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Photos: Unsplash and Iris Dager/norden.org

Building political support for the Nordic youth demands 

The initiative has a unique anchoring in the political negotiations on national, regional and global level. Engaging MPs and ministers in youth deliberations has been essential to all activities, such as workshops, debates, events, etc.
Several of the demands from the Nordic Youth Position Paper are reflected in the Nordic environmental ministers’ declaration ‘Finalising the Global Biodiversity Deal – the Nordic approach’, which was adopted six months prior to COP15.
Activities supporting youth in their engagement and influence on the negotiation processes were put in place.

Intergenerational dialogue during international meetings

Several side events were jointly organised by young people, the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers during the UNFCCC conference of parties (COP25, COP26, and COP27). The purpose was to engage with decision-makers and experts on the links between climate and biodiversity, as well as to invite young people from the climate community to collaborate with young people engaged in biodiversity matters.
During Stockholm+50 a round table with Baltic and Nordic youth and ministers was organized for the purpose of presenting the demands of the young people, addressing challenges relating to the climate and biodiversity crisis in the Nordic region. This event was part of another project targeting involvement of youth in the Stockholm +50 process where Nordic youth network created a youth position paper in the context of the Stockholm +50 conference. 

Debates on political commitment and just transition

Young people presented their demands towards the Global Biodiversity Framework to Nordic MPs, ministers and experts at the Nordic Democracy Festivals and in online debates. The latter had a specific focus on ‘Political commitment for a healthy planet’ and ‘Just transition on the path towards halting the loss of biodiversity’ and included representatives from the CBD secretariat and the chair of the GBF. These debates were open to the public at both regional and global level.

Youth participation in global negotiations

The Nordic youth delegation participated in Open-Ended Working Groups II, III, IV and V on the Global Biodiversity Framework, and as well as in the Convention’s twenty-fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and the third meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, and finally at CBD COP15 as observers to the Convention.
Eighteen young people from Nordic countries participated in the negotiations during COP15 in Montreal. Besides seeking to influence the negotiations, the young people served as ambassadors for Nordic youth involvement in the global youth network, attracting the attention of both the Nordic and international media.
During COP15, the Nordic youth, in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council, organised events for the purpose of facilitating dialogue between decision-makers and young people. These included an event on the Nordic Youth Position Paper and nature-based solutions, and an event on ‘Better Finance for Youth’ with Nordic MPs, Nordic and global youth, together with representatives from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Meetings between MPs, Nordic youth, the private sector, Nordic WWF and the Executive Secretary of the Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species were held. Meetings were also held with the Greenlandic, Finnish and Norwegian ministers of the environment, as well as with Swedish, Danish and Norwegian MPs, to discuss the negotiations and push for the demands of the Nordic Youth Position Paper, together with a larger position formulated in coalition with the entire Global Youth Biodiversity Network.
Together with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the Nordic youth engaged closely in the negotiations of the Global Biodiversity Framework during COP15. This included building alliances with likeminded observers and parties.
A physical infographic was set up in the premises of COP15, communicating the Nordic and global youth demands towards the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Communication and outreach

Communication has been key in raising awareness about biodiversity, increasing political commitment and reaching out to young people from different parts of the region. The communication activities were aimed at giving youth a platform from which they could engage with decision-makers, other young people, and the public in general, and express their concerns about the biodiversity crisis and their demands towards the Global Biodiversity Framework.
Communication efforts have built bridges between the youth environmental movement and Nordic politicians in the field of biodiversity, making the language of activism and politics more mutually comprehensible, and supporting young people in their efforts to anchor their demands in the Nordic Youth Position Paper, both politically and among wider circles of young people. The communication efforts also helped to give international visibility to the Nordic youth project, as well as to the Nordic political position prior to the negotiations.
The communication efforts were realised in videos, campaigns on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn and the Nordic official webpage (www.norden.org), various tools relating to knowledge, podcasts, debates, press outreach, op-eds, a survey, networking, advocacy, news stories and events.  An overview of the communication activities (articles, video, campaigns, etc.) is included in Annex 1.