Chrysalis Youth Fund2023-09-18T05:39:43+00:00

Chrysalis Youth Fund

Supporting young leaders and youth groups to mobilise for the environment

Did you know that over half of the global population is under 30, and 87% of young people live in the ‘Global South’? But only a fraction of global philanthropy goes towards youth-led organisations working on environmental issues. More often than not, young people are absent from environmental decision-making processes and frameworks. And even where they do have a voice, they can struggle to access long-term financial support to ensure that their voice continues to be heard.

The Chrysalis Youth Fund wants to change this.

Two young women, Ayisha Siddiqa and Swetha Stotra Bashyam speaking on stage at the UN CBD COP 15 in Montreal, Canada, in 2022

Ayisha Siddiqa (left) and Swetha Stotra Bhashyam speaking at the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada. (GYBN)

We understand that the next generation holds within its ranks a treasure trove of transformative ideas and approaches. The Chrysalis Youth Fund  is a collaborative ‘pooled’ fund that aims to: listen to and facilitate participation of the voices of overlooked and under-represented young people in environmental decision-making, and; strengthen youth-led efforts to protect, advocate for, and restore nature.

Why support the Chrysalis Youth Fund?

The Chrysalis Youth Fund draws on Synchronicity Earth’s experience working with partners in communities across the ‘Global South’, but it is conceived and co-designed by young people: Félix Feider leads our Youth Working Group, bringing his extensive knowledge of the environmental youth movement in Europe and beyond. Swetha Stora Bhashyam, our Youth affiliate, has been instrumental in building a powerful youth movement for biodiversity for more than a decade.

As we further develop the Fund, we will give young people in our networks the opportunity to be part of a new Youth Committee, helping to steer our work and identify young people and youth groups who would benefit from our support.

Young people mobilising for the environment, especially in the Global South, frequently find themselves working on a shoestring budget, unable to access long-term, core funding needed to create a fully inclusive, supportive, and resilient environmental justice movement. Support for youth leaders and groups is too often short-term and tokenistic.

The Chrysalis Youth Fund recognises the value of flexible, long-term, and core funding to mobilise young leaders and help build and strengthen the youth environmental movement.

Challenges for the youth environmental movement:

  • There is not enough funding for youth action for the environment
  • The funding there is tends to be skewed largely towards climate
  • Young people in the Global South are often overlooked, underfunded and unheard
The Chrysalis Youth Fund supports young leaders and youth groups focused on biodiversity, climate, and cross-cutting environmental and social movements, giving priority support to young people from the Global South.

The Chrysalis Youth Fund  is a collaborative ‘pooled’ fund driven by a shared vision of supporting young people to act, inspire, and mobilise for a brighter future.

The pooled fund model builds on our successful Congo Basin and Amphibian Programme pooled funds which bring funders together to reduce the administrative burden on partners, promote collaboration and learning, and increase the level and quality of funding we are able to provide.

Who is the fund for?

The Chrysalis Youth Fund supports young leaders and youth groups to shape and implement policy, particularly ahead of and during international negotiations at global, regional, and local levels. For policy to be effective, implementation is key, so the Fund supports follow up, and engagement in monitoring and advocacy around international commitments and targets.

The Fund will also channel support to the wider youth environmental movement, helping to build capacity by, for example, providing long-term, core funding, and ensuring that young people have the tools, knowledge and security needed to implement their ideas and ambitions.

Speaking from the land

Taily Terena and Cerizi Francelino Fialho standing together outside the COP27 conference centre in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

Cerizi Francelino and Taily Terena are young Indigenous leaders from the Terena nation in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil. With the support of Synchronicity Earth, Cerizi and Taily were able to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh. They are part of the group Inamatí Xané, a Terena youth organisation, whose aim is to defend Mother Earth on the path of their ancestors.

Their presence at the conference helped to ensure the voice of the Terena nation was heard, and enabled them to have input into the international negotiations affecting them directly. Find out what Cerizi and Taily thought about their experience at COP27.

Intergenerational equity

Members of Global Youth Biodiversity Network gather together for a group photo at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15

The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada, in November 2022, saw the biggest ever youth delegation attend. Over 250 youth from more than 80 countries were there in person to ensure that all generations were present at the decision-making table. The Global Youth Biodiversity Network took an active role at COP15, organising a Youth March, a Youth Summit, and numerous side events.

One key success of the Conference was the inclusion of Intergenerational Equity as a guiding principle for the implementation of the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Read about two young delegates experience at the Conference.

Building a movement

Members of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network in conversation at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in Montreal

With generous support from three funders, Synchronicity Earth was able to provide USD 14,800 of seed funding for the Global Youth Biodiversity Network’s (GYBN) Youth into Action Fellowship, which provides support and remuneration to young people mobilising for biodiversity, generally on an unpaid or voluntary basis.

This funding provided support to 21 young people and their organisations across Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe, helping them to increase their advocacy efforts and mobilise in the run up to the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal (COP15).

Images (left to right): Katie Maehler; GYBN; UN Biodiversity, Flickr

“Even a week before the conference was due to start, we didn’t have a single cent in our bank account that we could use to bring young people to the conference. But we did have a small amount of flexible funding from Synchronicity Earth. If we hadn’t had these funds, we could never have organised all these activities at COP15.

These administrative challenges sound very mundane, but they are probably one of the main obstacles when it comes to supporting youth movements to create concrete change. In my view, the support we received from Synchronicity Earth makes them unique.”

Christian Schwarzer, Global Youth Biodiversity Network

A history of support for the overlooked and underfunded

Synchronicity Earth supports locally-led environmental conservation in some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth: the partners we work with and fund are mostly in the so-called ‘Global South’.

Our new Chrysalis Youth Fund builds on this experience, recognising that caring for our environment is an intergenerational challenge taken up by people of all ages, from children and young people through to the oldest members of a community. We have witnessed young people in communities brimming with innovative ideas, and thought carefully about what we can do to fund and support a new generation mobilising for the environment.

The Chrysalis Youth Fund has a strong focus on inclusivity and addressing unmet needs, seeking to fill gaps and serve as a catalyst to ignite the remarkable potential held by young leaders worldwide.

Initiatives conceived and led by young people play a central role in shaping positive outcomes for our planet and society. We invite like-minded funders to contribute to this fund and join forces to pave the way for a more just, sustainable, and equitable future.

To find out how you can get involved, contact Félix Feider:

Go to Top