Guidelines GYBN Election Process


The GYBN Steering Committee operates with transparent practices as the coordinating body of the network to support its members and ensure that its mission and objectives are achieved.

Electorate (those who are eligible to vote)
All registered individual members that are between 18 and 30 years old by the time that the election is announced are eligible to to vote.

All registered individual members that are between 18 and 28 years old by the time that the election is announced are eligible to nominate themselves as a Steering Committee candidate.

Composition of the Steering Committee
GYBN aims to ensure gender and regional balance in the composition of the Steering Committee.Therefore the GYBN Steering Committee has a total of between eight (8) and fifteen (15) members representing the following groups:

Representatives of all World Regions
Six (6) to twelve (12) individuals, coming from one of the following world regions: Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe.

Representative of Local and Indigenous Youth
At least one (1) place is reserved for a representative of Local and Indigenous Youth.

Focal Points
Two Focal Points, one representing the Global South and one representing the Global North will be appointed by the newly elected Steering Committee out of its members.
GYBN follows the UNEP/CBD definition for Global North and Global South:

COP presidency representatives
In addition to the representatives listed above and in order to facilitate the coordination of activities before and during the COP, the Steering Committee can invite GYBN members from the current and the upcoming COP presidency countries to join the Steering Committee: One (1) representative from the current COP presidency and one (1) representative from the upcoming COP presidency.

Serving terms

All members of the Steering Committee, including the focal points, COP presidency representatives and Indigenous and Local Communities representatives, will serve for a two-year term, with the possibility of re-election. Focal points are required to serve for an additional transitioning year in order to support new focal points and ensure smooth transition.

Election Process

  1. Elections for the Steering Committee will be organized every two years.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, elections can occur prior to the completion of a two-year term.
  3. Steering Committee members serve a two-year term, or until the new election occurs.
  4. The election will take place online, organized by the Alumni Board.

GYBN Election Process - Graphic

The election process within GYBN is divided into three stages to ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge and experience, and to guarantee sustainability of the network.

Stage 1: Internal re-election of up to six (6) current Steering Committee members.

  • The election process starts with current Steering Committee members indicating their interest in being re-elected.
  • An internal online poll will be organized by the Alumni Board, where the current Steering Committee members ‘approve’ or ‘disapprove’ each re-election candidate.
  • To be re-elected, the candidate must receive a minimum 50% approval. If more than six Steering Committee members receive 50% approval, the six with the highest % of approval will be selected.
  • If fewer than six (6) current Steering Committee members are re-elected, the remaining spots will be opened to eligible GYBN members during stage two of the election.
  • If eligible Steering Committee members are not successfully re-elected, they will be able to self-nominate themselves during Stage 2 of the elections.

Stage 2: Public election for the remaining Steering Committee positions.

  • After stage 1, there will be a call for self-nominations open to eligible registered GYBN members
  • The Alumni Board will check the nominations and verify: (1) Eligibility, (2) Completion of all required documents, (3) Accuracy and veracity of the information provided and (4) accordance with the Steering Committee selection criteria (see appendix).
  • Verified nominations will then be compiled and inserted in the voting platform..
  • Eligible electorate will be provided (via email) with their personal voting code and be asked to complete voting through the online platform.
  • The candidates with the highest percentage of votes will fill the available places on the Steering Committee.
  • Successful candidates will then begin a mandatory online training.

Stage 3: Internal Focal Point Elections

  • The newly elected Steering Committee should convene and appoint the focal points. If more than 2 members are interested in becoming focal points, an internal online poll will be organized and the candidates with higher votes will be appointed.
  • To be eligible to be appointed as Focal Points, candidates must have been an active Steering Committee member throughout their last term and must have attended at least one CBD COP meeting
  • The newly elected Focal Points will begin their role after one month of online training by the outgoing Focal Points.
    To ensure a smooth and comprehensive transfer of knowledge and contacts, the outgoing Focal Points will assist the incoming Focal Points throughout a one-year transitional period

Internal Invites

  • If a position becomes available within the Steering Committee during its two year term (e.g. after a Steering Committee member has stepped down), the Steering Committee can invite exceptionally active, highly qualified registered GYBN members to fill this position.
  • The Steering Committee will then hold an internal vote. If approved, the individual will become an official member of the
  • Steering Committee for the remainder of the current term.
    Changes in the composition of the Steering Committee will be communicated to all registered members.

Representatives of the current and the upcoming CBD COP-Presidency

  • The GYBN Steering Committee, during their term, can invite GYBN members who are from the current and upcoming CBD COP presidency countries, to contribute to the work of the Steering Committee.
  • These individuals do not have a set term (as the Steering Committee does), unless invited onto the Steering Committee to fill available spots.




A candidate for the GYBN Steering Committee should:
• Possess a good understanding of the CBD processes;
• Have previous experience participating in GYBN activities, virtual or otherwise;
• Possess a good understanding of GYBN’s Statute and decision-making processes;
• Have previous experience with initiating biodiversity-related projects;
• Be able to commit to a two-year term;
• Be supported by their organization or institution of origin;
• Have excellent English conversational, writing, and reading skills;.
• Have demonstrated leadership skills;
• Have excellent communication skills;
• Have demonstrated ability to work well in a team;
• Be self-motivated;
• Be committed to maintaining a strong and positive relationship with the CBD Secretariat;
• Be between 18 and 28 years (at the time of the election)
• Have reliable internet access to be able to work and maintain effective communication;
• Be able to promote the values of GYBN and its Code of Conduct;
• Availability for in-term participation in the COP and intersessional meetings is a plus;
• Be committed to promoting youth empowerment and participation within the CBD process;
• Be committed to maintain an inclusive, transparent, and representative mandate within the GYBN processes.
• Note that North-South representation is ensured during the election, while gender balance is highly recommended.


Youth platform for participation at the Convention on Biological Diversity

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