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AIPH and GYBN Partner to Launch Youth Award for the AIPH World Green City Awards 2024

A new Youth Award for the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards was proudly announced by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) on 6th December 2022 at the Youth Summit in Montréal ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

As world leaders gather in Montréal for COP 15, GYBN and partners organised and hosted a Youth Summit to drive momentum and build solidarity towards what will undoubtedly be a critical moment in the history of our planet. At this auspicious event, AIPH and GYBN are proud to have announced the launch of a new Youth Award which is set to be jointly brought to life as part of the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards.

Making the announcement at the Youth Summit on behalf of AIPH, Mr Anthony O’Neill, President of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), said: “The global youth constituency is central to our collective future. Building greener cities is core to the legacy we hope to leave behind for future generations.”

Mr. Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General of AIPH, said: “AIPH welcomes this partnership with the GYBN which will firmly unite youth aspirations with the inspiring action cities are taking to shape a greener, healthier, and more sustainable urban future. We are so pleased to be collaborating to ensure that the voice of young people is heard in the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards, and we look forward to strengthening our engagement with the youth to inspire a lasting legacy for future editions.”

This new Youth Award will be decided by a new Youth Jury, whose compilation will be led by GYBN, and who will select from the 18 finalists the top entry most likely to inspire the youth and fulfil their needs for a secure, healthy future. The Youth Award will be presented at the 2024 Awards ceremony alongside the Category Winners and is envisaged to be an integral part of each future edition going forward.

The Youth Summit, under the theme of “Driving transformation for our future with nature,“ brought together over 300 young people from around the world alongside Ministers, Mayors and other dignitaries. Taking place as a two-day side event of the COP from 5th-6th December 2022, it provided a global platform for the youth to organise, network, learn new skills, exchange knowledge, and share their hopes and ambitions for COP15 and the Post 2020 GBF. At COP 15 from 7-19 December 2022, leaders from around the world will negotiate and adopt the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)- a new global agenda to guide biodiversity action through 2030. The Youth Summit was made possible in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada and the Secretariat of the UN CBD, as well with the generous support of various donors.

The Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) is an international network of youth organizations and individuals from every global region who have united together with a common goal: preventing the loss of biodiversity and preserving Earth’s natural resources. Since 2010, GYBN has served as a platform where young people can participate and collaborate in the decision-making process. GYBN is officially recognized as the international coordination platform for youth participation in the CBD.

As the world’s champion for the power of plants, AIPH leads global thinking on the successful integration of plants and nature- the living green- into the built environment. The AIPH World Green City Awards recognise and celebrate bold and innovative action that harnesses the power of plants and nature to create liveable, inclusive, and resilient cities. The inaugural 2022 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards, which has recently been concluded, attracted entries from close to 60 top cities, and proved the immense success of this unique flagship initiative- the world’s first global awards where plants and nature are the core focus.

“The loss of nature is one of the greatest challenges of our time. How we act now to halt this loss will determine what future today’s youth will enjoy tomorrow. We are proud to be initiating the Youth Award with AIPH in demonstration of how the youth are critical to shaping the global movement for greener cities. It is, after all, these cities which the youth will inherit and continue to transform in the future,” said Swetha Stotra Bhashyam, Global South Focal Point, GYBN.

The AIPH World Green City Awards 2024 edition was recently launched at the 2022 Awards Ceremony , held as a gala dinner at the IUCN Leaders Forum in the Special Self-Governing Province of Jeju, Republic of Korea in October 2022.

AIPH and GYBN, and their growing network of partners invite all cities, large and small, to enter the 2024 edition of the AIPH World Green City Awards. In doing so, cities will demonstrate their ambitious commitments to nature by showcasing the action they are taking to protect, conserve, and restore the ecosystems which not only underpin our current livelihoods, but which are also essential in safeguarding a just, clean, and healthy environment within which the youth can live and thrive well into the future.

The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Thus, this timely announcement in the margins of COP15 is welcomed by both AIPH and GYBN. These organisations, both with global influence, are pleased to be collaborating to exhibit first-hand how city-led action for nature has the potential to inspire youth-led action, and vice versa. This partnership will stand as a leading example of the power of coming together to advance the global imperative to embrace nature-based solutions in the coming Post 2020 decade.

Timothy Blatch
Green City Consultant