Monday 5 May, 2014
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At the Forests Asia Summit on Monday May 5, CIFOR, the International Forestry Students Association and YPARD brought together youth from Southeast Asia to identify new ways of tackling major forestry issues and how youth can help drive such solutions forward.
Youth were split into five roundtables based on the Summit themes. Here are the key recommendations that came out of each roundtable discussion.
Topic: How can youth work with local communities to achieve development outcomes? More: http://www.cifor.org/forestsasia/e-discussion-can-youth-work-local-communities-achieve-development-outcomes/
- Governments should support capacity development of local communities to raise their awareness and knowledge to give them more bargaining power.
- Youth should be encouraged to act as a bridge between other youth, private sector, organizations, government and the local communities. They can deliver important messages about forest sustainability to every stakeholder by using social media platforms or concrete movements.
- Governments should enforce activities and regulations that ensure companies are operating in sustainable and equitable ways – e.g. supporting Community Cooperative for Small and Medium Enterprise; assessing and managing high conversion area (HCV); land swapping that pushes companies to use marginal land for their concession instead of forestland; providing health services, infrastructure and basic education for the communities in concession areas; sharing benefits equitably.
Topic: What skills do youth need for future climate change careers? More: http://www.cifor.org/forestsasia/e-discussion-skills-youth-need-future-climate-change-careers/
We ask governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and the private sector to:
- Increase funding for skills training and education for youth of all ages so that all youth have the same opportunity to build climate change skills;
- Develop partnerships between youth, the education system and job providers to ensure that relevant climate change skills can be acquired at all levels;
- Enhance involvement and engagement of youth in climate change conferences and decision-making, not just through participation but also through training and capacity building;
- Provide seed funding for youth driven climate change projects so that youth have a chance to ‘learn on the job’ and test our own solutions;
- Promote climate change jobs to build on the passion and commitment youth have by providing information on the paths that can be taken for youth to contribute to addressing climate change in Southeast Asia.
Topic: To explore the green investment topics that are most important to youth in the region, and then devise ways that youth can organize to better influence green investment processes. More: http://www.cifor.org/forestsasia/loreal-nestle-others-committing-zero-deforestationbut-youth/
- NGOs and private sector could work together to engage youth and enhance their capacity in issues related to green investment decisions and sustainability. Engaging with experts as mentors to help youth groups target their campaigns and actions through the most effective channels, and make informed and coherent recommendations to policy development.
- NGOs and young professionals should work with youth to develop consumer campaigns to build understanding of the most pressing green investment issues in the region and the consequences of consumption of unsustainable products. Using celebrities, role models and media channels can help elevate the position and increase the effectiveness of these campaigns.
- Different forums, including private sector, governmental and non governmental actors (e.g. RSPO, ISPO, Natural Capital Declaration, TFA 2020, ASEAN economic community council meetings) within South-East Asia should reach out to youth in the region by using existing networks (IFSA, KOPHI) to enhance their input in the important dialogues that will shape their future.
Topic: What can young people do to encourage good governance of Southeast Asia’s forests? More: http://www.cifor.org/forestsasia/e-discussion-can-young-people-encourage-good-governance-southeast-asias-forests/
- We urge ASEAN to establish a Youth Secretariat on the Environment and grant youth access to high-level meetings such as the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment and Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
- We urge governments to enhance law enforcement on forest fires by establishing a mechanism for youth and the wider public to participate in monitoring and reporting forest fires (using ICTs such as text messaging, apps and social media), and for follow-up action to be taken by governments upon receiving this information.
- We urge governments to lead by example and purchase certified forest products and contract suppliers with sustainable practices
- We call on the private sector to not only comply with minimum standards of certification schemes, but to go beyond and operate in a way consistent with the spirit of certification schemes and ensure zero deforestation
Topic: How can youth promote the importance of Southeast Asia’s forest foods? More: http://www.cifor.org/forestsasia/e-discussion-can-youth-promote-importance-se-asias-forest-foods/
- Policy-makers should support more agroforestry projects and edible landscapes in the communities to improve food access. Local governments should start the integration of forests in the urban areas by encouraging the establishment of backyard gardens for each household and developing more edible botanic gardens. This activities would encourage the youth to promote the benefits of trees as sources of food through social media.
- Local leaders should support youth to conduct social entrepreneurship in communities that aim to develop products for food and added income. The mobilization of different youth organizations with the support of the local leaders will help in the information dissemination and sharing of knowledge for the communities.
- Young professionals should be encouraged to pursue research on potential sources of food. Studies on food alternatives such as mushrooms, wildlife and non-timber forest products are still needed and the participation of youth in these studies will help develop new ideas and innovations.
The views expressed in these recommendations are those of the Summit participants and do not necessarily represent the Center for International Forestry Research.