Youth for Our Planet, Global Youth Action Team, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and WWF organised the “Our Planet Action Training: Taking the #ForNature youth manifesto from words to actions” on Saturday 12th March.

In 2020, as part of the #ForNature Campaign, youth from major youth constituencies, organizations and youth movements came together to create a Youth Manifesto and Open Letter. The Youth manifesto contains a number of key youth priorities and political demands. It was presented at the UN General Assembly in September 2020 and signed by more than 1.300 individuals, youth organizations, constituencies and VIPs. Read the manifesto here.

Now, it is in our hands to advocate for change during the “super year” for biodiversity and nature, pushing for the youth priorities to achieve the vision of a life in harmony with nature.

Through this training we aimed to build a youth community that can develop concrete advocacy actions and campaigns for this year’s Earth Hour as well as other important events and days throughout the 2021, including UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15.

I facilitated the breakout session on ”Equity & Justice”. The Youth Manifesto #ForNature contains a number of key youth priorities and demands. During this session I helped youth on how to take the Manifesto from words to actions by providing them w/ tools for advocacy campaigns in their own national environments.

Relevant parts of the manifesto for my training:

5. Guarantee rights-based approaches 

Human Rights are not separated from Nature Rights and the urgency of the climate and biodiversity crisis requires a just response centered on human rights, equity, and justice. To succeed, global agreements must defend human rights, protect environmental defenders, recognize nature’s intrinsic value, and hold governments and corporations accountable for activities that degrade natural systems or infringe on peoples’ rights to a safe and healthy environment. 

8. Ensure Intergenerational Equity 

Beyond the need to achieve equity within generations, actions on sustainability must be based on the principle of Intergenerational Equity, reflecting justice between generations. We must respect future generations’ right to a safe, clean, and healthy environment, the same right that we are all entitled to today. 

There is a need to move beyond a tokenistic view of participation toward taking more proactive steps in ensuring all generations are meaningfully and equally engaged in policy development and formulation so that intersectional and intergenerational equity can be achieved. 

9. Ensure gender-responsiveness 

Gender inequalities need to be addressed and eradicated, by fully recognizing women and girls’ contributions and roles in nature conservation and sustainable use; as well as guaranteeing women and girls rights to land, to health, to a life free of violence, and to full and effective participation in decision-making processes. 

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