The International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv offers young dedicated people from all over the world the opportunity to share their on-the-ground conservation experience with their peers and the wider public. It enables them to participate in political discussions by engaging with international leaders during the Conferences of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COPs).
So far, Go4BioDiv has been carried out twice, in Germany 2008 and in Japan 2010, and was a great success. In 2012, Go4BioDiv will take place for the third time, in October parallel to CBD-COP 11 in Hyderabad, India. In accordance with the COP 10 decisions (Nagoya mandate/Aichi targets), the theme of Go4BioDiv 2012 will be ‘Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods’.
Therefore, this year’s Go4BioDiv participants come from the most outstanding marine and coastal sites our planet has to offer. The 35 Messengers are aged 18 to 29 and live or work in over 20 different marine World Heritage Sites around the world or in one of the nine coastal states of India. Among them are such outstanding sites as the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), Banc d’Arguin (Mauretania), the Wadden Sea (Germany), the Sundarbans (both Bangladesh and India) and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). The young Messengers have many different backgrounds, being for example marine scientists, journalists, park wardens and environmental lawyers. Among them are also several indigenous representatives, e.g. Heather from Palau, Sam from Honduras, Jenessa from Canada and Gavin from Australia. It is their and their communities’ unique perspectives and experiences that will form Go4BioDiv and its outputs.
The Messengers will bring in their perspective in CBD-COP11 in a refreshing and innovative way. Building up on their virtual discussions beforehand, they will meet up in the Indian Sundarbans and develop a youth declaration on marine and coastal life.It goes without saying that the immediate experience of the fragile life in the Sundarbans will add to the personal perspectives of the Messengers and stimulate a strong statement on environmental, economic and social questions. For spreading their message and reaching out to a wider audience, they will develop a street theatre with the help of a professional choreograph, which will performed on various occasion at the conference. In panel discussion and workshops, the Messengers will interact with decision-makers and the wider public. After the ‘live’ Forum, their contributions will be compiled in a follow-up publication, to be released within the series ‘Sustainability has many Faces’.
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Background Info and Messengers’s Profiles: www.go4biodiv.org/india-2012/
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