Vote for the youth speakers submissions – Part 1

This article was written by a social reporter. It has not been edited by the Forum organisers or partners, and represents the opinion of the individual author only.

Fisheries in Indonesia

As part of our youth session at the Global Landscapes forum, YPARD (the Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development) launched an appeal for inspiring people to speak at the conference.

We received 150 applications from all over the world, showing the enthusiasm and “drive” from these young people. In the following series of posts, we’ll publish these submissions. Now, you can rate each entry from one to five stars, based on the submissions’ originality, inspiration and impact.

To read each of the 15 following submissions, click on “Show submission” under each, and click on the star-rating! You can rate as many submissions you want.

We encourage you to share these submissions on Twitter (use the #GLFCOP19 tag) and Facebook, and invite your friends and colleagues to vote too.

The three most popular submissions will receive a “Prize from the Public” at the Global Landscapes Forum Youth Session.

Remember: in this post, we have 15 submissions. Please go through them, and don’t just only rate the first one. 🙂

1: Mentorship and training programs for farmers, youth, and women (Isaac Kosgei, Kenya)

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I am an Agribusiness management graduate from Kenya and I would like to participate in Youth: The future of Sustainable Landscapes conference in Warsaw Poland.
I am a youth champion having started various agribusiness projects in various parts of the country.

My notable programs are

1. Mentor ship program where I connect university agriculture students to Agribusiness companies for mentorship. These students are then sent to the field to help the farmers in areas of crop management, animal management among others. This has created a successful link between private sector, Universities and the farmers and the graduates have come out to be reliable experts in their fields.

2. I work with youth groups to do horticulture farming in Nandi County and this has created job opportunities for over 20 of them since we started in 2011.

3. I train farmers and women groups in farm management practices and some of the projects I have done before are in my blog

By participating in this Conference I hope to share my success story and inspire youth from other parts of the world. I also hope to learn from it and bring home experiences from youth across the globe.

2: Biogas production (Matar Sylla, Senegal)

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Matar SYLLA is civil engineer who got his degree at Polytechnic School of Thies, Senegal, 2001. He worked in major national and international constructions projects. He started as a project manager then moved as general technical in many companies in Senegal.

Returning back to Senegal after a 2 years contract with Saudi Oger, Ministry of Energy launched National Biogas (PNB-SN) and sign with Matar as Chief Biogas engineer. It was an important turn of his career because he upgraded his technical abilities in biogas production and builds a technical framework in order to create a local market offer of biodigester construction. He got an initial strong training from SNV, a dutch NGO.

Today, 539 biodigesters are built by implementing partners and biogas construction companies trained by PNB-SN. He designed digesters of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 m3. This technology is domesticated in Senegal and can substitute 5 kg to 25 kg of firewood daily depending to biogas production. It provides also to farmers 30 to 80 tons of bio-effluents for soil fertilization and improves crops production. According to these results, Matar can be considered as a youth champion.

3: An champion of women in agriculture (Marlene Stearns, Colombia)

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Short bio:
Ms. Stearns has led economic growth and agricultural development initiatives for 12 years, five living in West Africa. She has been a key speaker on the U.S. food market, marketing strategy, trade based development, and U.S. regulatory requirements at 55 events in five countries, including the U.S.

She is a former Fulbright researcher of non-tariff barriers to trade that limited African farmers’ opportunities to export to the U.S. under AGOA. In 2013 she founded 3Psourcing: sustaining people, planet, profit to assist socially minded African and Latin America food companies to export their specialty foods to the U.S.

She has recently completed a collection of case studies for the GWU Global Gender Program on the rise of women entrepreneurial leaders in agriculture in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Ms. Stearns was raised on a small dairy farm in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Bogota, Colombia with her husband and two daughters.

The image of the female farmer needs a face lift. No longer is the woman farmer in Africa, Latin America, or the Caribbean a voiceless peasant. She is determined, knowledgeable, and confidently changing her country’s food landscape.
An endless champion of women in agriculture, I’ll share the stories of ten inspirational young women who have conquered challenges to emerge as successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their country’s agricultural industry, ensuring a supply of safe, nutritional foods farmed in a sustainable way that benefits growers’ communities’ food security, health, water, and land. The faces of these women are the new faces of agriculture in the world’s lesser developed economies. They are the cream of the crop and more women are following their lead every day.

4: Sustainability camps for youth (Roslynn Brain, USA)

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Short Biography:
Roslynn Brain is an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Communities at Utah State University (USU) in Utah, USA (). She uses conservation theory, communication techniques, and social marketing tools to foster a broad spectrum of pro-environmental behaviors with a focus on waste reduction and local food movements.

Roslynn developed and launched Extension Sustainability, a set of tools and information for the general public to engage in sustainable behaviors. She also teaches Communicating Sustainability at USU, helps coordinate the University’s annual Earth Week, has launched a statewide program to connect farmers with restaurants called Utah Farm-Chef-Fork, and she designs and co-teaches summer sustainability camps for kids in Utah.

Description of talk:
Roslynn Brain is a young (low 30’s) assistant professor in sustainable communities at a major university in the USA. In running a statewide environmental sustainability initiative, she has kept her information and programs positive and empowering.
She quickly realized a need in her conservative state, to motivate, educate and empower youth about environmental sustainability. As a result, she designed 5-day sustainability camps teaching youth about land (conservation and landfill issues), air (quality and climate change), food (local and sustainable food systems), water (conservation), and energy (renewables).
At this presentation, she will share the hurdles overcome in designing and launching the camp, success and structure of the camps (including participation, curricula, and impact evaluations), and transitioning the camp format into a statewide adaptable structure. Participants will gain access to curricula, educational environmental sustainability information, and the evaluation tools used to measure impact.

5: Towards pig value chain development in Uganda (Christopher Mulindwa, Uganda)

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Christopher Mulindwa (26 years old) is a pig farmer and trader in pigs and related products.
The various challenges faced by pig farmers in Uganda inspired him to lead the set up of a farmers group (Watubba Pig Farmers Association) at his village Watubba in Wakiso district.

After failing to access organized pig markets, production information etc by the group he joined together with a colleague (Alex Kyeyune, 23 years) and started a company (Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Limited) dealing in Pigs and related products in the country. Learn more about this company.

He is the Production manager of Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Limited and manager of company’s social network pages (Facebook and Twitter) and general online marketing strategies the main company’s marketing channel.

Story title:
Contributions of Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Limited towards pig value chain development in Uganda.
Christopher had an idea to create a source of income for his time at university: pig keeping. Grandmother gave him a piece of land to do pig keeping there. Activity resulted into a company providing organized Pig market services, linkage between farmers & input dealers, pig farm advisory & consultancy services, breeding stock and many more.

6: Enterprising solutions to combat climate change and variability (Madalitso Zelda Chidumu, Malawi)

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Madalitso works as the Enterprise Development and Private sector Engagement Coordinator Self Help Africa which is an International NGO with a vision of Rural Africa Free from poverty and Hunger. She holds a BSc Degree in Agri-business management and currently she is studying MBA.


Agriculture is the most important sector of Malawi’s economy and is comprised of 2.67 million smallholder farmers, 69% of whom are youth. Yet, youth in agriculture in Malawi are faced with challenges that result from climate change. Balaka district is exposed to a situation where water scarcity is endemic. This contributes to persistent food shortages in the district leaving a lot of people destitute and requiring emergence food relief.

Again in Balaka, the forest is fast disappearing because of charcoal burning which is an alternative income source for most of the households. Soil fertility has been lost due to erosions caused by deforestation. With loss of soil nutrients, crop productivity has been compromised.

The intervention is promoting pigeon pea production as a mitigation measure against climate change and variability and improve incomes of farmers whose mostly are youth and targeting 300 farmers (youth). Pigeon peas has several unique characteristics that make it a very important crop among smallholder farming communities. Nutritionally, Pigeon peas contain high levels of protein and are grown in intercrop with cereal crops where they have the capacity to improve soil nitrogen through biological Nitrogen Fixation ans acts as a cover crop. Furthermore, leaf fall if incorporated provides up to 40Kg Nitrogen/Ha (G.A.D Kananji etal, 2009). Green Pigeon pea leaves are a high value feed for livestock while the stems provide fuel wood hence reducing deforestation. Because of its deep rooted stems, Pigeon peas survives drought.

The action is promoting production of crops that have high adaptability measures to low fertility, drought, heat and contribute to soil fertility through Biological Nitrogen fixation as a mitigation measure against climate Change and variability while promoting economic empowerment to the youth by linking them to the private sector for marketing and also as a way to bring youth together and discuss issues around climate change, preserving natural resources and economic empowerment.

7: Trees as the tool to fight climate change and food insecurity (Barmidele Oni, Nigeria)

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My name is Bamidele Oni, a Nigerian, I am 29years old. I had my bachelors in forestry and about completing my master’s degree in environmental management.

I would like to take part in this innovative and inspiring event as a youth champion. I would like to share the success story of an environmental awakening initiative I founded.

In 2011, I had the opportunity of being part of the International Forestry student association delegation to the UNFCCC COP17. This afforded me a great deal of experience.

Having realized the high level of ignorance on environmental issues most especially among the youth and the continuous increase in the rate of deforestation in Nigeria, and coupled with my heightened motivation, I kick- started an environmental movement called Green impact movement.

The initiative took the form of raising awareness among youths about climate change while adopting the planting of trees as the tool to fight climate change. And to encourage massive acceptance we adopted the use of trees that ensure food security, medicinal and ornamental values and in an innovative approach of house-house tree planting.

The movement has spread across some states in Nigeria and the Congo with a number of successful projects.

8: Sustainable tree harvesting for biomass and timber (Evan Kimani, Kenya)

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I just completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Egerton University and opted for self employment. Following my decision, my parent asked me to harvest some of the trees on our farm for income generation.

Given my background education, the role trees play in environmental conservation were vivid in my mind and at no time had I envisaged tree harvesting as a source of income, hence my hesitation to embrace the idea. However, with a clear understanding of the concept of sustainability, tree harvesting for biomass and timber was fathomable.

So far, the venture has been overwhelming with customers expressing more interest on wood fuel than timber. I currently envision the establishment of a woodlot on our two acre farm followed by the inception of bee farming.
Provision of solutions to environmental problems in the 21st Century is my key motivation in life. The Non-Residential Cultivation Project which aims at facilitating environmental conservation efforts while at the same time empowering the youth both economically and knowledge wise and the Domestic Wetland Project which aims at achieving sustainable use of water as a natural resource – a vital adaptation strategy to climate change, are projects that am working towards their fruition.

9: Adaptation and mitigation of fishers to impacts of climate change (Laban Musinguzi, Uganda)

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Laban is a Graduate Research Assistant at NaFRRI and student at Makerere University. He is among scientists examining vulnerability, impacts and adaptations of aquatic ecosystems and fisheries to climate change. He leads examining vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation of fisher communities to impacts of climate change. Notably, he identified adaptation and mitigation measures of fishers as basis for advocating for a livelihood diversification.
He won an award to attend the Africa Climate Conference 2013, Tanzania. Laban, 25 years old holds a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries from Makerere University and is a member of YPARD.

Talk Description
I examined vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation of fishers to impacts of climate change. This was initiated by intensification of climate change during last three decades of 20th century affecting productivity of fisheries resources where fishers depend.
Fishers dominated by youth (27.8 and 37% between 20-29 and 30-39 years) around a lake exposed to climate change were found to be sensitive with low adaptive capacity. Their adaptation and mitigation measures were identified as well as benefits from some as basis to help the youthful fishers diversify to non-fishery livelihood activities to enhance resilience, income and food security. Fishers are reached through field visits, radio shows and media handouts for up scaling adaptation, mitigation and diversification.

10: Sustainable agricultural projects to promote environmental protection (Albert Obeng Yeboah, Cameroon)

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Mr. Albert Yeboah Obeng (33yrs) is the National Coordinator for the Foresight Generation Club, a Non Governmental Organization in Ghana involved in Innovative Agricultural projects designed to protecting the environments whiles promoting sustainable development and economic opportunities for fresh graduates and young adults in Ghana and Africa with international reach with expertise using basic Information Communication Technology Tools and Applications for environmental and agricultural projects in catchment communities and areas.

This candidate has successfully designed and coordinated many projects for fresh graduates and young adults to promoting sustainable agricultural projects to promoting environmental protection, climate friendly programmes and projects promoting sustainable employment opportunities for farmers and young adults in Ghana and Africa, among his most successful projects is “eAgriculture Employing Youth and Young Adults in Ghana” and others being replicated elsewhere.

He is an expert in Technology Management and Transfer working with the Foresight Generation Club which specializes in the use of user friendly ICT tools and applications in meeting pressing social, environmental and economic challenges in many communities in Ghana and other African countries promoting sustainable business opportunities and partnerships in Ghana and Africa.

He has also been a Research Fellow with the International Center for Science and High Technology of UNIDO (ICS-UNIDO) at Trieste, Italy and has been responsible for research and consultancy services in providing expertise guidelines and advices in the establishment of Innovative Technology Centers in selected African countries and also specializes in the design of innovative ICT Applications in addressing targeted challenges in developing countries and advising on ICT Policy programs for international organizations and national governments.

As evident to his commitment and expertise, Albert has been Awarded the Mayor of Rome’s Innovative ICT Award for his design and use of ICT Applications for the benefits of communities in Ghana with replication in other African countries, also he has been awarded the Global Social Entrepreneurs Award by the Global Knowledge Partnership in 2007.

Albert was awarded the Global Junior Challenge by the Municipality of Rome, Italy, Has also been awarded the Global Young Social Entrepreneurs Award by the Global Knowledge Network and UNESCO and he is an Alumnus of the latest joint project of UNESCO-ISTIC in Technopreneurship at the University SAINS Malaysia, Penang-Malaysia and hence he is a Certified Technopreneur.

He has been key speaker at the EU-Africa ICT Partnership Forum, Lisbon, Portugal, 2012 and has also been selected by UNESCO as a Technical Committee Member of the UNESCO World Summit on Information Society UNESCO+10 Forum on E-Science and public Policy in Paris, France 2013.

11: Preserving ecosystems and sustainable agriculture (Jonathan Klutsey, Ghana)

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I completed my university education 2008 at the university of development studies in Tamale- Ghana with a second class upper degree in integrated development studies. I did my mandatory national service with friends of the earth Ghana national secretariat as programs assistant on climate change and mining for a period of 12 months. In my working period, I learnt a lot by participating in local meetings with community members, Government officials, and other professionals in the environmental sector.

As programs assistant some of my task was to assist my programs coordinator by documenting field stories, writing project reports and also contribute to writing of briefing papers.

Currently, I work as programs coordinator on climate change and sustainable agriculture with Oilwatch Ghana, which is part of Oilwatch Africa, International groups. I was the team leader that initiated a project to demarcate protected areas in Volta region of Ghana to preserve the ecosystems since it has a rich biodiversity.

This was successful because, I organized community workshops in the area with support from youths, local CBOs, opinion leaders where I educated people and built their capacity on climate change, its impact and how to adapt

12: How Internally Displaced Persons restored their degraded land (Joseph Otim, Uganda)

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A young passionate and resilient conservationist 29yrs old born of Kitgum District and a Ugandan graduate of Forest Technician Certificate, National Diploma in Forestry and to graduate in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Organic Agriculture.

Otim is a champion of “Green Recovery” in the Post War Northern Uganda which suffered the atrocities of The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) popularly “KONY 2012” when working with a Youth based NGO called Tree Talk/Straight Talk Foundation under a USAID and Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS) funded WILD (Wildlife Landscape and Development for Conservation) Project. With youth, we grew more than two (2) million trees in Schools, Communities and government institutions, constructed more than 1,200 energy saving stoves at households, conducted more than 150 radio talk shows in 6 Radio stations, sensitized directly more than 2,000 individuals, trained 500 school teachers and district officials between 2009 and 2012 something that many international agencies/NGOs/ Government Projects have failed to achieve given the Hot Climate of the District.

Recognized with a Certificate of Excellence by STF President and invited to attend The Kenya Tree and Forest Conference in Nairobi, Feb 2012 as one of the Guest Speakers, appointed a member of Kitgum District Forest Planning Committee, Urban Environment Committee, Uganda Forest Working Group and currently appointed by The National Forest Authority as Forest Supervisor of Zoka CFR to reduce the level of forest degradation which is carried out by mostly the Unemployed youth of Adjumani District.

This forum will help tell the world the untold success story of how youth who were born, grew-up in Internally Displaced Persons Camps restored/re-greened their degraded land single handedly after the 20 year Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) rebellion in Northern Uganda.

13: Establishing climate change resilient model villages (Muhammad Abdur Rahaman, Bangladesh)

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Short Biography:
Muhammad Abdur Rahaman has completed his MS degree from University of Chittagong in Geography and Environmental Studies during 2003. He is working as Climate Change Adaptation Professional in non-government organization. He has developed community based climate change adaptive agricultural and natural resource management technology along the coastal belt of Bangladesh.

He has developed a successful innovations in climate change adaptation sector with active participation of vulnerable community. He is applying as Youth Champion (success story) reader.

Description of the talk:
The project was implemented in the flood vulnerable Fakirhat Upazila of Khulna District. A climate change resilient model village was established in the Upazila with active participation of vulnerable community. The model village was established with the active participation of poor and marginal farmers, fisherman, landless and ethnic community through climate resilient agriculture technology, climate resilient aquaculture, community based forest management etc. 1,000 target households were involved in the adaptation process. At present, the village is climate resilient village in the flood and salinity prone coastal area of Bangladesh.

14: Cassava farming to achieve sustainable food security (Ayomide Elegbede, Nigeria)

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This proposal was prepared by Mr Ayomide ELEGBEDE, a youth champion in the Agricultural sector. Who obtained Bachelors degree in Agriculture from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria in the field of Soil science and Land management. On completion of my first degree i joined Psaltry International Company Limited; an Ultra modern Cassava Starch/Flour Factory as a Research Officer/Extension Manager.

My passion for Agribusiness led me to establish my own farm, a 65 hectares cassava farm land including IITA outgrowers project. These initiative has enabled me to employ fellow youths in supervision of these project with a future plan of establishing a cassava processing company.

My story is a campaign of achieving sustainable food security in the world of growing population and involvement of youth in agriculture to provide income and employment. It is therefore vital that a better sustainable landscape and food system are closely aligned.

As a young energetic and confident speaker with a broad knowledge in Agriculture and Land management, these opportunities would enhance an atmosphere to highlight problems, stories and solutions to `the future of sustainable landscape’ to be held at the Global landscape Forum.

15: Influencing food companies, government and public for sustainable food production (Xuan Wang, China)

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My name is Xuan Wang and I would like to share my experience promoting sustainable agriculture in China on GLFCOP19.

I graduated as MSc Social Policy from LSE 4 years ago and became a CSR Campaign Officer of Oxfam Hong Kong since then. During my service in Oxfam, together with affected community, I investigated social and environmental impacts of a leading food corporation on their livelihood.

Being moved by our report, the company started to apply water extraction permit, conduct environmental impact assessment and collaborate with farmers. Moreover, to promote awareness about sustainable agriculture among Chinese public, together with local NGOs, I led the Behind the Brands campaign in China to attract 70 media reports, 1,394 consumer actions, and 7,240 independent visitors of in two months’ time. As a result, think tank under Ministry of Agriculture invited us to improve social and environmental criteria on evaluating agricultural enterprises.

I think I can be ‘Youth Champion’ and my story can be:
– Problem of food production in China. Start from ‘poison milk’ and analyze how this link to a global issue – industrialization of agriculture
– How NGOs in China react to above problem and my successful experience to influence food companies, government and public as indicated above.

All submissions are published “as is”. They might contain inaccuracies. The submitted proposals were only edited for basic formatting.
Check also all the other submissions, and cast your vote there too! Which entry really caught your attention? Tell us why, in a comment to this post!

Photo: People catching fish in Danau Sentarum, West Kalimantan, Indonesia (by Ramadian Bachtiar – Center for International Forestry Research – CIFOR)