The role of youth in guarding forests

A participant delivers the summary of a discussion during a special youth session at Forests Asia Summit 2014 at ShangriLa Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, 5 May, 2014. (CIFOR)

A participant delivers the summary of a discussion during a special youth session at Forests Asia Summit 2014 at ShangriLa Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, 5 May, 2014. (CIFOR)

“Youth is not just the youth,” said Yi Ying Teh at the 2014 Forests Asia Summit.

In the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta, Yi Ying — a youth session moderator at the summit, and the master of ceremonies on its second day — opened with an inspirational speech. As she spoke, she talked about the role of youth in guarding our forests.

She also spoke about the youth session that took place on May 5, which was attended by many young people. Yi Ying was the moderator for a discussion group on governance during the session, and said she had never seen spirit like that of the youth team.

Yi Ying believes that youth are “not just youth” because they represent business, government, and also the future. She and the session’s participants talked about which sectors have a role in finding solutions to forest issues. To ensure the youth voice is heard, Sarah Dickson-Hoyle — Melbourne University’s lead representative for the International Forestry Students’ Association — will present the key recommendations from the youth session’s governance team in the Summit’s closing plenary session.

Mass publication on this topic is possible through social media. During the first day, over 4,000 #ForestsAsia tweets were sent by 663 contributors and delivered to 1,796,000 different Twitter users all over the globe. Even the President of Indonesia tweeted about the Summit!

In terms of web traffic, the Forests Asia website received 20,000 visits in the first day of the summit. Over 2,500 people watched the online webcast. Various stories have been published on the Forests Asia Storify in addition to — last but not least — numerous blogposts about and inspired by the event.

Along with Yi Ying, let’s work to find a solution to keeping forests as forests. Join us by spreading information about the issues being discussed at the 2014 Forests Asia Summit, especially by tweeting with the hashtag #ForestsAsia.

Hana Rosmalia Alfia is a student at the University of Indonesia, Depok.

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