The Wildlife Conservation Youth Forum was held on November 17 in Tswane between the Ministry of State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China and the Department of Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa.
Deputy Minister of State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China Mr Fengxue Chen spoke about enhancing the relationship between two countries from all angles and Wildlife Conservation was one way to do so.
He also pledged his support, on behalf of the Forestry Administration in China, to support illegal animal poaching.
Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms Barbara Thomson defined the youth forum as a unique opportunity for young people to exchange ideas on how conservation issues can be addressed by the youth of our two countries.
“Young people constitute a large part of the world’s population and young people will have to live longer with the consequences of current environmental decisions than will their elders. Future generations will also be affected by these decisions and the extent to which they have addressed concerns such as the depletion of resources and biodiversity loss”.
In March 2013, South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the People’s Republic of China on co-operation in the fields of Wetland and Desert Ecosystems and Wildlife Ecosystems and Wildlife Conservation. The main objective of this MoU is to enhance cooperation between our two countries in the above areas through a variety of means including:
- Exchanging information and literature in the fields of wetland, Desert Ecosystem and Wildlife Ecosystems and Wildlife Conservation;
- Exchanging visits for policy dialogue and project negotiation;
- Conducting exchange visits by researchers, experts and scholars, and jointly implementing research projects;
- Organizing technical training, seminars or study tours on subjects of mutual interest; and jointly carrying out publicity and public education activities.
Youth volunteers from China and South Africa shared their stories and experience of wildlife conservation and wildlife photographs by Chinese photographers.
The partnership hopes to equip the youth of both countries with knowledge and understanding of the local and international issues connected to environmental sustainability.