7 young changemakers restoring the Earth

8 Dec 2022

The Youth in Landscapes Initiative and the Global Landscapes Forum announce the 2023 Restoration Stewards, representing Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America

BONN, Germany (6 December 2022) – Selected from over 220 candidates, seven youth-led ecosystem restoration projects are set to receive funding, mentorship and training to deepen the impact of their work across the globe in 2023.

As the climate and biodiversity crises accelerate, young people around the world are raising their voices to demand action on the international stage, turning up in numbers both at COP27 and at the ongoing COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal. Many are taking the situation into their own hands by launching projects to nurse their local landscapes back to health.

In this context, the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) have launched the 2023 edition of the Restoration Stewards program, which aims to support young restoration practitioners and their teams in developing their projects and raise local awareness of the importance of healthy landscapes.

The new cohort of Restoration Stewards was announced at the GLF’s recent Biodiversity Finance Digital Forum: Investing in Nature and People on 29 November 2022. The seven selected young people from across the globe are in charge of restoration projects in six ecosystems: forests, wetlands, oceans, drylands, mountains and  peatlands.

Over the course of the upcoming year, the Restoration Stewards will each receive a grant of EUR 5,000 along with support from the GLF’s network of experts to further develop their projects. They will also serve as ambassadors both globally and locally by advocating for sustainable landscapes on the ground and sharing their journey with a worldwide audience through a series of vlogs and blogs.


Meet the 2023 Restoration Stewards:

Gloria Amor Paredes (forests, Philippines) is an environmental education and community development specialist. She is the co-founder of Salumayag Youth Collective for Forests, an Indigenous youth and women-led initiative that empowers local and Indigenous communities in the stewardship of their ancestral lands through regenerative practices and narratives.

Dwi Riyan (wetlands, Indonesia) is a master’s student in Sustainability Management at the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, and the University of Agder, Norway, and co-founder of the Pongo Ranger Community, a youth-based organization focused on youth empowerment and wetlands restoration in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.

Samara Polwatta (oceans, Sri Lanka) is pursuing a joint master’s degree at the University of Bonn and United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security. Her project, School Meets the Reef, recently won the title of Best Nature-based Solution at the Wageningen University Student Challenge for its work to rehabilitate coral reefs on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka using reef balls and underwater nurseries.

Tahina Roland Frédéric (drylands, Madagascar) is a young agronomist and President of the Taniala Regenerative Camp. His project “Planting water through regenerative agroforestry to revitalize drylands in Baobab Country” focuses on soil restoration to enable the natural restoration and regeneration of other ecosystems, including agricultural and forest landscapes.

Levis Sirikwa (oceans, Kenya), is the co-founder of the Ceriops Research Environmental Organization, which aims to promote community empowerment and sustainable development by developing a blue economy in Kenya. He manages the organization’s projects in sustainable coastal agriculture with mangroves.

Ysabel Agustina Calderon Carlos (mountains, Peru) is a beekeeper, meliponiculture farmer, environmental entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Sumak Kawsay, an environmental organization that promotes ecosystem restoration using native bees and other pollinators.

David Santiago Rocha Cárdenas (peatlands, Colombia) is an ecologist working on decarbonization strategies based on natural climate solutions at the Laboratory of Ecosystems and Climate Change (LECC) of the Pontifical Xavierian University.


#ActLandscape #GenerationRestoration



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