Youth Environmental Summit (YES) was held in May to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity. YES is a weeklong intensive scientific investigation run by Gobabeb Dessert Research Center, Namibia and was hosted this year at the Waterberg Plateau National Park. 11th grade students from all over Namibia applied for 30 sponsored positions to partake in this year’s youth environmental summit with this year’s theme, biodiversity for sustainable development.
The students were divided into three different fields of study; bush encroachment, rangeland, and tourism. The students from the bush encroachment group came to CCF for a day of data collection on one of CCF ‘s farms. At CCF the students took data from transects in an area that CCF thinned the bush 3 years ago for our Bushblock program and compared to an area that was fully bush encroached. Students identified grasses, trees, shrubs, animal spoor and scat in each transect. On the last day of the summit, students presented their results to their peers, scientists, and environmental educators at the Waterberg Plateau National Park. The bush encroachment group’s data showed different flora and fauna in a bush-thinned area vs. an encroached area.
CCF also participated and offered support on the final day of the summit, as students presented their scientific study results. CCF set up an exhibit at the event offering outreach education and information about CCF’s efforts to save the wild cheetah and Namibia’s local biodiversity.