The Global Youth Biodiversity Network, YOUNGO, and Youth4Nature are teaming up to develop a unified Youth Position Statement on “Nature-based Solutions”.
“Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) has become a rather ubiquitous concept in the last 3-4 years, especially in international policy spaces. It has been featured in some of the most recent global assessment reports from the Intergovernmene Changetal Panel on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and the Global Commission on Adaptation.
It was one of the key tracks of the 2019 UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit and was featured prominently at COP 25. It is also featured in the post-2020 biodiversity framework zero draft, in the lead up to the China-hosted COP 15, and will be a key action track for the UK-hosted COP 26.
Safe to say, many people are talking about NbS: international institutions like the UN, the World Economic Forum, and the IUCN, national and sub-national governments, NGOs of all sizes, grassroots groups, Indigenous and local communities, the private sector, scientists and academics, the list goes on. Perspectives towards NbS, however, are not consistent across these groups. While many groups are pushing NbS forward as an exciting and necessary approach towards addressing our twin climate and biodiversity crises, many are also pushing against the concept, citing serious and important concerns with how and where the term is being used and by who.
Missing in all of this is a united youth voice, across both climate and biodiversity communities, that clearly outlines how the global youth community understands NbS, and what is acceptable, and not acceptable within NbS approaches, both in policy and on-the-ground.
Two of the largest global youth environmental networks, the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (the youth constituency for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity) and YOUNGO (the youth constituency for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change), and Youth4Nature, a global, youth-led non-profit organization founded to provide youth with resources and platforms to address both climate and nature together, are partnering co-develop a nuanced, critical, and inclusive youth perspective on Nature-based Solutions.
This is important because it will support youth in their nature and climate advocacy efforts that align with justice and systemic change, further connect youth across biodiversity and climate movements, and help us create spaces for ourselves within global nature and climate decision-making. This work will also push the newly popular concept of Nature-Based Solutions in a direction that works for people and for nature.
What does this look like in practice?
The first step is to provide accessible information for young people about Nature-based Solutions: what does this term even mean? Who is engaging with it and how? What are the risks and concerns, and what are the potential opportunities?
To do this, GYBN, YOUNGO, and Y4N have co-created an information brief that will serve as a comprehensive, first overview into NbS. This brief, “What are Nature-based Solutions? Risks, concerns, and opportunities” can be accessed below. We have also hosted an open discussion during the IUCN Global Youth Summit on April 15 to present the brief, answer questions, and host NbS experts to discuss and debate the risks and merits of NbS. This event was recorded, and will be shared here once it is made available.
The next steps are to launch a global by-youth, for-youth survey, to gather the ideas, perspectives, and understandings about NbS from youth around the world. The inputs from this survey will feed into a final Youth Position Statement on NbS that will be co-developed with several global and regional youth organizations, and will be co-signed by youth organizations and individuals alike. Our objective is for this Position Statement to gain significant policy traction and be a vehicle through which our youth voices can influence global NbS decision-making.
To keep updated with this process, including being notified for when we launch this survey, please fill out this short form.