Transparency, transformative education, inclusion, transformative action: these are the imperative needs that youth (aged 35 and under) from 18 activist organizations are demanding from global governments in response to how the climate crisis is affecting their generations. The four demands were penned in an open letter released at the start of 2021, the year in which a new global framework for biodiversity conservation, which underpins planetary health, is set to be put in place this year by the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD).
The letter also serves as a preamble to a set of seven policy recommendations to combat biodiversity loss, the drafting process for which was also led by youth – putting their demand for inclusion into practice – in collaboration with a legion of environmental organizations and research institutes convened by the Global Landscapes Forum and Youth in Landscapes initiative (YIL). The recommendations were created to support the implementation of the new framework and ensure its equitability for all those whom its success or failure most directly affects.
In this GLF Live, produced in collaboration with YIL, two authors of the open letter discussed why they are making these demands now and the great potential for what could be achieved if they’re met.
Betty Osei Bonsu is the Project Coordinator for Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO). She is an environmental scientist by training and an author with an article published in Heliyon Elsevier Journal on renewable alternative energy. Additionally, she leads the Trees for Biodiversity campaign for GAYO and is recognized as a young environmental leader through her efforts in executing global leadership programs.
Ruth Hollands is from the U.S. and is a researcher for EmpoderaClima, a program within Care About Climate, an organization working toward climate justice. Ruth is passionate about human rights and women’s contributions in achieving a sustainable and healthy planet. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in International Relations. As a professional in the energy industry, Ruth believes more efforts must be made to promote sustainable practices for our environment and hopes youth movements worldwide encourage decision-makers to become more accountable in their actions on the climate crisis.