetings, hold speaking opportunities, and engage with the WCC audience and delegates, governments and civil society. This mission will also help structure a position statement based on the Global Youth Summit outcomes, to be presented at IUCN’s members assembly and beyond.
Further, the project will organize with GYBN, a Campus session entitled “Understanding the CBD negotiations process: perspectives from youth leaders”. The Campuses are aimed at providing actionable training, capacity-building and expert information on key topics for conservation and Nature. This particular session will be the occasion of meeting highly experienced young activists, strongly involved in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to present an in-depth analysis of the COP process and the CBD institutions in a dynamic, innovative, solutions-driven perspective, including in its links with the IUCN and other stakeholders.
To learn more about the youth programme at the World Conservation Congress, see here.