Invest in the Planet by Investing in the Youth
By Cidee Despi
The Need for Young Leaders in Conservation
The environmental challenges we face today are complex and multifaceted. From climate change to habitat destruction to plastic pollution, there’s no shortage of urgent issues that need to be addressed. And while there are certainly many experienced and knowledgeable conservationists working to address these challenges, there’s a real need for young leaders who can bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to the table.
Young people are often the most directly impacted by environmental issues. They’re the ones who will inherit a world that’s either sustainable or struggling to cope with the consequences of inaction. As such, they’re often the most motivated to take action and make a difference.
But it’s not just about passion and motivation. Young people also bring a unique set of skills and attributes to the table. They’re often tech-savvy and adept at social media and other forms of communication, which can be incredibly valuable in spreading awareness and mobilizing support for conservation efforts. They’re also often creative and innovative, unencumbered by the same old ways of doing things that may no longer be effective.
Investing in Young People for Conservation
Given the importance of young people in conservation efforts, it’s essential that we invest in them in meaningful ways. This can take many forms, but some of the most effective include:
- Education: One of the most important ways to invest in young people is through education. This can take many forms, from formal classroom education to informal workshops and training programs. By providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective conservationists, we can help them make a real difference in the world.
- Mentorship: Another powerful way to invest in young people is through mentorship. Experienced conservationists can serve as mentors to young people, providing guidance, advice, and support as they work to make a difference. This can be incredibly valuable for young people who are just starting out and may be unsure of how to best use their skills and passions to make an impact.
- Funding: Of course, funding is also a crucial component of investing in young people for conservation. Whether it’s supporting conservation organizations that work with young people or providing grants and scholarships to individual young conservationists, funding can help ensure that young people have the resources they need to be effective leaders.
The Role of CoalitionWILD
Through our programs and initiatives, CoalitionWILD is empowering young conservation leaders around the world, providing them with the skills, resources, and support they need to create positive change in their communities and beyond.
One of the key ways that CoalitionWILD supports young conservation leaders is through our EXCELerator program. This program provides support and resources to help young leaders develop and implement conservation projects in their communities. From grant writing to fundraising to community engagement, EXCELerator equips young leaders with the tools they need to make a difference.
But it’s not just about individual projects—CoalitionWILD is also working to build a global community of young conservation leaders. By connecting young leaders from around the world through the Global Mentorship Program, we hope to create a powerful network of change-makers who can learn from each other, share resources and ideas, and work together to create a more sustainable future.
CoalitionWILD also acts as an incubator for excellent EXCELerator projects that take into account a holistic approach to conservation. Through CoalitionWILD’s Conservation Collaboration Agreement, the project leaders receive support for grant writing, fundraising, and community engagement for their project. These projects will also serve as case studies for one-off webinars or part of the EXCELerator webinar series that can demonstrate best practices and experiential learnings from the on-the-ground projects.
Ready to invest in our planet? Donate to CoalitionWILD.org.