Youth in landscapes



The Youth in Landscapes Initiative unites young innovators (aged 18 – 35) to develop real-world solutions to land use challenges in partnership with organisations working on the ground.

Daniela Rivas

Sprouted Seed: Global Landscapes Forum Masterclasses births youth-driven landscapes initiative in Peru


One year ago, December 2014, in Lima: a group of young professionals from different parts of the world gathered for a full day of intense learning, skills improvement and sharing. It was the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Youth Masterclass – actually four masterclasses run in parallel. These masterclasses, a youth session the next day and many more youth-led activities, were organized under the umbrella of the Global Landscapes Forum – an annual landscape-focused event on the fringes of the annual UNFCCC Conference of Parties.

Daniela Rivas, a female young professional from Peru, was part of the group of youth that was trained to develop vital skills to boost their meaningful contribution into policy debates and development discussions. This included developing critical thinking and understanding landscapes, the art of pitching ideas, facilitating discussions and professional networking.

Daniela soaked all the training in as much as she could, and it profoundly influenced not only her outlook on landscapes, but her confidence, skills, and her commitment to ensuring the active understanding and participation of young people in landscapes activities in the rural parts of her country.

“The boundless energy of young leaders innovators from all over the world was the sparkle that I was missing to start the fire of  my own social venture called Growing Empowerment. During the  Youth Masterclasses I developed key skills which strengthened me: 1. to create a pitch capable to involve a multidisciplinary team of young urban professionals to work as a volunteers by developing a project in rural education. 2. to facilitate the discussion of this team which includes anthropologists, sociologists, educators, engineers, communicators, managers and psychologists in order to build the project. 3. to coordinate the activities to make this project happened.”

In this year, building on her experience at the GLF masterclasses and the youth session, she had gone on to start her own social venture which aims to empower youth in agricultural and forestry activities, and to develop their capacities to deal with landscapes challenges. As a result of this initiative, the curricula of rural schools in Peru are now being improved to reflect and aid a better understanding of landscapes.

“Our main goal is to create a curricula for rural schools focused on building the new rural entrepreneurs who think creatively to find successful opportunities in their own communities and to deal creatively the landscapes challenges. I believe now, more than ever, that is not enough to develop technical skills, we need to empower the imagination, strength the confidence and increase the curiosity among the rural students. The way we found to do it is through workshops in these schools, including also parents and teachers. In briefly, we are scaling the Youth Masterclasses”

Presently, Daniela is based in the US where she now works in crops consulting; however, she remains committed and still manages to lead the group of young professionals working on her initiative in Peru. In her words, she strongly believes that her experience plus the “confidence, critical thinking and capacity for innovation (which the GLF Youth Program helped her to build, enhance and refine) make her the perfect candidate to lead the initiative – even while away from home.

Watch Daniela’s video and vote for YOUR favorite among these 150 GLF2015 Youth Champions.

Also, meet the 50 young innovates who will take part in the GLF2015 youth program. Join the conversation on Twitter by following #ThinkLandscape

This youth innovator is supported by logoglf-small