The new toolkit was launched by the Nordic Council and Nordic Council of Ministers during a meeting in Nairobi 28 August under the UN Biodiversity Convention. It was devised over the summer by environmental experts working in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and a reference group made up of young people from the Nordic Region.

Many young people find the global negotiations remote and complicated. We want to make the process accessible and give them real influence,’ said Gustaf Zachrisson, a young trainee who was involved in the reference group.

Building knowledge

Christian PripFNI Senior Policy Analyst Christian Prip is co-author on the toolkit and has worked closely together with Thor Hjarsen of WWF Denmark, Bjørn Bedsted of the Danish Technological Board, and Mette Gervin Damsgaard of the Nordic Council.

'It has been an inspiring process’, said Prip, who hopes that the end-result can help build knowledge and provide practical tools for young people to make their mark on complicated, international policy processes, such as the ongoing negotiations on a new UN deal on biodiversity. 'FNI has a long history of conducting research on biodiversity governance. So it makes good sense for us to help raise the awareness of the young generation about this important issue’, Prip adds.


The new global deal on biodiversity is scheduled to be adopted in October 2020, when delegates from 196 countries will convene in Kunming, China, for the Conference of the Parties of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Up until then, a series of ‘Nordic youth meetings’ will be organized, and Prip hopes the toolkit can prove useful in these meetings.

The toolkit contains a factual element featuring the latest research, including key messages from the latest IPBES report published this spring. It also raises issues for discussion and provides a ‘how-to’ manual, meant to help ‘newcomers’ engage and organise workshops and such. The entire toolkit is available here.

Next generation

It was the Nordic Council Sustainability Committee who initially came up with the idea of an initiative targeting the youth, and the idea was immediately supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment.

The young will inherit the Earth. Of course, they should have a say in how we treat and care for it,’ said Iceland's Minister of the Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment, in a press release.

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FNI hosts expert network on biodiversity

A 'Paris moment' for biodiversity: lessons for a new biodiversity regime