How can global initiatives empower youth to spread their message and have greater representation in conservation and advocacy efforts? How can we, as young advocates, leaders, organizers, and global citizens,  ensure effective partnerships among different youth-led organizations? To answer these questions, we bring you…

Stronger Together: Youth Leadership and Collaboration for Powerful Conservation Impacts. 

If you are passionate about conservation and would like to join forces with other committed young leaders and advocates from around the world, then this event is for you. Our incredible panelists will be discussing factors critical to success, lessons learned along the way, and key ingredients for meaningful collaboration and conservation impact.

Thriving ecosystems and a balanced climate are vital to ensuring a resilient and just future for all of us. Yet climate change, deforestation, pollution, urbanization, and overconsumption threaten these critical systems which support all human and nonhuman life. Young and future generations will carry the burden of the depletion of resources we favor today – but they are also the ones fighting and innovating for our planet. It is their time to be heard! 

A visionary event by, for, and in support of youth environmental leadership

Rainforest Partnership and HIRED Consult have teamed up to bring you this online event, in support of the UN Youth Environment Assembly 2021.

On February 17, through a blend of presentations, panel discussions and Q+A sessions, the audience will learn how the world’s youth are championing conservation, climate justice, and sustainability by uniting their efforts and amplifying their voices in global environmental initiatives. Panelists representing youth leadership from initiatives such as Gen Z for the Trees, World Rainforest Day, Thriving Corals, and Amigos de Sian Ka’an will be sharing their work, wisdom, and necessary ingredients for effective coalition building and collaboration, and will explore these essential questions: 

  • How can our initiatives help global youth spread their message and have greater representation in conservation and climate advocacy? What works and what doesn’t?
  • How can we unlock the full potential of youth-led global initiatives? What would be needed to increase outreach and impact?
  • How can we ensure effective partnerships among different youth-led organizations?

All are welcome!

Meet our exciting and charismatic speakers:

Niyanta Spelman, CEO of Rainforest Partnership

Niyanta, founder and CEO of Rainforest Partnership, knew from an early age that she wanted her life’s work to focus on protecting tropical rainforests. A winding path took her from childhood in Tanzania and boarding school in India, to professional experiences in London and Austin. Niyanta now leads a dedicated team in Peru, Texas, and elsewhere in fulfilling RP’s mission to protect tropical rainforests. For young changemakers hoping to find a path into the world of conservation, Niyanta’s story is both inspiring and motivating. 


John Aggrey, CEO of Hired Consult

A versatile social entrepreneur, John has experience in the fields of business development, diplomacy, consultancy, communications, SDGs advocacy and project management. He is an African Young Leadership Fellow and Africa Changemaker Fellow 2018, UN World Environment Day Hero 2019 award recipient and a Climate Reality Leader 2020. When he’s not changing the world, John is tending to his backyard garden and acting as Chef for his family. 

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Nia Gorbunova, World Rainforest Day Coordinator

Nia is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, where she was involved in research on sustainable agriculture and alternative seed systems. At 23 years old, she’s lived in Tbilisi, Georgia; Moscow, Russia; Vermont, and Wisconsin, and has made a habit of exploring the interactions of communities with their landscapes, both urban and natural. As a World Rainforest Day co-organizer, she is able to focus on conservation while connecting with the movers and shakers protecting our planet. 

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Roshan Khan, Gen Z for the Trees Team Leader

Rosie is a 19-year-old junior at The University of Texas at Austin, quintuple-majoring in Plan II Honors, Government, Economics, Chinese, and International Relations and Global Studies. She has been with Rainforest Partnership as the leader of Gen Z for the Trees since June 2020. She also works as an undergraduate researcher in economics, and was a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar. She hopes to be both a public servant and a novelist, to turn her solarpunk vision of the world into reality. She loves traveling, practicing wushu, and plotting to make policy kinder to people and the planet. 

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Zuzanna Witek, Thriving Corals 

Zuzanna is a high school sophomore from Poland. She is passionate about the underwater world and using science + art connections in education. Her interest in interdisciplinary studies has led her to start a teen-led organization working to spread awareness about our connection to the oceans and increase ocean literacy levels, both locally and internationally. Thriving Corals has since then received an award in the 2020 Bowseat Ocean Awareness Competition and continues to grow as more teens, educators and scientists join to work on the different programs run by the project.

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Mireya Carrillo Garcia & Nori Velázquez Juárez, Amigos de Sian Ka’an

Mireya is a biologist and a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Rural Development. For over seven years, she has been implementing diverse conservation projects in Chiapas and Quintana Roo, Mexico. She works alongside communities to promote conservation action, environmental education, citizen science and birdwatching, with a constructivist approach. She has collaborated with Amigos de Sian Ka’an AC since 2017. 

Nori holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Coastal Management from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico). She has worked in diverse institutions related to the integral management of karst sinkholes and coastal ecosystems, community development, environmental education, community science, and sustainable tourism. She has also collaborated on conservation and restoration projects of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and coastal dunes. Today, she is a collaborator in the Water Conservation Program at Amigos de Sian Ka’an.

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