Young People from World Heritage Sites Hold Forum for COP 10

01 October 2010 | News story

IUCN has partnered with UNESCO World Heritage Centre and GTZ for a youth event in parallel to COP10 in Nagoya. The Youth Forum Go4BioDiv - World Heritage welcomes 35 young adults from natural World Heritage sites. Tatjana Puschkarsky of IUCN reports.

Young people will have to bear the consequences of today's (in-)actions and decisions – therefore their points of view should play an important role at international conferences and in political decision-making. The Youth Forum Go4BioDiv - World Heritage, which will take place in parallel to COP10, is embedded into the broader framework of the UN-Year of Biodiversity, the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the International Year of Youth.

IUCN has partnered with UNESCO World Heritage Centre and GTZ for this outstanding youth event in parallel to COP10 in Nagoya from 16 – 29 October.

It aims at raising awareness about the interdependencies of biological and cultural diversity and inter-generational responsibilities for the conservation of our global treasures. It offers young participants the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and exchange views on natural World Heritage sites as the emblematic and visible ‘flagships’ of nature conservation, and the effects climate change has on these sites. This initiative carries on the achievements of the first Youth Forum Go4BioDiv held during COP9 in Bonn, Germany, in 2008.

Youth camp near Mount Fuji

Go4BioDiv activities will mainly be conducted in close contact with nature, at a camp near Mount Fuji. This exceptional cultural landscape is deeply associated with Japanese mountain worship and the country's artistic and literary tradition and thus a wonderful example of the intricate linkages between nature and culture. To present their messages and creative activities at COP10, participants will stay in Nagoya during the High-Level Segment of COP10. Previous to the conference, the young people will prepare a creative exhibition on natural World Heritage sites and their personal experiences with photos, comics, videos, haiku poems or stories. When they come together at Mount Fuji, they will discuss and creatively engage with general issues of World Heritage sites and biodiversity conservation and present their messages at COP10 in the form of a joint declaration, creative side events, discussions with politicians and colourful stage performances.

The Youth Forum presents a unique opportunity to bring together young people from the most outstanding natural sites our planet has to offer. The participants, who live or work in natural World Heritage Sites, will be young adults aged 18 to 28, representing more than fifteen natural sites from i.e. Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Mauritania, Kenya, Congo, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and the host country Japan.

For more information, contact Tatjana Puschkarsky, tatjana.puschkarsky@iucn.org