Scouts Support WWF’s Mobilisation of Young Africans to Amplify Voices and Promote Action on Biodiversity Protection
Scouts were among the 46 indigenous youth leaders from Africa, who came together to take part in the 1st WWF Africa Youth Conference that took place on 22nd -24th May 2019 at the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in Nairobi, Kenya. The participants were drawn from Non-governmental organisations, academia and grassroot initiatives from across the continent.
Convened under the theme “Youth 4 Nature: One by one until nature wins them all”, participants showcased best practices on how they are working to reduce nature loss, protect and promote bio-diversity. The youth summit was organized by WWF Regional Office for Africa in collaboration with Africa Wildlife Foundation.
During the Summit, the young leaders drafted an African Youth Declaration paper on Driving Conservation Action, which will inform WWF and world leaders on key recommendations to drive conservation action in Africa, as a region and in other contexts. They were also able to come up with a summary statement after a series of discussions, on how the youth will contribute to the New Deal for Nature. The youth leaders also widened their circles as they interacted with each other and with the WWF and AWF staff as a way to forge stronger commitments towards collective action.
The Scouts delegation included Grace Wanja, Assistant Youth Programme at World Scout Bureau Africa Support Centre and Hillary Maganga from Kenya Scouts Association. Nelson Opany, Manager, Communications and Partnerships also spoke highlighting the cooperation between Scouting and WWF saying that “As a movement we take keen interest in enabling young people and empowering them to contribute to the protection of the environment. With millions of Scouts in Africa, in collaboration with our partners like WWF, we can turn them into a force for good - a force that can change the course of our environment.” He further urged the participants saying, “It’s upon all of us, whatever little we can do to contribute to these efforts – let us do it.”
The outcomes of the youth conference will be brought to the WWF Annual Conference in Mombasa, Kenya later in June 2019 and will build up to the next youth conference and youth-led activities around the Africa Protected Area Congress (APAC) to be held in November 2019. Through this conference, WWF hopes to create a vibrant movement of empowered and motivated youth driving conservation with them and on their own in Africa.