The #NatureForAll launch at the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress brought together like-minded conservationists from around the world. Connections amongst attendees are resulting in new #NatureForAll projects and collaboration sprouting around the world. One such connection was forged among youth leaders at a #NatureForAll Congress event.
Led by Dode Houehounha, a WCPA young professional with the IUCN West and Central Africa Programme, Seed Future is an environmental education program that uses direct experience to reconnect young people with nature.
Dode and his colleagues aim to train young leaders in nature conservation by sharing indigenous knowledge from local communities. They focus on the use of biological resources in the wetlands of Southern Benin and surrounding protected areas.
As Dode explains, “this project was inspired after our participation in the World Conservation Congress and the successful collaboration as a part of #NatureForAll. Our goal is to reconnect youth and nature, with an aim to promote sustainable development through the training of young ecologists in Benin”.
In October of 2016, 20 young leaders aged 15 to 30 years had the opportunity to learn from indigenous communities about traditional ecology, ecological calendars, cultivation techniques, history, and culture - including songs, legends, proverbs, tales, dances, clothing, games, cooking, and traditional medicine. These young leaders represented non-governmental organisations working with environmental clubs, environmental safeguard and biodiversity committees, and schools where teachers organize field trips for their students in the natural environment. Representatives, including members of groups such as the Red Cross and Scouts, met with indigenous leaders in Hozin, in the Commune of Dangbo (Benin).
Seed Future sees its mission as an integral part of the programme “Subvention PAF- J’ai à Cœur ma Planète” which is supported by the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), as well as the launch of #NatureForAll in Western and Central Africa.