UNESCO MAB Youth Forum started in Italy and will take place on 18-23 of September in Po Delta. The young specialists will discuss their part in nature protection. The participants represent not only biosphere reserves of the world, but also public and private organizations, social enterprises and local communities. Anna Strokan, Chief Environmental Educator, and Anastasia Barsukova, Coordinator of International Programs, came to take part in this event on behalf of the whole Commander Islands Nature and Biosphere Reserve.
The forum has an uncommon structure: there will be no symposiums, nor classic workshops. Even the presentations of the participants were cancelled in the last moment. The working process will be organized in a form of debates and discussions for everyone to take part and to express his or her opinion. Moreover, the participants had a chance to influence the choice of themes to discuss by using the online-platform of the forum, which was the place for everyone to get acquainted, to share our hopes and data even before the event.
The idea to create a Youth Forum was first expressed during the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Peru, as there was the necessity to help young people living and working on the protected territories to communicate their view of the best development strategy for MAB Program. The Youth Forum will result in signing the declaration and a possible action plan, as well as in choosing 6 Youth Forum ambassadors, which will present the documents on the 10th session of UNESCO Youth Forum (October 25-26, 2017).
During the opening ceremony Flavia Shlegel, UNESCO Deputy General Director for Natural Sciences, presented a very inspiring speech to encourage the young to make their contribution in nature protection. She said that only those, who dream, can achieve better results.