“Our Treasures at Risk” is a video featuring statements by all participants of the International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv at COP10, Nagoya, Japan. Tatjana Puschkarsky of IUCN reports on the Forum.
The second International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv took place in parallel to COP10 in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010. The young people inspired international decision-makers and showed them who should sit at the negotiation table with them: the young generation, committed, enthusiastic people, indigenous peoples and minorities, and people directly affected by climate change and in charge of biodiversity conservation in their region. The second International Youth Forum focused on natural World Heritage sites as the flagships of biodiversity conservation.
The 34 participants came from 25 World Heritage sites all over the world, including such outstanding places like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Mount Everest in Nepal, the Greenlandic Icefjord, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador. Having spent ten days at Mount Fuji, an iconic and sacred place to discuss the special relationship between nature and human beings, the young participants were well prepared to meet the challenge at the COP10 conference in Nagoya. With their video statements, dance performances, side events, their exhibition and treasure box, they called upon decision-makers to halt biodiversity loss and conserve their precious sites.
The video statements proved to be a convincing medium to engage people. Avaaraq from Greenland opened the floor by introducing the endeavor, truly speaking with her heart:
- “Take a look at me. Take a look at my friends. Our homelands are suffering the consequences of climate change. We are not just another story in the news. We are the ones who need action now. This is personal!”
As a consequence to the diverse youth activities at COP10, the CBD Executive Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, committed the CBD Secretariat to establish a permanent focal point for youth in Montreal.
Go4BioDiv is a joint initiative by GTZ, IUCN, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Tsukuba University and the CBD. You can find their video statements and more material here: www.go4biodiv.org
For more information, please contact Tatjana Puschkarsky, firstname.lastname@example.org.