BONN, Germany (26 January 2021) – Youth-led international environmental organization Youth4Nature (Y4N) has just become the latest member of the Youth In Landscapes Initiative (YIL) steering committee, thus expanding both organizations’ networks while offering valuable opportunities for collaboration, mutual learning and growth.
YIL is the youth arm of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), which is made up of a movement of over 50,000 young people bringing positive change to the sustainability of their landscapes. Given Y4N’s focus on educating, empowering and mobilizing young people to lead on solutions to the ecological and climate crisis that are ambitious, backed by science and community, and grounded in justice, the two organizations share some obvious and important points of alignment.
The synergy became apparent in September and October of 2020, when Y4N collaborated with YIL to host the Nature-based Solutions session of the GLF’s Biodiversity: A Digital Journey online series. Following this experience, the two organizations began looking for further opportunities to collaborate on knowledge and capacity building for young people in nature, as well as advocacy for youth leadership in solutions to the biodiversity crisis.
As a YIL Steering Committee member, Y4N joins three other organizations that focus on intergenerational education, empowerment and action towards more sustainable, resilient landscapes: the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), and the Global Agroecology Alliance (GAEA).
“Y4N is an organization full of motivated and passionate young people and we are thrilled to have them joining YIL. They have strong expertise in communities and we are looking forward to learning from them and sharing the YIL messages to an even wider audience,” said Alina Lehikoinen, IFSA president. “Together with Y4N we can make YIL even better and stronger.”
A ‘young’ organization that is less than two years old, Y4N hopes to learn from YIL and its other Committee members, each of which have long-standing track records and diverse experiences from which to draw. For its part, Y4N brings a fresh perspective at the intersection of youth climate and biodiversity movements, which centers equity and justice.
“The three other youth networks that make up the Steering Committee have catalyzed demonstrated impact for the young people they represent, and for the world, for decades,” said Marina Melanidis, Y4N Steering Committee Representative, in a statement. “As a still young youth-led organization ourselves, the opportunity to join an established network represents a tremendous opportunity for meaningful collaboration and an even greater reach.”
As we stand on the cusp of one of the most important decades on Earth, these kinds of connections and alliances based on common concerns and values, will be particularly critical. “At Y4N we understand that landscapes, and the people who work on and with them, are at the heart of the biodiversity and climate crises,” said Melanidis. “This work has never been more important, and we know we’ll go much further when we work together.”