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Eleven young entrepreneurs to kickstart the Global Landscapes Forum

Tan Copsey - BBCFrom oyster farming to Uganda’s post-war forests: Eleven young entrepreneurs to kickstart the Global Landscapes Forum

Youth: The Future of Sustainable Landscapes
09:00 CET on November 16
Old Library, University of Warsaw, Poland

Confirm your attendance by emailing: m.kovacevic[at]
Watch it live at
Join the discussion on Twitter: @GlobalLF #GLFCOP19

To request media interviews, contact:
Alison Binney at
Cell: +61 428 900 450

Be it oyster farming, social forestry, agribusiness, climate policy or lands rights advocacy, young people are inspiring the world to achieve sustainable landscapes.

We received 150 submissions from over 50 countries, each illustrating how engaged young people are in “landscape approaches” for sustainable environmental and economic development in a climate-changing world. From these submissions, we have chosen 11 young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs to take the stage at the Global Landscapes Forum to inspire discussion and encourage others to make a change in their communities.

For more details about this event, see here. To understand why we need an event targeted to youth, read this.

Our speakers are:

Tan Copsey, BBC Media Action – Inspiring rural youth to take action on climate change

What can rural youth do about climate change? Tan will draw on thousands of case studies from the BBC’s recent Climate Asia research to show how young people can adapt to changes in climate and inspire others to take action. 

Bunmi Ajilore, Nigeria — The influence of images on young minds: How positive stories can help feed the world

“The major obstacle standing in the way of young Nigerians from going into agriculture is the negative image problem. Nobody wants to till the land and wait for a meager profit when his contemporaries sit behind computers in air-conditioned rooms and make cool cash,” says Bunmi in a recent blogpost. Using a number of personal stories and stories of other youth in agriculture, Bunmi fights the negative image of agricultural work, to inspire more youth to embrace farming.

Izzy Lawrence, Connect4Climate — Barriers to action: Empowering youth to overcome challenges in landscapes sectors

Young people have the power to change the world but often they let their chance slip away. Izzy will talk about how Connect4Climate has empowered youth to speak out and overcome barriers to action, highlighting social media campaigns and competitions with youth in Kenya, Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago dealing with issues such as climate change, food security, forestry and waste challenges.

Otim Joseph, Uganda – Uganda’s untold success story: How a youth social forestry effort restored the post-war landscape

Otim was only 2 years old when the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency began. He watched as refugees and militia, desperate for wood fuels and food, destroyed the landscape. But unemployed youths, born and raised in the displaced persons camps, single-handedly began an huge effort to restore their degraded landscapes.

Nadia Manning-Thomas, Barbados – Linking development, youth and retail in an unconventional way

After spending many years working as a knowledge-sharing specialist in developing countries and being moved by the small-scale producers she met, Nadia felt inspired to open a personal and household accessories retail shop with her husband. Danaqa World Chic combines a unique commercial approach to sustainable development that links quality products made in developing countries with customers in Europe. Nadia will share the personal stories of some of her suppliers (often young people) as well as the lessons she learned in ‘daring to be different’.

Alhagie Modou Jang Barry, The Gambia – Have your oyster and eat it too: Addressing youth unemployment and marine biodiversity

The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa, but it is one of the key oyster producing countries in the continent. Training more young oyster farmers to inherit leadership roles from the aging adult oyster farmers is a priority. Alhagie will discuss how the Gambia Young Oyster Farmers Association is helping over 20,000 Gambians obtain microfinance loans and management skills to run their own oyster farms and marine conservation projects.

Joseph Macharia, Kenya – Luring youth back to farms: The power of social media

In Kenya, it’s normal for someone to be given livestock as retirement gifts (the average farmer is 65 years old). This idea of farming as an old person’s activity bothered Joseph, so he set out to broaden the appeal of agriculture to Kenya’s youth using social media.  Nine months ago Joseph started a Facebook page to help Kenyan farmers exchange information and market their produce – and has never looked back.

Karen Tuason, Philippines: From landless to landowner: Collectively empowering young farmers

Growing up in an island in the Philippines where residents are mostly farmers or fisherman, Karen knows that access to land does not automatically translate to increased income and guaranteed food for the family. She’ll talk about her experience in empowering young landowners to collectively address and improve food security, purchasing power, education and health of their community.

Stephen Kibet, Kenya: Kenya’s youth use mapping technology to combat soil erosion

Communities living in Kenya’s Kerio Valley and Lake Baringo depend on agricultural production for their livelihood, yet soil erosion has degraded the landscape and affected their food security. Stephen will discuss how youth groups have become a key player in implementing readily available, low cost mapping technologies and changing land conservation practices, to help people conserve and manage their own natural resources,

Zaid Shopeju, Nigeria – Powered by passion for change: Youth building a zero carbon Africa

It was at the height of the UNFCCC meeting on climate change in Durban in 2011 when, despite their limited numbers, knowledge of the process and capacity, a group of African youths outlined their vision for Zero Carbon Africa. This truly youth-powered social movement aimed to empower and inspire action in Africa to combat climate change. Zaid will speak about his experience with the youth movement, now operating in 35 African countries.

The event will be moderated by:

Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) 

Sithembile manages the FANRPAN Youth and Gender Programme, aimed at promoting inclusive agriculture policies for women and youth and their greater engagement in the agriculture sector. She coordinates multi-country case studies and dialogues on current and emerging youth policies and initiatives in the agricultural sector. Prior to this she led the Women Accessing Realigned Markets (WARM) project aimed at strengthening the capacity of women farmers to influence agricultural policy development in Africa using an innovational tool, Theatre for Policy Advocacy (TPA).

Remember: there are 150 submissions in total and you can vote for your favorites here to receive a public prize. Share these submissions on Twitter (use the #GLFCOP19 tag) and Facebook, and invite your friends and colleagues to vote too. Spread the word, vote and share your views!


 Youth: The Future of Sustainable Landscapes is organized by YPARD and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) with the invaluable support of CCAFS. The event is funded by CGIAR, CTA and GFAR.

 YPARD is an international movement by young professionals for Young Professionals for Agricultural Research for Development. YPARD operates as a global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform and is meant to enable young professionals all over the world to express their ideas and realize their full potential towards a dynamic agricultural research for development.

 The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research that enables more informed and equitable decision-making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries.

This article was originally posted on, the official website of the GLF COP19 event.