By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
Youth in rural areas of the world have the potential to contribute greatly to addressing global food security issues and sustainable development.
This message was highlighted at the youth session of the recent second Global Landscapes Forum in Lima, Peru.
In Papua New Guinean, rural youth are not given the support needed to sustain themselves, in areas like agriculture, where there are far greater benefits. The importance of aaaaagriculture is being pushed globally, as the way forward to addressing food security and sustainable and economic development, among other benefits, and youths have the potential to contribute effectively to this sector.
The session of addressing rural-urban migration of youth in the post-2015 development agenda discussed the role of youth as “key stakeholders and future leaders” of society and the need for young persons to be actively involved in decision-making to setting up the ‘agenda’ of development globally.
Participants prioritised discussions on issues relating to youth and landscapes to make specific recommendations to be submitted to policy makers for the ongoing negotiation process at the United Nations level on a global Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The discussions placed emphasis on the ability that rural youths had in playing a greater part in contributing to the effective management of landscapes; reasons being that the youth easily adapted to new technologies and incentives, valued and connected well with the natural environment and resources around them and were more willing to take risks.
The forum also looked at the many challenges faced by rural youth, citing the lack of opportunities available in rural areas, discrimination, low self-esteem and the ‘lack of connection’ to urban areas as some factors that hindered youths from using their full potential where needed.
Similar to what is faced by Papua New Guinea’s rural youth, the session discussed various factors that governments of the world must see the need in supporting; such as, access to education and health, access to financial and productive resources like land, water, credits, secured land tenure and effective governance of natural resources.
Other factors include infrastructure such as roads and bridges, communication technologies and access to markets, transportation and road networks, among others.
It was further highlighted that increased advocacy is needed to raise the perception of youth in both urban and rural areas and to create greater awareness of the significant role of youth working in aaaaagriculture to achieve global food security and the sustainable management of landscapes.