Here is the last batch of submissions for “thought leaders”. Reading through them, you will realize these submissions not only span the globe, but also that young people work on a large and wide diversity of projects.
A selection of these submissions will get a chance to speak at our youth session, part of the Global Landscapes forum. The youth session is coordinated by YPARD (the Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development).
The submissions were based on our appeal for inspiring young people and thought leaders.
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 will announce the most popular submissions at the Global Landscapes Forum Youth Session. The top five will get a “Prize from the Public”, sponsored by Agriculture for Impact (@Ag4Impact).
Remember: in this post, we have 15 submissions. Please go through them, and don’t just only rate the first one. 🙂
Eness is a 30 year old lady, who is an Agricultural Economist by profession and is currently studying for a Dphil in Agriculture at the University of Zimbabwe; focusing on agricultural innovations and their impact on rural livelihoods and natural resource management.
Prior to this, she was employed as a scientific officer with ICRISAT-Zimbabwe, between 2008 and 2011 and concurrently studied for an Mphil at the University of the Free State in South Africa; focusing on smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to climate change. Eness has also lectured at the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Her professional goal is to become a leading internationally renowned scientist with strong expertise in agricultural and rural development.
Her talk will include making use of real life experiences and lessons learnt by the presenter in agriculture, through working with various stakeholders such as smallholder farmers and youth. Agriculture will be redefined in the talk by outlining the spaces available, especially for increased youth engagement and how they can be maximised.
Lastly the talk will outline the importance of advocating for agriculture strategies that are flexible; allowing for innovation that is context specific and informed by research.
137: Harnessing the environment and maximizing on opportunities to create a better future (Patson Malisa, Republic of South Africa)
Patson Malisa is a Thought Leader, preacher, keynote speaker, facilitator & social activist who started his public speaking career at the age of 12. He has spoken in churches, schools, colleges, universities and for corporate and social organizations in the African continent.
As a motivational and keynote speaker, Patson has spoken for numerous schools and organizations around Southern Africa. He has gained recognition from various media platforms beyond the borders of the African continent for his message of reviving the hearts, vision and economy of the new generation in Africa.
His gift of gab and captivating presence has brought thousands to the realization of purpose and vision. He is sought after by several media platforms for insight into motivational, social and economic issues that relate to young people across the continent.
He shares a message of harnessing the environment and maximizing on immediate opportunities to create a better future for future generations to come.
Patson has also served Organizational Secretary for the Youth Executive Committee of the Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth), where he now serves as Secretary for Information and Publicity. He also serves as Chairman of OAYouth’s National committee in South Africa.
Patson consults for upcoming and already established organizations in setting up and repairing organizational structure along with conflict resolution and project management.
Linda is a lady from Zimbabwe, aged 30. She did her first and second degrees in the fields of Agriculture and Environmental Management, areas which are despised by most youths especially females in her country.
She is working on her Phd study whose focus is on “Towards sustainable utilization of fallow land in communal areas”. She has worked as a lecturer in Agricultural and Polytechnic colleges.
Currently she is a chief examinations officer with the Higher Examination Council of Zimbabwe and also a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. As a lecturer, she is actively involved in student mentoring and counseling. She also participates in University outreach development programs to the community and other stakeholders. At some point she was a guest speaker at a Girl-child Workshop whose focus was to encourage the girl child to explore the fields of agriculture and other science related section.
Using her acquired experience, her talk will mainly focus on encouraging the youth to work towards wealth creation through sustainable use of natural resources in a changing world. She will encourage the youth to appreciate; make use of and even develop sustainable technologies to gather and conserve wealth without degrading landscapes.
Tavaka is a 27 year old Masters in International Relations graduate from the University of Cape Town, and Founder Chairman of Aiman Partners (Pvt).
As a published academic and peer-reviewed researcher he has also worked extensively in the field of youth and agricultural policies in Africa. Recently Mr Nyoni has been a youth consultant for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), representing Zimbabwe in the 2012 FANRPAN Annual High-level Food Security Regional Policy Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and as a participant in the 9th Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform (PP) 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the former he presented a case study on “Current and Emerging Youth Policies and Initiatives with a Special Focus on Link to Agriculture.”
Aiman Partners (Pvt) is a consulting company with interests in agriculture and infrastructure development. As board chairman, Mr Nyoni has also specialised extensively in agro-policy analysis and youth mobilisation. He has consulted for the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), specialising in rural youth engagement in infrastructure development and agriculture.
Mr Nyoni is also a rancher, and manages a successful 1,650 hectare farm in Shangani, Zimbabwe which produces beef, poultry and horticulture.
Outline of the talk:
One of the most topical international issues of our time is the impact that climate change has had on smallholder rural farmers. Incessant droughts and unpredictable weather patterns have adversely affected rural communities who find it difficult to harness modern technologies to mitigate against losses to crops and livestock.
Contextualising climate change and its effects on rural communities has led to the realisation that home-grown solutions and initiatives have become increasingly pertinent. It is against this background and understanding that the sharing of information between rural agricultural development organisations has been identified as a vital component of accepting the realities of climate change.
An exchange visit by members of rural youth from Nkayi North in Zimbabwe to the St. Jude Family Projects College of Agro-Ecology in Masaka, Uganda between the 26th and 31st of December 2012 was organised by Tavaka Nyoni. The trip aimed to improve the capacity of these young people in climate change interventions and to improve access to climate change education and training for rural communities in the drought prone areas of Matabeleland North and South provinces in Zimbabwe.
Tavaka Nyoni selected a group of 4 young men and women to share Zimbabwe’s experience of climate change with their counterparts in Uganda. The team comprised of Tavaka Nyoni (the team leader and coordinator) Mehluli Moyo, Thubelihle Dube, Sithandazile Tshuma, Righton Ncube (representing the Gwelutshena Development Centre.
The trip focused particularly on helping these young folk devise water harvesting techniques, zero-grazing, appropriate technology, horticulture and fish farming. St. Jude’s Family Projects presented a unique case study of simple and practical farming techniques for ordinary smallholder farmers, from which lessons were drawn and plans for implementation at a Development Centre in Nkayi North were generated. Climate change has adversely affected rural smallholder farmers in the drought prone areas of Zimbabwe. This exchange visit was therefore both timely and contextually relevant to young people in their perception of the roles that they play as leaders in rural resource conservation and developmental knowledge exchange.
Tavaka’s talk would involve looking at the role of exposing young people to different techniques of mitigating climate change, and the positive perception of themselves as agents of change. Throughout this year Mr Nyoni has led the team in implementing a number of successful projects that have improved the lives of several rural families. Knowledge is power, and this exchange visit created new spaces of participation along the agriculture and infrastructural value chain for young people in rural Zimbabwe.
I would like to describe my biography as part of what I believe is a successful story of a group of young “thought leaders” who tries to find echoes of our visions about natural resources.
In 2005, sitting in a small room, a group of the first generations of environmental professionals in Bolivia decided to start an independent organization considering that youth concerns on socio-environmental problems and youth creativity, hardly find spaces to put in practice.
In order to address them, we started the “Fundación Gaia Pacha”, and 8 years after we became a well-recognized NGO. Our main activities have been workshops in both rural and urban spaces, promoting campaigns, writing articles, working with youth international volunteers and developing research projects.
These actions have provided us the opportunity of being invited to discussions with regional and local government about natural resources planning; we have been chosen to lead a network of NGOs on Climate Change and Justice to which we represent in Rio+20; we attend a call from an environmental national research program and we earn a publication among 65 institutions.
It has been, and still being, a hard process of daily learning. Many young tend to believe that solutions shall come from others, true; but solutions are also in our hands. Gaia Pacha has been a common seed that has materialized many of our dreams and I would like to share what I have learned on this process with other dreamers.
Ayesha is a self-proclaimed activist who seeks to build awareness and advocates on matters of gender and environmental justice towards influencing national policy. She is actively involved in the leadership of the Jamaica Young Women’s Leadership Initiative (President), the I’m Glad I’m a Girl Foundation (Vice-President) and the Jamaica Geographical Society (Secretary), which work towards fostering female empowerment and environmental awareness respectively.
As a PhD candidate conducting research on impacts of climate change on small-scale agriculture in Jamaica she examines the impacts of climate variations and the value of indigenous knowledge as a tool for adaptation and mitigation, a topic she would like to present on.
With the use of social media and other tools she engages youth participation in decision-making and on issues of governance. She also seeks to empower youth in environmentally vulnerable rural communities to harness social capital to lobby for environmental conservation and become advocates for social justice.
She recently participated in Global Power Shift and is now working with 4 other young people in the Caribbean to implement projects to promote climate change awareness. She is passionate about being an agent of change and her goal is to help create a better and safer world in which children can grow and realize all their dreams.
142: Perception of today’s youth on the relevance of environmental protection (Hassana Gambo, Nigeria)
I am from Kano State- Nigeria. I am an an architect with speciality in landscaping.
In 2008 I established a company called INTERFLORA LANDSCAPING AND GARDENING SERVICES, which is primarily involved in design, installation and maintenance of landscaping for residences, commercial and public spaces.
We have done numerous projects such as hotels, schools, shopping malls and residences. I was opportune to be amongst the 10,000 women to gain scholarship for a training in enterpreunership skills. Furthermore, interflora is also an awardee of a leadership training by vital voices in Nairobi- Kenya.
Kano state is the most populated state in Nigeria. The level of education and infrastructural development is very poor. The rate of unemployment within youths is alarming. Mainly due to lack of basic academic knowledge and skills.
The impact of climate change is rapidly affecting the livelihood of people in Kano, through loss of lives and properties during floods. The state government is making attempts to control the flood situation but have neglected the need of landscaping.. Therefore, we have proposed to the state government through the environmental beautification committee a design and report that focuses on how public dumping areas will be converted into usable green areas, this will discourage the formation of slums through construction of illegal structures and dumping of refuse, hence blocking the natural flow of rainwater.
The project will focus on clearing the filth and unwanted structures along the major streets, then landscape the areas to discourage improper usage in the future. The landscaped areas will be maintained by youths that will be trained in basic gardening skills.
We hope to solve an environmental and social problem concurrently. Our aim is to change the perception of the youths of today on the relevance of environmental protection towards a better life in the future.
I am a 20-year-old architecture student from Tunisia. I have been part of several national and international events as the World Scout Conference in Tunisia 2005, the World Scout Jamboree 2007 and the Bauhaus Summer School for Architecture and Design 2013.
I come from a small city called Eljem where Agriculture and Natural environment is very inspirational and important. Unfortunately, I was shocked by the pollution when moving to the capital for my studies. Therefore, my ambition is to defend it and work on preserving it from my position as an Architecture student.
Since 2011, I am an active member of the ecological village of Rawad where we train young students on building with recycled materials. Then, I organized a series of presentations and panels to students in different disciplines regarding this issue.
Recently, I took part of the Global Business Institute 2013 in Indiana University, USA, where I developed, with my team, a project investing in solar energy in Tunisian desert.
My talk will be essentially about ecological architecture and its major importance in sustainable development. I will also promote for the ecological village concept and trainings sessions. Moreover, I believe that the Global Landscapes Forum is a great opportunity for me to share my ideas and discover others’ visions and experiences.
144: Organic agriculture to mitigate climate change and as a source of income for youth (Mónica Ojeda Orrego, Peru)
I have a degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, with experience in private institutions for over 5 years. From these experiences I have knowledge in the areas of marketing organic products, since I worked for three years at an export firm, Ecological Soil Management, Soil Chromatography, Environmental Monitoring.
I know techniques about knowledge and application of diagnostics and participatory workshops, Culture and Quality of individual and collective services (Monitoring, Training Workshops Facilitation, Monitoring and Evaluation).
I’m from a family of Andean origin, reason I have long identification with the villagers in the central Andean region. currently come from working in the NGO, Rural Support Centre – CEAR in Huancayo, in the program of organic Agriculture in the Mantaro Valley.
About Organic Agriculture as a source of revenue for Youth and as mitigating climate change:
During the last twenty years, the climate has been undergoing endless changes, climate change adaptation can be done to strengthen the biodiversity of agricultural ecosystems as enacted using organic farming and genetically modified plant varieties.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in organic farming is associated with organic fertilization manufacture of fertilizer and carbon sequestration. Also this must be accompanied by a substantial change in drinking habits is necessary propel today. From my research experience in the Mantaro Valley in Peru, I have been testing organic farming techniques and think are the best to adapt to climate change and new agricultural cycles that have been, and prices of organic products in the new markets are very attractive to generate well-paying jobs for young people, with this type of proposal, generate a new model for youth development, without polluting the environment, including fair wages and creating a state-neglected area.
145: Interlinking land tenure improvement, farm productivity and enterprise development (Karen Tuason, Philippines)
I am 27 and from the Philippines. Since I was 20, I have been working as part of the peasant federation Task Force Mapalad (TFM). TFM is a grassroots organization that is actively involved in agrarian reform and productivity and enterprise development in 12 provinces in the Philippines.
As TFM’s focal person for gender and youth, I have actively participated in various international conferences on the role of women and youth in agriculture – including the Terra Madre Event, the Farmers Forum, and the Making Cents Global Economic Opportunities Forum.
Since last week, I am taking up a master course in Rural Development and Food Security in Wageningen, Netherlands.
Growing up in an island province where residents are mostly farmers or fisherman, I have been exposed to different agricultural problems and the reality that land alone does not translate to increase in income and will not guarantee food for the family.
The interlinking of land tenure improvement, farm productivity enhancement and enterprise development is crucial in helping landless farmers and farm workers have their own pieces of land from which they would plant and harvest food for their families and communities, earn incomes with which they could send their children to school, and build rural businesses for their future.
All these issues intersect in my work with TFM. Our goal is to advocate equitable asset reform and thus not only reduce rural poverty but also contribute to a more sustainable and productive agricultural sector in the Philippines. As an organization of producers, among the challenges to address are limited or no access to land, limited or no access to knowledge, skills and information, unavailability of capital, business advisory services and viable markets.
From our experience, the transformation of their socio-economic roles – from mere landless farm workers to new land owners and managers – has enabled them to collectively address and improve food security, purchasing power, education and health of their community. It encouraged the young farmers to continue safeguarding the land tenure gains of their families and empowered them to take part in community activities.
Filipino families are economic units themselves. A farming family’s initiative in land rights does not only involve the parents but also their children. The youth takes active part in campaigning for access to land (through paralegal trainings, communication trainings, tactic sessions, leadership trainings, mobilizations, dialogues and community organizing) and productivity resources. When more and more young people are able to find attractive opportunities in rural areas, mobility and migration of young farmers will decrease.
I am a master student from Department of Forest Biology, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Thailand.
Limestone forest areas are an unique habitat where many animal creatures such as Serow, Cave-dwelling bats, Limestone wren babbler, Siamese gecko and gecko lauhachindai were found and the last 3 species mentioned were recognized as endemic species.
In recent years, many limestone forest areas in Thailand are being used as limestone mines under concession of government, otherwise some areas were conserved by the Forest Law. However, these protected areas are also degraded and the landscape was changed into small fragmented forests in every years. On the other words, the connectivity between these forest patches were reduced so wild animals in the patched were isolated into small populations.
I, as a bat lover, am doing survey and monitor bats at Tumpratoon Non-Hunting Areas and the areas nearby. This protected area was established in 1999 to preserve wild animals and its habitat (mainly limestone forests). I also observed the behavior of one large colony of Intermediate Roundleaf bat (IRB) which is insectivorous and cave-dwelling bat.
Ten bat species were found and the whole populations estimated were approximately 100,000 individuals and the target species (IRB) was approximately 23,000 individuals. For the IRB, their emergence feeding time was after 3± 8 minutes sunset time at 1st feeding time. They spent 90 minutes in average and then flew back to the cave, however most of them went out to feed again.
That means this bat species can eliminate insect pest enormously each night. The result indicates how limestone forest is crucial as a bat habitat and how these insectivorous bats play an important role in ecosystem balance. Such that the conservation plan and management is needed to keep this ecosystem for our next generations.
147: The importance of youth involvement in agricultural programs in West Africa (Sokhna Rokhaya Gaye, Senegal)
Sokhna is a young Senegalese women, sociologist and junior researcher on “Household, Women, Young and African Environment”.
She has long been focused her research on youth and development. For two years, she focuses on the issue of gender mainstreaming in agricultural value chain with youth and women as target group because of their vulnerability and disadvantages in the agricultural sector in Africa.
Currently, those points are on what she focuses her interests and activities.
Sokhna is the Ypard National Representative in Senegal and she is a PhD candidate on gender integration in the rice value chain in Senegal within the university (University Gaston Berger) and Africa Rice. Both statutes allow her to advocate for youth and women in agriculture.
Sokhna has a particular interest in youth engagement in agriculture and the changing of external perception of youth empowerment in the management of natural and agricultural resources.
The speech will be focused on the important role played by YPARD Senegal in WAPP (West African Program for Productivity) program and how it was able to sensitize WAPP stakeholders on the importance of youth involvement in agricultural programs in West Africa. This awareness led to the integration of young people in agricultural value chain in the strategic plans of all countries in WAPP project.
I am from Thailand and 29 years old. I work with RECOFTC-The Center for people and forests (Thailand country program).
My work is to strengthening Thailand Community Forest Network and 3 years ago they had strategic to capacity building a new generation. We had the opportunity to co-organized Bangkok Empower Youth Festival (with Environment sector) so we developed a project called “Strengthening the Young Seedling Network” start from 2010 – now.
I took this project, because not only I am young, but I also believe in empowering youth. So three years with this project has been a good opportunity for me to learn by doing, and working with 20 local-youth group around Thailand that related to community forest and natural resource management.
The young seedling network is a small network but it is a learning network for new generations to become aware, to inherited from the adults in the community.
From past work, we found that many communities are strengthened to natural resource management but lack of a new generation to inherit. What should we prepare and do to solve this?
I would like to talk about “generations” (nowadays we have many generation live together they have different life stay, attitude, experience) and how we close this gap: improve process, work together learning new technologies and not forgetting local wisdom.
We don’t work for today or tomorrow but we work together for bright future, making networks to share and learn together.
Dipak is 30 years old Indian rural resident. He has six years of field hands-on experience for sustainable development by targeting and monitoring agriculture water pumps.
His work mainly focus for policy review and advocating sustainability of Indian Agriculture water pumps which has very high implications on ground water table, soil fertility and Indian grid electricity required for agriculture water pumps.
Dipak is Electrical Engineer and currently perusing PhD degree in Technology with research topic “Sustainability through conservation of natural resources; Ground water, Soil fertility and Grid Electricity by design and development of integrated model of Solar water Pumps and Micro drip irrigation systems”.
He is certified Energy Auditor and Certified Measurement and Verification Professional.
The proposed talk will describe how Indian low carbon targeted economy hampered by operational inefficiency of the power and agriculture sector. Indian agricultural sector consumes about 25% of country’s electricity and 80% of available fresh water however overall operational efficiency of agricultural water pumps is about 25-50% and watering use efficiency is less than 50%.
Hence, agricultural sector wastes half of the country’s available fresh water and in turn wastes grid electricity required for pumping ground water.
Through field surveys, observations and research it has been proven that energy water index is mainly hampered by existing policies of electricity distribution, energy tariff for water pumps and ground water needs a policy, addressing this critical vicious cycle. It has been proposed that solar renewable energy and micro drip irrigation certainly provide the sustainable solution.
My talk will express how this existing problem is defined in consultation with all the stake holders and potential for conservation of natural resources by proposed research in design and development of integrated model of solar water pump and micro drip irrigation systems.
150: Highlighting the role of young farmers, entrepreneurs and researchers (Pavlos Georgiadis, Greece)
I have been involved in the youth food movement since its early stages (2007). Below, I will try to outline three projects which I have created with the role of young farmer, entrepreneur and researcher. In the next weeks I have in schedule two TEDx talks (12 October at TEDxYouth in Amsterdam and 9 November at TEDxUniversity Of Macedonia/Thessaloniki) in which I am talking about the duty of reconciling our generation with the land, sustainable agriculture, future of food, taste education, young farmers etc.
In my LinkedIn profile, you can see my research and work experience in the fields of ethnobotany, ecosystem restoration and sustainable landscape management.
Here are my current three projects that directly target young people. I could speak about one or all of them, as they are pretty much connected.
We Deliver Taste
“We Deliver Taste” is one of the very first international food startups: an innovative platform that aims to create a bridge between producers and consumers.
Based on the principles of transparency and fair trade, we provide custom-made consultancy to small producers in the areas of regenerative, sustainable landscape management, branding and product development. Besides assisting young farmers to create extrovert commercial brands, we buy their products and we place them in high-end markets in Europe and overseas, through our webshop.
In this way, we aim to improve market access for small-scale farmers that cannot enter mainstream supply chains, while providing incentives for them to produce in ways that respect local traditions, conserve the soils, enhance biodiversity and protect natural resources. Simultaneously, we organize gastronomic events and tastings, in order to educate consumers on the stories and taste quality of these products. In this way, we aim to manage the supply chains of quality foods at their whole length: from the field to the plate.
The start-up was created by an international team of young scientists and professionals with studies and research in the fields of gastronomy, food and agriculture. We maintain excellent contacts with a wide network of young professionals. Inspired by the principles of Slow Food and the Slow Food Youth Network, we promote an experiential, feel-good food aesthetic. We aim to young, conscious consumers and connect them directly with young farmers that produce with respect to sustainability, ethics and tradition.
Calypso – Single Variety Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Calypso is produced of carefully cultivated trees that thrive in clean, healthy soils full of life. We follow innovative methods of regenerative, biodynamic farming aiming to increase fertility, always respecting the biodiversity and the soil structure. We aim to gradually increase soil organic matter with the application of organic plant and animal manure, zeolite, effective microorganisms and our self-made compost.
The family farm is managed by young people, who consider organic farming as a life purpose. Being dedicated to the continuous development and improvement of taste quality, we try to be constantly updated on the latest culinary trends and technologies around the world of olive oil. We aim to combine an extroverted business attitude with deep knowledge of the traditions of local oliviculture, which we are continuously rediscovering through systematic ethnographic and ethnobotanical research. By creating a commercial success, we preserve one of the last ancient olive landscapes of the Mediterranean, while conserving the ancient olive variety “Makri”.
We follow an entrepreneurial vision that stems from our family’s values, aiming to offer the best of our trees and our land to the lovers of fine food. Using the same traditional harvesting methods applied since four generations, we cultivate 1200 ancient olive trees and we are the first producers to follow the principles of organic farming in our region. In this way, we aim to become a model for other producers to follow, but also ambassadors of quality, authentic Greek products abroad.
Farming on Crisis?
What future can we hope for with only 6% of Europe’s farmers under the age of 35? How does agriculture affect the environment? And how does the economic crisis affect our food security? Today, it is a challenge for all peoples of Europe to jointly draw a new strategy for a better food and agricultural system. What we eat, and the way that we produce it is everyone’s concern. It affects the environment, the economy and our very human civilization. Each one of us has to consider his own role and responsibility in shaping the future of our food.
This is the topic of the award-winning video-blog and short documentary “Farming on Crisis?”. The untold story of the Greek countryside unfolds through a man’s journey across the crisis-stricken country, uncovering the stories of young farmers and the prospects of revamping the economy through sustainable rural development. Building a bridge between the small and the large; the urban and the rural; the local with the global, the film uses the case of Greece in order to touch urgent global challenges like food security, the environment and the future of our food.
All submissions are published “as is”. They might contain inaccuracies. The submitted proposals were only edited for basic formatting.
We encourage you to share these submissions on Twitter (use the #GLFCOP19 tag) and Facebook, and invite your friends and colleagues to vote too.
Check also all the other submissions, and cast your vote there too! Which entry did really catch your eye? Tell us why, in a comment to this post!
Photo: “Irrigation of food crops during the dry season in drought-affected Nicaragua” (by Neil Palmer – CIAT)