Chinese, African youth hold dialogue to promote biodiversity conservation
Chinese and African youth on Friday held a virtual dialogue forum to explore innovative ways to promote conservation of biodiversity amid growing threats linked to human behavior and climatic stresses.
The forum that was organized by the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Friends of Nature (FON), attracted 190 participants and discussed the holistic involvement of indigenous and local communities to revitalize the protection of natural habitats.
"In order for conservation efforts to be impactful, we all need to embrace traditional knowledge and understand the historical trends of landscapes and local traditions that contribute to a healthy ecosystem," said Jie Feng, director of Southwest Project from Shan Shui Conservation Centre.
The virtual dialogue forum between Chinese and African youth is part of an ongoing global conversation aimed at boosting the speedy implementation of the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.
Participants agreed that limited engagement with indigenous communities has undermined biodiversity conservation hence the need to reverse the trend as countries focus on nature-based solutions to boost the green agenda.
"Indigenous people see biodiversity as part of who they are and what they do in all aspects of their livelihood," said Daniel Kobei, executive director of Ogiek People's Development Program in Kenya.
Kobei urged governments and corporations to respect land and territorial rights of indigenous people in order to encourage them to conserve endangered species.
Adamu Adija, coordinator of African Indigenous Women's Organization-Southern Africa chapter said that conservation models that are grassroots-based have proved effective in reversing the loss of biodiversity.
"There has been a growing gap between high-level and local communities attributed to the ongoing top-down conservation model that has propelled biodiversity loss further," said Adija.
"We need to change tact and use a bottom-top approach to see high-impact results," she added.
Simangele Msweli, senior youth program manager at AWF said that robust dialogue between Chinese and African youth is key to revitalize the global biodiversity agenda. Enditem