‘We're in this together:' promoting youth engagement and intergenerational partnership within and through CEESP

03 August 2011 | News story

The Sharing Power Conference, held in Whakatane, New Zealand, in January 2011, helped create momentum for a youth-focused movement within CEESP. Building on the conferences successes, Aroha Mead invited CEESP member Catie Burlando, with support from CEC member Dominic Stucker, to form a group that would promote youth engagement and intergenerational partnership within and through CEESP.

Together, CEESP members have provided invaluable resources and support to international and national level policy and sustainability/conservation events. Young people bring enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and insightful questions to such efforts, and more senior people bring experience, skill, and wisdom. We are convinced that Commission projects can be enriched if we take an intergenerational approach that emphasizes mutual exchange, learning, and collaboration.  Therefore, we want to encourage the engagement of young CEESP members, and foster opportunities for intergenerational partnership within and through the Commission.

In order to create a network and a platform for communication, we have recently created the "Young CEESP Members and Friends" Facebook Group, growing out of the "Nga Wawata o nga Rangatahi o te Ao – Global Youth Network," originally created for the Sharing Power Conference.  The new group is open to people of all ages, for CEESP members and non-members, as a place to learn about the Commission, share, and get involved.

Further goals include:

  1. develop a list-serv especially for young CEESP members (35 years old and younger);
  2. form a Youth Leadership Team to coordinate our efforts; and
  3. join existing young professionals groups on other IUCN Commissions - the CEC, WCPA, and CEL – as part of the  dedicated Intergenerational Wikispace they have created.

To learn more and/or get involved, we encourage you to:

  1. join the "Young CEESP Members and Friends" Facebook Group now and invite your friends, too; 
  2. sign up for the members list-serv by sending an e-mail to Catie Burlando at: catie@culturallandscapes.ca; and
  3. post your ideas on how you think youth engagement and collaboration across generations could support ongoing and/or new CEESP projects to the above Facebook group, or e-mail them to Catie.

We want to use both interfaces to continue presenting on ideas and initiatives from around the world, follow up on current CEESP events with relevance to young members, as well as foster intergenerational partnerships within the Commission. For example, we will ask for your input on IUCN's draft 2013-2016 Program and collate our ideas with those coming from young people on other Commissions.  We also plan to discuss CEESP participation in events such as Rio 20+, and the IUCN World Conservation Congress, coming up in 2012.

We look forward to your support and active engagement!  Thank you.