2021-2022 Youth Ambassadors

Since 2014, CCIUCN and Youth Ambassadors have been working together to develop strategies to connect youth with nature, and to integrate the voice of youth in the work and gatherings of the CCIUCN. 

In March 2021, we welcomed 5 talented young Canadians to become the 2021-2022 CCIUCN Youth Ambassadors: Charlotte Banks, Olivia Leon, Pierre-Luc Brin, Rosa Ximena Tejada De la Cruz, and Sarah Obonsawin.

These brilliant Youth Ambassadors will have the opportunity in developing and facilitating many different projects, taking on leadership roles and representing Canadian Youths in international events (i.e. upcoming international events like IUCN Global Youth Summit and IMPAC5), and helping to establish the Young Canadian Professional Network for Conservation over their two-year term.

Charlotte Banks

Hello! My name is Charlotte and my love for our natural environment stems from growing up in North Vancouver where I was able to explore the forests, mountains and coastline every day. I have an undergraduate degree from Dalhousie in Political Science and International Development and a graduate diploma from Fleming College in Sustainable Waste Management! I have worked on projects including the Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy, Blue Economy Strategy, as well as various municipality programs focused on waste reduction and education. I recently participated in the Direct Action Ocean Bridge program which was instrumental in landing me a job with Parks Canada in their Marine Conservation team. My passion for marine and nature conservation work flourished when I went to Mexico on a scuba diving trip and participated in the citizen science project Coral Watch. I have a wanderlust and nomadic personality and enjoy snowboarding, hiking, camping, volleyball and scuba diving! The earth is our playground, and it is our job to protect it so it can continue to bring joy and happiness to everyone now and in the future!

Olivia Leon

Hi, I’m Olivia! I am a UOttawa alumni with an Honours Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Visual Arts and Environmental Studies. I currently work for Biodiversity Conservancy International, helping to restore the original state of the Pinhey Sand Dunes. I joined this program because I believe that conservation is important for the protection of wildlife and the ecosystems in which they live. By maintaining biodiversity, we are maintaining many aspects of life that create benefits for us humans and natural systems. I love nature and in my free time I enjoy being outside, camping, kayaking, hiking and rock climbing. 

Pierre-Luc Brin

My name is Pierre-Luc Brin, I’m from the province of Québec and I’m a biologist specializing in environment and conservation graduated from Université Laval. I am currently working as a project manager in voluntary conservation for the Ministère de l’Environnement et de Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) of the Gouvernement du Québec. I am passionate about outdoors, travel, ornithology and I have a great interest in the field of environmental conservation, especially in all that surrounds protected areas. 

I am grateful to have been chosen as one the 2021-2022 CCIUCN Youth Ambassador and I look forward to working to connect young Canadians to nature and to the CCIUCN. I especially hope to have the chance to meet young conservationists who care about the environment and to educate Canadians of all ages about environmental issues that are, in my opinion, more important than ever. I can’t wait to see what the CCIUCN Youth Ambassadors program has in store for me.

Rosa Ximena Tejada De la Cruz

My name is Rosa Ximena Tejada De la Cruz, but you can call me Rosa. I am currently living in Vaughan, Ontario, but I am originally from Lima, Peru. A place of delicious food and lots of alpacas. Something interesting about me is that I enjoy travelling, hiking, and learning new languages. I came to Canada in April last year, and I am currently studying a master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability at Western University. 

I am passionate about the environment because when I was a child, I travelled a lot to the jungle of Peru to visit my family. So I grew up listening to the river, to the rain and observing the beautiful birds and marvellous orchids that my grandmother used to cultivate in her backyard. I also love to connect with people from different cultures and learn from them. That is why I decided to do my undergraduate in geography and environment, and I spent years working in the Andean highlands conducting workshops about climate change, conservation, water and doing research about wetlands. 

What really inspires me is to protect our mother earth and the communities that live there!  I would love to continue doing my best to save our beautiful world.

Sarah Obonsawin

My name is Sarah Obonsawin. I am of mixed settler and Abenaki ancestry, and am located in Toronto, Ontario, the traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat and Mississaugas of the credit, and currently home to many Indigenous peoples. I work as the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Outward Bound Canada, a non-profit providing youth with life-changing adventures in nature. I am a recent graduate of Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce, focusing on marketing. I love chocolate, history and camping. Relatively new to conservation, I am looking forward to learning as much as possible from my peers and those with significantly more experience.

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