Advocating for the active Engagement of the Youth in the Agricultural Value Chain

19 - 23 September 2011
Ezulwini, Swaziland

Youth Safeguarding Africa's Natural Resources and the Environment

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Amy Sullivan

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The earth’s environment is constantly changing, resulting in dramatic changes over prolonged periods of time. Environmental change is driven by a combination of factors including political, social, economic, climate and population growth. Humans and ecosystem have, to large extent, responded and adapted to these changes.

Following the Industrial Revolution, environmental change accelerated, posing significant challenges for the earth’s population. Evidence suggests that those changes are intensifying. The resulting climate change is expected to magnify existing agriculture problems and create new ones, particularly in developing countries where significant populations rely directly on the natural environment.

Therefore, current generations face a number of challenges, among them the knowledge gap between generations of farmers and fisher people. This gap is exacerbated by the perceived lack of interest in these fields by the youth, and lack of innovation that builds on past knowledge of how the local environment responds to on-going change.


  1. Identify innovative ways to engage youth in safeguarding Africa’s natural resources


  1. Key Note Speaker

Mr Michael Victor

Michael Victor is a communications and rural development specialist with almost 20 years experience focusing on communications, capacity development, and project design in the agriculture and natural resources management sectors. He has worked primarily in Asia since teaching in a remote village in Nepal with Peace Corps and more recently in a research capacity building project in Laos. He is currently the Global Communication Coordinator for the Challenge Program on Water and Food. He is married and has three daughters who teach about the concept of humility everyday.

  1. Panelists

Ms Hilma Angula

Hilma Angula is an intern at the Integrated Environmental Consultants Namibia (IECN). There she is part of a team that develops information toolkits on climate change adaptation for farmers and local communities in Namibia. Hilma has helped organize a Climate Change youth concert, Ambassadors training modules, ambassador’s award ceremony and the recent Namibian Climate Change Adaptation Youth conference. The two-day conference was part of a youth action programme and outreach strategy on climate change adaptation under the Africa Adaptation Project Namibia (AAP NAM) in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Dr Sepo Hachigonta

Sepo is responsible for coordinating FANRPAN's climate change projects including adaptation and mitigation. Since 2008, Sepo has been part of a training team that facilitated training workshops on the use of climate information for policy development. The training is facilitated by University of Cape Town (UCT) in collaboration with United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Sepo holds an MSc and a PhD in Environmental Science from UCT. He also holds a BSc in Physics and Electronics from the University of Zambia.

Dr Jean Marie Kileshye-Onema

Workshop programme

  1. Introduction (Sepo Haghigonta)
  2. Key Note on communications for youth in natural resources (Michael Victor)
  3. Youth in natural resources initiatives in Namibia (Hilma Angula)
  4. Climate change and the roles of youth (Sepo Hachigonta)
  5. Capacity building for research in natural resources (Jean Marie Kileshye-Onema)