Press Release

African Youth Summit on Biodiversity Officially Kicks Off

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(NAIROBI, KENYA — April 21, 2022) Over 800 African youth will be convening virtually at the inaugural African Youth Summit on Biodiversity (#AYSB2022) in the lead-up to this year's U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 in Kunming, China. The summit is organized by the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) Africa in collaboration with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) under the theme African Youth Voices - Towards A Stronger Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

The three-day summit taking place from April 21-23, 2022, will feature 13 plenary sessions, workshops, and advocacy training sessions that will engage both experts in the field and young people in conversations around thematic areas drawing out concerns, experiences, and best practices for environmental protection. This summit is aimed at providing an opportunity for youth to mobilize and reaffirm their critical role as both drivers and beneficiaries of the sustainable development agenda. The 2050 goal of living in harmony with nature will only be achieved if African youth are empowered and not left behind.

“#AYSB2022 is about building momentum for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. As a collective of African youth, we shall advocate for greater ambition in protecting nature. The summit is designed to empower African youth and leverage the expertise and knowledge we all share to amplify the story of our region,” GYBN Africa regional coordinator, Prisca Daka, emphasized.

The Africa Regional Chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the CBD's official youth constituency is dedicated to ensuring that African youth perspectives are heard in the CBD processes, including the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It is under this mandate that the team co-created this space to share and learn the synergies that exist between on-the-ground engagement in youth-led innovations and inter-generational dialogues and conventions that seek to provide solutions to the challenges facing biodiversity.

Taking place on the sidelines of Earth Day celebrations on April 22 that will be focused on investing in our planet, Simangele Msweli, Senior Manager of the Youth Leadership Program at AWF confirms that the case for resource mobilization is set to be part of the agenda as youth are expected to implement high-level policies from a landscape level yet they have addressed on several occasions the lack of financial resources to execute the innovative ideas and solutions.

“AWF is committed to seeing young African leaders thrive in the space thus the need to co-convene this vital forum. This summit is neither the beginning nor the end of our engagement, but a huge milestone in the growing youth-led movement in Africa that shares the same goals and vision propelling the continent as a leader in biodiversity conservation conversations,” Kaddu Sebunya, AWF CEO highlighted during the opening session of the summit.

The forum will culminate in the formulation of the Africa Youth Statement on Biodiversity. The statement will capture the actions and solutions identified by participants, thus highlighting regional youth priorities. The statement will then serve as the voice of African youth in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework consultative processes, the UN Climate Change Forums, the Africa Protected Areas Congress, and the U.N. Biodiversity Negotiations (COP15).

The young African champions at these forums will now have a clear call to action that has collective voices from all regions in Africa.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wildlands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science, and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wildlands.

About Global Youth Biodiversity Network Africa

GYBN Africa is the regional chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) the coordination platform for youth in the CBD. Founded in 2017 to serve as a conduit for GYBN’s mission, GYBN Africa supports its regional activities and biodiversity advocacy efforts in Africa. GYBN Africa currently has 20 African chapters under its umbrella with over 500 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Wambui Odhiambo, AWF Media Specialist, or Kevin Lunzalu, GYBN Africa Regional Coordinator,