Youth Demands Action on Nature, the first global youth summit since IUCN – Global Issues

UN Secretary-General's envoy on youth Jaythama Wickremanayake told IPS that the summit achieved an important goal of bringing institutions and political dialogue closer to young people.  Clockwise from top left: Jayatma Wickremanayake, Sweta Stotra Bhasyam, Emmanuel Sindikubwabo, Diana Garlitska.  Sincerely: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jaythama Wickremanayake told IPS that the summit achieved an important goal of bringing institutions and political dialogue closer to young people. Clockwise from top left: Jayatma Wickremanayake, Sweta Stotra Bhasyam, Emmanuel Sindikubwabo, Diana Garlitska. Sincerely: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • By Alison Kentish (United Nations)
  • Inter Press Service
  • On the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, drawing on IPS’s Bank of Features and Opinion editorials published this year, we are republishing one article a day for the next two weeks.

    The original article was published on 23 April 2021

Under the three major themes of diversity, access and interconnection, they ask countries and corporations to invest the resources needed to prevent environmental racism and climate injustice, create green jobs, engage communities for biodiversity conservation, protect the sea Are calling for a realization of gender equality for the climate. Changes in mitigation and empowering underrepresented voices in environmental policy making.

“Young people talk about these major demands that they have and most of the time, they’re always criticized for saying ‘I want this,’ and being told ‘but you’re not even sure what you want. Can, ”Sweta Stotra Bhashyam, the focal point of the Global South Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), told IPS. “So we connected our demands to our actions with our actions”Your promise, our future ‘campaign and showing the world leaders what we are doing for the world and then asking them what they are going to do for us and our future. “

Bhashyam is one of the youths dedicated to climate and conservation work. A zoologist, who once studied rare species in India, told IPS that when she hopes to return to wildlife studies and research someday, her skills in advocating and rallying youth are urgently needed. Through his work with the GYBN, a youth constituency recognized under the Convention on Biodiversity, he proudly stated that the network has truly become a ‘grassroots’ with 46 national chapters. He said that the IUCN Global Youth Summit, which took place from 5 to 16 April, Gave a youth network like myself an unprecedented platform to reach out to thousands of youth across the globe.

The summit was able to make room for the youth to give their opinion. We have these places in the area of ​​biodiversity, but cannot reach the number of IUCN. The IUCN not only reached a large section of the youth, but gave us an open space to talk on important issues. “They let us write a blog about it on their main IUCN page. It is called the IUCN Square. He tried to ensure that in those two weeks the voice of the youth really came into the mainstream.”

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jaythama Wickremanayake told IPS that the summit achieved an important goal of bringing institutions and political dialogue closer to young people. During his tenure, Wickremanayake has advocated a common set of principles for youth engagement within the United Nations system based on rights, security and adequate funding. He said that it is important for institutions to open their doors to meaningful engagement with the youth.

“I remember that in our biology class in the 8th or 9th grade, we were taught about endangered animal species. We learned about this organization called IUCN, which works on biodiversity. In my mind, It was a large organization that was out of my reach as a young man.

“But having the opportunity to attend the IUCN summit, even connecting with my officials and engaging with other young people, really gave me and maybe other young people a sense of belonging and trying to get us The spirit of taking us closer to the institutions that we are aiming for as young advocates.”

The youth envoy said that the summit was timely for young people, allowing them to meet after a particularly difficult year and during an epidemic that gave them jobs, education opportunities and concerns.

“Young activists felt that the momentum we had created through election campaigning, protests and striking school years would be weakened by this uncertainty and the postponement of major negotiations. Maintaining momentum and pressure on institutions and governments To maintain, such summits are extremely important, ”said Vikramanayake.

Other outcomes of the Global Youth Summit include the following calls:

  • Advance food sovereignty for marginalized communities, including recommendations to promote climate-smart farming techniques through direct access to funding for marginalized communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme events,
  • Prompting constructive responses to climate emergency, and
  • Engineer sustainable futures through citizen science, including recommendations for developing accessible education materials that promote the idea that everyone can participate in data collection and scientific knowledge creation.

The event was billed as not just a summit, but an experience. Several sessions were broadcast live over two weeks, including youth participation in conservation governance, a live story slam event, yoga as well as a session on how to start and grow a sustainable lifestyle business. There were also various networking sessions.

Diana Garlitska of Lithuania represented the coalition WILD as co-president of a youth-led organization, which works to create sustainable youth leadership for the planet.

He told the IPS summit Was a “very powerful and immersive experience”.

“I am impressed by how knowledgeable youth of different ages were. Many people talked about recycling projects and entrepreneurship activities from their own experiences. Others have used various arts to communicate climate emergencies. Shared ideas on how to use forms. Somehow, the conversation I remember most clearly was how to expose environmental issues in theatrical performances. I take this as a food for thought with me Going, ”said Garlitska.

For Emanuel Sindikubwabo of Rwanda’s afforestation and youth environmental education organization We Do Green, the summit provided excellent networking opportunities.

“I really believe that youth around the world are better connected because of the summit. It is scary because so much is going wrong because of the pandemic, but exciting because it was an invitation to collaborate. Already A lot of youth work is going on. We need to do better in demonstrating and supporting it, “he told IPS.

Sindikubwabo said that he is ready to implement what he learned at the summit.

“The IUCN Global Youth Summit has provided my team at We Do Green and me with new insights and perspective from the global youth community that will be useful for redefining our programming in Rwanda…. Because the world faces a triple-crisis; Climate, nature and poverty, we have forged many new relationships that will make a significant positive difference to our communities and nation in the near future.”

The Global Youth Summit took place less than six months before the IUCN World Conservation Congress, scheduled for September. 3 to 11. Its results will be presented in Congress.

The United Nations Secretary-General’s young envoy is looking forward to seeing these events more, considering the recently concluded program.

“I want to see this become the norm. This was the first Youth Summit of IUCN, which is great and I hope it will not be the last, that it will be the start of a longer dialogue and a more sustainable dialogue with youth at IUCN It will be… its work, its strategies, policies and negotiations, ”said Vikramanayake.

© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal Source: Inter Press Service

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