EVENT – Youth come together to save natural world
On 5 and 6 September 200 young people will come together in Cambridge for the UK’s first ever youth conservation conference. The event, A Vision for Nature, is being run by the youth conservation organisation A Focus on Nature, and is being supported by Conservation Careers.
Lucy McRobert, Creative Director of A Focus on Nature, said “Our generation is being handed down a natural world under severe pressure from threats like climate change, intensive agriculture and invasive species. Enigmatic British birds like the hen harrier and cuckoo are on the brink of extinction in our country. We’re a group of 20 year olds, at the start of our conservation careers, who won’t let things carry on as they are.
“For the first time young people will come together to say that we want a thriving, healthy natural world to inherit and that if political and business leaders won’t help us then they need to stand aside and let us lead.
“Last year a range of wildlife NGOs launched the State of Nature report, examining the current situation for the UK’s wildlife, good and bad, and looking at changes over recent decades. A Focus on Nature has always focussed on the under-30s, those who will inherit the natural world that grows from today’s decisions. So this event, A Vision for Nature, is about looking forward and asking the question, ‘what do today’s young people want the natural world in 2050 to look like, and how do we get there?’
“After the conference, we’ll be writing and launching a report, also called A Vision for Nature, laying out a roadmap – our vision for the UK’s wildlife from now to 2050.
“But this won’t be any ordinary report: A Focus on Nature has always had a creative edge, filled with young photographers, filmmakers and artists. We’ll be pooling our creative talent to depict our vision.”
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham said “the world young people will inherit to govern will be a poorer place biologically than the one that I grew into. I’m sorry. To succeed, to undo the wrongs, they’ll need the courage to clean out the dead wood and take on the mighty and the greedy and the ignorant. Just get on with it, else I’ll be turning in my grave.”
Tony Juniper, environmentalist, former Director at Friends of the Earth and a speaker at the conference, said “the natural world that we all depend upon is under mounting pressure and the job of fixing it is going to take time. That is why I am so encouraged and excited by this conference. We must do everything possible to build the skills, confidence and impact of the next generation of nature’s champions and this will be an important opportunity to contribute to that.”
Dr Nick Askew, founder of Conservation Careers, said “we believe in a world in which people and wildlife can both thrive and live in harmony together. This event will be a landmark moment in empowering a generation of conservations keen to take on the challenge of saving wildlife, and building a sustainable future for all.”
To find out more or buy a ticket to the event, visit http://www.afocusonnature.org/conference.