Dan Bisaccio, MAT Director of Science Education, recently (July 4-8, 2009) Co-Directed an international symposium on biodiversity that was held outside of Ottawa, Canada. Current MAT biology candidates Lyuda Shemyakina (’10) and Gordon Fitch (’10) attended and facilitated several activities for the student participants. Overall, 60 students (Grades 6 to 12) and their chaperones gathered in Ottawa to celebrate Youth Initiatives in Biodiversity. The focus of the Second International Youth Symposium on Biodiversity was to:
• celebrate and share the work they are doing at home regarding local biodiversity efforts,
• experience Canadian biodiversity with a full scale Bio-Blitz (A Biological Survey with local scientists and naturalists),
• develop methods to implement the Global Youth’s Accord for Biodiversity (Quintana Roo, Mexico) that was created by nine (9) nations during the First Youth Symposium, organized by Dan Bisaccio, and
• foster youth engagement activities to enhance their understanding of global stewardship, and a shared sense of understanding and commitment to the global community through acting locally and thinking globally.
Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf has had a distinguished diplomatic career and assumed the United Nations position of Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity in January of 2006. Dr. Djoghlaf has played a key role in raising the profile of the United Nations Environmental Programme, worked on the well known and respected “Rio Summit” and was an advisory on environmental issues to the Prime Minister of Algeria.
“Young people have a central place as bearers of tomorrow’s solutions. Their engagement is essential if we are to reduce the loss of biodiversity and ensure the future of life on Earth.” —Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf