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Mainstreaming Youth for sustainable forest and people’s futures: 15 youth cross-cutting focuses at the World Forestry Congress

A participant leads the discussion during a special youth session at Forests Asia Summit“Young People are being heard, but what do they have to say?”

While youth’s participation and involvement is significantly increasing at global development conferences, one would argue that youths’ messages still often need to be strengthened. Young people may sometimes struggle stepping back and expressing what their specific burdening issues and aspirations are.

We want to change that for young people at the World Forestry Congress by helping them reflect on and articulate their ideas better. We have pre-identified some youth perspectives related to the congress’ six sub-themes.

These are definitely NOT exhaustive; these are meant to stimulate reflections around the congress’ sub-themes through the lens of the youth and their needs in the sector. What are those key areas of focus, to boost youth’s active role for a sustainable future of forests and people?

We hope this will not only help young people to channel and frame their ideas but also lead senior professionals to think about the challenges and opportunities that being a young professional entails.

What are youths’ specific problems? What change is needed? How can they take an active role for the future of forests? What are their recommendations?

While following the World Forestry Congress’ discussions, you may want to think about:

  • The roles of youth in forest law enforcement at local levels
  • Involving youth in sustainable forest management – Why and How?
  • Youth’s role in managing forest-related conflicts
  • Traditional forest-related knowledge – to what extent are youth endowed with this form of knowledge?
  • Young generations’ perceptions of forests
  • Youth, art and forests: where does the connexion operates?
  • Youth in the future of REDD+, and beyond, to tackle climate change
  • Addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation: youth’s perspective
  • What synergies exist between forestry, agriculture, water and energy, to the youth?
  • Efforts of young people in increasing the range of products from sustainably managed forests
  • Communicating forestry to the younger generations
  • Adapting education and research to the millennium realities
  • Youth employment in the forestry sector
  • Youth and national forestry programs
  • Youths’ perceptions on the SDGs and their role to achieve them

Young people will have a crucial role at the World Forestry Congress, as discussants, panellists, speakers, facilitators, technical reporters, social reporters and finally, as a core stakeholder group.

There is no future for forests and people without the young generation to actively take part in shaping this future. How can this be concretely addressed? Let’s make sure the World Forestry Congress’ discussions bring some clear messages for young people to be supported and equipped as agents of change for sustainable futures.

Blogpost by Marina Cherbonnier (YPARD – Young Professionals for Agricultural Development), on behalf of WFC Youth program team 
Picture courtesy CIFOR

Read the original blog post on the World Forestry Congress' blog.

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Saturday, 13 April 2024

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