Category Archives: Uncategorized

Call for Applications: 2018 GYBN Regional Youth Capacity Building Workshop for ASIA

Building upon the success of GYBN’s 2017 series of Capacity-Building Workshops and thanks to generous support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the European Commission, the CBD Secretariat, the African Wildlife Foundation, Engajamundo and the Telangana Forest Department, GYBN will organize another three Youth Capacity-Building Workshops for ASIA, AFRICA and LATIN-AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN in 2018/19.

Please apply through this form by August 31 2018 at 23:59: http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018

Download our workshop brochure here

+++This call is ONLY for ASIA+++

If you want to apply for the Africa (http://bit.ly/gybnafricawp2018) please use the respective form.

DATES AND VENUES OF THE ASIA WORKSHOP
The workshop for ASIA will be held in partnership with the Telangana Forest Department in Hyderabad, India in mid-October 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed but likely from October 14 to 20).

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKSHOP
To strengthen the capacity of young leaders to take action in support of National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plan (NBSAPs , https://www.cbd.int/nbsap/search/default.shtml) and to contribute towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/), the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN, http://www.gybn.org) is hosting a series of capacity-building workshops around the world in 2018/19.

Participants will take part in team building, networking and training sessions in international biodiversity conservation policy, mobilization, advocacy, campaign skills and project management to create or enhance existing projects that directly contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the implementation of NBSAPs.

For these workshops, travel, accommodation, and limited food expenses will be funded for successful applicants who are based in the region in which the workshop is held. Visa costs will be covered on a case by case basis. Flights will only be funded for travel within the same region.

GOALS OF THE WORKSHOP
These week-long regional workshops will bring together 15-18 young leaders in each region to:
– Mobilize networks/communities at the regional, national or local levels in order to increase public/youth engagement, general awareness and political will for biodiversity conservation
– Learn about the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, http://www.cbd.int), the CBD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2021 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
– Learn about key aspects of NBSAP and how young people can partner with national and sub-national authorities to support implementation
– Catalyze concrete actions to bring these legally-binding international decisions down to the local, national, and regional level
– Join a global effort to set youth priorities for a future in harmony with nature and push governments, business and citizens to act
– Mobilize young people in order to have their perspectives considered in the CBD post 2020 framework

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS
The deadline for applications is August 31 at 23:59 GMT.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
– Application form (fill it out online) here http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018
– Digital copy of CV
– Digital copy of Passport

Send a pdf copy of your CV and the identification page of your passport to: gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com

obs: the title of your document should be LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_CV.pdf and
LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_PASSPORT.pdf

SELECTION CRITERIA
1. Be a registered GYBN member by the start of the application period
2. Between 18 – 35 years old
3. Commitment to biodiversity conservation with a previous track record showing such engagement
4. Active member or coordinator of a youth organization/network/community that is active on Biodiversity on the local/national or regional level
5. Possess the time and ability to share knowledge gained from the workshop, including implementing workshop outcomes and replicating workshop model at the national/local level
6. The applicant’s biodiversity-related work has to be based in the region in which a workshop is held. However, the applicant need not be a citizen of a country of that region.

ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Due to our donor’s funding requirements, for the workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin-America and the Caribbean financial support is only available for applicants that are citizens of developing countries. Applicants from developed countries (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea etc.) cannot be financially supported. However self-funded participants are welcome to join the workshops!
The workshops in Europe and North-America (yet to be announced) will be open to applicants from developed countries from their respective regions.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to join the workshops, if you are interested to participate as a self-funded participant or if you should have any other questions, please write to gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com and cc it to christian.schwarzer@gmail.com and swetha.stotrabhashyam@gmail.com

We look forward to receiving your applications and seeing you at the workshops!

PLEASE NOTE:
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be submitted in English. Applications submitted in another language will not be considered. Incomplete applications will also not be considered.

Advertisements

Call for Applications: 2018 GYBN Regional Youth Capacity Building Workshop for AFRICA

Building upon the success of GYBN’s 2017 series of Capacity-Building Workshops and thanks to generous support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the European Commission, the CBD Secretariat, the African Wildlife Foundation, Engajamundo and the Telangana Forest Department, GYBN will organize another three Youth Capacity-Building Workshops for ASIA, AFRICA and LATIN-AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN in 2018/19.

Please apply through this form by August 31 2018 at 23:59: http://bit.ly/gybnafricawp2018

Download our workshop brochure here

+++This call is ONLY for AFRICA+++
If you want to apply for the Asia (http://bit.ly/gybnasiawp2018) Workshop, please use the respective form.

DATES AND VENUES OF THE AFRICA WORKSHOP
The workshop for AFRICA will be held in partnership with the African Widlife Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of October 2018 (exact dates to be confirmed but likely from October 28 to November 3).

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKSHOP
To strengthen the capacity of young leaders to take action in support of National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plan (NBSAPs , https://www.cbd.int/nbsap/search/default.shtml) and to contribute towards the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/), the Global Youth Biodiversity Network is hosting a series of capacity-building workshops around the world in 2018/19.

Participants will take part in team building, networking and training sessions in international biodiversity conservation policy, mobilization, advocacy, campaign skills and project management to create or enhance existing projects that directly contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the implementation of NBSAPs.

For these workshops, travel, accommodation, and limited food expenses will be funded for successful applicants who are based in the region in which the workshop is held. Visa costs will be covered on a case by case basis. Flights will only be funded for travel within the same region.

GOALS OF THE WORKSHOP
These week-long regional workshops will bring together 15-18 young leaders in each region to:
– Mobilize networks/communities at the regional, national or local levels in order to increase public/youth engagement, general awareness and political will for biodiversity conservation
– Learn about the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, http://www.cbd.int), the CBD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2021 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
– Learn about key aspects of NBSAP and how young people can partner with national and sub-national authorities to support implementation
– Catalyze concrete actions to bring these legally-binding international decisions down to the local, national, and regional level
– Join a global effort to set youth priorities for a future in harmony with nature and push governments, business and citizens to act
– Mobilize young people in order to have their perspectives considered in the CBD post 2020 framework

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION
The deadline for applications is August 31 at 23:59 GMT.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
– Application form (fill it out online) here http://bit.ly/gybnwp2018
– Digital copy of CV
– Digital copy of Passport

Send a pdf copy of your CV and the identification page of your passport to: gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com

obs: the title of your document should be LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_CV.pdf and
LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_PASSPORT.pdf

SELECTION CRITERIA
1. Be a registered GYBN member by the start of the application period
2. Between 18 – 35 years old
3. Commitment to biodiversity conservation with a previous track record showing such engagement
4. Active member or coordinator of a youth organization/network/community that is active on Biodiversity on the local/national or regional level
5. Possess the time and ability to share knowledge gained from the workshop, including implementing workshop outcomes and replicating workshop model at the national/local level
6. The applicant’s biodiversity-related work has to be based in the region in which a workshop is held. However, the applicant need not be a citizen of a country of that region.

ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Due to our donor’s funding requirements, for the workshops in Asia, Africa and Latin-America and the Caribbean financial support is only available for applicants that are citizens of developing countries. Applicants from developed countries (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea etc.) cannot be financially supported. However self-funded participants are welcome to join the workshops!
The workshops in Europe and North-America (yet to be announced) will be open to applicants from developed countries from their respective regions.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to join the workshops, if you are interested to participate as a self-funded participant or if you should have any other questions, please write to gybnsteeringcommittee@gmail.com and cc it to christian.schwarzer@gmail.com and swetha.stotrabhashyam@gmail.com

We look forward to receiving your applications and seeing you at the workshops!

PLEASE NOTE:
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be submitted in English. Applications submitted in another language will not be considered. Incomplete applications will also not be considered.

#BondWithNature Workshop

Here are the updates from the #BondWithNature workshop. Congratulations team!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you live in Bogota, Colombia you can join us next July 28th in bond with nature workshop! It is based on the GYBN’s goals, specially in the goal: raise awareness among young people of the values of biodiversity, focused in the conectivity perspective among different kinds of urban ecosystems, their environmental functions and benefits for human beings.

In 2017, Latin America and the Caribbean chapter met in the Capacity Building Workshop developed by GYBN, where we had the opportunity to strengthen alliances as leaders from Brazil and Colombia, in order to develop activism and campaign initiatives through environmental education in our countries.

This is why we make the first call to all social and environmental activists and/or volunteers from Colombia to participate. We want to exchange professional experiences with all of you and create new strategies for the solutions to current environmental issues in Bogota City.

REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE

• Colombian nationalize; foreign people whom lives in Colombia.

• Young people from 18 to 50 years old.

• Fill the form.

It does no matter if you are undergraduate/graduate, volunteer and/or social leader, everybody is welcome!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdq4KNbAjj0MsJ-qCn8cRXd-kEgEcGovWxklcFK9v_b8Fk8Hg/viewform?usp=sf_link

NatureIsDoing

GYBN LAC INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN

28471277_157043541678292_1141528635702771712_o.jpg

CALL FOR ACTION

 

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) is the biggest international network of youth organizations and individuals, which common goal lies on the biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of it.

Among the main goals of this network is to raise social awareness about the values of biodiversity, as well as the importance that the new generations play on the solution of this planetary crisis.  

 

The Latinamerican and Caribbean (LAC) region is home of one of the richest bio-cultural diversity of the Planet. However, it is also one of the regions with the highest deforestation rates and bio-cultural diversity loss. Through this campaign, we make a call to all those “silent heroes” that lead participatory projects and promote the conservation and sustainable use of the local biodiversity. We want to know your story and share it worldwide. We want to share your success story and be able to inspire and connect the new generations in the construction of a better/sustainable planet.

OBJECTIVE

Showcase internationally those latinamerican youth projects and initiatives that successfully promote the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity, as well as the shared access of the benefits of its proper use.

  • Award those initiatives that work to fulfill the Aichi targets for the LAC region.

PARTICIPANTS

  • Young professionals (17-29 years old) from Latin-American that lead their projects within the LAC region.
  • Individual and collective proposals are welcome.
  • Proposals should be submitted in spanish.

CRITERIA FOR APPLICATION

We look for projects that are developed around the following topics:

  • Conservations and sustainable use of biodiversity.
  • Capacity building and community governance.
  • Endangered species conservation.
  • Endangered ecosystems conservation.
  • Inspiring and reconnecting new generations/audiences.
  • Promotion of community participation and minorities integration.
  • Rescue of traditional knowledge.

Participants should follow the GYBN LAC Facebook page where all the information and link of the campaign will be posted. Participants must fullfill the online survey and share the requested information to the following email: earthsensesgroup@gmail.com

The stories of the winners will be posted and shared in many of the most important websites and digital platforms of Nature Conservation organizations such as the GYBN, GYBN LAC, WildVoices, CoalitionWild, IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas, KiekariTerra, Dimension Natural, etc.

DATES

Starting Date: March 2nd

Receiving Propoasals: March 2nd  – April 2nd

Winners Announcement:  May 1st.

JURY

It will be formed by a multidisciplinary group of expert young professionals that lead conservation projects within the LAC region.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

We will choose those projects that stand for their creativity, social impact, and their effectiveness in preserve nature and inspire new generations.

The overall criteria used will be:

  • Project Impact.
  • Creativity used to solve environmental problems.
  • Engagement with the local communities.
  • What does the project do to reach the Aichi Targets?

 

The Aichi Targets (CBD) will be the main reference to evaluate the impact of each project, no matter if it is a local, regional, national or international projects.

AWARD

  • Winning projects stories will be shared in the GYBN, WildVoices, CoalitionWild and IUCN-WCPA digital media (websites, newsletters and social media).
  • A gift package will be send to each winner. The package contains:
    • “CBD in a nutshell” (GYBN book).
    • Dimension Natural (book).

GYBN at UNESCO Ocean Literacy Conference

UNESCO Ocean Literacy Conference in Venice, Dec 4-5, 2017

Yoko Lu January 18, 2018 20:50 EETZ

Ocean Literacy (OL) Conference was one of the most inspiring conferences which I have attended. I am pleased to represent as GYBN member to attend the conference. The venue was at the headquarter of UNESCO in Venice, with a diverse range of unique buildings and narrow streets, crowded with housing units and shops. Getting to the venue was zigzagging through the maze of twisting alleys and I was lost in no time.

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 10.23.56 PM

OL Conference lasted two days with the first day involving extra activities which were visiting the arsenal in the central location and enjoying cocktail getting to know each other. Cocktail, however, turned out to be proper dinner style, with small dishes of Italian style fried meat, seafood, and vegetables. At the arsenal, unique approaches such as using satellite imagery and remote sensing were introduced.

The conference started with the UNESCO representative and host of the conference, Francesca Santoro, followed up with OL experts from various ocean-related organizations of all levels, including NGOs, NPOs, government, and private sectors. Around 100 attendees from all over the world, both young and old, attended the conference with the majority from EU. Attendees and speakers included Mariasole Bianco from IUCN, Paula Keener from NOAA, and Peter Tuddenham, one of the original OL initiators.

Not only did the conference emphasize the importance for the marine education especially at the young age, but it has also placed key focus on cultural and social aspects in the field of oceans, as well as viewpoints from politic and scientific community. Many of the conference attendees and speakers were not from scientific background, whereas some of the attendees were researchers and professors. The key message was that it was essential for the non-scientists, scientists, and politicians to implement the systematic approach towards ocean literacy. Artists were present at the conference, with several speakers being creative innovators themselves, showcased their organization’s work for the oceans. It was important to spread out the word to the public about the oceans that it is not just the only ocean that matters, but also the rest of the waterbody.

At the end of the conference, attendees were grouped up and discussed about the next steps that should be implemented into the OL initiative of the UNESCO. Groups were first divided into different sections discussing what should be improved and incorporated into the OL. Second part of the group discussion was divided into five groups: formal education (schools), information education (non-school), private sector, government and politicians, and scientific community.

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 10.24.10 PM
Francesca Santoro (Right) is the main representative of OL

Each attendee had the option to choose the group and contribute to the discussion. Results were then presented in front of everyone. Some key results were:

  1. Policy & Government:
    1. Encourage mandatory inclusion of OL in school curricula at global/commonwealth level
    2. Identify OL specific commitments to offer collaborative assistance
    3. Brief shortly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for policy makers linking OL across all SDGs
    4. Share country index of OL strategies internationally
  1. Formal education
    1. Set OL as top action priorities for schools
    2. Train teachers and hold teacher conference on OL
    3. Involve OL leaders in discussion and develop communication strategy
    4. Integrate OL into school curriculum (new and existing)
  1. Informal education
    1. Implement capacity building and training for youth education
    2. Build toolkits to address gaps within reigons
    3. Develop adaptive management strategy for each region
    4. Create baseline surveys on gaps in OL by country and/or by region
  1. Private sector & civil society
    1. Integrate groups and integrate OL
    2. Develop material and tool kits
    3. Design modules
    4. Implement capacity development in each sector
  1. Scientific Communities
    1. Collaborate between scientific community and stakeholders
    2. Develop policy for scientific community (i.e. guidelines and regulations)
    3. Design evaluation model of OL
    4. Promote fundraising opportunities

These results will be in the process of the OL implementation, along with the initial information input by the attendees a few days prior to the conference, and these are currently in the update process.

Overall, it was an extremely positive experience and highly recommended opportunity for everyone to attend, especially the youth, as it was an excellent chance for networking with professionals. Such opportunity is the starting point for the youth to connect with professionals and the stepping point for the career. It is important to note that education at school is not the only life path that leads to career, but also professional opportunity with such major actor in the field, and of course, smaller and less known conferences are the key to success as well. It is crucial to experience beyond the basic step and extend beyond the niche and challenge yourself to the new world.

Francesca Santoro (Right) is the main representative of OL

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 10.23.48 PMGroup discussion stage

Useful links:

Online version of toolkit:

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002607/260721E.pdf

Link for SDG14:

United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)

https://en.unesco.org/ocean-decade

 

Interlinkages between the Aichi Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals

Mirna Ines Fernández

The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity is a ten-year framework for action by all countries and stakeholders to safeguard biodiversity and the benefits it provides to people, and the implementation of its 20 ambitious but realistic targets is on its way at the national levels. Now, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by the 193 States Members of the United Nations, seems to add new challenges to the development and implementation of national policies for Sustainable Development, but after a closer analysis of the full scope of these goals and targets many synergies appear. 

The achievement of the SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss – will not be possible without taking into account the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. According to the Technical Note developed by the CBD, FAO, The World Bank, UNEP and UNDP titled Biodiversity and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDG 15 is related to half of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15 & 16).

It is easy to point out how related are the indicators of this goal with some of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. For example, the indicator 15.1.2 – proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type – is directly related to the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which seeks that by 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water will be conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. Another example is the SDG target 15.9 – By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts – which has the same objective as the Aichi Biodiversity Target 2, and its indicator is the progress towards national targets established in accordance with this Aichi Biodiversity Target of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

The annual progress report of the Secretary-General on SDGs shows that despite improvements towards a sustainable management of forests and protected areas, the declining trends in land productivity, degradation, biodiversity loss, poaching and trafficking of wildlife are still concerning.    

The challenges identified by countries on their Voluntary National Reviews with regards to the SDG 15 are related to habitat loss, invasive alien species, poaching and trafficking of endangered species and products, lack of expertise and knowledge on complex issues such as Access and Benefit Sharing, integration and mainstreaming of ecosystem and biodiversity conservation into sectoral plans, land degradation, threats to mountain ecosystems and pollinators, to mention some of them. All of these challenges are also addressed within the full scope of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.  When it comes to implementation, the challenges that have been repeatedly identified by countries include inadequate institutional capacities and the lack of participatory coordination frameworks in land and forestry management. These are quite common in countries with small teams in charge of the implementation of multiple environmental related commitments and will need multi-stakeholder collaboration to succeed.

Given the challenges of implementation that countries face, especially when the most biodiverse countries have also great challenges in the fight against poverty, it is essential to tackle these connected goals and targets with an integrated approach. The design of the SDGs has been done in a way that ensures that these and the Strategic Plan are mutually supportive and reinforcing so the teams in charge of the development of national policies to ensure the achievement of this goal can be sure that their actions will support the advances on the related Biodiversity Targets.

Sources:

Synthesis of Voluntary National Reviews 2017: Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) United Nations

Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General

Biodiversity and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Technical Note from CBD, FAO, The World Bank, UNEP and UNDP.

Three takeaways from the Global Youth Biodiversity Network’s Asia Capacity Building Workshop

By Mohammad Arju, Bangladesh

Hello people, who are reading this post, please be informed that on May 27 we’ve just wrapped up one of the most important events in Asia this year. I know, most of you never heard of it, but don’t be surprised; we know, relying on mainstream media as the only source of information has its own limitation- in many cases, the media fails to report on real important things.

So, please let me convince you about how the recently held Global Youth Biodiversity Network’s Asia Capacity Building Workshop will shape the future of Asia and the Ocean planet.

THE HOMEWORK

Edited118.jpg

One of my fellow participants at the workshop, Naseem Sultani from Afghanistan already written about it; the week-long workshop held in Singapore (with generous support from Singapore’s National Parks Board and Japan Biodiversity Fund) had a wide range of participants from the Central, South, Southeast, West and East Asia, and all of them are back to their home countries with a very specific homework. And the homework is not just about same-old-same-old romantic environmentalism about biodiversity; it is not about photogenic environmentalism of just holding another conference. The organizers were very clear about it, and this policy position was well reflected in all of the training sessions of the workshop (See the Schedule: PDF File).

The workshop was designed to train the youth leaders in real down-to-earth efforts for utilizing the already available multi-national process and mechanism (Convention on Biological Diversity, for example) on local, national and regional level to minimize the impact of market-economy on the diversity of life our planet hosts, and eventually help the governments in successful drafting and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) to achieve Aichi Biodiversity Goals.

With this homework, the trained participants are out, therefore, more learning and real work, in their respective countries.

Using ‘System Thinking’ approach, they’ve built a scenario of current status and identified best possible leveraged to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in Asia as a youth group. They’ve conceptualized several programs for the coming years to establish ASEAN and South and Central Asian sub-regional networks, to build a knowledge network, and to run a grassroots conservation program through Participatory Action Research led by youth organizations and fellows. In the coming months; they will design, develop and start implementing the programs.

So, in a brief, with the goal to secure more diversity of life on the planet, this workshop just deployed a team of well-trained youth leaders in the field to take part in political and decision-making processes at local, national, regional and international levels. The team’s work will certainly help the national governments in Asia to bring sustainability in the development process, also achieve many targets of the Sustainable Development Goals in the process and reconnecting the people with nature.

THE STRENGTH

DSC_9783.JPG

In these times of growth-hungry economy devastating the people and the planet, being a conservationist means you are engaged in really down-to-earth activities to reverse the process. The Convention of Biological Diversity’s stated role is to ‘prevent and attack the causes of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity at source’, you know it. And it’s not easy, rather daunting, oftentimes exhaustive too. But this workshop was a forum where we met the people face to face who are building their lives around this daunting task, it was really comforting.

Even in places like Singapore, where the economic violence affected the social-ecological systems severely, things have started to change, we’ve met several groups of people who are working for reconnecting people with nature. Even within such an extremely modified landscape, as a result of orchestrated efforts by government authorities and citizen-science groups like Otter-Watch and NUS Toddycats, the Singapore River is now hosting at least two large families of the smooth-coated otter. We’re aware that, there is no final victory in conservation, there will not be, but this sort of conservation-optimism story once again shows us the way.

And, it’s not just that, you listen to others’ stories, experience, and observation or go visit successful conservation initiative, which in some ways, or in many ways may be reasons to you, inform you about how people around the continent is bringing positive change for the conservation of biodiversity. One of the most important parts, for me, at the workshop was, I’ve learned a lot while articulating mine to others. Also, can sense that other participants were also re-discovering themselves by explaining their experience and ideas to others.

So, it is about self-motivation, as one of my fellow participants, Xu Waiting from Singapore was saying during their group presentation; ‘It’s the self-motivation what keeps you running to achieve what you believe in.’

WE THE PEOPLE

image1 copy.jpg

The most important aspect of the forum was, I should say, together, we can now think of ourselves as a people, the people for advancing conservation in Asia. By taking parts in a number of self-organizing tasks (System Thinking, Project Concept Developing for example), through the process of feedback and evaluation, we’ve already started to work collaboratively.

As a team, now we know about our internal resources, strength, expertise we can offer to each other; and we have already come up with concepts about how to get easier access to this team and keep collaborating.

IMG_8453

A conservationist and journalist based in Bangladesh, Md Kutub Uddin (Mohammad Arju) is a Trustee of Save Our Sea.

Email: arju@saveoursea.social

 

An Afghani take on the GYBN Asia workshop

By Naseem Sultani, Afghanistan

The GYBN Capacity Building Workshop for Asia – 2017 has been well objectively designed with a wide range of participation across the Central, South, Southeast, West and East Asia to address technical issues with the respective countries on implementation of NBSAPs. It brought in youth with various backgrounds to share and discuss their knowledge for improving implementation quality of NBSAPs for biodiversity protection of the respective country across the region.


The workshop provided me with an opportunity to get connected with other young people from all over the region in Asia. More importantly, now, I better understand the CBD role and its potential to support and protect the biodiversity of Afghanistan and the region through widening youth participation.

Moreover, the workshop enabled me to understand and explore new ways to enhance the country’s engagement with the CBD through improvement of networking within the GYBN community.


Particularly, the workshop improved my capacity to understand targets and strategies of Afghanistan’s NBSAP. It also facilitated discussions on how to engage with complex challenges and leverage more efficient solutions. We also discussed priority issues for the region and how to address it.

Additionally, I also enjoyed visiting the Commonwealth Secondary School where we were exposed to a wide range of environmental education program including student engagement for academic credit and also, we were inspired by a comprehensive methodology to keep kids close to the nature.

​As a result, this workshop has been a great networking opportunity for me and also improved my understanding of strategic actions, prioritization and youth participation across the region.

Here are some of my views on how we can strengthen these regional workshops:

• For sustainable approach, maintaining and following of such events is important to be considered.

• For more effective use of resources, more practical topics to address current needs of biodiversity conservation including working on a typical target of a NBSAP for designing, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of a project to be considered.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity & Marine Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas: Terminology, Treaties, and Timelines

By Charlotte Whitney (Canada), Alejandra Echeverri (Colombia), and Franzi Bäker (Germany)

The overarching theme of of the 13th CBD Conference of the Parties (COP13) is Mainstreaming Biodiversity, which means to consider and incorporate biodiversity for ecological and human wellbeing in all the productive sectors, including agriculture, forests, fisheries, and tourism. The group of up to 10,000 attendees was split into two working groups so as to be more efficient during the two weeks of the COP.

During the first week of COP13 we completed the first reading of the draft decisions on the Convention on Biological Diversity, which are provided beforehand for parties and delegates to consider and propose changes to. In Working Group 2, we worked through 20 Conference Room Papers (CRPs), which are working documents used during the conference. The topics considered included: mainstreaming biodiversity,  the rights of Indigenous peoples and Local Communities, marine management and EBSAs, invasive alien species, scientific and technical issues including synthetic biology, and wildlife management and pollinators.

Hakai_MayMish_Jenn_Burt - 108

Temperate kelp forest, British Columbia, Canada | Photo by Jenn Burt

Charlotte (Canada) a global north delegate for GYBN, was in charge of following Item 15, on  Marine issues and EBSAs (Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas). The main discussion from the parties about this topic was around conservation issues, related to marine debris, underwater noise, and a diversity of protected areas tools.

On December 5th, GYBN made an intervention on marine issues asking that parties accept the current EBSA list, which should lead to more multinational support for this tool, and work towards more effective marine spatial planning. Following the parties negotiations closely allowed us to tailor our negotiation to the debates and support the stated positions of certain parties in our intervention. As members of civil society, we aren’t allowed to suggest specific changes to the text or the ongoing negotiation, so we spend a lot of time thinking about alliances and lobbying for our perspectives around specific items. Unfortunately, the contentious text about EBSAs continues to be a point of conflict throughout the second week.

fisherboat

Small scale fishing boat, Canada | Photo by Lauren Eckert

 

Terminology rules at COP. It’s not uncommon for a discussion around a single line or phrase in the negotiating text to take half an hour or more, or to even come to a standstill. During the marine sessions, a lengthy discussion took place about the inclusion of “pelagic areas” or whether to use the more general phrase “open sea areas”, when referring to marine debris and the associated regulations. After talking to some of the more experienced delegates, we think that this disagreement relates to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and whether some nations are or are not signed on to that agreement. There are so many layers of complexity beyond sometimes simple points of disagreement here! It is important to understand that these discussions over scientific terminology are often referring back to political issues, such as the delimitation of boundaries on national jurisdictions.

 

During the first reading of the negotiating text, parties also discussed Item 10, which refers to mainstreaming and integrating biodiversity within and across sectors. Led by Alejandra Echeverri (Colombia) and Franzi Baeker (Germany), GYBN made an intervention to state that:

1) Mainstreaming biodiversity should be added as a permanent item in the agenda for future COP meetings,

2) Other sectors including extractive industries and energy should be included,

3) When referring to mainstreaming biodiversity on agriculture, sustainable and ecological ‘intensification’ are complex and unnecessary terminology that could be misinterpreted (back to terminology!), and that

4) Youth, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities should be added as relevant groups and stakeholders throughout the process of mainstreaming biodiversity.

This intervention was also in line with the values and perspectives of several parties and other groups, and we’re still continuing the progress of these changes a week later. Happily, we can report that our intervention related to sustainable agriculture (not intensification!) was spot on and is now a relatively ‘hot topic’ within the contact groups. Success! It’s good to feel that we’re on the right track. Unfortunately for the results of the COP, this issue is still unresolved.

7youth_cbd_8887_photo-by-iisd-enb-francis-dejon

GYBN Evening Team Meeting | Photo by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon

Treaties among parties are complicated and multifaceted. A main topic that continues to arise relates to inequality and funding disparity among developed and developing nations. For instance, last week some debate arose about subsidies and incentives for ecosystem protection and restoration. The debate was led by Nicaragua, opposed by Zambia, Norway, Switzerland. We have spent a lot of time discussing the integration of mainstreaming biodiversity within the CBD COP with other recent agreements (e.g. Honolulu Declaration, UNFCCC Paris Agreement, World Parks Congress, & CITES).

 

The mainstreaming issue continues… we will let you know how the discussion ends!

 

Hasta la próxima,

The GYBN

What is happening in Cancun should be impossible

by Thomas McAuley-Biasi, Canada
It’s been a week since the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity officially started, and while I could take this time to beautifully sum up everything that’s happened, I’m not going to do that.  This is for two reasons: 1. So I can shamelessly plug our live updates on twitter (@GYBN_CBD), where you can get these types of updates in real time, and 2. Because discussing which brackets were and weren’t removed doesn’t make for the most compelling of blog posts.  What I want to talk about today is more big picture.
cop13-plenary
At this very moment, members of 196 parties have come together from across the globe to talk about biodiversity- a term that, arguably, less than 50% of the world knows and understands.  They are spending tons of time, money, and resources to make sure that the correct policies and plans are made in order to protect, sustain, and mainstream biodiversity across our planet- once again, something most people don’t understand- and that’s incredible.  Furthermore, 196 parties are all coming to agreements.  Think about that for a second.  My family can’t agree on what movie we all want to watch, and that decision will only affect what we do as a family for somewhere between 2 and 3 hours.  These decisions affect close to 7.5 billion people, and will affect them into the foreseeable future.
So yes, a lot of what happens at COP13 deals with brackets around single words, sentences, and paragraphs.  And brackets aren’t engaging as a topic in a blog.  The words within those brackets, and the discussions they produce, however, should be.  Almost 200 countries argued about the inclusion of “for example” over “inter alia”, “in particular”, and “such as” for close to an hour.  That’s two words in a document containing 3,188 words.  And that’s only one document.  There are about 115 documents currently on the site, all which of have passed, or will pass, over everyone’s eyes, and need to be agreed upon.  We might look at those 8 words I previously mentioned and think that they’re all the same (or maybe think, “what the hell does ‘inter alia’ mean”), but they’re not, and their minute differences become much larger when you take into account the varying cultures and languages that these words will affect.
From the meeting happening at all, to the fact 100s of people, representing thousands of people, representing billions of people, can come to any agreements at all, is something truly special.  So even if, from an outsider’s perspective, these discussions, negotiations, and brackets may seem tedious, just remember that this entire process is anything but boring.