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From aspiration to action: Working across sectors to halt deforestation

As a youth delegate, I got an opportunity to represent YPARD Moldova and YPARD Europe at the youth uniting sectors to halt deforestation capacity development workshop and conference. 

The conference was organized by IFSA - International Forestry Students' Association, Global Landscapes Forum, Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), hosted at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy.
I’ve learnt many things and I’ve refreshed my knowledge, gathered during my studies at the university and contributed ideas to tackle deforestation. 

Every young professional engaged in agricultural development know that sustainable value chain is nowadays a very important topic to discuss. The delegates worked together on short-courses with other young experts, about sustainable commodities and value chains. 

During the session, many experts contributed their voices and learnings from their experiences. It was interesting to know, that we could connect many sectors in just a few days and had a meaningful discussion. 

Stephen Donofrio, the Senior Advisor of Forest Trends shared his experience so far and stated that companies are essential to change the situation regarding deforestation, especially those companies that produce palm oil, cocoa and rubber. He added: “Conversation between subjects is essential between big companies and other actors. Small-medium companies are challenged nowadays and the link between commitments is happening around the world”. 

It is important to mention, that Stephen Donoforio as other speakers highlighted the essence of transparency. He said: “Transparency is shifted and companies are more willing to listen to information, which brings better results and collaboration” 

Toshimasa Masuyama, the Deputy Director of International Forestry Cooperation Office and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan came out with Results of International Symposium on Deforestation in Tokyo. One of his key points was that private sector should first disclose information concerning the implementation status and settle sound procurement policies. 

Also, it is important to establish private and public partnerships, to increase consumers’ awareness and to raise attention on forest degradation. 

The session was enriched with contributions from other participants; NGOs (Civil society), Government sector, Private Sector and Youth Group participants.  

Furthermore, Francesca Ronca, Secretary General of Italian Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance highlighted the absence of some organizations that would represent consumers. She said: “Consumers have to be involved in discussions. They need to know about deforestation more. “It is a pity that Italian media is not here, during the session”

Photo credit: Cristina Conea