Following Council’s decision last November to strengthen the voice of the youth in the Council to ensure that the concerns of the next generation are adequately addressed, Council approved the appointment of Ms. Grace Mwaura from Kenya until the end of Council’s term in 2012.
Ms. Grace Mwaura graduated last year with a Bachelor in Environmental Sciences from Kenyatta University. In addition, she holds a certificate of award in Community Based Filmmaking from the Darwin Initiative. She is currently working as a professional intern at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, where she is focusing on the integration of agro forestry and environmental education issues into the Healthy Learning Programme. Previously, she served as the Secretary of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), heading all the network programmes. She now plays an advisory role in AYICC and the Intervarsity Environment Network, both of which she founded in 2006. Ms. Mwaura has also been the focal person for the African youth with the International Youth Climate Movement. Some of our IUCN Members met her in Copenhagen last December where she was heading the African youth delegation to the UNFCCC, COP 15.
Ms. Mwaura has broad and diverse experience in the areas of conservation, community development, climate change, youth empowerment, research, filmmaking, environmental education, and policy and advocacy work. Her research experience is drawn from her academics and her involvement with varied departments at the National Museums of Kenya, Nature Kenya and her Bachelor’s degree research work. She is currently contributing to The South-North Journal published by Common Future.
Ms. Mwaura strongly believes in volunteerism as a way to help society implement change. She is enthusiastic about creating a global community of young people who are ready to work professionally and passionately to solve sustainable development challenges all over the world. She has extensive experience working with a wide range of school children, youth, university students’ movements and local communities on conservation issues. Her volunteer work has included handling young elephants in the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, teaching orphans in a children’s home, monitoring water birds in the Great Rift Valley lakes, making films with school children, engaging forest dwelling communities in participatory filmmaking, organizing and coordinating youth events, joining young people in tree planting, clean ups and demonstrations, talking to media, blogging among many others.