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Youth Across Sectors Fighting Deforestation

I was flying from Amsterdam Schipol to Rome Fiumicino while reading "The Holland Herald," a magazine provided by the airplane company I was flying with. One of the articles in the magazine drew my attention, about the insight of UNESCO World Heritage. In the article, there was mentioned several conditions where the "UNESCO World Heritage" status could be revoked from a site which has been granted with the "World Heritage" status. In fact, for a site to stay on the list, it must keep UNESCO's original requirements continuously.

Among the endangered list, the tropical rainforests in Sumatra, Indonesia made its way there. Massive deforestation and illegal clear-cutting by poachers slowly reducing the forests area in Sumatra. For sure, if we do not stop the deforestation, the tropical rainforest is no longer eligible to be called the "world heritage" since we, human, fail to protect it. That is also the reason why I flew to Rome, to attend the international conference on halting deforestation at FAO.

On the first day, I had a youth training "Youth across sectors to halt deforestation." Several notable speakers were there to share their thoughts on how youth can contribute in halting deforestation through the field they are capable of. It is not always in forestry, but those supporting the landscape, such as food, fisheries, environment, etc. are certainly responsible for maintaining forests globally.

How can youth make substantial changes?

The question triggered me to find out more on this session. Cora van Oosten, from Wageningen University, invited us, youth, to think landscape. To think that we do not live on our own in this world. If we would like to save the earth the way it is supposed to be, then we must make sense of a place. Make sure that every single living creature has a place in this ecosystem. And we should do it by collaborating with people across the sectors.

Jeffrey Campbell, the manager of Forest and Farm Facility from FAO mentioned that there is plenty to do to push the boundary forward, and youth have the opportunity to build a movement. He believed that youth nowadays are so well-connected, so we have a better chance to foster intergenerational movement.

I pretty much agree with it. The moment I got the opportunity to participate in this event and sharing thoughts with like-minded people has ignited my hope, that we can create a world that we want to live in. One of the workshops also taught me to think equally, where everyone deserves the proper portion of opportunity. I think it's just about the time that in the future, we would not meet to discuss over the same thing again but to be grateful that nature has been preserved because we have worked together across sectors to stop deforestation. Also, let's not make the tropical rainforest in Sumatra to lost its "UNESCO World Heritage" status by working hand-in-hand to halt deforestation.

 

Picture courtesy: IFSA

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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