The International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv offers young dedicated people, between 18-29 years, from all over the world the unique opportunity to share their on-the-ground conservation experience with their peers and the wider public. It enables them to participate in political discussions by engaging with international leaders during the Conferences of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP).
In October 2012, Go4BioDiv took place for the third time – parallel to COP 11 in Hyderabad, India. It was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Government of India and carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) with support by various international partners.
In accordance with the COP 10 decisions (Nagoya mandate/Aichi targets), the theme of Go4BioDiv 2012 was ‘Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods’.
Therefore, Go4BioDiv brought together young people from the most outstanding marine and coastal sites our planet has to offer. The 35 Messengers are aged 18 to 29 and live or work in over 20 different marine World Heritage Sites around the world or in one of the nine coastal states and one Union Territory of India.
Personally and jointly experiencing nature is essential for Go4BioDiv. This is why the first part of Go4BioDiv 2012 took place in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forests in the Gangetic delta in India and the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. The iconic Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh have been declared marine World Heritage sites and are a unique network of seawater and freshwater-ways, fauna and flora, with a strong human-environment interaction. Being exposed to the Sundarbans from October 6‑15, the Messengers got to know each other, learned about the issues at stake and developped their output for COP 11. They then joined COP 11 in Hyderabad from October 16 to 19 during the High-Level Segment to present their messages to decision-makers and the wider public via a powerful youth declaration, creative performances involving street theatre and a colourful exhibition and various side-events. The whole event was prepared and accompanied by a strong virtual exchange via an online platform and an E-coaching course, creative tasks as well as extensive press work.