12 May 2023 — APN was represented at the sixth meeting of the IPBES capacity-building forum held in Nairobi, Kenya on 12 May 2023. The forum was hosted by the National Museums of Kenya and was attended by over 100 participants from around the world.
The Forum started with welcome remarks by: Dr Vinod Mathur, Vice-Chair of the IPBES Bureau and former chairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India; Dr Dorothy Nyingi, Member of the IPBES Capacity Building Task Force and Head of Ichthyology, National Museums of Kenya; and Dr Esther N. Kioko, Head of Zoology, National Museums of Kenya.
This was followed by an interactive Mentimeter poll led by Dr Ingunn Storrø, Head of the IPBES Technical Support Unit on Capacity Building. The interactive session provided participants with an opportunity to get to know each other and set the stage for a highly interactive programme throughout the day. Participants were exposed to the Nature Futures Framework (NFF): a tool to support the development of scenarios and models of desirable futures for people and nature.
After the ice-breaking session, Dr Mathur provided an introduction to IPBES, its capacity building programme, and the history of the IPBES capacity building forum, emphasising “capacity development of youth” as the unique theme for this gathering. He also introduced the activities and opportunities under the capacity building programme, including the fellowships, training and familiarisation, science-policy dialogues with governments and stakeholders, as well as supporting the uptake of IPBES assessments, among others.
A panel discussion was facilitated by Ms. Diem Hong Tran, IPBES Technical Support Unit on Capacity Building. Selected youth leaders from various countries were invited to share their thoughts on the question “How can organizations help develop capacities of youth.” Panellists referred to science communication, interdisciplinary collaboration and participation in decision-making processes, among others, as important considerations for engaging youth and developing their capacities to participate in and benefit from international biodiversity related processes.
Following the panel discussion, Word Cafe, an exhibition-styled session, was organised where invited international networks shared their work related to capacity building of youth, especially in the biodiversity conservation sector. The organisations include, among others, Capacity Development for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (CABES), Open-Ended Network of IPBES Stakeholders (ONET), Yount Ecosystem Services Specialists (YESS), and National Museums of Kenya – Nature Youth Groups, which undertakes awareness raising work related to nature conservation.
Subsequently, breakout sessions were organised for participants to share their understanding about the three ongoing IPBES assessments, i.e. the nexus assessment, the transformative change assessment, and the invasive alien species assessment. Facilitated by IPBES fellows who are authors of these assessment reports, the sessions have promoted shared learning in a highly interactive way.
Through the forum, participants gained insights and shared their understanding, contributing to the development of capacities for youth in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The forum also showcased the commitment of relevant organizations, including APN, to support the next generation in participating and benefiting from international biodiversity-related processes.