CPAWS-BC Young Leaders in Conservation Program (YLICP)

Green and blue gradient with white icon of a face. Blue text reads Young leaders in conservation

CPAWS-BC Young Leaders in Conservation Program (YLICP) #YLICP

Youth are the leaders for climate and for nature. They know the transformations that are needed within their communities and beyond to support resilience in nature now and forever. However, young people are often excluded from accessing the resources, skills and opportunities to shape these changes. Too many feel that their voices and concerns are not being fully represented in Canadian political discussions and decision-making spaces. (1, 2)

That’s why we’re backing youth – the conservation movement recognizes the need to change course and leverage the knowledge, expertise, and lived experiences from community members on the frontlines of the nature emergency, especially those who are oppressed and disadvantaged. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted youth and also fast tracked how movements and communities develop in digital spaces. The digital workshops in this program provide a time for participants to connect with like-minded, passionate people who care for nature and wish to make meaningful connections. This is a unique opportunity to network with people outside your “bubble,” get coaching for skills relating to conservation advocacy in BC and co-create ways of catalyzing change. We know that by bridging a network of like-minded peers, we’ll have a stronger impact, together.

About the program

The 2022 Young Leaders in Conservation Program (YLICP) provides youth with knowledge and skills to advocate for conservation issues in BC, key topics include: 

  • Advocacy and lobbying skills
  • History of conservation in BC
  • Indigenous-led conservation and Knowledge
  • Government, community and media relations
  • Strategic campaign planning and management
  • Radical self-care in the environmental movement

Participants design and deliver relevant projects for their local communities, weaving together Indigenous and Western Ways of Knowing. Coached by experts from across the province, participants will join a network of advocates calling for the protection of 30% of BC’s lands and waters by 2030. 

Program structure

Delivered over four months, the YLICP consists of the following:

  • Webinar Workshops: ~Six virtual webinar workshops over three months taking place on weekday evenings
  • In-person Summit: A multi-day, in-person summit on the Traditional lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations (Victoria, BC) 
  • Local Project: A local community initiative in the summer, which participants lead with CPAWS-BC staff support (seed funding provided).

The in-person Summit will consist of a Lobby Day with the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, where participants will get training and the opportunity to speak with government officials about conservation. Accommodation, travel expenses, and meals are provided at no financial cost to participate. 


  • Make meaningful connections with like-minded youth who care deeply about stewarding BC’s beautiful natural spaces 
  • Gain skills and knowledge to understand and advocate for conservation issues in BC 
  • Receive training and engage with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and other government officials about conservation 
  • Receive seed funding and support to lead a conservation initiative in your local community 
  • Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program

Who should apply? 

YLICP seeks young leaders—ages 18-30, who permanently reside in BC and are connected to environmental issues. Our goal is to bring a diverse group of young folks together to build meaningful connections and provide skills training. CPAWS-BC believes that Indigenous, Black, and Racialized people of the Global Majority, people from working class backgrounds, women, people with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities must be centred in conservation. As such, we strongly encourage people with these identities or who are members of other oppressed communities to apply. This program has room for up to 25 participants.

*Applicants must be a resident of BC and be between the ages of 18-30 when applying*

How to apply

Applications are now closed. Subscribe to stay in touch for future program opportunities, events and more. 

Photos by Adam Combs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)