“Many small people, in small places, doing small things, can change the world”
– Eduardo Galeano.
By the ICCA Consortium Youth Group for Territories of Life.
On 15 May 2020, Youth for Territories of Life, the Youth Group of the ICCA Consortium, held its first global gathering online and in three languages! About thirty participants got together from Central, South East, and South Asia, from the Caucasus, from South, West, and North Africa, from Southern and Northern Europe, from Central, Amazonian, and South America. Despite the immense time zone span, there was enough excitement and energy to maintain the productive discussions for several hours.
The goals of the gathering were to (1) get the youth representatives of the ICCA Consortium membership to know each other, (2) define the direction that the Youth Group should take, and (3) translate these directions into concrete actions and prioritise them.
Sefa Tauli, and Lucas Quintupuray, co-chairs of the Youth Group, chaired the meeting, reminding the group that youth play a unique and important role in sustaining territories of life but face challenges as they are often marginalised in decision-making processes. They introduced the purpose the group, which is to ensure that young people are actively engaging in the work of the ICCA Consortium and that they are listened to. They also reminded participants of the Guidelines of the Youth Group that had just been established (accessible online).
Holly Jonas, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium, presented the main areas of the ICCA Consortium 2020 plans, and from there, participants brainstormed about their vision and more specific goals for the Youth Group as well ideas for activities that the Youth Group could carry out and lead. Maintaining and improving exchanges among youth emerged as a cornerstone of the Group. In this context, three main areas were highlighted: (1) the recruitment of even more youth among the ICCA Consortium membership; (2) communication, which includes both improving the internal interactions among the Group members and the capacity to communicate with the Consortium as a whole and other partners; and (3) capacity building, which includes intergenerational knowledge sharing and advocacy training, which could focus on topics such as engagement in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which will hold its forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) next year and where ICCA Consortium youth are already active.
With the group determined to move forward, Lucas Quintupuray closed the meeting with these words: “Together we must improve ourselves politically, in order to be able to defend ourselves better and maintain the traditional knowledge of our ancestors, on our land!”