XV World Forestry Congress

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Youth and young professionals at the XV World Forestry Congress

Co-creating pathways to transform our common future

The XV World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) presented a unique opportunity to draw, connect, inspire and empower youth from all over the world to discuss and work towards a green, healthy, and sustainable future with forests.

Through the Congress, many youth and young professionals in the forest sector and other land-use related sectors came together and made a monumental statement on their role, capacity, contributions to the forest sector and stated their needs for an inclusive and meaningful participation in the sector. 

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu meets with youth delegates
Youth advocate for a greener future

Youth and young professionals activities at the XV World Forestry Congress 

Youth-led side events and other youth-relevant events


Youth and young professional speakers at the Congress

The Congress provided an opportunity for youth and young professionals' voices in the forest sector to be brought on board in several dialogues and side events. Twenty-three youth and young professionals from 17 countries were featured as speakers across 29 plenary sessions and side events. 

youth posters and papers

Youth and young professionals technical contributions: Posters, papers and videos

The WFC invited submissions of voluntary contributions of papers, posters and videos to provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences, good practices and innovations with a global audience and contribute to the enrichment of discussions and reflection on the Congress theme and sub-themes. Fifty-two per cent of the accepted posters, papers and videos had youth, young professionals and students as main authors and 20 out of 59 presentations at the Speakers' Corner were from youth and young professionals authors. Find more about voluntary contributions here.


FAO’s Director General applauds youth engagement at the WFC

During the XV World Forestry Congress, the youth and young professionals had the opportunity to meet and interact with FAO’s Director General, Qu Dongyu, at the Congress. Mr. Qu affirmed his commitment and support for youth engagement and empowerment, and the youth expressed their appreciation to work that has already been done for their inclusion and highlighted key areas of action for youth empowerment.


Work with us - Youth Call to Action delivered at the Congress

After nearly two years of wide consultations across the world with different youth organizations and expert groups led by Major Groups for Children and Youth to the United Nations Forum on Forests and the WFC Youth Coalition with the support of the WFC Secretariat, the Youth Call to Action was read at the closing session of the Congress. Read by Amos Amanubo, the WFC Youth Outreach and Liaison specialist, the Call-to-Action highlights five core areas of action to promote meaningful inclusion and participation of youth in the forest sector. Read the Call to Action.



TreeTalks, a TEDx-style inspired platform at the Congress, hosted three inspiring youth speakers Otuo-Akyampong Boakye, Jessica Vega Ortega and Lacey Rose who shared inspiring messages based on their unique knowledge and experience in the forest sector as youth and young professionals.

Youth and young professionals activities leading to the XV World Forestry Congress

World Forest Voices podcast

Follow and listen to the #WorldForestVoices podcast, a youth-led podcast aimed at bringing an innovative medium for storytelling. The podcast promotes intergenerational dialogue and stories of youth-led initiatives and innovations on pressing issues in the forest sector. Learn more.


Project Learning Tree Initiative WFC Green Mentor Programme

The XV World Forestry Congress in partnership with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and their Project Learning Tree Initiative developed a dynamic 6-month mentorship programme to connect young people (18-35) in the forest sector with seasoned forest sector professionals. 

You can read more about the programme here.


WFC regional consultations and Regional Declaration

The Major Group for Children and Youth to the United Nations Forum on Forests, together with support from the XV WFC Secretariat, organized 4 regional consultations that brought together over 100 students, youth and young professionals from around the world to discuss their meaningful participation, contribution and recognition in the forest sector. The regional consultations leading up to the development of the XV WFC Youth Declaration are now closed. More information on the process can be found here.


Youth and young professional webinar series

A series of online webinars under the theme “Empowering youth and young professionals: Building momentum towards the XV World Forestry Congress” have been held on diverse topics. The recorded webinars can be found here.
Competitions and campaigns
WFC Youth forest change-makers

To promote and showcase youth impact and innovation, the WFC Youth Forest Change-maker competition provided an opportunity for young people aged 18–35 to showcase how their work is positively impacting forests and communities. Meet the winners of the Contest and all eligible entries.

Blog competition

WFC blog competition

Entries for the WFC blog competition are now closed. The competition invited those interested in raising awareness and engagement in building a green, healthy, and resilient future with forests.  Open to all categories of people, two of the three final winners were youth. See the winners and all entries at #WorldForestVoices Blog

A living library: Faces of Forestry

The Faces of Forestry campaign promotes and showcases the diversity of the forest sector and provide a platform for individuals to share their unique lived experiences and perspectives. There will be a special focus to showcase participants belonging to groups who may be underrepresented at international fora. Read more here.