WildAct representative - Dr. Trang gave a speech at the World Wildlife Day Regional Youth Symposium held in Singapore

World Wildlife Day held on every 03rd March every year to celebrate biodiversity around the world and commemorates the first signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on 3 March 1973. The World Wildlife Day Regional Youth Symposium was conceived by the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore to put a spotlight on Southeast Asian biodiversity. The event was put together by youths under the NParks’ Youth Stewards for Nature programme, for over 300 youths from all across Southeast Asia who are passionate about biodiversity and wildlife conservation.

The World Wildlife Day 2024 Regional Youth Symposium held in Singapore on 24 and 25 February 2024. The two-day programme featured an exciting lineup of speakers, panel discussions, focused group activities, workshops and a new segment which will spotlight notable youth-initiated projects in Southeast Asia. As the global theme for WWD 2024, as announced by CITES, is “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation”, Dr. Trang Nguyen gave a speech in Track 2 – "Connecting People and Planet" – with her insightful sharings about sparked ideas for community engagement. 

One of the interesting case study Dr.Trang Nguyen shared about was building the Community Conservation Team. The H’mong people are an indigenous group in East and Southeast Asia and WildAct works closely with this ethnic minority group in Dak Lak Province, Vietnam to implement conservation on the ground. 

Some isolated populations that live in high biodiversity regions rely on the health of these ecosystems for their livelihoods. A Community Conservation Team was made up of H’Mong individuals from the local community who plan, manage, and carry out conservation initiatives in regions with threatened biodiversity. Capacity development and education outreach to teach these Community Conservation Teams would provide them with the information and skills needed to continue safeguarding these crucial ecosystems.

There was also other case studies about engaging and empowering community such as inspiring with Christian Community in Ninh Binh Province to protect migratory birds, providing young conservationist and conservation practitioners training courses, working with women in conservation, …

“She was really inspiring, especially to us young women in conservation.”, one of representatives from Isyo Hill’s Eco-tourism, Indonesia / Papua New Guinea expressed.

WildAct believe that as time goes on, people will become more aware of the value of conservation efforts. Especially as Dr. Sonja Luz - CEO of Mandai Nature speech in the opening season “Youth gives me hope for something we can do for wildlife!”, there will be more and more people in young generation pay attention to the issue and do something for it. In doing so, we extend an invitation to the community to join us on this extensive and significant journey.

In accordance with the theme, the aims of the symposium this year were to:

  • Anchor and grow the youth conservation network in Southeast Asia;

  • Connect the youths of Southeast Asia with mentors and role models in the wildlife conservation sector;

  • Raise international awareness of innovative practices for nature conservation in Southeast Asia;

  • Spotlight creative and novel use of digital solutions and technology for monitoring and protecting wildlife;

  • Encourage environmental stewardship, protecting nature for future generations.