On October 30,  2020, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in collaboration with the Friends of Nature (FON) collaborated yet again to host the second virtual China-Africa Youth Dialogue. This webinar sought to discuss ‘Sustainable Wildlife Trade and the Threats of the Natural Protected Areas’ in both regions that are rich in biodiversity hotspots. It attracted over 100 participants from across the globe who were eager to learn how best they can be part of building a better future.

Having successfully convened the first dialogue, this was a continuation of the great deliberations that focused on local level implementation with an additional overview of existing policies and conventions that they should follow and track to hold their leaders accountable and understand the obligations that will befall this upcoming generation of leaders.

In the recent past, global leaders have acknowledged the importance of conservation with numerous scientific reports explaining the linkages between nature and all sectors of development and economic growth. The wealth of knowledge disseminated throughout the webinar was applauded by the attendees with an array of panelists and speakers from Kenya, Zimbabwe, and China.

In his opening remarks, AWF Vice President, External Affairs Frederick Kwame emphasized that the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will steer the world back on the right course, and embracing a transformative change agenda is the key to enabling success in the next 10 years.  

“There are three broad ways in which we can drive the issue of sustainable development and illegal wildlife trade positively; a key focus on policies, practices, and a deliberate mindset shift. You need to challenge the beliefs that put humanity at risk and the attitudes of our leaders,” said Kwame.

The panelists discussed several topics ranging from the challenges faced in preventing illegal wildlife trade, the impact of the recent wildlife consumption ban in China, and the various roles youth can play at the landscape level pushing for sustainable trade in wildlife and effective protection of natural protected areas.

“We are facing significant challenges today and the best solution is better collaboration and solidarity. In the next few months, FON and AWF will continue organizing a series of online forums to help both Chinese and African youth interact better and learn from each other,” said Jinmei Liu, General Counsel, Friends of Nature in her closing remarks.