Youth Participation for Conservation @CMS COP13

India was the host for the largest ever negotiations ever in the history of the international Convention related to Migration. With 2,550 participants including 263 delegates representing nearly 90 countries, 50 representatives from United Nations agencies, 200 representatives of NGOs, and over 100 members of both national and international media it proved to be distinct.

No, it was not about human migrations due to national and international conflicts which no doubt had assumed the significant importance recently. The February 15-22, 2020 negotiations in Gandhinagar, State of Gujarat were, however, about wild migratory species.

In the side event, two emerging giants, India and China declared that they would work together at civil society level to save endangered species: The Great Bustard of China and The Great Indian Bustard of India, which was added to the list of strictest protection by the decision of COP 13.

The side event was organised by three NGOs. Two from China- China Biodiversity Green Development Foundation ( CBCGDF) and Operation Earth ( OE) and One from India- TERRE Policy Centre ( TERRE) . The event was moderated by Ian Redmond, internationally renowned conservationist who was renamed as CMS Ambassador.

Chinese representatives participated by the video conferencing because of the restrictions on travel due to New Corona Virus.

The event emphasized the importance of people's participation and bottom-up approach in nature conservation. Ms Cyan Wang International Coordinator of CBCGDF interacted with the audience to respond to questions from the delegates and Chen Liangzhong, founder and Chief Scientist of Operation Earth outlined the participation of youth in field research expedition. Youth volunteers who could not join due to travel restrictions had sent video messages on the occasion. They were determined that no barrier can stop them from undertaking conservation efforts.

Rajendra Shende, Chairman of TERRE stated, ' CMS implementation needs 3 Cs- Connectivity, Conservation and Cooperation. Three like-minded civil society members have come together to start real deal on conservation by learning from each other.' Prof Zhou Jinfeng of CBCGDF was more direct in his video message, " We need the change of the laws for the protection of wild animals that are the important links in the planet's ecosystem. In the face of the Coronavirus, the need to implement the policy change with international cooperation is urgent.". Chen Liangzhong, founder and Chief Scientist of Operation Earth in his video message stated that " The filed research Expedition of youth in the wilderness would help in better understanding of the wildlife and need for the protection of wild migratory species. Co-operation between India and China would help in learning from each other and preventing illegal trade in wild species".

Ian Redmond congratulated China and India for their bold cooperation in the conservation of migratory species. He also hailed the side event as the carbon emission mitigation event as China participated through video conferencing. A blessing in disguise. ' I would be pleased to facilitate the cooperation between India and China of saving the Great Bustards. " he added.

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