Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013, Claudia Lewis, Plan C Initiative, Carlos L. de la Rosa, Catalina Island Conservancy, "The Youth Guide to Biodiversity" 1st Edition (Chapter 12) Youth and United Nations Global Alliance. Reproduced with permission.
Chapter 12. Verbatim.
We can all make a contribution in supporting biodiversity conservation efforts. While most of us would be content to act locally on biodiversity issues that are most accessible to us, we all have the potential to make a difference at both the national and global level.
You can also find out and contribute to local, national and international programmes and projects in a variety of ways:
•• Volunteering for organisations and projects that address biodiversity issues.
•• Doing internships with organisations that focus on biodiversity.
•• Starting a group or club to tackle a specific issue such as invasive plants in your neighbourhood.
•• Remaining informed and sharing that information with others.
•• Adopting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
•• Leading by example.
You can also help by encouraging your government to:
•• Join some of the major biodiversity protocols if your country has not already done so.
•• If your country is a party to the various treaties, contact the national focal point for the Protocols to find out what is being done to implement them and how you can contribute to the process.
•• Work towards strengthening national biodiversity and biosafety laws, and fostering compliance with the provisions of their protocols. Inform everyone you know on biodiversity and sustainability issues and things they can do to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
•• Reach out to local media and write articles, including letters to the editor.
FAO and CBD have developed a number of initiatives and activities in collaboration with youth organisations, such as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), to involve children and young people in biodiversity issues. For example, they created the biodiversity challenge badge which complements this guide book. You can download the challenge badge booklet at:www.fao.org/climatechange/youth/68784/en
You can also get many ideas and connect with other young people at CBD’s Green Wave campaign:
Education for Sustainable Development, a UNESCO initiative,has an important youth component. On its website, youth can participate in various activities related to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, and share ideas on how to get others involved in the discussion and solutions.www.unescobkk.org/education/esd/esdmuralcontest
You may think:
‘This is all well and good, but how do I actually start some of the above activities?’ Well, the next chapter will give you some background information, advice and ideas on how you can address biodiversity issues.