Youth attend Biodiversity Network workshop

Monday, August 14, 2017

Youth from 18 African countries working in the field of conservation and protection of biodiversity are attending the first Global Youth in Biodiversity Network (GYBN) in Africa workshop in Muldersdrift, Gauteng.

“It is great to be in South Africa and to see all the energy and creativity of the young people that we have here at the workshop. I hope that this workshop will help the youth to go back to their communities and to become the agents of change that we need in support of the conservation of biodiversity,” GYBN Co-founder Christian Schwarzer said.

Young people who are attending the workshop which is currently underway will exchange ideas and find possible solutions to prevent biodiversity loss.

“We hope that we show to governments that young people can make a difference and can become partners for biodiversity conservation,” Schwarzer, said.

The GYBN is an international network of youth organizations and individuals from all over the world, established in 2010, to work towards the common goal to prevent the loss of biodiversity.

The network, which is the official youth coordination platform in the negotiations under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), raises awareness amongst young people on the values of biodiversity, and connects individuals and youth organisations in order to build a global coalition to halt the effects of climate change on the environment.  

GYBN represents 343 000 members from 107 countries worldwide.

The Department of Environmental Affairs said the workshop in Muldersdrift brings together youth from, amongst others, Morocco, Sudan, Kenya, Ghana, Togo and South Africa, to empower young people to become change agents in support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the mainstreaming of Biodiversity.  

“The choice of South Africa as the venue for the first GYBN in Africa underscores the country’s position among the most biodiverse in the world, as is the case in most countries in Africa,” the department said.

The delegates will develop a Roadmap on how to develop the GYBN in Africa and South Africa in order to ensure conservation is not only addressed at heritage level, but also addresses socio-economic perspectives by ensuring natural resources play a development role in Africa and South Africa.

The GYBN in Africa is one of a number “Youth Voices” workshops being hosted worldwide to build regional capacity by bringing together young leaders that work on Biodiversity issues in the region. –





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