In an effort to involve young people in the decision-making process and present their experience in biodiversity conservation, young conservationists representing natural World Heritage sites are invited to an International Youth Forum from 16-29 October at Mt Fuji and Nagoya, Japan. Held in parallel to the Convention for Biological Diversity's 10th Conference of Parties (COP10) in Japan, the event is organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre along with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), Tsukuba University and the German Technical Corporation GTZ. The topic of the Youth Forum is "Our Treasures at Risk - World Heritage Sites in Times of Climate Change".

The International Youth Forum 2010 offers young participants the opportunity to exchange their views on and creatively engage with natural World Heritage sites as the emblematic and visible flagships of nature conservation, and the effects climate change has on these sites. This initiative carries on the achievements of the first Youth Forum Go4BioDiv held during COP9 in Bonn, Germany, in 2008, where the participants provided creative and critical inputs for delegates and the wider public. At COP10, they will present their messages in the form of a joint declaration and through side events, discussions with politicians and other stakeholders as well as colourful stage performances. Before the conference the participants, who represent sites as diverse as the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Sagarmatha (Nepal) or the Wadden Sea (Germany), submitted pictures, cartoons and video clips they made about their sites and interviews they conducted with park rangers or village elders. These contributions will be shown in an exhibition and published in a booklet distributed at the COP10. One participant from Nahanni National Park in Canada, Jenn Redvers, says, "I am very proud of the natural and cultural significance of this place and our practice of co-management with the Dehcho First Nations. Naha Dehé is one of the very sacred areas of the Dene people."

The concept of World Heritage and different management practices are just one of the many topics the group will discuss. Many participants encounter species loss and climate change at their sites first hand; the participants will share their experience and unite in their call for more action on the ground and effective biodiversity conservation worldwide. 

Website with profiles of participants:

For more information, please contact Nina Treu,