'Building the next generation of NATURE CONSERVATIONISTS'. To be a 'conservationist' doesn't just mean following a career as a field biologist or a campaigner. They believe that a passion for conservation can flow through anyone's life, whatever their day-job. They want to inspire today's young people to a long-term belief in the wonder of the natural world, which will shape their dreams and actions however their life turns out.
They are a group of young people taking action for the natural world. With 53% of UK species in decline and 52% of the general public unaware of the threats facing our wildlife, it is time they let their voices be heard.
HOW INSPIRATION CREATED A VISION
In 2012, young conservationist Hendrikus van Hensbergen took two of his colleagues to his old secondary school to talk to young people about their work. They survived the experience and caught a glimmer of what might be possible if they inspired all young people to take up their cause.
They decided to recruit all of their friends working in conservation to do the same; visit schools, talk about what they do and encourage involvement in local groups. With the steady decline in UK wildlife, a conservation movement that felt stale and a lack of diversity in the sector, they felt it was their responsibility. Action for Conservation was born with a vision that every young person in the UK is moved and empowered to protect the natural world.
HOW A VISION BECAME ACTION
Their Mission: To bring the magic of nature into young people's lives, inspiring a youth movement committed to conservation and to the earth.
The first step they took was to develop their programme of school workshops, building a structure and training young conservation professionals from around the world as workshop leaders. They agreed four values that would define their approach to creating the next generation of conservationists: Wonder, Hope, Action and Change.
Their workshop leaders create a sense of wonder and, through their stories of hope, foster ongoing engagement. They connect students with opportunities to take action. They can access materials, career mentoring and work experience and volunteering opportunities with their partner conservation organisations UK-wide. Students can enter their Challenge to win a place on their all-inclusive summer conservation camps, where they connect with nature, alongside peers from across the UK. Each cohort return as AFC Ambassadors, ready to drive change.