The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) work plan constitutes an ambitious plan for youth action in helping to achieve success on the six Global Forest Goals of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.

The work plan, launched May 2018, identifies concrete actions developed by youth, for everyone, to the United Nations. The time for talk is over, and youth must now showcase tangible actions and deliver meaningful outputs.

Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved – or send us an email to [email protected] to register your interest.

Setting out six main activities, UNFF MGCY, led by the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), will work with and help member states, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), regional and sub-regional organisations, and the other major groups, to achieve the Global Forest Goals. UNFF MGCY and IFSA are proud to lead the way, but it requires your support to make it a reality.

This support could include sharing our message and cause, helping us undertake on-ground actions, sharing your ideas and perspectives, or providing the necessary financial support so we can deliver our ambitious activities.

Achievement of the Global Forest Goals must be one of the UN’s highest priorities. Without healthy and productive forests, catering for both conservation and sustainable industries, we will not succeed in efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Six Core Activities

1. Capacity Development: Understanding the Landscape Approach
IFSA, with the support of its partner organisations, will conduct pre-conference training workshops to build the skills of youth delegates and equip them with new knowledge and perspectives to enrich their experience and to enable young people to meaningfully contribute to the discussions. Key areas of focus will be the roles of women, indigenous communities and local communities in sustainable forest and landscape management.

2. YOUth ACTivation – Educating children, building capacity in youth
University students and young professionals will be taught the fundamentals of communication and provided with workshop toolkits to become ‘Forest Ambassadors’. As the leaders of tomorrow they will use their new skills to educate primary school students on the benefits of forests and forestry in their local area.
3. Young innovators initiative
MGCY will work with standout individuals and groups to help them further develop concepts and launch their own projects or initiatives. We seek to establish a seed fund to support these new ideas and projects.
4. Social media campaigns and toolkits
Children and youth can make deliver effective communication and outreach, by leveraging our networks and scaling up. Youth, as digital natives, are seen as agents of change who can support smart and innovative use of new communication mediums. We can deliver broader engagement and reach for the UN Global Forest Goals.
5. Youth participation in regional and international policy dialogues
As the leaders of tomorrow, it remains important that we facilitate active youth participation in international dialogues. MGCY will seek greater youth representation in conference panels around the world. This will include actively lobbying for all forest-related discussion panels to have a panelist under 35 to provide innovative and progressive insight.
6. Strengthening Education – Enhancing forest education worldwide
To ensure that the leaders and practitioners of 2030 are able to sustainably manage terrestrial ecosystems, it is imperative that we evaluate and address gaps in the educational experience of today. We will work with our partners to fill the knowledge gaps of today’s students, analyse the competencies of graduates, and seek improvement of forest education for future students.