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Your Initiatives!

What are the world's youth doing?

On this page, you will find examples of what youth groups and organizations are doing to get involved in the conservation of biological diversity around the world. If you have a story to share, don't hesitate to contact us (secretariat@cbd.int)!

Global Youth Biodiversity Network

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) is an international network of youth organizations and individuals from all over the world whose common goal is to prevent the loss of biodiversity. Learn about GYBN and how you can get involved by visiting GYBN's website and GYBN's Facebook page.

International Youth Conference on Biodiversity 2010

To celebrate the importance of youth participation in safeguarding biodiversity and to support a youth contribution to the CBD COP10, the Ministry of Environment Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aichi Prefecture, the CBD Secretariat, UNEP, the Aeon Environment Foundation and Nagoya City organized the "International Youth Conference on Biodiversity from 21-27 August 2010 in Aichi, Japan ." The conference brought together youth from around the world and Japan. The conference aimed at promoting youth involvement in the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provided an opportunity to promote communication among youth and to improve their awareness and understanding of biodiversity.

For more information about the International Youth Conference on Biodiversity in Aichi 2010, please visit the website.

Youth Symposium for Biodiversity

Biodiversity Matters is a non-governmental organization in Ottawa, Canada that encourages involvement of youth in biodiversity-related initiatives locally, nationally and internationally. At local level they have developed a wetland conservation site at Macoun Marsh used by school children from the Ottawa region and promoted as a prototype project nationally (see article below). Involving youth participants from several countries, the CBD Secretariat was pleased to participate in the Second International Youth Symposium for Biodiversity organized by Biodiversity Matters from 5 to 9 July, 2009 in Ottawa. More information. Youth participants came from Albania, Barbados, Bolivia, Cameroon, Canada, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico and USA. In follow-up, participants and youth from around the world drafted a Youth Accord for Biodiversity presented to delegates attending the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD held in Japan in October 2010. For more information, visit www.biodiversitymatters.org.

HabitatNet: A Global Biodiversity Monitoring Project

Project Director: Dan Bisaccio

Welcome! How humans relate with the natural world has deep cultural foundations. Throughout the history of all civilizations, our relationship with nature has given us art, music, verse, mathematics, and science. Today our global imperative is to understand the implications of our interdependence with nature.

HabitatNet's purpose is to give students an opportunity to collect data, conduct research, and purposefully make a difference with regard to a most important global issue….conserving biological diversity.

The goal of HabitatNet is to enable teachers and students from around the globe (1) to establish permanent biodiversity monitoring projects at their home sites and (2) use telecommunications, via email and world wide websites, to communicate investigations, findings, and questions regarding biodiversity issues and management.

Natural habitats are storehouses of great natural diversity, and some may disappear before science can unravel its mysteries. The ecological structure and function of the variety of habitat ringing the globe is an active area of research for HabitatNet students. Equal in importance to the taxonomic and genetic diversity they contain is how these complex ecosystems change over time, and how they respond to catastrophic natural and human-induced disturbance. Students and schools throughout the world may participate and exchange data as well as pose questions to participating schools. There is NO cost to participating schools – we only share an equal interest in preserving “local and global ecosystems”.

HabitatNet was recently featured in March 2009 News Digest of the National Science Teachers Association. Read the article online or download it.

The Macoun Marsh Biodiversity Project

By Michael Leveille
Educarium Science Teacher

There is a unique inner-city wetland located in the center of Ottawa, Canada. It is found on the grounds of the beautiful Beechwood Cemetery, and it has gained a new status thanks to a group of Grade 6 & 7 students. The name of this marsh honours the great Canadian naturalist, John Macoun, who is buried at Beechwood.

To date, the students and teachers have recorded over 1000 species in an area no bigger than 150m X 140m. We believe that there are at least 6000 species to be found here. The study area includes a small wetland, a meadow and a forest remnant.

Educarium is now actively working with Jean Vanier Catholic Intermediate school. In 2006, the two schools won a top international environmental award with the Volvo Adventure (This event is in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme).

The simple recipe of placing city kids into a natural environment like our Macoun Marsh is absolutely magical. Our new Outdoor Classroom will bring even more kids to appreciate our natural heritage. Jonathan Guindon is a Grade 6 Educarium student. He describes our outdoor classroom as “a most useful place to sit and observe species, to have a fun educational time with our friends and teachers and even to have our lunch outside!”

The teachers of this project have begun thinking far beyond our little marsh. Recently children from Educarium visited tropical ecologies in Costa Rica making comparisons to our local Ottawa biodiversity. We have made a partnership with HabitatNet, a global biodiversity monitoring project in New Hampshire, USA. We are now preparing an Ottawa-based International Youth Symposium on Biological Diversity for 2009. Thanks to The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation and a lot of dedicated youth and teachers, a ripple effect has now begun far beyond the study area of the Macoun Marsh.

For more information about the Macoun Marsh project see their website, www.biodiversitymatters.org.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme