We’re looking for youth with a story to tell

Young people like Nga Ha bundle chayote for money to buy school books in Tan Lac District Vietnam as part of SADU project. Georgina Smith/CIAT
Young people like Nga Ha bundle chayote for money to buy school books in Tan Lac District, Vietnam. Georgina Smith/CIAT

Are you:

  • Involved in the natural resource sector (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, conservation, development, industry, climate change)?
  • 18-39 years old OR working with youth?
  • Someone with a success story related to youth involvement in the natural resource sector?
  • An engaging and inspiring speaker and leader?

If so, you are just the person we are looking for to speak at our event Youth: The future of Sustainable Landscapes to be held at the Global Landscapes Forum on 16 November, 2013 on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland.

Far from being a talkfest, the event will harness the energy, technological savvy-ness, competitive spirit and ideas of youth — both at the conference and online — to construct concrete, action-orientated pledges that youth can (and will) undertake to help achieve sustainable landscapes.

Why do we need an event targeted to youth?

Important global policy debates and decision making for landscapes sectors too often take place with very little involvement of young people. However, there is compelling evidence to show why young people should be more actively involved. An ageing population of actors in natural resource sector (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, conservation, development and industry) across the world are not being replenished by youth — these sectors are too often seen as an ‘employment of last resort’ as the work is perceived to be for rural, poor non-educated people who do not  have other employment options.

Ouedrago Alassan, 19 years old is a gold miner in Tamiougou, Burkina Faso. Ollivier Girard/ CIFOR
Ouedrago Alassan, 19 years old, is a gold miner in Tamiougou, Burkina Faso. Ollivier Girard/ CIFOR

Yet millions of youth remain unemployed and governments are not making significant, large-scale effective policies targeting young people working in landscapes. If young farmers, foresters and fishery managers do not replace the ageing producers, there is concern that sustainable future landscapes will be seriously compromised in the next 10-15 years. Conditions are increasingly challenging. There is less arable land, dwindling natural resources, a need for more rapidly evolving climate-adapted techniques, more market pressures, and there are fewer labor opportunities.

Agenda: See details here.

How can you apply?

We’re looking for two different sets of inspiring and energetic speakers:

  • Thought leaders in youth issues: Inspiring leaders who have changed the way youth are perceived in natural resource management sectors.
  • Youth champions: Have you successfully set up a project or business in the natural resources sector that shows how young people can make a difference? Share your success story with us.

With “natural resources”, we are looking to cover a wide range of topics: agriculture, forestry, fisheries, livestock, land/air/water management, nature conservation, climate change adaptation, sustainable environmental development and its related industries.

To apply, or if you know someone that who would be the perfect candidate, please send us a 200 word proposal including: the speaker name, a short biography, whether the speaker is a “thought leader” or “youth champion” and a description of the talk.

Please send applications to info@ypard.net before Wednesday October 2nd, 2013, highlighting in the email subject line whether you are applying for Thought leader GLFCOP19 or Success-Story GLFCOP19.

Potential speakers will be put forward to a selection committee and will be notified by October. We will try to cover the travel and accommodation costs for speakers who are unable to secure their own funds.

Get involved in the online discussions

We want this event to be shaped BY the participants FOR the participants. As the entire event will be webcast, there will be a chance for everyone to be involved in the event itself — whether you will be in Poland for the UN Climate Change conference or not. There’s a number of ways you can start sharing your stories and questions with us:

  • Post your suggestions as comments on this blog
  • Tweet using the conference hashtag #GLFCOP19 and follow @GlobalLF
  • Join the conversation on Facebook at Global Landscapes Forum
  • Let us know if you want to write blogs on youth topics and we’ll collate them on landscapes.org.

In the coming weeks, we will also be posting a number of blogs looking at the role of youth for a sustainable future on landscapes.org, so watch this space!

The organisers

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries.

YPARD is an international movement by young professionals for Young Professionals for Agricultural Research for Development. YPARD operates as a global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform and is meant to enable young professionals all over the world to express their ideas and realize their full potential towards a dynamic agricultural research for development.

For more information contact:

Michelle Kovacevic: m.kovacevic[at]cgiar[dot]org

Marina Cherbonnier: Marina.Cherbonnier[at]ypard[dot]net



  • Prince Wilondja

    I am in as promoter of a project on climate mitigation and adaptation in Eastern DRCongo, that involve congolese youth for the natural resources management.

  • Michelle Kovacevic

    Hi Prince, nice to meet you and please do apply to speak at the session – we are interested to hear your story. Thanks! Michelle

  • Brando Ramo

    I’m from Solomon Islands and i’m a youth development officer for a NGO that promotes renewable energy in my country and my role is mainly to educate rural population all about renewable energy on how it can benefit them economically and environmentally, and most importantly is all about the climate change issues facing our country as a small islands state with lots of low lying islands.

  • Adriana

    Hello! I´m from Argentina and I´m researcher on water resource management. We boarded the comprehensive use of water from environmental look, taking into account both the environment and the activities taking place (socio-economic and cultural). And one of the steps involved in our research is the community outreach through workshops and meetings of formal and informal education

  • Prince Wilondja

    Hey Michelle, i have already send my application. Regards. Prince

  • Ahmed Dubow

    Hello I am Ahmed from kenya,i am enviromentalist and conservationist,i am doing project in somalia and kenya,i would be happy to adress this young proffesional conference a bout the challenges rooted in a frica country,

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