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Global Youth Advocacy Training: StandUp4Nature

In an effort to strengthen the capacity of young people, a virtual global advocacy training meeting was organized from June 18th-21st and 27th-28th. This training brought together more than 50 young people from all over the world, to focus on the political process of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, global nature conservation, how to advocate for biodiversity and effective communication strategies.

Within this context, the training aimed to provide participants with the needed skills to be able to train other young people in raising their voice for the planet and to strengthen their capacity to coordinate and implement a similar programme at country level.

While the training was organized to expose young people to the current theory and practice of evidence-based advocacy, it also looked at strengthening participants in key areas such as monitoring and evaluation, and networking.

Specifically, the training also focused on helping participants to identify gaps and challenges that young people face, and designing and developing advocacy campaigns.

The training included a balance of presentations and discussions through breakout sessions of groups that included between 5-8 people. Presentations were given on what’s at stake for youth in the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, defining advocacy, effective youth advocacy, developing and leading successful trainings as well as designing powerful advocacy actions.

Discussion sessions were facilitated on different topics that encouraged participants to talk about their own experiences, challenges, solutions, how to successfully mobilize youth and strategies for youth led advocacy campaigns.

Throughout the training, participants were also given the opportunity to share their advocacy experiences, learn new ways to enhance youth engagement and advocacy actions, and to create action campaigns for impact.

Moreover, the training was also organized to include a few regional sessions that were open to all youth other than the participants. These sessions were organized to have a regional or national focus, expand knowledge and to establish regional collaborations among participants.

The training ended with the hope and excitement that participants will bring acquired lessons forward with them, and that they will be able to train fellow youth in their different countries or regions. Participants were given resources to help them plan national training such as templates, tips for organizers, an action planning handbook and the CBD In a Nutshell to get a better understanding of how the CBD works.

For the participants, this is the start of a long and strategic process to mobilize the youth to, advocate and campaign for biodiversity, to participate in the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework process and to join in the call for a New Deal for Nature and People.

This whole pack of activities and positive outcomes of the training are only possible thanks to the collaboration of the co-organizers, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), Global Youth Action Team (GYAT), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the participants.

By Prisca Daka Chapter Coordinator GYBN Zimbabwe

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