Date: October 12, 2023
On September 6 and 7, 2023, a group of 18 young Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community leaders from RRI Coalition organizations met for the first time in Bogota, Colombia.
The youth leaders, who came from 10 Latin American countries, had one goal in common: to defend the ancestral lands and territorial rights of their peoples and communities for the sustainable management of these territories and the protection of their ecosystems.
These leaders also share a desire to strengthen links among themselves and with other youth networks in the region to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge around land rights processes, community-led conservation, and climate change adaptation.
After two days of candid dialogue, the participants created a joint Manifesto that expresses their mutual priorities with respect to rights-based conservation and sustainable land management processes that they have been part of in their communities. This Manifesto represents the youth representatives’ desire and commitment to continue developing their leadership skills and knowledge to be active agents of change in the defense of their peoples’ ancestral territories and the planet. The Manifesto will also serve as a guide for RRI’s global coalition, which is committed to incorporating youth leadership and engagement in its regional and global activities.