Currently, I am working in a civil society organization called Reforestamos Mexico, which mission is to ensure the forests that Mexico needs for its sustainable development. Specifically, I work on a project for landscape restoration in alliance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to support the Mexican government in the implementation of the Bonn Challenge pledge to restore 8.5 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020.
Landscape restoration is the integration of our means of life. This process does not only imply an ecological restoration but furthermore the reparation of the drivers -harmful subsidies, poverty, hunger, poor territorial management- that provoked land deforestation and degradation in the first place. In Mexico, we still have a long path ahead in this respect, but there are already multisector alliances and commitments with significant progress.
Last year I had the amazing opportunity of participating in Youth in Landscapes. I was part of the finance challenge, along with nine amazing youth innovators from Peru, Iran, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Vietnam, the United States and Canada. For an entire week, I learned so much from all their backgrounds and was truly inspired by their stories. The result of this collaboration was the design of an exchange program among smallholder farmers to empower them within cooperatives to enable knowledge transfer and expand the best practices throughout landscapes.
In this last year, I have been able to apply and develop the skills and knowledge that I acquired in YIL, having greater impact in my daily responsibilities. I am very excited to participate in this years’ program and to meet all youth facilitators, as I know we will share a unique experience. The landscape challenges that we face today are vast, and youth play an essential role in tackling economic and social discrepancies in order to protect and restore our environment.
After the success of the Paris Agreement, there are many things still to be defined, and the action at the landscape level is crucial to reach all commitments. YIL is an extraordinary strategy to engage youth in critical decision making that impacts our landscapes. As we are the only generation that can address in time nature’s degradation, it is vital that we can work with other generations through the design and implementation of innovative solutions.
Renata Lozano is one of the 10 young professionals who will facilitate a session at the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum in Morocco. Learn more about this year’s Global Landscapes Forum’s Youth activities; meet our 10 youth facilitators, and discover the Youth in Landscape Initiative!