Press Release

AWF Supports African Youth Statement on Global Biodiversity Framework

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(NAIROBI, KENYA — June 6, 2022) Over 400 African youth convened virtually at the inaugural African Youth Summit on Biodiversity (#AYSB2022) from April 21-23, 2022. 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 young voices shared their perspectives in the three-day summit and have now officially released a strong statement that highlights their commitment and priorities in the lead-up to important global biodiversity conventions and meetings.

This statement is drawn from the perspectives of the 447 youth participants from 45 African countries, who in turn represent the voices of thousands of young people throughout Africa. Both AWF and GYBN have been committed to ensuring that the youth not only understand the key interventions that need to be implemented but to also be actively engaged in all processes including policy making.

The participants envision an annual African Youth Summit on Biodiversity to keep up the momentum and track the progress the continent is making as they adopt a new Global Biodiversity Framework that is set to be implemented within the next eight years.

"The African Youth Summit on Biodiversity was a major milestone where youth interacted with experts in conservation and not only voiced their perspectives, but also made concrete commitments on what they will do to advance the conservation agenda. As the African Wildlife Foundation, we remain committed to supporting youth led conservation action in the continent," Simangele Msweli, Senior Manager of AWF's Youth Leadership Program emphasizes.

"Coming from a continent where most of the population is youth, the statement reflects the fears, ambition, passion, commitment, and demands of a generation that needs to be heard. As GYBN Africa, we are committed to providing such spaces to African youth. The window for inaction is quickly shutting down," Kevin Lunzalu, Co-founder, Kenyan Youth Biodiversity Network adds.

As the youth prepare for the 4th meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, as well as the Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) in July 2022, the key elements highlighted in this statement will be discussed at length with an aim of providing tangible and measurable solutions which will inform the biodiversity negotiations.

Evidently, the engagement roadmap goes beyond deliberating and sharing insights on Multilateral Engagement Agreements at a global level. This speaks to the active role national chapters of GYBN have taken in engaging with their national governments and the dedication they hold to hold their leaders, private sector, and themselves accountable.

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 - the coordination platform for youth in the Convention on Biological Diversity. 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.