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Interconnection: a youth response to rural-urban and international migration

Youth in Landscapes during GLF2016The youth in landscapes initiative organized its fourth annual program at the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (November 16th), held in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the sideline of the COP22.

The youth program’s specific objectives this year were to support a multidisciplinary and geographically diverse youth presence at the 2016 GLF, including a strong Northern Africa and Middle-East contribution. We particularly increased recognition about how youth are driving innovative ideas/projects/campaigns through showcasing their own stories, and we further helped transform and support youth ideas into concrete local projects. In addition, we fostered intergenerational understanding and new partnerships between youth delegates and senior delegates at the conference.

We believe in thorough processes and thats how this all happened:

Before the conference, we started by gathering the youth in landscapes initiative’s community of alumni who co-designed the youth session in less than 3 weeks.

In order to better prepare the youth for the conference, they also organized a series of webinars that helped to address these questions identified as important to young people in landscapes: Have you ever thought about the relation between youth and elders in environmental governance; interactions between youth in rural and urban areas; what intergenerational equity is; migration and sustainable development? The webinar aimed at building intergenerational understanding and capacity about these issues. These cover topics both about landscapes issues and about key soft skills. You can watch these webinar series anytime on the youth in landscapes webinars page.  

The youth was then actively present throughout the GLF conference. Not only did they get together through rich discussions during the youth “inter-generational and inter-regional” session but also they took an active role in the different sessions of the GLF:

This year’s youth session focused on migration from rural to urban areas, featuring three testimonials from Peru, Iran and India by people who have experienced migration or worked in the area of migration. Additionally, the session gave place to group discussions to sprint design solutions to the challenges presented by the storytellers. You can watch the replay on the youth session page.

Prior to the event, 10 young people had been selected to facilitate the GLF discussion forums (meet them on our blog). It’s another way we use for plugging young professionals in to key leadership positions throughout the Forum. The 10 facilitators attended a one day onsite facilitation training workshop the day before GLF to get prepared for this important role.

The mentoring program, set up two years ago, has also become a pillar of our initiative. Youth delegates partner with senior professionals from business, government, NGOs and research institutions, working across diverse fields. The mentors guide their young mentees throughout the conference, facilitate networking and the understanding of topics discussed. In turn, the mentees bring their perspectives, own knowledge, experiences and insights.

Finally, youth inputs were brought to the closing session of the GLF. Watch the Speech by Natalia Cisneros, this year’s representative of the Youth in Landscapes (+ transcript of the YIL speech).

We now have over 100 alumni across the world who are directly applying lessons from our programs. We are using digital participatory storytelling to capture these alumnis success stories and showcase them during the Global Landscapes Forum and beyond. You can see the map of Alumni’s stories here! More is coming as our community grows!

You can also read the blogposts by YPARD members who attended and social reported the GLF2016 event: Deepak Ghimire from Nepal: The 2016 Global landscapes Forum: an ocean for learning and networking, as well as Ouhri Abdelali from Morocco: My take home experiences from the Global Landscapes Forum 2016.

The evaluation report of the 2016YIL program will be published in early 2017.

Stay in touch; stay interconnected.

Picture credit: P. Valbuena