Diverse Young People are Leaders in Restoring the Health of Our Oceans
Xi Marquez, Associate Director of Education & Outreach, TNC, Briana Walker, Donor Communication Officer, TNC WA, and Sandra Schumann, Director of Individual Giving, TNC WA
We’re in a decisive decade to address deep environmental and social inequities and mitigate the catastrophic and disproportionate impacts of climate change. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is aggressively pursuing a suite of solutions that match the urgency of the climate crisis. Knowing that today’s youth represent the future of the climate movement, our efforts include helping young people learn about climate change, supporting their leadership and voices as they work to make a difference in their communities and helping them find their place in tomorrow’s green economy.
With the support of the Bezos Family Foundation, we are engaging youth in two critical ways: 1) informing young people around the world through content, curriculum, videos and virtual field trips on Nature Lab, and 2) elevating and amplifying Indigenous voices in critical global conversations about the intersection of people and nature and the urgency of building a climate-resilient future.
TNC launched Nature Lab to share stories of the places and wildlife that TNC is working to protect and to center and elevate the people, cooperatives, Indigenous and local communities with whom we partner. The platform offers virtual field trips, videos, activities, curricula and family guides for elementary, middle and high school students and has a reach of over 2.5 million annually. TNC is creating two new Nature Lab virtual field trips that will uncover the untold stories of climate change’s impact on the world’s oceans and coastal communities and feature young leaders working to diversify ocean conservation and expand the influence of youth. Two organizations selected to receive funding for their mission-critical work and be featured in the virtual field trips include Minorities in Shark Sciences, which promotes diversity and inclusion in shark science and encourages women of color to push through barriers and contribute knowledge in marine science, and Big Blue & You, which inspires and educates youth about ocean conservation through arts, science and media.
Thanks to the Bezos Family Foundation, we have also continued to support community-led Indigenous youth programs across Canada. These programs have strengthened connections between youth and their territories, cultures and communities. They also support community resilience, strengthen land- and marine-based cultural practices and create opportunities for knowledge to be shared across generations.
With help from Students Rebuild and the young people involved, TNC will continue to advocate for the health of our oceans and elevate the voices of frontline communities and leaders as stewards of these lands and waters.