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From the director's desk

 By: Genna Tesdall, YPARD Director 

Dear members and partners of YPARD,

This year has started with hardly a pause before plunging into further global events. Whether you are struggling with the effects of the new war in Ukraine or the conflicts in Ethiopia, Yemen and around the world, famine, insecurity, and the effects of climate change and environmental degradation seem to become more acute with each passing month. The YPARD community is here with you. Lean on us to express your analysis of current events through an article, speaking slot, or organizing a seminar or webinar on a specific topic. Apply for competitive funds to make a YPARD Community Engagement Project in your locality, nation or region a reality. Just reach out to your Regional Coordinator and the Global Coordinating Unit. We are here to support.

To launch this year, YPARD at the global level is in full swing with the implementation and further planning of capacity building and policy engagement mechanisms for YPARD members.

Policy Engagement

YPARD members can now take part in our global Policy Working Group, which has convened twice in 2022, and prepared inputs to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Youth Draft Policy Recommendations. YPARD is also a newly admitted participant of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) Working Group, which has also submitted feedback for the CFS Youth Policy Recommendations. Soon, two Focal Points of the Policy will be selected, and the group has future topics for policy papers in 2022 to encompass the themes of food as a human right, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity preservation and restoration, and democratic youth leadership and engagement in policy and agricultural leadership. It is not too late to take part in this group, so please add yourself to the group by filling this form.

In preparation for future policy engagements this year, YPARD continues to work with YOUNGO in preparation for the Conference of the Parties on Climate Changes (COP) 27 in Egypt. As part of the preparations, YPARD and YOUNGO are collaborating on a webinar series with Biovision and World Wildlife Fund on the Koronivia Process. The first webinar for Latin America and the Caribbean was held in March, and further regional dialogues will follow.

Furthermore, YPARD continues to be an active partner of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)-hosted World Food Forum (WFF), and YPARD is an active part of the selection processes for the Young Scientists Group and leading the selection along with the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) for the Youth Action Track Focal Points Group. Stay tuned for further updates.

YPARD will be represented by committed and exceptional YPARD members in various for a as well this year. YPARD members were competitively selected to represent us at the World Forestry Congress (Jonas Atchade,Togo), UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Heitor Dellasta, Brazil), Stockholm 50`Process of the UN Environmental Programme (Erick Nunda, Democratic Republic of the Congo), and GFRAS Nutrition Sensitive Working Group (Rabiah Zuze, Malawi and Sebastán Acosta Villa, Chile). The policy positions these YPARD representatives bring forward will be negotiated in the YPARD Policy WG, so be sure to take part!

Capacity Building and Professionalization

YPARD continues to work on various capacity building efforts at the global and regional levels, all of which cannot be completely reviewed here! You have the opportunity to participate in developing mentorship and capacity building programs yourself through our working group, which you can join here.

At the global level, the Global Forum for Agricultural Innovation and Research (GFAR) and YPARD launched a quarterly webinar series entitled "GFAR Talks." The first edition focused on the future of the UN Food Systems Summit; stay tuned for the next edition, which is slated to occur in May. Furthermore, in partnership with GFRAS, several competitively selected YPARD members are taking part in the online Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) Training Series.

In Africa, a cohort of four Agricultural Sciences Interns have completed their placements at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in cooperation with YPARD Africa.

In Europe, a new collaboration with the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS), thanks to the global strategic partnership with the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), is launching the program YEUFRAS-YPARD Young Advisers Mentorship and Training Program.

Communication and Network Building

Huge thanks to the contributors to this newsletter from around the globe. You have not missed the chance to showcase your hard work to our international community.

The long awaited 2021 Annual Review is in preparation for a tentative release in June 2022. Be sure to submit your articles about your YPARD activities in 2020-2021 and plans for 2022 and beyond. Watch for announcements for calls for articles.

Stay tuned as well for quarterly Regional YPARD Cafes, which offer an opportunity for YPARD members, Country Representatives, and the Global Coordinating Unit to exchange ideas on particular topics of interest.

Administrative Developments

After leaving the hosting arrangement with GFAR at the FAO headquarters in Rome, YPARD continues to undergo a series of administrative developments. We are therefore pleased to announce an ongoing hosting agreement with the Swiss Association for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas (AGRIDEA) in continued close cooperation with GFRAS. We look forward to years more of constructive collaboration, and extend thanks for a little over one year of hosting.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) continues to be a huge supporter of YPARD, as well as to our regional hubs at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), the Chinese Academy for Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and FARA. The GCU and Regional Hubs are working hard to secure further support for your projects locally, regionally, and globally, and to help the network grow.

With that cursory summary of YPARD activities for quarter one of 2022, I invite you to read more about the activities of YPARD members in this newsletter.

With YPARD spirit,

Genna Tesdall

Winners of 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Af...
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Friday, 12 April 2024

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