Press Release

Africa Continues to Make Strides in Engaging Youth in Implementing The Biodiversity Plan

General Inquiries

Tel:+254 711 063 000

Ngong Road, Karen, P.O. Box 310
00502 Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya, 22 May 2024 — In the lead-up to the International Day of Biological Diversity, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the African Chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN Africa) and the Post2020 Biodiversity Framework-EU Support hosted a side event on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation better known as SBI-4 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The hybrid event, titled 6 YEARS TO GO: How are African countries engaging youth in implementing The Biodiversity Plan, brought together more than 100 attendees, including National CBD Focal Points and youth, who shared their experiences on youth engagement in the revision of NBSAPs as well as implementing The Biodiversity Plan.

The event was opened by Abdul Hamid Otete (GYBN Africa) and Hugo Rivera (Post2020 Biodiversity Project-EU Support), who both recalled the 2023 African Youth Summit on Biodiversity, which was hosted in Morocco, and the role it has played in socializing The Biodiversity Plan. The summit mobilized youth for implementation and has been a key basis to track the progress of African youth in the localization of the targets.

Sharing a case study from Malawi, Mwayi Mkanthama, Environmental Officer responsible for Biodiversity in the Environmental Affairs Department of Malawi, shared that they have supported the establishment of the National Youth Biodiversity Network - Malawi and even appointed a youth leader into the National Biodiversity Advisory Board of the Malawi Environmental Protection Authority. Additionally, Malawi hosted youth-focused and youth-inclusive multi-stakeholder consultations on the review and revision of NBSAPs.  

Another key milestone achieved by the Malawi team is engaging youth in key projects such as the National Invasive Alien Species project. Attendees from Kenya, Central Africa, Mexico, Antigua, and Barbuda, among others, shared collective experiences on implementing target 22.

In closing, Fred Kumah, AWF’s Global Leadership Vice President, emphasized that youth engagement is not a “nice to have”, it is a MUST in order to create lasting solutions for the continent. The co-conveners of this event are collectively looking forward to the publication of a case study focused on the best practices on youth engagement in The Biodiversity Plan within and launching the ‘Top 10 Brochure’ of innovative projects from the African Youth Summit on Biodiversity within the next month.

The event ended on a high note, encouraging all governments to take lessons from Malawi’s case study and the contributions from other youth leaders present while emphasizing the need for more best practice sharing platforms both continentally and globally ahead of the upcoming CBD-COP16.