Youth Think Tank Competition for EAA Flyway- 1st Training workshop

The first training workshop of Youth Think Tank competition for EAA Flyway —Understanding global agenda for environment and how youth are engaged was held on 6th and 7th November 2021. The training workshop is in line with the Think Tank Competition, aiming to build capacity on wetland and migratory waterbirds conservation for youth. The two-days workshop was held virtually, organized by EAAFP Secretariat and ayouth organizing team. Over 40 youth participants attended the workshops.

On Day 1, EAAFP kick-started with an open webinar with a topic of “Understanding global agenda for environment and how youth are engaged”. Before the keynote speeches, Vivian Fu, Communication Officer of EAAFP gave a brief introduction about Migratory waterbirds and EAAFP.  We were honored to invite two Keynote Speakers for the webinar session, Ms. Sara Castro-Hallgren, Economist of United Nations Resident Coordinator System and Ms. Josefa Cariño Tauli, Steering Committee of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network. After Mr. Doug Watkins, Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat giving a welcoming remark, Ms. Sara Castro-Hallgren delivered the presentation about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how it links with different aspects including social and biodiversity issues, and how youth can contribute to. The second keynote speaker, Ms. Josefa Cariño Tauli introduced the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and youth engagement in shaping the Post-2020 GBF. Through Q&A with the speakers, views and recommendations for youth engaging in decision making process and the implementation of SDGs and CBD. The speakers suggested young people to stay focused in their work and grab changes for involving in conservation work.

In the afternoon, the first session of the In-depth workshop was held with the focus on ‘Threats to migratory waterbirds and wetlands and impact to society” via Zoom. Dr. Ding Li Yong, Asia Advocacy and Policy Manager, BirdLife International Asia Division gave a talk about the situation of migratory waterbirds in EAA Flyway and threats to the birds and wetlands. Dr. Micha Jackson, Researcher from University of Adelaide further introduce the topic on impact habitat loss to migratory waterbirds, the importance of high-tide roosting site how it related to human activities. While Mr. Sayam Chowdhury, Assistant Coordinator of Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force shared his experience to tackle illegal hunting problems with local communities in Southeast Asia. After that the participants were divided into three breakout discussion groups to share their ideas and reflections to the presentations. The session was co-moderated by Ms. Yuji Lim from the Secretariat and Mr. Thura Soe Min Htike from Myanmar, from Youth Organizing Team.

Session 2 of the In-depth Workshop focused ‘Opportunities and solutions for wetland conservation and biodiversity in youth perspective’, with the help of Ms. Yunjoo Cho from EAAFP  and Mr. Orca Yu from WWF-Hong Kong of Youth Organizing Team co-moderated the session. In this session, four speakers shared their Youth-led activities and programmes by Mr. Mark Edison Raquino, Co-Coordinator of GYBN Southeast Asia; Ms. Jiyae Yim from Green Environment Youth of Korea (GEYK); Mr. Oscar Man and Mr. Jonathan Tse from WWF-HK One Planet youth Programme and Mr. Budiman Syahwan, General Director, Nusa Biodiversitas Indonesia. Then the participants were divided into breakout group to share thoughts on strengths, challenges, and opportunities for young people to engage in nature conservation.

The last session of the workshop was held on 7th November. The session began with ice-breaking moderated by Hyoin Kim, Communication Assistant of EAAFP Secretariat. Then Ms. Vivian Fu from EAAFP Secretariat gave a briefing of the Think Tank Competition. We invited Ms. Maaike Manten, Trainer of Conservation Leadership Programme, BirdLife International. Ms. Manten delivered the training on project design, proposal writing and pitching. Ms. Manten linked the training with the Think Tank Competition in a format of giving “10 tips”.  Ms. Manten made the workshop interactive by a jigsaw puzzle game to be solved by the breakout groups, as well as a Kahoot quiz at the end. All participants not only enjoyed the games but also could gain the skill and technique for project design, proposal writing, and pitching in a fun way.

Understanding global agenda for environment and how youth are engaged

The 1st Workshop of Youth Think Tank Competition for EAA Flyway- Day 1 In-depth workshop

The 1st Workshop of Youth Think Tank Competition for EAA Flyway- Day 2 In-depth workshop

From the questionnaire of the workshop, out of 14 participants who took part in the pre- and post-workshop surveys, all of them had an increase of Understanding on Global Agenda related to Biodiversity, as well as the threats to wetlands and migratory waterbirds (Fig.1). All of them are satisfied with the workshop, in which 50% of them marked the workshop was above their expectation.

Reflecting on the workshop, the participants rated the following three with the highest rate: 1) trainers and speakers of the workshop (4.79/5); 2) flow of the workshop (4.71/5); 3) topic and contents of the workshop (4.43/5). And these three issues covered in the workshop were indicated as the most valuable takeaways: 1) Proposal Writing, 2) Insights from panelists about migratory waterbirds and their threats, 3) Share activities of other youth.

The Youth Think Tank Competition for the EAA Flyway Organizing Team is thankful again to the speakers and trainers: Ms. Sara Castro-Hallgren, Ms. Josefa Cariño Tauli, Dr. Ding Li Yong, Dr. Micha Jackson, Mr. Sayam U. Chowdhury, Ms.Maaike Manten, Mark Edison Raquino, Jiyae Yim, Oscar Man, Jonathan Tse and Budiman Syahwan, as well the  Youth organizing team: Hyoin Kim, Yunjoo Choo, Oscar Yu, Thura Soe Min Htike, Frances Alvares, Jord Earving Gadingan and Yuji Lim. Check here to know more about the speakers and trainers.

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