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Photo: Unsplash and Liam Maloney/norden.org

Creating a Nordic youth position paper

To facilitate and support youth from different countries and cultural backgrounds, and to build their understanding of biodiversity and of why biodiversity is important, a TOOLKIT and MANUAL were developed and translated into all Nordic languages, including Sámi.
The TOOLKIT for involving young people in setting new targets for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems provides up-to-date information on biodiversity, and on how the Convention on Biological Diversity works and is implemented. An overview of key issues and dilemmas to be discussed in relation to setting new biodiversity targets is also included in the TOOLKIT, along with a set of questions. The questions had been formulated in consultation with global and Nordic youth and helped to set the direction for youth consultation across the Nordic region. For further guidance on how to do this, a MANUAL for organising youth consultations was made available. 
The above materials were also made available at international level through a notification issued by the CBD secretariat to the parties, and a side event on climate and biodiversity during climate COP25 was organised for the purpose of presenting the TOOLKIT and MANUAL to youth within the climate community, with an invitation to join forces in the development of the Global Biodiversity Framework.
The organisation of youth consultations in the Nordic region was led by young people with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council. The financial support varied across the region. In the case of Finland and Sweden the governments provided financial support, while in Denmark the government provided financial support in cooperation with the 15th June Foundation. For the North Atlantic workshop, the Nordic Atlantic collaboration NORA provided financial support. The Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers provided financial support for the Nordic youth workshop in Stockholm. 

Youth deliberations

The young people from the Nordic countries (typically those who were members of the Nordic Youth Advisory Committee) initiated various youth deliberations at national and regional level. The objective of the workshops was to build understanding of biodiversity, facilitate discussions on the Global Biodiversity Framework, and support intergenerational dialogue with the participating ministers and MPs.
National workshops were held in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. A Nordic youth workshop on climate and biodiversity took place in Stockholm in parallel with UNFCCC COP25, and a Sámi youth workshop involving young Sámi people from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russian was held in Norway. A North Atlantic youth workshop involving young people from Iceland, Greenland, Northern Norway and the Faroe Islands took place in Iceland.
National and regional workshops took place with the participation of ministers and MPs, who took an active role in discussing, listening to, and exchanging views with the Nordic youth in the Global Biodiversity Framework.

Nordic biodiversity SURVEY

The Nordic Youth Advisory Committee developed a biodiversity SURVEY in five Nordic languages (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic).
This survey was largely distributed to Nordic and national youth organisations, networks, and movements, and via the social media to young people in general.
A major communication effort was launched to engage young people in the Nordic countries and get them to contribute to the Nordic Youth Position Paper. After a strong messaging campaign in five languages, created in cooperation with the Nordic Youth Advisory Committee, 2,200 young people responded to the biodiversity SURVEY.
The survey served as an important foundation for the Position Paper, in addition to the outcomes of the various national and regional youth workshops/conferences.

The Nordic Youth Position Paper

The outcomes of the various youth consultations and the biodiversity survey were analysed and synthesised into the Nordic Youth Position Paper, which contained 19 demands towards the Global Biodiversity Framework (Nordisk Ministerråd - Nord2021-038 (norden.org).
The Nordic Youth Position Paper was launched during a joint public event between young people, ministers, and MPs in 2021. This was followed by a presentation to the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, and was shared with Nordic environmental ministers and officials, as well as with the EU and its member states, and the Global Youth Biodiversity network.
The Position Paper served as the mandate for the Nordic youth delegation that participated in the final negotiations at CBD COP15 in Montreal in December 2022.