JOIN THE DISCUSSION: How can we address rural-urban migration of youth in post-2015 development agenda?

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19 November 2014
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At the Global Landscapes Forum’s Youth Session, Ivonne Lobos Alva and Ayesha Constable will be facilitating a discussion on “landscapes and the Post-2015 Agenda.”

Global youth are key stakeholders and future leaders of society, and they need to be given the platform and to actively take the opportunity to set up the agenda for the future.

During our discussion, we will prioritize issues related 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 development agenda. We invite you to share your thoughts and contribute to the group’s final recommendations. You will find some guiding questions at the bottom of this post which you can give inputs to in the comment section.

At the session, we will discuss the Post-2015 Development Agenda, more specifically, the proposal for 17 Sustainable Development Goals  by the Open Working Group of the General Assembly in order to review the proposed goals that address issues related to youth and landscapes: i.e. goals for poverty eradication, food security and sustainable agriculture, inequality and the protection of terrestrial ecosystems. We will then split into working groups to discuss these issues based on case studies and experiences by the participants and formulate policy recommendations to be discussed in the wider group. Then, our session pitcher Mona Zoghbi will take our message to the wider audience of the Global Landscapes Forum.

Youth and landscapes are closely linked in the framework of sustainable development. Why should young people choose to stay in rural areas and engage in agricultural work or support sustainable landscape management? While many rural communities depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, they face increasing challenges of resource degradation, competition for scarce resources and the effects of climate change.

At the same time, we are seeing an increased trend of young people choosing to migrate from their rural homes to urban areas in search of better opportunities for education, social welfare, and employment. Can we create the necessary conditions to empower young people and provide them with more options?

We must critically and collectively reflect on an important landscape issue we are currently witnessing: A large percentage of global internal immigrants are young people and farmers. Young people are 40 percent more likely to move from rural to urban areas or across urban areas than older individuals. We should care about this issue because children and youth constitute the main share of population in many developing countries, accounting for almost half of the rural population.

The migration of rural youth has significant consequences for economic development and the sustainability of rural areas as the agricultural labor force is ageing. Who will farm lands and produce food? Who will manage landscapes to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and conserve water and land resources for the long-term? What are the wider repercussions for local, national and global food security and sustainable development?

To provide the context: a young person living in, and often leaving, rural areas, especially in developing countries is usually faced with great challenges and perplexing questions, such as “can I feasibly stay with my family, in my home town and make a decent living for myself?” “How can I contribute to the protection of the land and the resources around me, when I have little access to land and other productive resources or lack secure rights over the land on which I produce food?” “How can I gain a good education without having to move to a big city?”

This online discussion invites youth around the world to engage with current post-2015 development debates and decisions through sharing and discussing their ideas, stories, experiences and perspectives on how we can ensure decent livelihoods for youth who choose to stay in rural areas and to support their contribution to achieving global food security.

To delve more deeply into practical examples and personal experiences and to gather innovative ideas, here are a few questions (below) that we would like to hear your thoughts on:

  1. In what ways do you think young people in rural areas contribute to the sustainable use and management of landscapes (do you have any particular experiences or examples)?
  2. What, in your opinion or experience, are the main challenges that hinder or limit rural youth from focusing their time or career in managing landscapes and natural resources?
  3. How can the interests of rural youth be more effectively integrated in terms of topics, goals, targets and financing in the proposed SDGs?

Please join the discussion by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you and to representing your voice on a global stage at the Forum!

Ivonne, Mona and Ayesha.

Ollivier Girard for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Ollivier Girard for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

En la sesión de la juventud del Foro Global de Paisajes, Ivonne Lobos Alva y Ayesha Constable serán las facilitadoras en el debate de “Los paisajes  y la agenda post-2015”.

La juventud mundial son los actores claves y los futuros líderes de la sociedad, y necesitan que se les dé una plataforma y activamente tomen la oportunidad de establecer la agenda por el futuro.

Durante nuestra discusión, priorizaremos temas relacionados a la juventud y los paisajes para hacer recomendaciones específicas que se presentarán a los responsables políticos  para el proceso de negociación en curso en el ámbito de las Naciones Unidas en la agenda de desarrollo global. Los invitamos a compartir sus ideas y contribuir en las recomendaciones finales de grupo. Podrán encontrar algunas preguntas guías en la parte inferior de este post con los que podrían contribuir en la sección de comentarios.

En la sesión,  discutiremos la agenda de desarrollo post-2015, más concretamente,  la propuesta de 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible del Grupo de Trabajo abierto de la Asamblea General  con el fin de revisar los objetivos propuestos para afrontar las cuestiones relacionados a la juventud y los paisajes: por ejemplo, objetivos para la erradicación de la pobreza, seguridad alimentaria y agricultura sostenible, desigualdad y protección de ecosistemas terrestres. Nos dividiremos en grupos para discutir los temas basados en el grupo más amplio. Entonces, nuestra pitcher de la sesión, Mona Zoghbi,  llevará nuestro mensaje a la audiencia amplia del Foro Global de Paisajes.

La juventud y los paisajes están estrechamente vinculados en el marco del desarrollo sostenible. ¿Por qué deberían los jóvenes optar por quedarse en las zonas rurales y participar en el trabajo agrícola o apoyar a la gestión sostenible del paisaje? Mientras que muchas comunidades rurales dependen de los recursos naturales para su subsistencia, se enfrentan a crecientes desafíos de la degradación de los recursos, la competencia por los escasos recursos y los efectos del cambio climático.

Al mismo tiempo, estamos viendo un aumento en la tendencia de los jóvenes que deciden migrar de sus hogares rurales a zonas urbanas en busca de mejores oportunidades de educación, bienestar social, y trabajo. ¿Podemos crear las condiciones necesarias para empoderar a los jóvenes y proporcionarles más opciones?

Debemos reflexionar de manera crítica y colectiva sobre un asunto importante de paisaje que estamos presenciando: Un gran porcentaje de los inmigrantes internos a nivel global son los jóvenes y los agricultores. Los jóvenes tienen más del 40% más probabilidad de pasar del campo a la ciudad o cruzar áreas urbanas que los individuos mayores. Nos deberíamos preocupar en este tema, porque los niños y los jóvenes constituyen la parte principal de la población en muchos países en desarrollo, lo que representa cerca de la mitad de la población rural.

La migración de los jóvenes del medio rural tiene importantes consecuencias para el desarrollo económico y la sostenibilidad de las zonas rurales según la mano de obra agrícola va envejeciendo. ¿Quién va a cultivar las tierras y producir alimento? ¿Quién manejará los paisajes para incrementar la sostenibilidad de la actividad agrícola y la conservación de los recursos hídricos y del suelo a largo plazo? ¿Cuáles son las amplias repercusiones para la seguridad alimentaria local, nacional y global y el desarrollo sostenible?

Para proporcionar el contexto: un joven que vive en, y a menudo dejando, las zonas rurales, especialmente en los países en desarrollo, generalmente se enfrenta con grandes desafíos y preguntas desconcertantes, tales como “¿Es factible quedarme con mi familia, en mi ciudad natal y tener una vida decente?”, ” ¿Cómo puedo contribuir a la protección de la tierra y los recursos a mi alrededor, cuando tengo poco acceso a la tierra y a otros recursos productivos o me falta seguridad en los derechos sobre la tierra en la que produzco alimentos?”, “¿Cómo puedo obtener una buena educación sin tener que trasladarme a una ciudad grande?”.

Esta discusión en línea invita a los jóvenes alrededor del mundo a participar en los debates actuales sobre el desarrollo post-2015 y las decisiones, compartiendo y discutiendo sobre sus ideas, historias, experiencias y puntos de vista sobre cómo podemos asegurar medios de subsistencia decentes para los jóvenes que escogen quedarse en las zonas rurales y apoyar su contribución al logro de la seguridad alimentaria mundial.

Para profundizar más en ejemplos prácticos y experiencias personales y reunir ideas innovadoras, aquí hay algunas preguntas sobre las que nos gustaría conocer su opinión:

  1. ¿De qué manera cree usted que los jóvenes de las zonas rurales contribuyen al uso sostenible y manejo de los paisajes (¿tiene alguna experiencias o ejemplo en particular)? 
  2. ¿Cuáles, en su opinión o experiencia, son los principales retos que impiden o limitan a la juventud rural centrar su tiempo o su carrera en la gestión de paisajes y recursos naturales? 
  3. ¿Cómo los intereses de los jóvenes rurales pueden integrarse de manera más efectiva en términos de temas, objetivos, metas y financiamiento en los ODS propuestos?

Por favor, únete a la discusión mediante la publicación de un comentario má. Esperamos escuchar de ustedes  y representar su voz en un escenario global en el Foro!

Ivonne, Mona y Ayesha.

KEYWORD(S):

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13 Responses to: JOIN THE DISCUSSION: How can we address rural-urban migration of youth in post-2015 development agenda?

  1. Eshasensei

    November 20th, 2014

    In smaller developing countries where rural communities have been abandoned young people cannot be asked to stay when even the State has ‘left’. It is unfair to expect young people to take on the responsibility of sustaining and transforming these areas.

    Reply
  2. San Dana

    November 21st, 2014

    Young people, known as active labor ages, can play main roles in doing everything. There are main roofs raising up in developing countries to be considered:
    Lack of knowledge how to contribute to use and
    management of landscape in a sustainable way. Their living conditions force
    them giving up their education, having no much chances, having no determination and allowing their lives by their destinies. In this case, the education is very vital role to improve their situation. Moreover, providing course training are effective methods to develop their skills in order to adapt to the new
    challenges like climate changes as an example.

    Modern living styles are attracted their interests. We cannot blame to them. If we look at the rural conditions, there are so poor, such as infrastructures, public services and so on. Even they harvest their products, they are facing in selling at low prices. Therefore, we have to improve rural to be better in infrastructures as similar as urban area. Set the price in a suitable one.
    Youth people may think that their time or career should focus on another jobs because they don’t see any potential jobs related to managing landscapes and natural resources. For example, people live in my country considered as developing country do farm as traditional ways. It means that they have to spend a lot of resources especially their energy but they can get the fruitful back just a
    little; it is not balance for their spending. Sometimes, nothing they can back
    if there is changing in climate changes. In recent year, flooding had destroyed
    their farm. These have leaded them in debt. In short, they see high risk in
    these kind of jobs.
    If youth get interested in managing landscapes and natural resources, it can lead to be sustainable development according to some reasons. First of all, youth people are so active who are full of power and energy to achieve their goals. In case, they have to same goal; therefore, every issues will be solved by their participation.

    Reply
  3. San Dana

    November 21st, 2014

    Young people known as active labor ages can play main roles in doing everything.There are main roofs raising up in developing countries to be considered:
    Lack of knowledge how to contribute to use and management of landscape in a sustainable way. Their living conditions force them giving up their education, having no much chances, having no determination and allowing their lives by their destinies. In this case, the education is very vital role to improve their situation. Moreover, providing course training are effective methods to develop their skills in order to adapt to the new challenges like climate changes as an example.
    Modern living styles are attracted their interests. We cannot blame to them. If we look at the rural conditions, there are so poor, such as infrastructures, public services and so on. Even they harvest their products, they are facing in selling at low prices. Therefore, we have to improve rural to be better in infrastructures as similar as urban area. Set the price in a suitable one.
    Youth people may think that their time or career should focus on another jobs because they don’t see any potential jobs related to managing landscapes and natural resources. For example, people live in my country considered as developing country do farm as traditional ways. It means that they have to spend a lot of resources especially their energy but they can get the fruitful back just a little; it is not balance for their spending. Sometimes, nothing they can back if there is changing in climate changes. In recent year, flooding had destroyed their farm. These have leaded them in debt. In short, they see high risk in these kind of jobs
    If youth get interested in managing landscapes and natural resources, it can lead to be sustainable development according to some reasons. First of all, youth people are so active who are full of power and energy to achieve their goals. In case, they have to same goal; therefore, every issues will be solved by their participation.

    Reply
  4. Marina

    November 24th, 2014

    In response to the question of how these young people can be empowered and given more options. This is an idea for what we are seeing happening now, and not to try to keep them in the fields. I think a great idea would be to mimic internship and work-learn programs as seen here in North America with ever raising tuition prices. I suggest providing opportunities that simultaneously provide education and work part time. That was a child or young adult can further his/her education and paying for it him/herself. This would be hard to manage without proper laws and regulations on a government level (such as minimum wage, and fair documentation of what work is being done), and also without enforcement at the local level of these laws.

    Reply
  5. Kareem,O.Waheed

    November 24th, 2014

    Rural-urban drift of our youths has remain an obstacle to rural population. The unending search for greener pastures in the urban by the youths call for proper rumination. But what is really needed to revert this problem is for our government, stakeholders and all other actors concerned to use collective efforts to equip rural communities with necessary infrastructures such as electricity, schools, hospitals, good road network, potable water for drinking et al. With the use of electricity the youths can be easily trained on different types of entrepreneurship and vocational jobs that will bait them to stay. Then, private and public entreprises can also introduce their investments in the rural areas where several youths can be available for employment, since the cost of labour would have been cheaper for them to afford unlike in urban. However, government ought to make agriculture more attractive to our youths through the provision of improved inputs viz seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals at subsidised rates couple with soft loans that can power them for start. Technology centres are equally important, this will serve as information hub for them to have access to weather forecast, soil and water testing and to rub mind with subject matter specialists. This will build their capacity and expose them to practice climate smart agriculture (CSA). Youths are potent tools to manage natural resources in rural areas if they can be encouraged to practice CSA for sustainable development. Access to finance and appropriate technologies are part of the challenges facing the youths in rural areas. And the effect of climate change is also more pronounced as a challenge to them in their farming activities which tells so much on farm yields. This particular problem is solvable by giving attention to adaptive and genetically modified crops that can withstand the stress of climate change.

    Reply
  6. JonyRedy

    November 26th, 2014

    This is a rather narrow view on this issue as you seem to suggest the problem happens mainly in developing countries. Spain, Portugal and Poland, for instance, provide today’s seasonal workforce in any fruit plantation in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. In this case there is no such opportunity for education, social welfare and employment, either. This is simply hourly paid hard work. Everyone is supposed to work as much as possible and in most cases the “contractor” deducts great part of the money to “compensate” accommodation and even as a hold for next year’s season in case someone doesn’t come back. Rural urban migration happens not only locally from “El Alto to La Paz”. It happens internationally. The Local rural youth want the place of the “manager” in any urban office. Therefore the fields are full of temporary “expats”. The power of youth goes after money. Everyone has families and lives to hold and nobody can wait until the new “development goals” reach their region with opportunities. The issue happens globally and today MAINLY in developed rich countries who are proud to give some jobs to the poor neighbours while ignoring its own internal youth force migration issues. Berlin is rapidly absorbing the rural population of several neighbour states, for instance, and the same happens in other european capitals.

    Development goals are not immediate. it takes years of meetings and talks and international expert’s tourism to reach the next “agenda”. Besides that long term, the targets are wrong. It takes a bit of work to realise that a “rich” country or a “cool city” is generating all inequalities and dis-balances necessary to generate rural migration. But with a bit of effort and perhaps bigger eyes we may finally understand action can be also taken there by the rich, not only in the “poor underdeveloped” world.

    Reply
  7. Chris P

    November 28th, 2014

    Developing infrastructure is vitally important. However, it doesn’t
    address the whole issue. Rural water and electric systems, cell phone towers, and
    satellite TV have not kept American youth in the rural areas in the US,
    so this alone should not be expected to keep rural youth “in the
    villages” in the developing world. People are simply not going to remain in rural areas just because they are supposed to, no matter what romantic aura we build around the rural lifestyle. A large part of American rural flight
    has been a result of consolidation of large farms out of many smaller ones. If 500 one-acre farms become
    one 500-acre farm, 499 families need to find something else to do. For
    example, in Uganda where I lived for 2 years, farms are getting ever
    smaller due to an exploding population and their land tenure (and
    inheritance) system. Some farms are simply too small to be profitable. Hence, the time is coming (and is here, actually) when
    enterprising farmers with access to credit and capital will be buying up
    any land they can get their hands on, farming it mechanically (rather
    than by hand, as many are now) and displacing families wholesale. As
    developing world farming grows to resemble western-style farming, it
    will develop western-style farming problems. Flight to the cities being
    one of them. This is already happening in Uganda, where the best and
    the brightest go to cities, leaving only the resource-poor and poorly
    educated to farm. So what is the answer? I wish I knew. Reducing family
    sizes will go a long way, and education efforts to this end are
    beginning in Uganda. This will slow farm fragmentation, and allow family
    farms to remain large enough to be profitable for longer, and reduce
    the temptation for farmers to sell off their land to a local deep
    pocket. But these efforts need to happen organically, as there is no way
    to legislate family size (China has tried, with problems) or to ban
    land purchases (which has been tried, and not successful).

    Reply
  8. daniel

    December 2nd, 2014

    1.- En el norte del Perú (Cajamarca, Piura) hay jóvenes que se han convertido a la agricultura familiar, involucrándose de manera intensa en grupos (asociaciones, comunidades, cooperativas, etc.) donde llegan a cargos dirigenciales. Ellos ven en la innovación (técnica y organizacional) y en la adopción de comportamientos amigables con el medio ambiente (certificaciones, agricultura orgánica, etc) oportunidades de aumentar ingresos por aumento de producción y de mercados gracias a productos diferenciados que responden a demandas específicas (calidad, sostenibliidad, equidad, etc).

    2.- La ciudad ofrece una seria de ventajas respecto a calidad de vida (nivel de oportunidades academicas, laborales y de relaciones sociales, además de servicios básicos) que no da el campo en nuestro país. Esto hace que la movilidad social sea casi nula en la zona rural. Eso impulsa a que las propias familias vean el desarrollo productivo rural tradicional como no sostenible e impulsen a sus hijos a migrar.

    3.- Si el objetivo es el desarrollo sostenible de actividades antróopicas en el campo, deben buscarse oportunidades de beneficio económico a los jóvenes (exploración en temas de agro-turismo, agro-ecología con productos transformados o no, pero con valor agregado), ademas de brindar servicios básicos de calidad en zonas rurales (educación, electrificación, agua potable, etc) para disminuir la migración o fomentar el retorno una vez culminados los estudios universitarios en las grandes ciudades.

    Reply
  9. Javier

    December 5th, 2014

    En mi opinión, las redes y organizaciones de jóvenes que se crean cada año en diversos lugares del mundo son una de las mayores fuentes de creatividad y movilización activa por el desarrollo sostenible efectivo del planeta. No por su capacidad económica o política sino por el hecho de ser capaces de llevar a la acción las propuestas más atrevidas por la conservación ambiental y el desarrollo social en el medio rural.

    Las mayores limitaciones que enfrentan son el hecho de que los jóvenes no son vistos como un valor presente, sino como un valor potencial de cambio en el futuro. Se olvida muchas veces que los jóvenes son en esencia personas con menos medios económicos pero también con menos prejuicios, siendo su vínculo con y entendimiento de la naturaleza mucho más profundo que el de muchos expertos a nivel académico. Recoger esos conocimientos y empoderar al sector joven rural es uno de los mayores retos a tener en cuenta para la integración activa de los jóvenes en los planes de desarrollo rural a nivel mundial.

    Reply
  10. Bimbika

    December 5th, 2014

    The merits of ‘indigenous’ systems of resource management have been widely recognized by both scholars and policy-makers. At the same time, these systems are being disrupted by a number of changes that are transforming rural livelihoods and rural landscapes. These systems are neither uniform nor beneficial from an efficiency and equity perspective. There are considerable lessons that can be drawn from good practices elsewhere and technological developments that are enhancing or transforming existing practices. Young people can contribute to sustainable use and management of landscapes by bringing the divide between these ‘traditional’ and ‘new/hybridized’ systems and drawing on efficient and equitable dimensions of both.

    I think the category of ‘youth’ needs to be unpacked as youth are divided by class, caste, ethnicity and other axis of social differences. These differences have a bearing on the nature of challenges that youth face in managing landscapes and natural resources. In Nepal, for instance, rural areas are experiencing a demographic shift due to rapid out-migraiton of young men for employment purposes within and increasingly outside the country. The central problem that we are finding in our research is that these migrants have little incentive to stay back and/or invest their earnings on managing landscapes and natural resources. At the same time, most rural development programmes assume that farmers and managers are ‘women’ but the women who are left often lack the capital (social, physical, financial etc) to manage in male absence.

    By providing deliberative platforms for differently positioned youth representatives to voice their interests and concerns, and influence policies and practices at both global and local levels.

    Your insights are vital, as we will use them to prepare a preliminary list of priority areas for you to discuss and refine in the first part of Saturday’s discussion.

    Reply
  11. Alejandra Arce

    December 6th, 2014

    He tenido la valiosa oportunidad de interactuar y trabajar con jóvenes en diversos espacios o territorios donde predomina la actividad agrícola, o las así denominadas “zonas rurales” (aunque me parece que cada vez menos se puede precisar esa diferencia entre lo “rural” y lo “urbano”, estos espacios se sobreponen y no son tan definidos) – como en Brasil, en Paraguay y últimamente en Perú. La mayoría de jóvenes en las zonas rurales desean migrar a la ciudad, pero en Brasil hubo una experiencia -CEDEJOR (Centro de Desenvolvimento dos Jovens Rurais)- que conocí y que me pareció muy buena, era un centro de formación de jóvenes entre las edades de 14 y 17 años, en tres lineas de desarrollo agrícola: 1) agroturismo; 2) pequeñas agroindustrias familiares; 3) diseño de predios o fincas agroecologicas. La idea era proporcionar a los jóvenes la formación e incentivos necesarios (disponibilidad de empleo en esas tres lineas a nivel local) para que no opten por migrar a la ciudad y trabajar en lo que sea, sino justamente tener la oportunidad de aprender y tener una vida digna con actividades relacionadas a la agricultura, sin limitarse a la produccion de materia prima. De esa manera estos jovenes estaban contribuyendo al desarrollo sostenible de su territorio (amenazado por la deforestacion y la crianza industrial de cerdos con altos indices de contaminacion).

    Reply
  12. Alvaro

    December 6th, 2014

    1. In the department of Ucayali (Peruvian low jungle) young people travel to the departmental capital Pucallpa for graduate studies in a variety of careers. After finishing their studies, some return to their communities to implement the knowledge they have accumulated in their years of university or technical training.

    2. In order to determine the restriction of youth to choose professions that contribute to sustainable landscape management and natural resources we must understood what drives the decision to migrate from rural to urban. This decision is based on the logic of maximizing the welfare of the individual according to their preferences. For example, some youth may seek better income in the city, so they would be willing to permanently migrate from rural to urban. While for other people social relationships within their community or rural lifestyle with urban could be more valuable than higher incomes making them returning to rural areas.

    Assuming that there are only these two types of people, the main policy objective should be to facilitate that everyone can make their decisions freely based on a capacity building and opportunities perspective. In this sense, the Government should provide basic public goods and services such as basic education, health, transport such as roads and waterways, and information about higher education opportunities that can offer the urban area.

    An alternative to guide the choice of careers and encourage the return to rural areas is through competitive grants to fund projects aimed at sustainable management of the landscape and natural resources.

    3. The alternative of grant funds may be thematically according to specific sustainable development goals so that young people have an incentive to return to rural areas, contributing to the sustainable management of the landscape and natural resources and achieve certain goals for sustainable development.

    Reply

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