Story | 06 Apr, 2021

IUCN Global Youth Summit on nature to be held online from 6 to 16 April

Gland, Switzerland, 06 April 2021 – More than 10,000 young people will connect and exchange ideas online at the first-ever International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Youth Summit, from 6 to 16 April. The outcomes of the Summit will be presented to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France, in September 2021, helping engage and empower the voice of youth in nature conservation around the world.

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Photo: Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

The Global Youth Summit will address topics including the relationship between people and nature, climate change, marine and freshwater conservation, technology and innovation, and rights, governance and social justice. The event will feature three high-level intergenerational dialogues, 60+ youth-led workshops, dozens of informal networking sessions, body awareness classes and a weekend film festival.

Programme highlights include:

  • Global Youth Summit Opening & Intergenerational Dialogue: “Super-year” for Nature and beyond: mobilising young leaders and building momentum. 6 April, 13:00-15:00 UTC. Featuring Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth; and AY Young, artist and member of the UN’s 2020 Class of “Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals”.
  • Intergenerational Dialogue: Moving from token voices to heeded partners: Youth in Governance and Decision-Making. 9 April, 13:00-15:00 UTC.
  • Intergenerational Dialogue: Supporting and Valuing the Voice of Indigenous Peoples: the Role of Youth. 14 April, 13:00-15:00 UTC.
  • Global Youth Summit Closing: 16 April, 13:00-15:00 UTC.

Key speakers include:

  • Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth
  • Neeshad Shafi, founder of the Arab Youth Climate Movement in Qatar
  • Lefteris Arapakis, Co-Founder & Director Enaleia, 2020 UNEP Young Champion of the Earth
  • Paloma Costa, UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group, lawyer and human rights defender
  • Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  • Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretay, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Ron Hallman, President and CEO, Parks Canada
  • Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • SungAh Lee, Deputy Director General, IUCN

The Global Youth Summit is organised in partnership between the IUCN Secretariat, its six Commissions, and several partner organisations. See editor’s notes for a full list of partners.

For more details please visit the IUCN Global Youth Summit website:

For more information, please contact:

Editor’s notes

The IUCN Global Youth Summit is organised by the IUCN Secretariat and its six Commissions (IUCN CEC, IUCN CEESP, IUCN WCPA, IUCN SSC and IUCN WCEL), in partnership with the following organisations:

  • Parks Canada
  • Ocean Wise
  • Rainforest Trust
  • Canadian Wildlife Federation
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Fondo de Conservación El Triunfo, A.C.
  • Conservation Leadership Programme
  • Global Youth Biodiversity Network
  • Post2020 Biodiversity Framework - EU Support
  • Expertise France
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity
  • IUCN Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability

Inspired by #NatureForAll

With the kind support of the Government of France