It is Conservation Optimism’s ethos and dedication to equipping, enabling and empowering conservationists from all backgrounds, that Youth for Wildlife Conservation (Y4WC) fully embraces. We are a network of early-career conservationists, aged 18-30 from across the global and spanning various professions. What connects us is a passion for our natural world and a commitment to protecting it.
For too long and for so many, the conservation field has been inaccessible. The desire for positive action is outweighed by the lack of support and constant bombardment of negative news, leaving individuals discouraged and frustrated. Youth, at the early stages of their careers, are the ones who have the most potential in life long careers for people and wildlife and seek to benefit the most from this support and empowerment yet have constantly been left out. We are too often pushed to the side, not supported, not included in the conservation decision making process, and our projects are left unfunded and unevaluated.
Y4WC looks to reverse this negative trend. It has been proven, time and time again, that when minorities are left out, decision are not made that yield maximum benefit. But, change is coming. 2016 was the first year the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) read a resolution and acknowledged that youth deserve to have a greater voice in the conservation process, and Y4WC are building on this daily. Y4WC exists to support early-career wildlife conservationists by empowering them to become catalysts for change, to be the future conservation leaders the world needs. We aim to bridge the gap between existing and future policy makers and grassroots conservationists so a new generation of doers and thinkers can contribute to effective policy and management of wildlife that translates to practical, grassroot conservation efforts on the ground.
We are run by youth, for youth, and here to promote youth.
Given the condition of our planet, progress can no longer happen at the current snail pace. In joining with Conservation Optimism and its partnership we hope to widen the, once unreachable, network of like-minded, positive and proactive individuals for younger conservationists to be inspired by and collaborate with. In a global community we can share our experiences and ideas, whilst gaining broader knowledge from the wisdom of those that have gone before us. Together we can utilize the power of a network to implement best conservation practices on all levels and create a more positive future for wildlife and people.