Date: September 2, 2016
HONOLULU, HAWAI’I – As part of the World Conservation Congress this week where thousands of conservation community leaders and activists are gathering to shape the next four years of global sustainable development, environmental and species protection, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a partnership with CoalitionWILD expanding the federal government’s commitment to preparing the next generation of young professionals interested in working in the field of conservation.
The purpose of this MOU is to formalize a relationship for coordination and collaboration between the Department of the Interior and CoalitionWILD to provide mentorship, advice, and expertise to young professionals working in the conservation field in communities around the world.
“Sharing the scientific knowledge and expertise of professionals throughout Interior with young leaders working in environmental careers reinforces our commitment to work together on a global scale toward shared goals for a healthier planet,” said Secretary Jewell. “This partnership is an example of how we can address the challenges ecosystems face around the world at this time of growth and climate change, actively engaging young people to carry this work forward. Today’s announcement helps leverage the strengths of both Interior and CoalitionWILD to share knowledge, empower young people, and develop stronger conservation strategies for the future.”
CoalitionWILD is a movement of up and coming leaders in the conservation movement. Launched at the 10th World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) in 2013, CoalitionWILD showcases innovative, on-the-ground projects, activities and events that focus attention on the power of young people to initiate change. CoalitionWILD galvanizes and connects the world’s young change-makers to tackle our planet’s greatest conservation and sustainability challenges. Entirely run by young people, CoalitionWILD works to elevate and drive forward innovative and inspiring projects by offering the connections, opportunities and tools to do so.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this collaboration, raising both the potential and the voices of young people around the world who are passionate about making a meaningful contribution to the planet. Creating a space that is built on trust and that allows for innovation and knowledge sharing across generations will build a foundation that ensures a new generation of environmental leaders are both inspired and equipped to continue to work towards a better future for all life,” said CoalitionWILD Director Crista Valentino. “The vast knowledge and skills held across generations is one of the most powerful assets we have. If we can foster a collective approach which recognizes intergenerational diversity through connection and inclusion, major issues can be dealt with in a more meaningful manner.”
Through this MOU, Interior will engage with CoalitionWILD in connecting professionals and experts working on conservation, restoration, and other environmental issues within Interior with young professionals participating in CoalitionWILD programs, both domestically and in other countries. Interior and CoalitionWILD will work together connecting young professionals in the conservation field with subject-matter experts at Interior to serve as mentors, advisors, and counselors in the development of strategic and effective conservation plans.
This is the latest step in the Administration’s effort to foster the next generation of outdoor stewards. For example, President’s Obama’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative offers free access to fourth graders and their families to America’s public lands and waters. A previous Secretary’s Order outlines actions to decrease barriers for disadvantaged and under-resourced youth to access America’s public lands and waters through expediting the permit process. One of the first Secretarial Orders Secretary Jewell issued, Order 3332, 3/24/14 entitled: Engaging the Next Generation, also encourages the involvement of young people to play, learn, serve, and work outside.