ACP YPN at the Global Youth Biodiversity Network

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network is an international network of youth organisations and individuals from all over the world whose common goal is to prevent the loss of biodiversity. GYBN is divided into 3 chapters: Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). GYBN Africa organised a workshop in Nairobi Kenya from the 29th, October to the 04th, November. 17 African countries participated, including:  Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Mauritius Island, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Sudan, Namibia, Tanzania, Madagascar and Comoros. ACP YPN was represented by Winfred Kagendo.

Day 1 focused on biodiversity policy and implementation. Kaddu Sebunya urged the youth to “keep building their capacity in conservation, take their spots and know the legal framework on conservation in their countries”. Fiesta Warinwa spoke about AWF’s efforts in conservation. Chritian Schwarzer talked about how GBYN relates to CBD.

Day 2 focused on how to Solve Biodiversity crisis? The participants were trained on dealing with complexity and system thinking (anecdote of Elephant under the OMIDYAR GROUP’s YouTube account was used to explain what it is and how to use it). Then they were tasked with applying the 2 skills learnt in group work on the following topics: urbanisation, climate change, mining, over-harvesting.

Day 3 focused on wildlife experience. On this day, in the morning session participants were tasked with finding a priority on different topics and present on them. These were: ecosystem restoration, coastal and marine biodiversity and blue economy , invasive alien species, access and benefit sharing and traditional knowledge and DSI, strategic environmental assessment, climate change and biodiversity, mainstreaming biodiversity into relevant sectors, natural capital accounting/resources, bio-safety, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, protected areas and other effective area-based conservation treasures, post-2020 biodiversity framework and gender mainstreaming. Then, there were testimonials from two conservation leaders, Fiesta Warinwa and Didi Wamukoga, and eventually a game drive in Nairobi National Park.

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Day 4 focused on policy advocacy, communication and outreach. There were 3 keynote speakers: Liz Gitari, Steve Itela and Peter Moll, all involved in conservation and advocacy. Liz Gitari gave insights on the legal framework involved in conservation. Steve Itela gave modules to adopt when lobbying: 1-conviction, 2- Commitment, 3- Team work 4- Know your target and your allies, 5-sustain the idea when you succeed. Peter  Moll advised building a solid team, contribute the best aspect of ourselves (speaking, writing, painting, media etc.) to advocate change and see failure as an opportunity. Youth Funding was also tackled. Key advice: Don’t request for funding from the government in a form of a petition but request audience, use technical language in your request for funds; and, know and understand the organisation’s language or jargon to best write in a way that suits them.

Day 5 focused on the presentation of group work by the various countries and the concluding remarks. For Kenya, the vision was to provide a platform of empowerment where young people from Kenya are provided with a space to showcase and grow their ideas, talents, skills, and experience through tailored projects meant to address specific biodiversity challenges at local, national, regional, and international level.

The workshop was concluded with remarks by Fiesta Warinwa from AWF; and certificates were issued by the Principal Secretary Ministry of Wildlife, Margaret Mwakima.

Winfred Kagendo, ACP YPN representative receiving her certificate.
Winfred Kagendo, ACP YPN representative receiving her certificate.

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