IPBES Youth Nature Futures

(Re)imagine Nature Futures

This project explored the impacts of environmental change in the lives of young people from across southern Africa and Brazil. Youth groups created art to express their visions of nature-futures where people and planet thrive together.


What is this about?

Over the last few years, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has published landmark assessments summarizing the state of the world’s ecosystems. Amidst worrying findings about the health of our life-supporting ecosystems, these assessments also suggest various ways of building better futures for people and planet. But what do these “nature futures” look like? We currently lack visions for nature futures inspired by the lives and perspectives of young people, particularly those from the Global South.


What did we do?

In 2021, the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, based at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, with support from the Norwegian Environment Agency, ran a set of online events for youth organizations and networks that operate in southern Africa. These events aimed to introduce the IPBES assessments to a variety of youth groups in the region, while providing space for young people to share their stories of environmental change. In addition, participants were led through “futuring” exercises to stimulate discussion about possible futures. Finally, a competition was launched to promote the creation of artworks that represent nature futures for southern Africa.

Find out more

More info

If you are interested to find out more about the IPBES assessments and their comprehensive findings about the state of the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity, please visit https://www.ipbes.net/

For more information on the research institute leading this initiative – the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) – please visit http://www0.sun.ac.za/cst/

Contact us

If you have questions, please contact us at YouthNatureFutures@gmail.com.

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of:

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