The Goal -
Youth for Wildlife Conservation (Y4WC) aims to form a global network of early-career wildlife conservationists to empower them to be the future conservation leaders the world needs.
Traditionally, young conservationists have been pushed aside within the conservation field, excluded from international decision-making processes, and youth-led projects are under-funded and unevaluated. Youth worldwide lack the support, opportunities and the confidence to pursue a viable career in wildlife conservation, which leads to a disconnected generation. Yet, we are at a critical time in regards to our wildlife and environment, and we need these dedicated and passionate individuals to become the strong conservation leaders of tomorrow.
Y4WC reverses this negative trend. It has been proven over time that when minorities are excluding from decision-lacking processes, whatever outcome does not yield the maximum benefit. Y4WC works to engage and empower early-career conservationists (18-30) worldwide to treasure and protect our planet’s wildlife, to support them at the grassroots level and provide them with a voice in the international arena. This generation are the leaders of tomorrow, and Y4WC was established by youth to provide a unique platform for us to celebrate our impact in conservation and our diversity, in experiences, skills and opinions.
The Solution -
To achieve this, Y4WC facilitates a global network of young conservationists, provides them with capacity-building resources, and showcases the diversity of opinions and perspectives from youth from across the globe.
Y4WC is - above all - a network, a space for peer-to-peer support and cooperation, professional skills development and showcasing youth’s actions for wildlife conservation.
We believe that as individuals with a common goal to conserve our planet’s nature and its wildlife, we can come together as a global network, where we as youth can exchange ideas and solutions about wildlife conservation, and multiply our individual impact and taking our conservation projects to scale. To do this, Y4WC provides capacity-building materials and facilitates peer-to-peer dialogue with the aim of enhancing the career development of young conservationists. We support our delegates on an individual basis in their practical application of their conservation projects, ensuring they receive the full support of the network and utilize best conservation practices. We also lead campaigns on youth empowerment and engage our audience in meaningful discussions regarding conservation.
Our current members range from 25+ countries, from the rainforests of Borneo to Kenyan game parks, Canadian mountains and European cities. Like our geographical location, our professional career choices and aspirations also vary, from wildlife educators to marine scientific researchers, avian technicians and wildlife artists, just to mention a few.
The Results -
At the CITES CoP17, our founding delegates passed a Youth Resolution calling parties to engage with and empower youth. Following this achievement, Y4WC has already achieved key milestones during its first 6 months. As official partners of the United Nations World Wildlife Day (March 3rd), we created the official PSA video on the theme ‘Listen to the young voices’, giving a voice to youth from 15 countries.
- Our video has been viewed 4803 times on YouTube and shared over 1100 times on other social media platforms.
- Our members were invited to a high-level youth panel held in New York, delivering a ‘Youth Statement’ and addressing representatives from all over the world on the importance of engaging with the next generation of conservationists.
We have also successfully kick-started our capacity-building resources with an online interactive platform and a worldwide ‘Opportunities Map’.
Insider Tip -
- Patience and teamwork
- Diversity is our strength
- Wildlife conservation is a journey and it is not about the final destination, but about the collaborative journey of passionate individuals.