International Youth Summit – A forum for the concerns of young people
Young adults from all parts of the world have a very keen sense of injustice and are full of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to making the world “a better place”. However, they can only formulate and place their messages successfully if they have access to forums where they can form an opinion and express their needs. During the 9th UN Conference on Biological Diversity, young adults were given a joint political platform. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ German Technical Cooperation) organised the International Youth Summit for young people who are engaged in the field of biodiversity on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Cooperation partners are the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection (STMUVG), the City of Bonn, the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU) and the Bavarian Forest National Park.
Results and objectives
The International Youth Summit was to promote dialogue with the younger generation about their future and their needs. At the International Wilderness Camp in the Bavarian Forest National Park, young people took part in workshops where they developed various formats reflecting the emotional aspect of biodiversity and the diverse cultural backgrounds of the participants.
They looked at what dependency on biological diversity means for them personally and how in concrete terms the loss of biodiversity is impacting their region and individual countries. They presented their perspectives on this subject and possible approaches for resolving the problem during the UN conference in Bonn. In this way, they were given the opportunity to clearly express their concerns. Presentations were planned, inter alia, in the high-level segment of the UN conference, on stage in the exposition area and at the International Conference of Mayors. The young people were able to hold discussions with representatives of national delegations and other political decision-makers. This enabled these young adults from industrialised and developing nations to hone their intercultural understanding and to strengthen their partnership-based cooperation. Their involvement was intended to help clarify mutual responsibilities and to draw up a joint road map for the future – all of which goes hand in hand with personal responsibility. In the long term, the summit thus promotes the sustainable networking of young agents for biodiversity.