From 18th to 25th September 2017, a lot of young souls, brains and voices were in Venice (Italy) in order to find out strategies to the best management of the Biosphere Reserves (BRs) in the planet. It was simply amazing to meet up people from around the world, youth from around the world
The UNESCO`s Man and Biosphere Programme created and offered a new opportunity the youth. The idea was to listen and respect the youth voice in a meeting – The 2017 MAB Youth Forum – committed to sustainable development. I was one of the lucky guys who was selected and fully funded by the UNESCO Programme to join the forum.
I was representing the “Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve”. My biosphere is considered the biggest one in the world, with a lot of animals and plants. It is a “hotspot”, in other words, a biome with strong pressure by human activities and, therefore, in danger of being totally explored and causing harm for the local fauna and flora.
During the meeting, in Venice, we had several intense group discussions through the SWOT analysis (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) under some key issues. For instance, how can youth cooperate with the BR’s conservation in a local, regional and international level? Which sort of partnerships can be set? I learnt about the culture from other regions and its inter-connection with the BRs of the planet.
I was able to connect what I learnt during the “2017 Kectil Conference for Developing Countries” held in Atlanta (USA) on August 2017. I realized that all BRs have leaders who are working hard to approach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations. I realized that leadership skill is, in fact, within everything. The potential leaders should be always trained and educated to act with respect, generosity, transparency and all other qualities of good ethical leaders.
In the end, after all the group discussions and decision-making, we established a “Declaration Statement” which will be shared and used in the local BRs, as well as in the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.
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