The Youth Engagement Thematic Group is concerned with developing links with young people on the subject of culture and wetlands.
The Youth Engagement Thematic Group focuses on situations where young people are (and can increasingly be) involved with Ramsar Sites and wetlands in general through activities such as initial inventory of cultural aspects, wetland management, education and public awareness campaigns, and participation in the development of sustainable tourism and other income-earning activities related to cultural aspects. The Youth Engagement Thematic Group aims to:
1. Collate youth engagement information (including case studies) relating to culture and wetlands.
2. Develop ‘lessons learned’ concerning youth engagement and wetlands, including suggestions on how these could be integrated into the improved implementation of the Convention.
3. Explore new and enhanced ways of engaging young people in the subject of culture and wetlands.
In consonance with the CEPA vision “People acting for the wise use of wetlands”, the Youth Engagement Thematic Group will contribute to the work of the CEPA program concentrating on youth-related actions in particularly in the area of “Education” and “Participation”.
Youth Engagement lead – Ms Elise Allély-Fermé
Elise Allély-Fermé was the Assistant to the Advisor for Europe at the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention from 2014 to 2016. During her time at the Secretariat, she was involved in the delivery of a series of educational outreach events, exploring ways to engage with young people on the subject of wetlands. While reviewing Ramsar Information Sheets across Europe and visiting Ramsar Sites, she came across a variety of cultural practices linked to the wise-use of wetlands, which sparked her interest in joining the Ramsar Culture Network and learning more about the cultural services provided by wetlands. She completed a short course on ecosystem services before heading off to her current position in the Natural Regional Park of the Cotentin and Bessin marshes (Normandy, France) working on the educational and outreach activities of the Parc, also partly a Ramsar Site.
Elise graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia where she delved into aspects related to water and sustainable development. During her last year at UEA, she created and led a new student society to support the work of WaterAid advocating for the human right to water by organizing a range of awareness raising campaigns and fundraising events across campus and in the city of Norwich (UK). She has also volunteered in a range of local community initiatives including a student-based wetland restoration program and a variety of outdoor environmental education programs for schoolchildren in the UK and with the WWF in Switzerland.
Having attended and participated in various international conferences on the issues of water, governance and wetlands as a junior professional, Elise values these opportunities for early-career individuals to engage in global discussions.