This member participated in the following discussions
Climate change will place an enormous gender specific burden on the already vulnerable 15-17 age group. Gendered pathways for 15-17 aged boys and girls should be well articulated in the transition to a greener and low-carbon economy expected to generate up 60 million jobs worldwide over the next 2 decades (ILO, 2015).
Strategies for engendering the green economy discourse with the 15-17 age group in mind are key and so are the specific interventions for instance:
-15-17 aged boys/girls should have a voice in the design and improvement of green technology or labour issues related to their work
-Labour saving and labour efficiency technologies should address both the productive and domestic roles of 15-17 aged boys/girls
-Time saving technologies are important for both 15-17 aged girls/boys domestic and production roles to free up time for both formal/informal vocational training/studying
-Programs targeting 15-17 aged boys/girls could take advantage of new technologies and contribute to the development of others, encouraging use of locally available resources within the environment and preserving the environment
- The green equilibrium dashboard could be employed to assess green jobs for acceptable decency and meeting the needs of the 15-17 aged boys/girls
Ideally, rural youths between 15-17 years have just completed their secondary education (Form 4). Some enroll for high school education, while others consider apprenticeships or colleges of career choice.
However, because of poverty and lack of entitlements, the majority are caught up at that level. They have not reached the majority age (18 years) and are considered as minors and this determines their ultimate choices.
An understanding of place is one way to inform the design of effective interventions for the 15-17 age group. Rural areas can be places of problem (challenges of health,, education and food security etc), privilege (opportunities of recreation and renewal) and possibility. The challenge is how to transform rural areas from places of problem to possibility (Budge, 2006).
Rural-urban migration has historically absorbed the excess population of the countryside, as pressure for farming land worsens-leaving rural areas depopulated- and few employed in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. The impact of climate change on the already vulnerable 15-17 age group threatens to significantly reduce their opportunities.
The discourse of green jobs has overtaken the development agenda- with hopes for widespread development and poverty reduction, creation of new and more vibrant economies based on clean technologies and securing an increasingly greener world.
One obvious gap is how can the vulnerable 15-17 age group can be considered as key players in the green economy:
- How best can we narrow the green jobs and technical training/vocational gap?
- What is the role of formal/informal institutions in providing the relevant career choices or support in a green economy?
- How can we raise awareness of the changes happening 15-17 age group locales (their spaces) and elsewhere and how prepared and equipped are they for these changes?
- How can local policies be made inclusive to the 15-17 age group in a green economy?
Potential interventions/best practices could address technical knowledge in green technologies, facilitating existing entrepreneurial cultures, opportunities for financing and demonstration and deployment of new technologies. Balancing new technologies with local knowledge is key to the success of the green economy/jobs.
In the words of one farmer who has practical experience in the farming industry "My generation started with a solid foundation of knowledge and work ethic learned from our parents who learned the food and feed production skills from their parents. They sent us to school to learn new ideas and make new connections while we worked with them on the land and then it was our turn to take what we had learned and began the process of trying to improve - sometimes failing but ever moving forward"
Security of tenure shapes the dynamics of urbanization and rural transformation to a larger extent. Land grabbing for instance, creates food and nutrition insecurity. In the rural areas it competes with food and nutrition security related initiatives. It drives people away from their livelihoods. It increases urban migration. On the contrary, urban dwellers whose security of tenure is compromised have to negotiate new spaces of which rural areas is a key option.
Many thanks for this important discussion.
I see social networks and relations as an evolving agenda. The quality of social networks is the major determinant of whether they ever help in ensuring food security: in the primitive era when work was group/community oriented, these support systems were reliant.
Also the quality of these support systems tends to also be location specific. It has been observed that the rural environment facilitates quality family life which, in turn, promotes a quality community and society (Refer to Buttel, F.H., & Flinn, W.L. Sources and consequences of agrarian values in American society. Rural Sociology, 1975,40, 134-151) and (Miller, M.K., & Crader, K.W. Rural-urban differences in two dimensions of community satisfaction. Rural Sociology, 1979, 44, Fall, 489-504).
Of course within rural and urban communities there are also marked differences in terms of the quality of social networks.
In conclusion, social support systems are critical in food security but their quality is an important factor. The extent to which one invest in them detemines the extent to which one can harvest from them. In Zimbabwe, it's often said 'kandiro kanoenda kunobva kamwe'
loosely translated to say 'when you give, you also get'
This is a very topical issue and the basis on which most of the rural development solution lies. Strengthening the operation of rural cooperatives and producer organisations improves business etiquette in general and increases accountability at various level of rural development.
Rural cooperatives should address rural savings, business development, investments, capacity and sustainability issues which are the missing links in current development initiatives. Cooperatives should address the complete rural development challenge. Sectoral based policies and initiatives that address fragmented development issues will simply not work.
At the same time, producer organisations should come up with a complete value chain developmental approach that not only seeks to increase production but also to improve markets, relationship building with buyers, product development, packaging, agro-processing and value addition.
The relevant infrastructure is critical for both rural cooperatives and producer organisations development. Combined with the latest technology there is need to develop avenues for increasing and effectiveness for rural development.