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Photos: iStock and Seppo Samuli/norden.org

Guiding principles for youth engagement

The initiative takes a holistic approach which addresses both capacity building and awareness raising among young people as well as decision-makers by facilitating political and intergenerational dialogue.
Many different groups of young people have been involved, including young people with an interest in biodiversity, or who are merely curious about it and wished to learn more, and who wished to get actively involved in activities and negotiations. This included both individuals and organised youth groups who represented an organisation or movement (e.g., the Danish Youth Council, Sámi Youth Council and Arctic Youth, the Green Student Movement, student organisations in general, youth-led NGOs and Extinction Rebellion, etc.), NGOs with youth programmes or networks, the Nordic Youth Council and the Nordic Committee for Children and Young People, UN youth delegates and global youth organised through the Global Youth Biodiversity Network.
Some young people represented a larger youth group and were given a mandate by their organisations to participate in the initiative, while others participated as individuals. The primary focus was on people aged 18-35 years.
Acknowledging that young people in general are engaged in many other matters in their lives and so often partake for shorter or longer periods, a key element of the initiative was to reach out to young people on a continuous basis over the course of three years.
An indispensable principle of the initiative was that it had to be a youth-led initiative based on a bottom-up approach, while obtaining support from the established system in terms of securing funding and access to ministers, MPs, and experts, and with a view to an exchange of knowledge and best practices with experienced officials.