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About the

South African Youth Biodiversity Network


As a mega diverse country, South Africa occupies only 2% of the world’s land surface area and yet is home to 10% of the world’s plant species and 7% of the globally discovered reptile, bird and mammal species.  The oceans of South Africa are home to around 10,000 species, representing about 15% of the world’s marine species. In addition to having rich biodiversity, South Africa is also diverse culturally and linguistically, resulting in the cultural groups of South Africa being connected to nature in beautiful ways.

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GYBN chapters in Africa, and other key youth constituencies met to discuss the Zero draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Among the many outcomes of the meeting, was the African Youth Biodiversity Forum Declaration.

SAYBN was created on the 6th of September 2017 following the GYBN Africa capacity building workshop that was hosted in South Africa, Johannesburg on August 2017. It was founded by Simangele Msweli, Keletso Malepe, Hlompho Tenyane, Xolani Mabaso and Fulufhedzani Netshiungani, who had been following the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for several years and realized that there was no official platform for young people to learn about the Convention, its implementation, and how to participate in it. Consequently, they rectified the situation by founding the South African chapter of GYBN.

The chapter’s focus areas are:

  • Policy: Contributing the youth perspective in CBD meetings and other biodiversity-related meetings in South Africa

  • Education and awareness: Hosting events to convey the outcomes of CBD meetings and educate about the environment and biodiversity

  • Grassroot conservation projects: Planning and participating in grassroot projects that protect, conserve, or restore biodiversity

  • Opportunity sharing platform: Administrate a mailing list (and Facebook or Twitter) to share vacancies, internships, workshops, scholarships and other opportunities relevant to youth in conservation.  To join the mailing list and receive communication from us, you can follow this link

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