Around the globe, people are moving into cities at a faster rate than ever before. And cities are in a precarious position: Rapid growth has the potential to make them deeply unlivable places, at the mercy of floods, droughts and storms. The Nature Conservancy knows that demonstrating the power—and value—of nature can help cities manage the challenges they face. To that end, we are working with different stakeholders to innovate and incorporate natural solutions that can help cities become resilient, livable and truly flourishing places

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Engaging Urban Youth

Of the 60 percent of the world’s population projected to live in cities in the next 15 years, 60 percent of those city dwellers will be under the age of 18. Today, the millennial generation, born in the two decades after 1980, represents the largest generation of all time. These young people are growing up more urban, more ethnically and culturally diverse, and more disconnected from nature than any previous generation. In the US, the Nature Conservancy started Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) in New York City to build future generations of conservation leaders by better engaging the youth in our cities in understanding and appreciating nature.

In Hong Kong, with a goal of inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders, The Nature Conservancy launched an urban youth engagement program, created with education collaborator Seeds Training. More than 130 students from almost 40 secondary schools across the city participated in the inaugural Nature Works Hong Kong program. Students worked with volunteer advisors from the corporate and nonprofit worlds to create realistic plans to resolve environmental challenges in their communities.