The Youth Forum of the 13th Session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, co-hosted by the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of China, UNCCD Secretariat, All China Youth Federation, UNEP and China Green Foundation, and organized by Chinese Academy of Forestry and Chinese Society of Forestry, was held in Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center on 8 Sept. This is the first youth forum held during the COP of UNCCD. The theme of the forum is “Land, youth and sustainable development”, aiming to encourage youth to be actively engaged in combating desertification and land degradation. Mr. Zhang Yongli, Vice Minister of SFA, Ms. Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, Mr. Xu Xiao, Secretary of All China Youth Federation, and Mr. Jiri Hlavacek, Senior consultant of UNEP were present at the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Mr. Zhang Hongwen, chief economist of SFA, hosted the opening ceremony.
Youth representatives from UN agencies, inter-governmental organizations, NGOs, civil society, research institutes, colleges, and enterprises were involved in round tables and panel discussions. Youth from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and China shared their experience in protecting forests, combating desertification, and sustainable exploitation of the nature, and called on more youth to take part in national and international actions to protect the earth.
The Global Youth Initiative to Combat Desertification — Youth in Action was adopted by the Forum.
Nearly 200 representatives from government agencies in 25 countries, NGOs, research institutes, colleges, and enterprises were present at the Forum. (Words by Song Ping and Wang Jianlan, CAF Office, and Chen Yujie, CAF Division of International Cooperation)