Vote for the youth speakers submissions – Part 2

This article was written by a social reporter. It has not been edited by the Forum organisers or partners, and represents the opinion of the individual author only.

tea farming Vietnam

After YPARD (the Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development) launched an appeal for inspiring people to speak at our youth session at the Global Landscapes forum, we received 150 (one-hundred-fifty!) applications.

Here is the second batch of applications we received from all over the world.

To read each of the 15 following submissions, click on “Show submission” under each, and click on the star-rating! You can rate as many submissions you want.

The three most popular submissions will receive a “Prize from the Public” at the Global Landscapes Forum Youth Session.

Remember: in this post, we have 15 submissions. Please go through them, and don’t just only rate the first one. 🙂

16: Bringing together young food entrepreneurs (Eric Sannerud, USA)

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Speaker Biography:
Eric Sannerud graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota. He won the Forever St.Paul $1Million Competition and is building a Food Hub in Minnesota. His entrepreneurial energy and love of all things food have led him to start Mighty Axe Hops, Sunny Brothers farm and Twin Fin Aquaponics.
Eric is interested in empowering the next generation of leaders to advance dialogue around society’s greatest challenges past “us vs. them” dichotomies to solutions-focused action. Eric founded the Family Farm incubator to advance his passion for empowerment. He is a Udall Scholar and a Pave Prospect.

Speech Description:
Climate change, poverty, discrimination are common challenges to all humanity. It is obvious that our generation must solve these challenges. It won’t be easy. And we won’t do it alone. We can only solve these issues if we truly cooperate. This is not a new idea. Cooperation has always been a herald of success.
But, the stakes are higher now. We need new models to better leverage the power of cooperation. One such model is Community Consulting.
Exemplified by my Family Farm consultancy that brings together young food entrepreneurs from chefs to farmers to co-consult for shared success. Breaking the traditional high-cost mold of consulting, each member of the group helps the others to mutual benefit. I believe this model can and will work across natural resource sectors, across issues, to the benefit of all human kind.

17: Engaging the youth to the landscape sector of Ghana (Moses Nganwani Tia, Ghana)

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Moses Nganwani Tia is a 31 year old dynamic youth champion and a young Agricultural/Climate Change professional who is the founder and executive director of the Savannah Young Farmers Network (SYFN) in Ghana.

As an experienced youth champion and an inspiring International speaker on Youth in Agriculture in Africa, his contribution to the development of the landscape sector has been widely recognized by several International organizations such as: IFAD, FAO, USAID, ACDI-VOCA, CTA,, Green Peace, etc.

I have therefore served as a speaker at conferences by these organizations in: Rome Italy, Ithaca USA, Wageningen the Netherlands, Istanbul Turkey, Johannesburg South Africa, Nairobi Kenya, Dakar Senegal, Kigali Rwanda etc.

My speech will be centered on the success story of the Savannah Young Farmers Network in actively engaging the youth to the landscape sector of Ghana with innovative approaches; as contained in its flagship Smart Young Farmers Project which is focused on: actively engaging the youth in Agriculture with climate change adaptive farming systems, young farmer field schools, youth in Agribusiness, climate smart Agricultural extension services, etc.

My speech will therefore inspire many in working towards sustainable landscapes with the active involvement of the youth

18: Involving youth in fish farming and agriculture (Kaahwa Jean Rwamukaga, Uganda)

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Mr. Kaahwa Jean Rwamukaga is a 29 year old Ugandan who has made a difference in the entrepreneurship and agriculture sectors. He holds a Bachelors degree in Commerce and Certificates in Entrepreneurship. He is also an internationally certified Mentor.

He founded Shalom Fish Farm Limited an organization that has employed and trained several youth across Uganda in fish farming as to reduce poverty as well as improve food security of families and communities. His company initiated a program of undertaking a traceability study on Uganda’s farmed fish to ensure that Uganda’s farmers can access EU and North American markets. The organization also initiated in Uganda the advocacy for the introduction of Pangasius fish species, a better yielding farmed fish species which would improve farmer’s earnings.

He founded Youth in Agriculture Africa an NGO that facilitates youth to engage in agriculture not just as a means of sustenance but as a wealth creation avenue. The organization has several youth horticulture, apiculture, and livestock projects in Uganda. The joint youth investment approach of the organization has been adopted by partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia and is still expanding.

He also started an Organization called Silverfish Uganda Limited that employs and trains over 100 youth and women in Buliisa on the shores of Lake Albert in Silverfish drying and processing.
I believe he will make valuable contributions to the event based on his experience in the natural resource and agriculture sectors.

19: Teaching young people about effective agriculture (Arnest Sebbumba, Uganda)

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Arnest Sebbumba is a 25-year old Ugandan farmer, entrepreneur, and technologist. He has experience in entrepreneurship and financial management, and was a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Youth Entrepreneurship Facility.

He has put his entrepreneurial skills to work expanding his family farm and teaching young people about effective agriculture through the organization he founded, Countryside Youth Foundation. He is also a member of The MasterCard Foundation Youth Think Tank initiative

Arnest will be sharing on how the entrepreneurship training he received from Technoserve’s STRYDE(Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise) Program helped him change his mindset that today he sees the land as an expansive canvas and has managed to successfully establish a business in dairy farming, a banana plantation and growing vegetables. This has helped boost his family’s income and is using the enterprise as an inspiration to drive and lure his peers to farming as a business.

Through the adoption of technology, today he’s a proud owner of a female calf that is sired by a US registered pedigree sire. He has increased his enterprise’s milk production from eight (8) litres of milk per day to 14 litres per day in a year.

20: Green Initiative Zambia (Mwilah Chaloba, Zambia)

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My name is Mwilah Chaloba, aged 28 years old.

Our organisation “Green Initiative Zambia” is a nonprofit organization in Environment and Climate Change awareness, sustainable use of natural resource, Eco-tourism (sustainable tourism), health and education.

We have so many success stories that i Want to share with my fellow youths and peers, on how we successfully achieved what we achieved, how we approached our sponsors and convincing the communities to participate. Our latest achievement is our CEO receiving the ENERGY GLOBAL AWARD, which added more success in our history.

21: Saving a Lome sacred forest (Elom Kokou Bayita, Togo)

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Lomé, the capital of Togo has a sacred forest. This turned into a wild dump by residents and homeless. This position caught the attention of youth for its conservation. Youth from AJVSME (Association des Jeunes Volontaires au Service du Monde Environnemental – Association of Young Volunteers Service World Environmental)
have approached the residents of the community to raise awareness for the protection of the environment with other youth organizations (local partners).

After the awareness campaign of remediation actions between young people and the community have allowed us free definitively garbage from April 28 to May 31, 2013. The sacred forest is without trees, we organized a tree-planting campaign with the support of Ministry of Environment, and direction of water and forests from 05 to 30 June 2013. At the end of the campaign 302 seedlings are planted.

As successful actions in this activity, we have:
– 5O and 100 young people in the community are aware of the practice of hygiene, environmental protection and have reforested;
– 20 youth organizations are involved;
– 302 seedlings are replanted;
– 4 public institutions have supported the action and are involved.

22: Defining indicators for the sustainable use of biodiversity resources (Marie L.Longnecker, Canada)

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My research interests include biodiversity, sustainability and applied conservation in the face of global environmental change. I completed my BSc Honours at Queen’s University in Canada, studied abroad my junior year at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, completed my MSc at University College Dublin in Ireland and I’ll start my PhD at the University College London in September 2013.

Presentation Topic:
Defining indicators for the sustainable use of biodiversity resources

I am hoping to develop and then, potentially, to establish in the policy domain an indicator that shows the environmental ‘sustainability gap’ (SGAP) between current and sustainable uses of natural resources such as biodiversity.

Biodiversity is essential to human existence and prosperity as it provides countless ecosystem services. However, anthropogenic changes to the environment are putting increasing pressure on this essential natural function. By ensuring both the representation and persistence of biodiversity are preserved, however, the maintenance of fitness and the capacity for response to evolutionary change are also both preserved.

The evaluation of biodiversity targets depends on the use and development of accurate and robust indicators that can quantify changes in biodiversity over short time-spans and communicate this information to a policy audience. With adequate data and a model that incorporates multiple factors to accurately quantify biodiversity, it would be possible to assess the current state of biodiversity and derive a sustainability standard that defines the differences between present and sustainable use of biodiversity resources as well as the time it would take to reach a sustainable level.

23: Bamboo bikes (Amos Agyapong, Ghana)

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Amos is a veteran in the bamboo bike industry in Ghana trained by the world’s renowned bamboo bike builder. He is the Head of Programs and served as the Technical Advisor and Master Trainer of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative. His personal qualities include team building, project leadership, administration and accountability.

He has participated in a number of workshops and training including Strategic Planning for growth oriented companies, Human resource management and Book keeping for small sale enterprises. Apart from serving as the Technical Advisor she is also the Plantations Manager in charge of the organization’s bamboo plantation with a strong passion for community development and works with the communities and farmers in developing our bamboo plantation used for the production of bamboo bikes and frames and bamboo charcoal and briquettes.
hort Description of Talk:
His topic will center on Youth Entrepreneurship in Green and Inclusive Markets highlighting on a greener more inclusive world from the bottom up. The success story of the award winning Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative will be use as a case study in why and how the youth should be involved in managing natural resources and the green economy

24: Teaching communities on recycling, deforestation and environmental protection (Mmakgabo Confidance Mapotse, Republic of South Africa)

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Mmakgabo Confidance Mapotse was born in 1990 April 23 at Limpopo Province, Republic of South Africa. He is currently enrolled Bachelors of Science Degree in Biotechnology and Botany at University of Limpopo and a Founding Director of Thaata solar geyser installer, a company for selling and installing solar geysers and plumbing.

He has been involved at student and youth based organisations. In 2010 he saw the need to plough back at his community by co-founding a community youth-based organisation called Moletjie youth community centre (NPO) that at this stage we tutor learners mathematics, accounting and physical science and we are also on recycling of tins, bottles, plastic and papers and teaching the community about deforestation effects and plant protection, with this projects we were awarded 2013 National Young Community Sharpers.

So I am hereby applying for “Youth Champion”. With all the necessary experience and knowledge I obtained from my studies, business and organisations I am in. I assure that I can project good information to the audience more especially in terms of nature conservation, agriculture and forestry. What encouraged me to talk about those is the growing scarcity of food in most countries and thus forces malnutrition.

25: Replacing polythene bags with paper bags (Moses Bert Mabonga, Uganda)

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Moses currently runs Eco – Plus Services and a Research Support Services Agency in Kampala, is chapter leader of Navigators UG – affiliated to Navigators USA, a US based, non aligned Scouting Organization. He is also patron and founding member of COHESU, an independent local medical NGO here in Uganda with it’s own board of directors. Responsible for fund raising and partner development.

Uganda is a development success story by regional standards, with increasing economic growth and declining poverty. This ever increasing demand for consumer goods comes with the run away problem of polythene use in packaging of manufactured goods; both imported and produced locally for consumption in the country. Littering, flooding due to blockages of drainage channels by polythene and plastic materials is now an everyday occurrence not only in large cities but also in rural areas. 86.7 percent of Ugandans reside in rural areas and its not uncommon to find polythene bags and plastic bottles littering the countryside! This state of affairs is not helping the general declining climate conditions in the country.

Although the government of Uganda banned the importation, use and distribution of polythene bags of less than 30 microns, in 2007, parliament never passed a law implementing the ban.

Upon this background, My colleagues and I at Eco-plus Services ventured into the manufacture of paper bags as an alternative packaging solution to promote soil and environmental conservation as well as an income generation activity to support youths in Uganda. With urban youth unemployment currently standing at a staggering 80% in Uganda, our environmentally friendly products are not only saving the environment but are culturally acceptable, affordable and also providing critical jobs and supporting families. This enables us to involve local communities in protecting the environment, together.

26: Social media campaign on energy and nature for/by youth (Wiebke Herding, Netherlands)

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Once upon a time… a team of bold communications and design students were successful in competing for a place on a workshop, sponsored by IUCN CEC and Alcoa Foundation. Their challenge was to create and launch a compelling campaign about energy and nature. One month, these honest and respectful students took part in three webinars, where they met wise experts who answered their questions about the mysteries of energy and nature, and strategic communications.

One week, from 25-29 August 2013, they met in a place where cows and poets co-habit, to design their campaign and create more sustainable lifestyles. Once they had arrived, they realized that they already knew a lot about how to design a social media campaign that would engage communities, and focus on helping people to do things better. On 28 August, they launched the campaign “Better in the Dark” that enlightened more people than they could possibly have imagined.

In this talk, Wiebke Herding will share the story how the winners of the 2013 Powered by Nature Awards worked together to launch an ongoing social media campaign on energy and nature – from young people for young people. Wiebke is a marketing graduate based in Amsterdam and the project coordinator for Powered by Nature.

Links: Better in the dark
Links: Powered by Nature

27: Starting up an entrepreneurial agriculture project (Mudit Agarwal, India)

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My name is Mudit Agarwal (Age-25, Male) and I am a young MBA graduate from one of the premier B-Schools in India, ‘Indian Institute of Management, Shillong’.

After finishing my degree, I have ventured into a start-up by the name ‘We Agri’. The purpose of We Agri is to work towards increasing the productivity of agricultural sector by research and experiment.

I have chosen Liberia (West Africa) as the place of my first experiment with agriculture as this country has huge potential and very low current productivity. Due to heavy rainfall in the region, no vegetables are grown for almost 8 months, to resolve this problem, a very simple solution can be building Polyhouse using locally available inputs.

My project is in the initial stage and we will be sowing our first seeds by October 2013. By attending the conference I will be able to share my ideas and also discuss about the challenges faced by youth to take up such projects.

The subject of my talk will be to discuss the process of starting up of an entrepreneurial project in Agriculture space and why educated youth should choose this over comfortable jobs in MNCs.

28: Using GIS for a community based approach to conservation of natural resources (Stephen Kibet, Kenya)

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Young enthusiastic GIS professional with great passion in the applications of GIS and Remote sensing technology in conservation; focusing mainly on land use land cover changes and soil erosion.

Currently I am working with IFPRI-Harvest Choice team as a consultant; based at Nairobi, Kenya

Description of the talk:
Using GIS technology, I have been able to carry out GIS analysis using such models as (Revised Universal Soil loss Equation (RUSLE) and Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in two semi-arid regions in Kenya (Kerio Valley and Lake Baringo) where they experience massive land degradation.

My objective in carrying out these environmental analysis is to come up with a plan of action that can be implemented by local authorities and youth groups whom I am mobilizing so that as we adopt community based approach to conservation of natural resources. The inspiration was drawn by the fact that land degradation in the area has had a negative impact on agricultural production, which is the main livelihood for the communities living in these areas.

29: Use of video for environmental awareness (Sébastien Pins, Belgium)

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Talented young film maker and writer, Sébastien Pins, made his first documentary in 2010, at the age of 20 ‘La charte de la terre’ – awarded at the Festival Nature Namur in Belgium. He made another award-winning film ‘Symbiose’ on the symbiosis between men and bees in 2011.

Realizing the need for fiction films on nature, he produced “My Forest”- an enchanting and whimsical film of discovery through the eyes of a child. The film that won at the International Forests Short Film Festival. Ma Forét has been the official selection in over 20 Film Festival and has been screened from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia to Belgium, Turkey, Canada and Argentina.

Born in 1990 in Namur, Belgium, Sébastien has always been fascinated by the delicacy and mysteries of nature. He was attracted early to photography, capturing the connections between man and nature and receiving many prizes throughout Europe. At eight years, he wrote and directed his first theatre scene at 15.

Like Rembrandt he was inspire by the mysteries of light, and to paint the night sky he became a professional pyrotechnician at 20. “My goal in making the film was to touch as many people as possible by using the symbol of the child to convince people of the importance of forests,” said Sébastien. “If I can’t convince them by speaking to them, then I will try by making movies with strong messages,” he stated, adding that cinema can be a powerful way to influence people.

Link: Video “Ma Foret”

30: From charcoal burning to reforestation (Rowan Pybu, Zambia)

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Rowan is an award-winning Cape Town filmmaker and photographer. His company Makhulu (“Big”) opened in 2003 and is established as a leading South African production house for live events. His films ‘Amazing Grace’ won top prize at the International Forests Short Film Festival and Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. ‘Amazing Grace’ is an evocative story of the tenuous relationship between a charcoal burner and forests.

Rowan created content for global brands including Red Bull, Volkswagen and Adidas, directing and producing music videos for bands like Jeremy Loops and The Dirty Skirts. His collaboration with artist Faith47 created several acclaimed short films exhibited across Europe.

Rowan supports NGOs assisting impoverished communities across Africa, helping to raise their profiles, and is a founding member of Greenpop.

Creativity and originality are paramount. “New technologies are being developed all the time and I enjoy combining technological innovation with new ways of thinking. That is what enables me to tell stories in unconventional ways.”

Career highlights include filming the Volkswagen World Junior Masters, video travelogue for Africa Travel Co., street art projects in The Gambia, touring the USA with SA’s biggest band, and helping save Victoria Falls from rampant deforestation.

Link: Amazing Grace

All submissions are published “as is”. They might contain inaccuracies. The submitted proposals were only edited for basic formatting.
We encourage you to share these submissions on Twitter (use the #GLFCOP19 tag) and Facebook, and invite your friends and colleagues to vote too.

Check also all the other submissions, and cast your vote there too! Which entry really caught your attention? Tell us why, in a comment to this post!

Photo: Tea farming at the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI) experimental farm, Phu Tho, Vietnam (by Vanessa Meadu – CCAFS)

  • John

    Submission #30 really touched me. if we could reach out to all young people in the world and change their minds from short term thinking to longer term, that would really make a difference. No matter the UNFCCC and all political talks.. It will be the young people who will change the world. And it starts with the change each and everyone of us can and wants to make!

    Really touching video!

    • Thanks John, that video is indeed a great testimonial!

  • TYLER Himself

    I am very moved by the submission number 18 given the fact that the fisheries industry in Africa is shrinking by the day but for someone to get out of their way and take on research for such a vital cause that most of our poverty stricken communities have ignored is more than a blessing to the community,We need more people of that sort. I visited Uganda a year back and i was very disappointed by the effort that the government puts into fisheries but with young entrepreneurs taking on such stands,i think we will get to something great. I respect your effort,please keep up the good work,

    • Thanks Tyler!. Indeed, there is a great future for Ugandan fisheries… Quite a local and international market too. #18 is indeed a great entry!

    • John

      Indeed.. and not just in Uganda, but fisheries have a great future in many developing countries. Thinking of the combination of fish farms with water management (fish ponds = water reservoirs = irrigation). I also saw an example how shrimp farming could be integrated with rice paddies. (think it was in Bangladesh).

  • Jimmy Mumina

    Voted for submission 28, Our environment is the basic and yet very important component of the humanity. Integration of technology and the community is the most best way to conserve nature. The submission is very nice. Great entry

  • Jematia Kigen

    Congratulations to all who have made submissions. I second project no. 28 by Stephen, I live in one of the study areas (Baringo), I see my community members count losses in terms of arable land every time there are land slides. Using spatial technology to conserve the natural resource we have will be great in maintaining livelihoods. I am a youth in the area and will be happy to join in the team that will support adoption of the approach.

  • Franc O. Thule

    I read submission 18 BY Jean Rwamukaga with a lot to enthusiasm and interest.

    This gentleman, as observed in his biography is making a difference by strategically guiding and appreciating the youth labor force and engaging it into income generating activities through the agricultural projects he has initiated.

    I believe youth mentors like him can spear head the initiative and encourage the youth to embrace agribusiness; In so doing view agricultural practices as an open source avenue to curb poverty, unemployment and remain self sustaining in these hard economic times.

  • Madan Poudel

    I voted for 28. Indeed the used of modern technology help in environment protection and those technology has helped community in awareness about natural disaster which saves lives. Good luck !!1

  • Justus Diang’a

    Indeed GIS technology is a powerful tool, and community participation is an effective method in resource conservation. I respect submission 28