We are pleased to welcome our new Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, Xiaoshang Deng. Xiao has been part of YPARD China since 2022, and his time with the network has been marked by significant engagements, impactful advocacy, and strategic initiatives.

Xiao has been an active member in the YPARD policy working group, and participated in several in-person advocacy and engagement activities as part of the network. Xiao was part of the YPARD delegation to COP28. He had a speaking engagement at a side event at the Food4Climate Pavilion, where he highlighted the essential link between climate action and sustainable food systems. He also represented YPARD at the World Food Forum in 2023, speaking on behalf of the organization at the GFAR and NARS exchange on the Global NARS Consortium (GNC). This platform allowed him to advocate for the crucial role of young professionals in agricultural research and innovation. His contributions to policy advocacy include drafting YPARD’s position paper, outlining strategic priorities and reinforcing the organization's commitment to influencing policy for sustainable agricultural development.

Within YPARD China, Xiao has participated in several events and has forged strategic partnerships in the region. He represented YPARD as a youth representative at the Global Youth Multicultural Forum, co-organized with China International Communications Group (CICG) and supported by FAO China and CAAS. Beyond his participation, he also assisted in organizing the event, ensuring its smooth and impactful execution. Xiao supported the organization of the Youth Hackathon, co-organized with CAAS, FAO, and the World Food Forum, harnessing the innovative potential of young minds to address pressing agricultural challenges. He also led an Urban Agriculture Workshop this year, which was co-organized with Good Food Fund, La Fresque de l'Alimentation, and Paris2050workshop in CN, facilitating discussions and activities aimed at promoting sustainable urban farming practices. Furthermore, Xiao played a key role in integrating YPARD into the Jingmai Mountain Project, led by the China Biodiversity Foundation and Green Development Foundation, amplifying YPARD’s impact and extending its engagement in onsite biodiversity and sustainable development projects.

Xiao's contributions to YPARD extend to fundraising and expanding connections. He successfully secured funding from the Climate Youth Community (formerly China Youth Climate Action Network) and Good Food Fund, supporting the implementation of YPARD’s events and enabling the organization to expand its reach. He also strengthened connections with other organizations, notably the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, broadening YPARD’s network and collaborative opportunities.

Looking ahead, Xiao's plans for enhancing YPARD’s presence and influence in the Asia and the Pacific region include reactivating inactive YPARD National Chapters and promoting the establishment of new ones, ensuring a vibrant and active network. He aims to enhance connections between National Chapters by coordinating events and initiatives to foster collaboration and increase YPARD’s regional influence. Expanding partnerships with key stakeholders in the AP region, such as FAO RAP ( Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific), is also a priority to leverage resources and expertise for greater impact. Additionally, Xiao is working to renew funding mechanisms with previous supporting organizations or sponsors while increasing channels for fundraising to sustain and grow YPARD’s activities.

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