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Youth Declarations

As active members of society, children and youth all over the world frequently assemble to discuss the future of life on Earth. We at the Secretariat think these initiaves are of utmost importance for the future of the planet. As such, we have the great honor to present here some of the youth declarations that have come from youth gatherings all over the world. If you have a youth declaration you would like to share, write us at secretariat@cbd.int.

Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment

2009

The United Nations Environment Programme in cooperation with UNEP National Committee for the Republic of Korea hosted Tunza International Children and Youth Conference in Daejeon, Korea from 17 to 23 August 2009 (Children 17 - 20 and Youth 20 – 23). The Conference brought together 750 participants comprising 550 children and their chaperones, and 200 youth from 106 countries.

The theme of the conference was Climate Change: Our Challenge and included two high profile events, a Seal the Deal Global Townhall and a Global Debate. The Conference resulted in a statement to world leaders and an action plan for promoting actions on climate change.

For more details, including a statement for political leaders and commitments from children and from the youth on the actions they will undertake after the conference with regard to the Seal the Deal rallies, regional action plans and a newly elected Tunza Youth Advisory Council, visit UNEP/Tunza's web portal.

2008

From 17 to 20 June 2008, more than 700 children from 105 countries came to Stavanger, Norway for the Tunza Children’s Conference. Every two years, the United Nations Environment Programme organizes a fantastic international children's conference on the environment. It's an opportunity for children to share their environmental projects and ideas for a better world with other equally passionate children from all around the planet.

Throughout the conference the children devise commitments to help the environment. The children agree to carry out these commitments when they return to their communities and countries. Here are some of their inspiring promises:

OUR 2008 COMMITMENTS

We, the delegates of 2008 Tunza International Children’s Conference on the Environment, held in Stavanger, Norway from 17 to 20 June 2008, have committed to undertake the following:

BIODIVERSITY
  • Plant a tree on every birthday.
  • Encourage and teach others not to over-fish, over-hunt and over-eat.
  • Reduce deforestation through campaigns, education and tree planting initiatives.
  • Help preserve endangered species of plants and animals.
  • Participate in environmental awareness campaigns in our school, community and in our region.

To read the other commitments on Energy, Water and Sustainable Production and Consumption, click here.

Message des Jeunes de Curitiba - 2006

Nous, les élèves des écoles municipales de Curitiba, voulons assumer un compromis d’amour envers les générations de l’avenir.

Nous savons que nous sommes petits et que, au regard de beaucoup de gens, nos actions peuvent paraître insignifiantes. Mais, nous sommes surs que, à travers des attitudes responsables et simples, nous pouvons contribuer pour le bonheur de la Planète qui a besoin d’aide.

À l’école, nous apprenons avec nos maîtres qui la préservation de la biodiversité est fondamentale pour l’équilibre et la stabilité des Écosystèmes. La biodiversité est la base des activités humaines et une source importante pour la Biotechnologie, par conséquent, une source de richesse économique. Elle est essentielle pour la survivance humaine.

Ainsi, nous irons essayer de rechercher, auprès des organismes responsables, des actions dirigées vers la solution des problèmes et la conscientisation des gens. Tout le monde à besoin de savoir que des mesures simples, comme économiser les ressources naturelles et avoir des habitudes correctes, comme éviter le gaspillage d’aliments ou d’autres matériaux – inclusive des matériaux des écoliers; la réduction de la consommation d’eau et d’énergie électrique; la préservation de la faune et de la flore; s’occuper du sol et des rivières; séparer les ordures et utiliser les moyens de transport collectifs peut être essentiel pour la survivance de toutes les espèces sur la Terre.

Si chacun fait sa part, avec responsabilité, la Nature va réussir et les êtres humains aussi, une fois que nous sommes parts intégrantes d’elle.

NOUS SOMMES BIO, NOUS SOMMES LA DIVERSITÉ! NOUS SOMMES HUMAINS, EN RÉALITÉ!

Les élèves des écoles municipales de Curitiba

Message from the Youth of Curitiba - 2007

We are children, students of Municipal Schools of Curitiba. In this letter we reassure the commitment showed in the first Mini-Conference about Biodiversity, in 2006: more and more we are engaged with the improvement of the quality of life in the environment where we live.

In our schools, Environmental Education happens through actions and projects which make us aware that preserving the environment is necessary and urgent.

We are one of the elements which are part of the Biodiversity and we live in an interdependent relation with nature. When we destroy or pollute, we damage all living beings, including ourselves.

We are part of the Urban Biodiversity and , as responsible people, we keep the commitment of taking care of our city and of proposing measures to decrease consumerism, to decrease the increasing production of garbage, the irrational use of water, the release of pollutant gases in the atmosphere, the cut down of trees, the traffic of forest animals and others, which may be harmful to our environment.

Recycling, saving, reusing, living well with oneself, with the others and with nature are part of these actions.

In Curitiba, there are green areas and we develop projects which have the goal of improving the citizens’ quality of life. However, our city and the other cities of the world keep growing. More and more we need to be conscious and keep searching for solutions for the social-environmental issues.

To live well in our city and in any city of the world, it is necessary to be a collaborator in the building of all people’s cities.

DO YOUR PART… WE ARE GOING TO DO OURS.

Students from the Municipal Schools of Curitiba, March 2007

Déclaration Jeunesse de Montréal sur le Développement Durable

Nous, 300 jeunes du Québec, Canada, avec une délégation de jeunes Français, nous sommes réunis à Montréal quelques semaines après la conclusion de la dernière conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques, pour réfléchir et échanger à propos du développement durable et pour proposer des pistes d’action collectives et individuelles afin que ce concept devienne réalité.

Chaque jour, par notre inaction, des espèces vivantes disparaissent. Nous connaissons les problèmes, nous connaissons certaines solutions, mais notre obsession pour la croissance économique nous empêche de passer des paroles à l’action. Malheureusement, nous constatons que la croissance du PIB est toujours en tête des priorités et que les questions d’environnement et de justice sociale apparaissent secondaires, comme si c’était la vie qui devait être au service de l’économie, et non l’inverse. Que l’on parle de croissance économique, de libéralisation des marchés, de création d’emplois, d’exploitation des ressources naturelles, quelle finalité tout cela peut-il avoir si, en cours de route, on détruit la vie et les écosystèmes qui sont le fruit de millions d’années d’évolution, si on épuise les ressources et contamine l’eau que l’on boit, l’air que l’on respire et nos sources de nourriture? La vie évolue à son propre rythme, qui n’est pas celui des trimestres financiers ou des mandats électoraux. Il faut cependant avoir le courage de prendre nos responsabilités face à la vie, celle de nos enfants et petits-enfants, celle des peuples plus vulnérables et celle de toutes les espèces qui sont interdépendantes et dont notre propre subsistance dépend. Suite...

Youth Accord on Biodiversity - 2005

January, 2005 El Eden Ecological Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Preamble

We are today’s tomorrow. What happens today does not just affect the future, it is the future. There are plants and animals living today that have not yet been discovered, that may never be discovered, because of our carelessness and thoughtless aspirations. We need to allow for the existence of all species on this planet.

All species have a right to live. Only humans destroy the Earth and annihilate entire species in our quest for comfort and power. It is up to us as one species on this planet – and in particular to the people in power - to stop the harm that is being done to the world. When any local or global decision must be made, we need to consider each option’s potential impact on the environment. Countries will go to war, leaders will be assassinated, people will starve and overthrow their governments, and terrorist attacks will be made. However, after all of this, nations, societies, and cultures will try to be pieced back together and people will continue to hope for a better future. The Earth cannot any longer fix itself. The best way to save our home is to save it now. Your decisions as international leaders are our future and the future of millions of plants and animals. Please make the right ones for our future’s future.

Our work together as an international group of students respectfully requests you to include our voice in your important work. We submit the following considerations for hope … for all … for the future. More...

The Youth Declaration to the Convention on Biological Diversity, The Hague, Netherland - 2002

We, the Youth of the World, want our voices be heard in all the decision-making that is taking place at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. On the occasion of the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties we met in The Hague, The Netherlands on 13-18 April 2002 and agreed on the following.

We know the importance of biological diversity in sustaining our lives and making this world a better place for people and nature to live in harmony.

We understand that there are threats to biodiversity and its disastrous consequences are now being felt.

We do not have enough scientific knowledge on the issue of biological diversity and we are aware that we do not have political power to make major differences in the world, but we do have sufficient knowledge to know what is happening to our world.

We recognise that problems associated with biological diversity concern everyone and that we need to act urgently as decisions made will greatly influence our future.

We need to speak out and ensure that our voices are heard and considered in all the decision-making that will take place here in this Convention on Biological Diversity and succeeding meetings or conferences on the said issue.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme