#NatureForAll is a global movement championed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and launched by the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) to inspire love, support, and action for nature. It is based on the knowledge that the more people experience and connect with nature, the more likely they are to take action to protect it.
In July 2019, #NatureForAll joined over 45,000 young Scouts from 169 countries at the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in the mountains of West Virginia, USA. The WSJ is an Olympic-scale celebration of culture, adventure, and nature, all with the overarching goal of inspiring action by young people for a better world. IUCN’s #NatureForAll campaign was invited to run an interactive pavilion at the Jamboree with eight full days of programming. Every day, Scouts had the opportunity to participate in educational workshops, games, and fireside chats on environmental issues including the role and management of parks and protected areas, ocean health, wildlife conservation, and sustainable forestry.
Alongside #NatureForAll partners IUCN CEC, PCI Media, Parks Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Ocean Wise, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the US National Park Service the pavilion highlighted the importance of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals through practical experiences and examples applicable to daily life. After engaging in our programming, over 1,600 Scouts officially joined the #NatureForAll Youth Champions initiative – a global movement that aims to empower younger generations by providing them access and opportunities to play a leading role in environmental decision-making.
Hundreds of Scouts strolled up each day, curious to see what was going on inside the 200 square meter tent. Young people, already knowledgeable about the state of the global environment and committed to making a difference, learned more about the role that nature has to play in restoring ecosystems and combatting climate change. With each sign-up and introduction to the #NatureForAll movement, Scouts left armed with a mission to use what they learned in our pavilion to foster a deeper connection with, and to ultimately protect, nature. Our time in West Virginia proved that young people are not only able to take on a leadership role in protecting the planet, but that they are itching to do so.
The Scouts at the WSJ were a small sample of a massive population of young people eager to become fervent champions of the environmental movement. This event solidified IUCN’s commitment to investing in youth by providing them with opportunities to use their voices and take action. We know that when young people are given an opportunity to build a more environmentally safe and just world, they will take it. And they will charge full steam ahead.
To learn more about the #NatureForAll Youth Champions initiative, visit natureforall.global/youth.
Watch #NatureForAll in action at the Jamboree here!