On the first week of November, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) consultative youth leadership meeting for the post-2020 took place in Paris. There were representatives from different youth organizations and movements. The aim was to build a global youth alliance and discuss how we can all work together in order to support the development of the CBD’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. I was representing IFSA.
In the same way IFSA is the Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY) of the UNFF (United Nations Forum on Forests), GYBN (Global Youth Biodiversity Network) is a MGCY of the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) and is therefore committed to bringing youth’s perspectives and positions into the negotiations so that they are heard and taken into consideration.
The organizers (from GYBN) insisted on the fact that 2020 is really a key year, full of important events. Indeed, the COP 26 of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the COP 13 of the CMS (Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals), the COP 15 of the UNFF, the COP 15 of the CBD as well as the 17th World Water Congress and the 2nd UN Oceans conference will take place. Additionally, several SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) have a deadline in 2020, so an extension for 2030 will be discussed.
The whole event took place in the headquarters of the UNESCO. The first day, each representative presented his or her association or movement in order that we get to know each other. There were :
- Coalition Wild,
- Eclaireuses Eclaireurs de France (EEDF),
- the ICCA Consortium (Indigenous and Conserved Communities Area Consortium),
- the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB),
- International Young Catholic Students (IYCS),
- IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC),
- MAB Youth (Man and the biosphere – Youth),
- Natural Justice,
- the Nordic Youth Council,
- the Water Youth Network,
- the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS),
- World Organisation of the Scout Movement,
- Youth Engaged in Wetlands (YEW)
In between presentations, we did some ice-breaking games in order to feel more comfortable talking to each other. Those games were mainly organized by the scouts, who were familiar with these techniques to make us feel more comfortable with each other. It was quite fun. It was really interesting to know more about those movements or organizations. I knew some of them but it’s been mostly discoveries. Each of the attendant was very engaged in his or her association / movement and had incredible stories to tell. I was overjoyed to meet them and to chat with them.
The second day, we did several workshops to define what is the future we are dreaming of. The discussions were about what are the main principles, values, and practices everyone should have and do in order to live in harmony with nature. We first worked in little groups and then joined again and presented the different ideas we came to. Even if we came from different backgrounds, we realized that we globally wanted the same.
The last day was about how we could work together. We finalized the idea of creating a platform to share and gather information from all our organizations / movements. We also decided to establish partnerships and mentioned the idea to connect our organization / movements locally in order to benefit from the strengths and skills of each other.
This meeting was the first in a series of three. Everyone was very satisfied with this one. Let’s hope the two others will be as successful !
Link to a video of the meeting : here