Youth and Young Professionals
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Key Concepts

Intergenerational cooperation is elemental in forwarding the possibility and power of protected places. New voices help to bring different perspectives to complicated issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, and inclusion in the outdoors. It is more important than ever to encourage and foster the passion that young people and fresh minds have for the land.

Karly Upshall, Knowledge Gatherer Alumni

The definition of Youth in a parks context varies among countries, organizations, and funding opportunities. To ensure the inclusions of a broader category of Youth, the terms Students and Young Professional will also be employed here. 

As Parks strive to diversify their workforce, youth, students, and young professionals will be integral in shaping the future of Parks and Protected Areas. It is crucial to sincerely connect this new generation of park leaders with the resources they need to explore their options, engage in meaningful opportunities, and connect to experienced mentors in their field. 

There are a range of resources available to support young professionals getting started in the parks and conservation sector, such as Project Learning Tree and Canada’s Green Job Program, EcoCanada, and the Federal Student Work Experience Program and Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program, and the Canada Service Corps. These programs can also help parks and protected areas agencies build capacity and benefit from the energy and creativity of youth.

We also encourage youth to connect with each another through the Canadian Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CC-IUCN) Young Professionals Network.

The following key resources have been curated to highlight important ideas related to this resource page topic.

Mapping the Work

Links for youth engagement within federal, provincial, or territorial parks and protected areas agencies.

Other research network resources related to this resource page topic. Add resources to the map using the pink button in the lower right corner.

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Champions and Innovators

CPPCL is grateful for a community of colleagues working in and helping build our understanding in this area of parks and protected areas leadership.

Send us a note if you want to be a champion or innovator. 

Parks and Protected Areas Researchers

  • Alexander Wray, Western University, @wrayaj

Parks and Protected Areas Practitioners