E-Discussion: What skills do youth need for future climate change careers?

Help wanted – motivated staff with diverse skill sets needed to deliver global environmental benefits, build local livelihoods, and contribute to low emissions development on the ground.

Help wanted – motivated staff with diverse skill sets needed to deliver global environmental benefits, build local livelihoods, and contribute to low emissions development on the ground.

By Jamie Webbe, moderator of the climate change discussion at the youth session. Share your thoughts by commenting at the end of this blogpost!

How often to do you look at your resume and reflect on the skills you might need to build to be a competitive job seeker in the future?

At the youth session of the Forests Asia Summit, we hope to work together with you to identify the skills young people need to build to be effective future employees in climate change projects.

One initiative that is expected to result in a big job push is a scheme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, or REDD+.

This video explains REDD+ quite well:

As assessment of only 41 REDD+ projects revealed that 1,500 jobs were created. And these projects are still working on the initial stages of REDD+ alone.

And yet, a recent survey of employers in Vietnam revealed that, despite a high literacy rate, 80% of applicants don’t have the skills needed for professional and technical posts.

The technologies and skills required for climate change jobs will provide an opportunity for youth to innovate and develop new skills. And youth are uniquely positioned to take up these challenging roles and develop the diverse skill sets.

Let’s take a look at some of the skills that you might need for future forestry, social science and climate policy/advocacy jobs.

Forestry:

  •  Sustainable forest management planning
  • Plot sampling
  • Propagation of seedlings
  • Valuation of ecosystem services
  • Analysis of satellite data

Social Scientists:

  • Livelihoods analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Benefit sharing mechanisms
  • Gender mainstreaming

Climate policy/advocacy:

  • Policy analysis
  • Development of incentive frameworks
  • Harmonization of policies
  • Negotiation skills

Providing mentorship, internships, capacity-building and specialized skills training are just some ways youth can be mobilized to fill the skills gap. And filling these gaps will keep REDD+ jobs within countries, maximizing the contribution of REDD+ to low emissions development on the ground.

In Southeast Asia, advocacy organizations are already working to develop skills among youth for climate change and REDD+.

Challenge to Change supports youth skill-building in Vietnam through youth forums and drafting youth action plans to address climate change.

How often to do you look at your resume and reflect on the skills you might need to build to be a competitive job seeker in the future?

Please take a moment to share your ideas with us:

  1. How have you participated in projects or initiatives aiming to address climate change in Southeast Asia?
  2. What skills did you need to work effectively on these projects?
  3. What steps are needed to empower youth so they acquire such skills?

35 Responses to "E-Discussion: What skills do youth need for future climate change careers?"

  1. PURNA CHANDRA MOHANTA Posted on May 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Skill must required for youth,Now a days maximum youths want jobs to earn money,Youths are now searching for shut cut ways for earning money.No one is interested to make career in farming,agriculture.Awareness required for future climate change.

    If we make improvement in farming sector,and also in agriculture ,ultimately help to change climate… Not in improvement of Industry,,,

  2. Tran Kim Hoan Posted on May 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

    All of skill is lack in school in Viet Nam, we would love to learn through camps because the school do not teach

  3. Jaime Posted on May 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Karsidi, I think the big problem with internships at the moment is that seldom to projects budget for this in the project preparation stage. Unpaid internships are difficult for many youth but the benefits that such internships deliver both for the project and beyond are substantial.

    Perhaps there’s an opportunity to raise the awareness of internship benefits among funding agencies and those responsible for project preparation. Do you know of any good practice examples of project internships that could be shared with funders?

  4. Jaime Posted on May 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Diny, that’s a very interesting point. Later this week there will be a workshop on private sector financing options for REDD+ it would be interesting to see if REDD+ is included in any business school courses

  5. Diny Hartiningtias Posted on May 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    hello all,

    Because until now there is no REDD mechanism agreed between countries, I think youth should learn alternative financing mechanisms such as VCS and RFS.

  6. Karsidi Ahmad Posted on April 30, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Wow, just very diverse and rich discussion on this topic. In respond to the above questions, thinking about what the skill that youth need to have in facing many opportunity working on REDD+ or other climate change relevance Job, first what comes in my mind is to have a right platform to obtain the knowledge on this. Despite the fact that universities provides subject about climate change and REDD+, letting youth involved in many workshop and seminar is surely essential. Stakeholders shall have an idea to invite youth or student organization when they start to have a project implementation in REDD and Climate change. This somehow seems to be forgotten which anyway is very significant for youth capacity building. Second, when it comes to have good knowledge on this issue, bringing youth or student in the implementation of project is the next great step. Youth can play many role in helping the project implementation such as being data collector or doing research which latter could be their thesis. Providing internship or involvement of youth by stakeholders here should be made widely available as the scheme to involve youth. I think when youth is involved on this process as they experienced, it will step by step develop their other skill such as communication, negotiation, which combined with academic knowledge on forestry management, etc, so Youth can be more prepared and are ready to involve and participate in any work relevance climate change and REDD+ Issue.

    • Sarah IFSA Posted on May 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      I completely agree with your point Karsidi, about getting involved in workshops, seminars, and applied research early on – and that universities should work to facilitate this! When they don’t, being part of an active youth network can also provide a platform to access these sorts of processes :)

  7. Alfian Posted on April 30, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Converting forests for ecotourism. forests have big potential to become a travel destination. By converting forests into ecotourism it means involving the local community, government, and visitors for sustainable forest.

    When the forest becomes ecotourism that means the government has a responsibility to make “sustainable forest management planning”. The local community also has a responsibility to keep the forest in order to remain sustainable ecotourism. To converting forests into ecotourism that means giving employment to the local community and contribute to creating a micro climate and play a role in addressing climate change.

  8. Ratih Posted on April 30, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Hi all, very glad to read all of opinion from the online discussion
    participants.

    In my opinion , volition that supported by the expertise are the main capital to achieve a goal . Forestry sector in a large world problem .On the topic of climate change in this time , I have an opinion to do a program to help schools become ADIWIYATA school with all of IFSA members . In Indonesia ADIWIYATA School is a school-based environment. With grow awareness for the environment to the early age of people , will help produce young people become a youth who have more awareness about the environment .

    One important aspect that becomes an assessment in ADIWIYATA School is the education of forest or school of forest. The existence of the forest management will lead to micro-climate change in the school environment to a better direction. People who feel comfortable with the school forest will be motivated to care about environment and forests . To make this happen , we need knowledge about ADIWIYATA and sustainable forest management .

    The steps needed to realize this program is learn about ADIWIYATA , learn the techniques of sustainable forest management with lecturer who experts in that field and then work with the school as well as local government and of course looking for sponsors or stakeholder for it . After that , there should be division of labor to tend the trees in the forest and school environment that are being managed . This program is a long-term program and require cooperation and strong commitment from each part .

    Some time ago, I was active to helping my school become an National ADIWIYATA school with active in maintain and tend the school environment and trees in the forest of school . With my experience , I hope I can realize that program to address climate change in the world step by step .

  9. Alfian Posted on April 29, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Converting forests for ecotourism. forests have big potential
    to become a travel destination. By converting forests into ecotourism it means
    involving the local community, government, and visitors for sustainable forest.

    When the forest becomes ecotourism that means the government
    has a responsibility to make “sustainable forest
    management planning”. The local community also has a
    responsibility to keep the forest in order to remain sustainable ecotourism. To
    converting forests into ecotourism that means giving employment to the local
    community and contribute to creating a micro climate and play a role in
    addressing climate change.

  10. Muhammad Iqbal Busra Posted on April 29, 2014 at 6:36 am

    I have participated with some simple things but it will have a major impact when we do this things together. Such as save energy use in every daily life, reduce the use of motor vehicles which have an impact on air pollution, and not smoke.The skills that I need are how can I influence the others to join as
    well as addressing climate change, negotiation skills to the community, and ability to works together with community for addressing climate change.
    Awaken consciousness of youth with training regarding the impacts of climate change and the discussion on how to address climate change. So the youth can implement and invites the others to address climate change.

  11. Jaime Posted on April 29, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Citra,

    I’d love to hear more about how you demonstrated that the local actions you promote are helping to address the global problem of climate change.

  12. Jaime Posted on April 29, 2014 at 3:53 am

    Stevie and Rahmawaty,

    I see different challenges in engaging existing youth organizations in climate change versus engaging existing climate change / community organizations in youth engagement. It sounds like you have experience in both, it would be great if you could give your own insight as to what these challenges are and how they are different.

    People often talk about the challenges in climate change outreach because of the complexity of the issues however, I have found that it is, in fact, harder to convince climate change specialists about the important role of youth. I wonder if it’s because the science of climate change is well established whereas youth engagement is a human rights / stakeholder issue, not necessarily a scientific one.

    • rahmawaty Posted on April 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I am actively involved in watershed forum, where one of the activities is to assist CBOs/youth both in rural and urban. CBO is formed by the willingness and initiative of the local people (youth). activities that they do in fact directly related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. some of the activities carried out are : seedlings, planting tree in an open area, the location of the public cemetery and river banks, the application of the 3Rs, waste management, making holes biopori, composting of organic materials and others. with the application of a simple and inexpensive technology will be more effective.

  13. rahmawaty Posted on April 28, 2014 at 8:24 am

    commmunity based organization is needed and community assistance…

  14. Stevie Harison Posted on April 28, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I think there is one more classification to be added, “NGO Volunteers”, due to young peoples that concerned on climate change issues would surely join as volunteer in related NGOs. Well, as in my experience (1 year for the Indonesian Civil Society Forum for Climate Justice), there are several key skills required to be a professional NGO volunteers that sometimes abandoned by many peoples. Debate and discussion skills, have supporting knowledge and experiences on eco-friendly lifestyles and climate change policies, and last but not least is dare to be different in approaching peoples to join the movement that initiated by the NGOs. Thank you.

  15. Citra Regia Posted on April 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Climate change is actually a necessity, because the earth’s climate is dynamic
    and changes in the normal cycle, but now exacerbated conditions change
    as a result of human activity. Then, what can I do as a forestry student, things like waste management and create biopori for hoarding waste (green waste) so that gains can be obtained for the soil and the plants that grow on or around it as it gets nutrients and minerals from the soil microbial activity,then reduce the use of energy such as motors and cars and choose to use green transportation such as a bus or bike to campus for a short distance (at least to replace the motor 30 or 15 private cars), but it also can plant tree seedlings in the scope of the campus and vacant land next to the house, as we know that it is very hard to find today’s urban forest.

    And skills needed is a real action to make sure these things into existence. not only theoritically.

    Things that can drive the youth in this regard is spreading “the virus” whether the green concept to the wider community by building a green community (green community) and then conducting a campaign activities environmentally
    friendly (green campaign), and we can also share those informations
    through social media to inspire them to participate in mitigating
    climate change.

  16. Citra Regia Posted on April 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Climate change is actually a necessity, because the earth’s climate is dynamic
    and changes in the normal cycle, but now exacerbated conditions change
    as a result of human activity. Then,
    what can I do as a forestry student, things like waste management and
    create biopori for hoarding waste (green waste) so that gains can be
    obtained for the soil and the plants that grow on or around it as it
    gets nutrients and minerals from the soil microbial activity,
    then reduce the use of energy such as motors and cars and choose to use
    green transportation such as a bus or bike to campus for a short distance
    (at least to replace the motor 30 or 15 private cars), but it also can
    plant tree seedlings in the scope of the campus and vacant land next to
    the house, as we know that it is very hard to find today’s urban forest.
    And skills needed is just real action to make sure these things into existence. not only theoritically.
    Things that can drive the youth in this regard is spreading “the virus”
    whether the green concept to the wider community by building a green
    community (green community) and then conducting a campaign activities
    environmentally friendly (green campaign), and we can also share those informations through social media to inspire them to participate in mitigating climate change.

  17. Nuri Posted on April 26, 2014 at 12:26 am

    I think we should have adaptation and mitigation skill to face climate change. As youth, we need to have further knowledge about climate change and some alternatives to solve many sector problem because of climate change, and we need to share that to the society with a simple ways so the society can easly understand what they have to do soon, they are noticed that we need to increase survival skill and healtiness for adapting the condition of climate that quickly change, for example,sport regullary and eat some food that have a lot of nutritions. And for the mitigation skill, we need to develop renewable resources for fuel that produce smaller polution than fuel from non renewable resources.like sun radiation, heat of earth, and nabati oil like ‘jarak pagar’ oil

  18. Ivanna Posted on April 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    hai,im Ivanna febrissa.. I take major forest resource conservation. Climate change is important issue now,and especially Asean have a big role fot this issue. as a student we can help to reduce carbon emissoin with small thing,start from our daily

    life like start palnting in your own garden,your campus. We need skills how to manage our forest,economic to count how much carbon credit and budgetting from carbon credit. because REDD+ help and take a part in conservation to so,me as conservationis can pursued other students to take action for REDD+

    • Sarah IFSA Posted on April 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Ivanna – with your focus on REDD+, what sort of skills do you think you or your class mates would need to work for a REDD+ project in the future?

      Do you think you are learning the right theory and practical skills in your forest conservation major, or are there other things you think you need/wish you were learning?

      How could we make sure you (and other young people) can develop these skills so that you can successfully work in the climate change field once you graduate?

  19. Shinta Posted on April 24, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Climate change is one of the biggest challenges today. Current generation and future generations in the hands of the current leaders, organizations, institutions, and communities. as a youth, this is a very interesting challenge to overcome. Treatment efforts can be started from a simple thing, such as participating in projects to create awareness campaigns about global change to the community. But before starting to do that, understanding the science of climate change affecting the forest also needs to be improved so that the application can provide a good solution.

  20. M Firdaus Iqbal Posted on April 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Recently i’m an undergraduate student of forestry, majoring forest management,
    I have study of an impact of climate change to food security, poverty, and development constrain.
    To address climate change in asia, we need some parameter, such as termperature in this area, so we need the data and information of the spatial of particular area.
    So we need to understand GIS, gis database input can achieved from terestrial survey, or remote sensing, as remote sensing as part of important technology in forestry. As a youth this is the challenging skill that must be mastered. Analysis of satellite data, and become a GIS data that can be analyzed, modeling, and become of part of key to the policy.
    As i read this article, http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0418-forestinnovation-kimbrough-mulligan.html

    I have been more motivated to mastering this skill for implement sustainable forest management

  21. Machteld Posted on April 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Interesting questions!
    My first thoughts are first of all, that the overall approach and skill set should be very inter- and multidisciplinary. For instance think about skills not only in forestry but also in agroforestry, water and soil conservation etc. I think that with increasing demands for agricultural land and increased pressure on forests, to sustain and expand forest areas rewildling, agroforestry and other forms of multifunctional forests play a significant role. And thus, scientists with an interdisciplinary skill set can have an added value.
    Second of all, another skill I think could be interesting, is to have knowledge of “Long-term transformative change”, i.e. transition science. How to change towards regional (SE Asia) sustainable forest management for instance would depend on changes in regimes/domains as result of numbers of significant niche innovations.

  22. Jaime Posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Thanks so much Deny, you might be interested in connecting with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) which has conducted a lot of research on the role of agroforestry in livelihoods and REDD+.

    One good report to start with is: http://www.asb.cgiar.org/story/category/icraf-landscape-approach-among-success-projects-norad-oslo-redd-exchange-results-bar

  23. Jaime Posted on April 24, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Hi Sarah, there has been a good amount of work done on empowering indigenous peoples to participate in forest monitoring which I think could serve as a good model for youth engagement as well. One of the most important aspects of such approaches to forest monitoring is the recognition of the value of local knowledge combined with scientific approaches.

    Have a look at: http://www.forestcarbonpartnership.org/sites/forestcarbonpartnership.org/files/Documents/PDF/Feb2011/Indigenous%20Peoples'%20Perspective%20on%20Community%20based%20MRV%20for%20Social%20and%20Enviromental%20Standards.pdf

    It would be useful to discuss which elements of the above could be most easily applied to youth.

  24. Sarah IFSA Posted on April 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Two aspects of this question jump out at me. 1) How can young people, who are studying/hoping to work professionally in this field, acquire the necessary skills and access opportunities; and 2) How can we build capacity in local youth/communities to participate in REDD+/climate change related projects?

    On #2…In the last year or so I’ve read a few studies and articles that look at community based measurement/monitoring for REDD+ projects – while this has been (to my knowledge) focussed on things like plot data collection, what about more active roles and engagement, such as in survey/project design, social/livelihoods/impact assessments etc? And who better to target than youth, for many of these? I am curious as to whether this is something being discussed? How to train young, local people to give them the skills needed to participate in/contribute to projects in their communities or regions, which could open up future opportunities as well. Just some thoughts and questions….

  25. Deny Fakhriza Posted on April 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I think climate change in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia did not get out of the woods decreasing function that causes a lack of awareness of the people to keep and maintain the forest. economically Indonesian people, especially the island of Borneo is very low economic growth, is inversely related to the fact that there is, society should prosper Kalimantan as the natural result will be utilized optimally, but governments and companies are less in favor of them. therefore I offer project is to implement a system of cropping patterns agroforstry, I and my team of IFSA LC UNLAM to ask for guidance with associated faculty in cooperation with forest communities to re-establish the pattern of agroforestry systems by way of community forestry systems, especially in the area of ​​South Kalimantan (Mount Kupang districts). combining rubber plant (Hevea brazilliansis) and food crops.

    we should have the ability to communicate is good and true to the community that understands the importance of forests and cooperate in building a pattern of agroforestry systems. Our example from academia gives examples of technological development as well invite the public to participate directly with us.

    steps that must be done is to negotiate with the leaders of the village forest, good approach and directly participate to the community, then ask for help to lecturers who regard his expertise on the application of agroforestry systems, as well as establish a good relationship with steakholder so as to balance the activity can ecologically beneficial, economic, and social communities.

    • Sarah IFSA Posted on April 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

      That sounds like another great (IFSA!) project Deny :)

      I think having experience working and negotiating with local communities is really valuable! For your agroforestry project, did any of your UNLAM students come from those forest communities? Or did your university find the project for you?

      • deny fakhriza Posted on May 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        in the near term me and my friends accompanied by a lecturer who has skills to enter the field of agroforestry will hold a social practice of forestry in South Kalimantan and we try to apply the system to the residents around the forest to want to do it

  26. Anna Finke Posted on April 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I personally think it’s less about possessing all the skills for a certain job (because frankly you will never know where you end up and what you need there except if you get your work contract before you even start studying) but about acquiring the ability and attitude to learn fast and adapt to a new environment.
    The better question therefore would be: of those 80% that didn’t have the skills, how many had if after one year? How much did it matter if the had the skills or the willingness to lean in?
    I think if you’re in the right field, at least, it should be regarded as normal to not have all the skills. Especially during times like now, where constant learning is a key skill to even survive.
    There may be one exception to this and that could be languages: if you know you want to work in a certain region of the world (best you kind of know the country), learn the language as early as possible. But with most other things: accept that university is far from the last place were you will have to learn new things.

  27. enjang asri Posted on April 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Climate change becomes a hot issue now especially in our country (Indonesia) because we are one of big archipelago country which is really sensitive with the climate. There were so many programs in my school and my student organization to increase the awareness to climate. For example I was an active to be organizer of several national seminar/workshops about land use change or climate change in Indonesia held by IFSA LC UGM. I was also active in organizing campus media that produced campus booklet and wall magazine about forestry, climate change and our activities to increase climate change awareness of the students. I also ever joined campus project to do a rehabilitation program in ex-mining land in East Belitung, Belitung, Sumatera. I observed, gathered data and information about Belitung bio-physic and the socio-economic condition. All the experience helped me a lot in applying some jobs related to climate change or environmental issues.

    I think communication skill and be able to work in a team is very important skill, because in that climate change project (as we know climate change is complicated problem), we can’t work by our own and it needs good collaboration to achieve the goals of the projects.

    In my opinion, join some projects in campus, have active discussion with friends, seniors or even lecturers also active in youth organization will be a very good experience and a good credit to continue our carrier in climate change or forestry sector.

    • Sarah IFSA Posted on April 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Can I ask, how did you organise the rehabilitation project in East Belitung? Did the university organise this, or a student group? Who provided funding?

      I think it would be great for organisations working in this field to tap into the huge pool of skills and resources that are found in university students! Of course, there are internships offered, but of course not enough for everyone. As you say, practical experience like this during your studies is so valuable!

      • enjang asri Posted on April 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

        Yes, the project was organised by our university together with local government in East Belitung. The full funding was from the government because they asked my university to help them to do the rehabilitation.

        Yes, you are right that is the internship is not enough for everyone, but sometimes all we need is being active to find any kind of opportunity. Join university research or create small project with your local organizations can be a valuable experience also.

        Maybe you can share your experiences Sarah, because as I know that you are travelling around the world and I am pretty sure that you must have gained a lot of great experience that will help you in applying jobs. :)

        • Sarah IFSA Posted on April 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

          I think that’s a great model – local governments liaising with universities. It could be a great win win – probably (?) cheaper than having to hire people to do the work, the university can build a project around it, and students gain practical real world experience!

          You’re right ;) Involvement with IFSA has given me a lot of opportunities – it’s about power in numbers! ie joining youth groups/networks, who, as a collective, can access and advocate for opportunities.

          I’ve been working in various professional forestry/environmental roles for a few years, and have applied for more jobs than I can count! I 100% agree that communication and team skills are important – these are ALWAYS listed as criteria on job applications. Of course, having practical experience (doing field work, conducting research etc) is really important too – but I feel that this can be learnt more easily on the job than other things.

          I realised in my later uni years that there were lots of opportunities to gain practical experience, I just had to seek them out. For example, researchers often wanted volunteers to help them with field work. This wasn’t advertised, but just done through word of mouth. It’s about finding out who is doing what at your uni, and making connections and approaching people – getting your name out there as someone who is keen and willing!

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