IFAW welcomes launch of new network Youth for Wildlife Conservation on World Wildlife Day

IFAW welcomes launch of new network Youth for Wildlife Conservation on World Wil
Friday, 3 March, 2017
Brussels, Belgium

Young conservationists from around the world today introduce a new global organization mobilizing the next generation of wildlife protection. Youth for Wildlife Conservation has as its mission to:

“Support early-career wildlife conservationists with innovative ideas, empowering them to become catalysts for change in their local communities”

This initiative, spearheaded by IFAW, aligns fully with the 2017 World Wildlife Day theme “Listen to the Young Voices” highlighting the critical role youth have to ensure long-term wildlife conservation.

Last September at the occasion of CITES COP 17, IFAW hosted the inaugural Youth Forum for People and Wildlife in South Africa. Thirty-four delegates, ages 18 to 25, participated to discuss conservation challenges and approaches. Inspired by their experience, the group decided to form a global network, Youth for Wildlife Conservation (Y4WC), which officially launches today.

“Today we are reminded to listen to young voices and harness their energy and creativity for lasting wildlife protection. I am proud of our next generation of conservation leaders especially those at Youth for Wildlife Conservation. They are bringing together their expertise in diverse fields such as research, genetics, law and animal rescue, united by their willingness to collaborate, learn from each other and take action in their local communities,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW President and CEO.

“We congratulate Y4WC and look forward to working with this group in Europe. Although the EU has made commitments to fight illegal wildlife trade in its Action Plan, we need all the help we can get to ensure that these promises are now implemented and funded. We need the young voices to carry the message that action is needed now to preserve our wildlife for future generations” stated Sonja Van Tichelen, European Regional Director

"As a global youth network we can see how important the European Union is in succeeding in our fight against the illegal wildlife trade. A key factor in this fight is to eliminate the ivory trade in Europe. It would help ensure that elephants and other wildlife can be enjoyed by current and future generations for decades to come."stated Mareen Esmeier, German Y4WC Steering Committee member



Related facts:

-          The Earth is experiencing the worst species die-off since dinosaurs went extinct

-          Individuals under 30 comprise more than 50 percent of the world’s population

-          Youth Forum delegates hailed from 25 countries and were chosen from a pool of more than 1,000

-          Interactive map detailing World Wildlife Day 2017 events around the world

-          The first UN World Wildlife Day was celebrated on March 3, 2014


Event hashtags include: #WWD2017, #ListenToYoungVoices, #DoOneThingToday, #Youth4Wildlife


About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

High resolution images available at www.ifawimages.com



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Sonja Van Tichelen, IFAW EU
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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy