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IUCN World Conservation Congress
Interactive Report on Youth and Intergenerational Journey
6-15 September 2012, Jeju, Republic of Korea

Participation and Awards
Videos and Publications
The Task Force and Next Steps

Report prepared by IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability members Dominic Stucker (CEC), Melanie Zurba (CEESP), Grace Mwaura (CEC and former Councillor), Caroline Seagle (CEESP), and Ulamila Bulamaibau (IUCN Staff, Oceania), November 2012.

The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. Held every four years, the Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development. Leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, businesses, UN agencies and social organizations discuss, debate and decide on solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues.

A goal of the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability was to leverage this international gathering to celebrate and further the many ways in which youth and collaboration across generations are contributing to healthy environments and communities within and through the IUCN. We did this through organizing a Youth and Intergenerational Journey through Congress, a process which started a year before the Congress was held in Jeju, Korea in September 2012. We are especially grateful to all those people - whether at Congress or not - who contributed to Working Groups that made this Journey possible. This interactive report summarizes key outcomes.

Selected photos from Congress. For all photos, see the Task Force's Flickr account.

This video, created by Mohammad Masum and colleagues of the IUCN Communications Team, features several youth voices from Congress, including Elaine Hsiao, Biozid Jessorey, Grace Mwaura, Eduardo Arenas, and Dominic Stucker.

Leave a comment on the video on the IUCN website.

The Youth and Intergenerational Journey did not, of course, begin at Congress. These slides, presented by Dominic Stucker during The Inheritors workshop, provide a good summary of Commission and Task Force achievements since the last Congress in Barcelona, Spain. These efforts would not have been possible without the efforts of young and senior Commission members, Chairs, and staff. We are grateful to all of these volunteers.


"A just world that values and conserves nature. This is IUCN’s Vision. Nature is our life support system. The diversity of life and nature must be conserved for its own sake and also for development to be sustainable. This requires fundamental change in all dimensions of life and society, including politics and economics, far beyond IUCN’s mandate and capacities. IUCN advances nature‐based solutions to halt the destruction of biodiversity and to sustain development for all, especially the poorest people and communities who depend directly on nature for their livelihoods. A just world must guarantee equitable rights of access to biodiversity and nature’s benefits across generations, gender, and economic, social and geopolitical lines. This vision echoes the principles and values embodied in IUCN Resolutions on the Earth Charter and on the Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability."

  • Young professional Caroline Seagle's campaign for a seat on Council, although ultimately unsuccessful, raised the profile of young people at Congress and set an inspiring precedent for youth participation in IUCN governance; Caroline's campaign flyer is here:

  • In the short time since Congress, Commission Chairs have taken steps toward appointing young people to their Steering Committees:
    • CEC Chair Juliane Zeigler appointed Grace Mwaura
    • CEESP Chair Aroha Mead re-appointed Catie Burlando
    • CEL Chair Antonio Benjamin and his Steering Committee plan to appoint a young person at their next meeting in April 2013
    • CEM Chair Piet Wit mandated mid-career Steering Committee members Birguy Lamizana and Said Damhoureyeh to take on the the roles of Focal Point for Young Professionals and Special Advisor on Intergenerational Partnership
    • SSC Chair Simon Stuart is actively engaged in identifying a young person for his Steering Committee
    • WCPA Chair Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich is actively engaged in identifying a young person for his Steering Committee
  • Drawing on Resolution 008, we also plan to lobby for the appointment of a young person to Council

Participation and Awards
  • The participation of young people in Congress was greatly enhanced by the CEESP Youth Networks's success in securing IDRC funding to bring 7 young professionals and community leaders to Jeju: Melanie Zurba of Canada, Daniela Barguil Gallardo of Costa Rica, Biozid Jessorey of Bangladesh, Eduardo Jr. Arenas of Mexico, Elaine Hsiao of the United States, Caroline Seagle of the United States, and Gilberto Naranjo of Costa Rica. Some of them presented in the Youth Voices, Marine Governance, and Action Planning events, in addition to supporting a range of other initiatives. The Youth Voices event also provided an entry point for young community activists from the nearby Gangjeong village to speak out about the naval base being built in their community without their consent. A full report is here, including insightful personal reflections from participants:

  • CoopSoliDar RL worked with CEESP, the CEESP Youth Network, ICSF and the IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica to organize a preparatory process leading up to Congress and a Knowledge Cafe on Marine Governance at Congress that featured 6 young members of artisanal fishing communities in Central America. These participants received financial support from the Lotex Foundation, IDRC, and Flora and Fauna International to attend: Erick Jarquin of Nicaragua, Franklin Gomez of Honduras, Gilberto Naranjo of Costa Rica, Gamiliel Garcia of Mexico, Mynor Bautista of Guatemala, and Rosa Sandoval of El Salvador. A video of the preparatory workshop and a report on the Knowledge Cafe are here:

  • Other young professionals were supported in participating in Congress by virtue of being on a Commission Steering Committee, being an outgoing Councillor, being a staff person of a Member Organization, or having won an award that sponsored their participation, below. Conference organizers also offered a reduced participation fee for people 25 years-old and younger.
  • Leading up to and during Congress, three young professionals were recognized with awards for their conservation work. Elisângela Sales Dos Santos of Brazil was the first woman to win the Young Conservationist Award, sponsored by the International Ranger Federation and WCPA; Diogo Verissimo, a young CEC member from Portugal, won the IUCN Thomas Reuters Environmental Media Award; and Balaji Vedarajan of India won the IUCN CEC Chair's Youth Award

Videos and Publications
  • CEC member Mohammad Masum and the IUCN Media Team produced the Youth Voices at Congress video, in the Overview section, above
  • CoopSoliDar RL, Luma, and CEESP produced a video A Voice for Mesoamerican Fishermen and Fisherwomen, above in the Participation section, filmed at a workshop designed to prepare 6 young artisanal fishers for Congress. Flora and Fauna International, the Darwin Initiative, and IDRC provided financial support.
  • Ivan Onatra of Colombia, designer of the winning Intergenerational logo, prepared a video statement for the logo launch, below
  • Led by Andy Alm, Rod Abson, and Dominic Stucker, an intergenerational team of CEC volunteers filmed some 100 Congress participants, collecting stories on the question "How did you first fall in love with nature?" Selected clips are being compiled as a video.
  • The CEESP Young Professionals Network published a booklet, launched at Congress, on 7 young researcher's work to strengthen the voices of community members in conservation:

The Youth and Intergenerational Journey extended from its official launch on the first day of the Public Forum - with The Inheritors workshop, convened by IUCN President Ashok Khosla - to the final day's Action Planning workshop, convened by the Task Force. A great many inspiring events were held throughout, as summarized below.

  • More than 15 youth and intergenerational workshops were held during the Public Forum, organized by a diversity of partners; summary reports and photos are in the table, below, and the Journey flyer is here:

  • These official events were complimented by informal meetings for youth and senior friends each morning at the Just World Pavilion, culminating in a large farewell dinner at the end of the Public Forum
  • Young people, of course, were not limited to the Youth Journey, but actively contributed to a range of other workshops in their respective fields of expertise

Abstract Excerpt or Summary Report
The Inheritors: Responsible Citizens for Tomorrow: Transferring Ownership for Saving Biodiversity to the Next Generation (#981)

Organized by IUCN President Ashok Khosla
The Task Force was invited to help design and contribute to IUCN President Ashok Khosla's youth workshop, which drew some 80 participants of all ages. Inspiring presentations were made by Ashok Khosla, Jessica Sweidan, Grace Mwaura, Verena Treber, Balaji Vedharajan, and Dominic Stucker. Wayne Talbot did a fantastic job of facilitating interactive small group discussion on the vision, goals, and projects concepts for youth engagement and collaboration across generations for 2013-2016. Virtual participants from around the world also contributed their ideas through Twitter. These ideas fed directly into our Action Planning workshop, below. Keith Wheeler and Jessica offered closing reflections, and Dominic invited people to engage in the Action Planning workshop. There was immense support from the IUCN Secretariat staff on the agenda of the meeting and offered the opportunities for future collaboration.

Getting to action: Secrets to influencing climate resilient decision-making

Organized by Integrated
Environmental Consultants Namibia
Capacity development for climate resilient decision-making is critical to making progress on the set targets. However, few conservation leaders and practitioners think strategically about how best to address their key target groups. To best apply limited resources and make the knowledge generation and foundation work count in a policy and action context, well designed and executed training, learning, communication and awareness raising interventions are needed for impact.

Knowledge exchange in the social cloud: New pathways for professional updating in conservation (#810)

Organized by CEC
Bring your mobile devices, smartphones, pads, laptops, cameras to engage in storytelling with a purpose: using social media to move to action in professional updating for conservation. The session will produce multimedia portable presentations, useful as training resources and as social postcards from the World Conservation Forum. We will encounter examples of excellent networked knowledge sharing, and identify key elements of quality in multimedia conservation training.

The Elders (#979)

IUCN President Ashok Khosla
Convened by Ashok Khosla and moderated by young Mexican journalist Solange Marquez Espinoza, this great event was attended by young and elder alike. The audience heard reflections on IUCN history and current challenges from Wolfgang Burhenne, Silvia Earle, Valli Moosa, Monkombu Swaminathan, and Ashok Khosla. A short questions and answer session followed, with panelists sharing thoughts on increasing IUCN's profile and on how they first fell in love with nature.

Blue Planet Pavilion Events

Organized by the IUCN TILCEPA, IUCN Meso America Office, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation
There’s a whole world going on beneath the surface of the ocean. It is so different from ours, so vast and mesmerizing, it never fails to fascinate whoever ventures into its depths. Oceans and seas cover 70% of the planet and host huge and unknown biodiversity. This pavilion will demonstrate how, by sharing knowledge, exchanging information and views and launching and promoting marine conservation and sustainable development activities, we can ensure and foster the conservation of marine biodiversity, as well as the equitable and sustainable use of our oceans.

Multiple events at the Blue Planet Pavilion had an intergenerational approach, including:
* An inter-cultural dialogue on Marine Protected Areas – can locally managed marine areas provide a foundation for national marine PA networks?

"Rio + xxx" --> united for social and natural solutions: the International Youth Forum "Go4BioDiv" (#435)

Organized by the International Youth Forum "Go4BioDiv"
The International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv offers young dedicated people from all over the world the opportunity to share their on-the-ground conservation experience with their peers. It enables them to participate in political discussions by engaging with international leaders during the Conferences of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP).

IMPERATIVE TO ACT - Greening Higher Education for Next Generation of Sustainability Leadership (#543)

Organized by UNEP
Organized by UNEP's Environmental Education and Training Unit, this Knowledge Cafe was attended by 18 people, demonstrating the interest and importance assigned by a range of stakeholders to the education methodology beingimparted to the younger generation. Different experiences, lessons learned and success stories, including challenges faced in undertaking certain education for sustainability initiatives, where shared. The importance of networking, sharing experiences and strengthening partnerships among different educational stakeholders was highlighted as key to the success of education for sustainability.

Youth at Congress: Strengthening community voices towards a ‘Just World’ (#1100)

Organized by the CEESP Youth Network
Organized by young CEESP members Melanie Zurba and Elaine Hsiao, this lively session featured youth voices on conservation research and on-the-ground action. An estimated 60 people attended. Speakers included Elaine Hsiao, Omer Aijazi, Melanie Zurba and Daniela Barguil, and featured 6 young coastal and fisheries leaders from Central America: Erick Jarquin of Nicaragua, Franklin Gomez of Honduras, Gilberto Naranjo of Costa Rica, Gamiliel Garcia of Mexico, Mynor Bautista of Guatemala, and Rosa Sandoval of El Salvador.

The second hour of the session was dedicated to hearing directly from local Gangjeong village members and their sustained efforts to halt the building of a massive naval base on their coast. The success of the event was attributed to the fact that it was an inclusive environment where participants were invited to express their positions in such a way that they were open for respectful dialogue. Youth played a unique role in the delivery of this because of their proximity to community issues and their distance from higher level political issues that potentially could have worked against the successful delivery of such a forum.

Announcing the winning design for a new Intergenerational IUCN-wide Logo (#1101)

Organized by the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability
Organized by Rebecca Koss, Catie Burlando, and Dominic Stucker, with input from Sudeep Jana, this event celebrated the new visual identify of youth engagement and intergenerational efforts within and beyond the IUCN. Dominic shared background on these efforts and showed a short video statement, at right, prepared by Ivan Onatra of Colombia, the designer of the winning logo. Dominic then unveiled several versions of the logo beside the IUCN and Commission logos. Melanie Zurba facilitated a perspectives session where audience members offered their reflections on the logo and Dominic invited all to the Action Planning workshop, below. Over the course of the Congress, more than 750 pins depicting the logo were distributed, the equivalent of 10% of Congress participants wearing them on their badges.

Marine Governance: Reflections on conservation, sea access rights and social and cultural resilience (#272)

Organized by CoopSoliDar R.L., CEESP, CEESP Youth Group, and ICSF
Se vincularán los temas de derechos de acceso a recursos naturales (pesqueros) y las fortalezas culturales y sociales de comunidades costeras como factores de resiliencia importantes para una conservación del mar que garantice la equidad, la seguridad alimentaria y la reducción de la pobreza en Centroamérica, México y el Caribe. Nuestra visión es que para conservar el mar, no hay que dejar de usarlo, y que sus beneficios deben de ser garantizados para las comunidades relacionadas con él y sus recursos. Más bien los esfuerzos de conservación marina deben ir dirigidos a lograr la concatenación de las fortalezas de las comunidades (su identidad, cultura, conocimientos, formas sociales de organización) con el uso responsable de los recursos desde una visión de equidad, derechos humanos y responsabilidad recíproca entre sociedades. La sesión será liderada por jóvenes (buscando una justa representación entre hombres y mujeres) representantes de comunidades de pesca artesanal de la región.

Great video of preparatory workshop held in Costa Rica (in Spanish with English subtitles):

Digital Empowerment for Rural Communities: A biodiversity conservation strategy (#258)

Organized by Eva Liliana Ardila Cortes
La conectividad en el sector rural y la construcción de redes intergeneracionales permiten superar los desafíos que impone el entorno digital, reconociendo diferentes oportunidades de interacción y construcción colaborativa del conocimiento. La educación ambiental apoyada en redes sociales y uso de TIC en el sector rural, hace posible compartir materiales educativos y experiencias de conservación, fomentando el diseño y producción de material didáctico y divulgativo empleando registros audiovisuales obtenidos in situ, acordes con las realidades de comunidades particulares.

Young Leaders for Green Action (#784)

Organized by DaeJayon
In order to secure the engagement of young people in global green initiatives, we need to provide them with tools for positive change. This conservation campus will form a unique combination of DAEJAYON and IISD´s considerable experience in Leadership Training for Green Campuses and Sustainable Development. It will be open to all participants at the congress who are under 30 and will promote sharing know-how, experiences and lessons learned.

Sustaining Livelihoods: the children and nature connection and launch of a report on wild flora for rural livelihoods (#1212)

Organized by CEC and WCPA
BGCI Report Launch: Wild flora for rural livelihoods. The report highlights the huge importance of wild plants for livelihoods in Brazil, China, Mexico and India and the opportunities for inclusion of resource species in ecological restoration and maintaining connectivity between protected areas.

Conservation Communication Camp: Come with Ideas , Leave with a Plan(#73)

Organized by the School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Australia
The training course will focus on the process of getting the conservation messages out to a wider audience. This interactive and participatory training course will develop the skills and knowledge needed to communicate effective conservation messages for a range of IUCN internal and external audiences.

Young people's role in forest conservation (#676)

Organized by
Reforestamos México, A.C.
Young people are living a new stage in history in which they must decide to transform their lifestyle into a sustainable one, creating conditions that will enable them to have better opportunities. Overall, young people do not have any decision power regarding the use of natural resources. However, they do have an entrepreneurial spirit that allows them to take part in the protection and conservation of forests. These actions have different levels of impact based on their knowledge, institutional support and other influential factors. How do we use their experiences as the basis for innovation?

Youth Engagement and Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability: Toward a Cross-Commission Action Plan (#746)

Organized by the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability
This lively and interactive workshop was organized by Catie Burlando, Dominic Stucker, and a host of partners and volunteers. After a welcome by Keith Wheeler and Grace Mwaura, Dominic Stucker, Verena Treber and Melanie Zurba offered short presentations on achievements and aspirations. Then, the 35 participants voted on strategic directions for Union-level working groups to engage youth and collaborate across generations for conservation outcomes. Among the participants were IUCN Presidential and Council candidates, former Councillors, representatives of Member Organizations, Staff from various Regional Offices and the Secretariat, and young people from across Commissions and National Committees of IUCN.

Break-out groups were formed around each strategic topic, with Elaine Hsiao, Bruno Monteferri, Eduardo Arenas Hernandez, Biozid Jessorey, Grace Mwaura, Hillary Masundire, and Melanie Zurba facilitating. A subsequent round of break-out groups on each of the 6 Commissions was then held. Each break-out group carefully considered the action ideas compiled from various sources, including a Commissions Chairs survey, a Commission members survey, Motion 008 recommendations, The Inheritor's workshop, the CEC Members Meeting, and other events at Congress. Specific projects were developed in depth and an initial Task Force Core Team was assembled to finalize and coordinate the implementation of the Action Plan.

Logo.pngThe Task Force and Next Steps
  • The Task Force, which grew out of Commission young professionals networks and was only a year old, surpassed 100 members from over 40 countries and all parts of the IUCN family, representing the first such network in the Union
  • A logo representing intergenerational partnership was launched at Congress, including the distribution of over 750 logo pins
  • A year-long consultation process was led by the Task Force to collect input for our 2013-2016 Action Plan, including published survey of all Commission Chairs on current and potential youth engagement and intergenerational partnership in their respective Commissions, and surveys of Commission young professionals networks
  • An interactive Action Planning workshop was facilitated by the Task Force to provide the basis for youth and intergenerational IUCN strategy for the next 4 years

Since the Congress, the Task Force has selected 5 Co-Conveners, two dozen members have volunteered to serve on the Core Team, and many more have signed up for strategic Working Groups. This team will guide the implementation of the Action Plan and Resolution 008. View the list of Co-Conveners, Core Team Members, and Working Group Members. If you would like to join one of the Working Groups, kindly send an email to Grace Mwaura at so that she can add you to the spreadsheet and put you in touch with the appropriate Working Group Convener.