Meet the 15 Youth Catalysts in GLF Pavilions

12 Dec 2017

Hundreds of students and young professionals have applied to be a part of something greater at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn this year.

We are proud to introduce you to the youth catalysts who will be inspiring and accelerating change in our Pavilions at GLF Bonn.

Financing Sustainable Landscapes Pavilion:

  • I’m Janek Toepper from Germany, and currently pursuing the MSc Climate Change, Development and Policy at the University of Sussex. My concern and enthusiasm for landscapes were triggered when I worked in a reforestation project in the Dominican Republic, and since then I have developed interest in the role land use plays in climate change processes as well as the impacts of climate change on land use patterns. At the GLF, I will be a Pavilion coordinator at the Inclusive Landscapes Finance Pavilion as I am convinced that creating adequate and accessible economic incentives is key to creating more inclusive, sustainable landscapes.
  • My name is Diego de Leon, and I am currently studying as a Fulbright Scholar my Master’s Degree in Development Practice at Columbia University´s School of International and Public Affairs in New York. Here I hope to strengthen my technical skill and theoretical knowledge on sub-national action for sustainable development, mainly focusing on climate action and nature conservation.  Driven by this mission, I have taken relevant courses on the subject, as well as participated in a capstone on energy local-finance, and I am currently conducting a research on conservation finance tools for private nature reserves. As for my professional experience, I recently finished an internship at the Sustainable Development Unit of the UN Executive Office of the Secretary-General, where I helped strengthen the Local2030 initiative. I was also previously the Foreign Affairs Director of the State Government of Jalisco, where I coordinated the international agenda of the state including REDD+ related projects.
  • Carlos Jimenez from Spain who is a forester and environmental engineer with 7+ years working across Latin America and Spain. He has a strong interest in landscape finance as it relates to rural development and will also take part in the Think Landscapes course hosted by Wageningen prior to GLF.

Indigenous Peoples Pavilion: 

  • Maulline Gragau from Kenya is an innovative and detail oriented lawyer with 5+ years of experience. She offers depth, rigour, and conceptual sophistication to the themes and sessions she presides over. She hopes to encourage and motivate collaborative efforts to accomplish new outcomes at the GLF.
  • Hello, I’m Shofi Fauziyyah, an undergraduate student from Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia). I’ll serve in the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion during the GLF. Throughout my college years, I have visited indigenous community in West Java such as Baduy community in Banten and recently Kasepuhan Ciptagelar (for my Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting abstract) in Halimun Salak National Park. I hope by joining this event, I could engage and cooperate with all related parties in pursuing sustainable landscape.
  • I am Muhammad Ayaz from Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I am currently  a Master research student in the field of agriculture majoring in soil and plant nutrition. I have more than 3 year’s research experience as a research fellow in different various agricultural research projects. I hope that all the knowledge and skills obtained from my experiences are transferred to my community and hopefully have a broad impact on society. The GLF 2017, Bonn will help provide guidelines to policy makers and stakeholder to revive the curricula of Agriculture and Environmental sector for quality improvement. It will be a great opportunity to gain new expertise particularly with some sophisticated technologies, ideas and to develop capacity to critically analyze data, and scientific approaches. Moreover it will provide opportunities of mutual interest for short and long term collaboration between the strategically located important countries.

Restoration Pavilion: 

  • Hello, my name is George Dennison. I am a 3rd year forestry student at Bangor University in North Wales (United Kingdom). Raised in the Peak District National Park, I was able to spend an extraordinary amount of time working within an outdoor environment from a young age. Originally focusing on river restoration, combating riverbank erosion caused by agriculture and intensive farming my interest for the wider environment was nurtured and encouraged leading me to desire a career within the environmental sector. Being the president of the Bangor Forestry Student Association I love providing opportunities other enthusiastic students to become engaged with forestry and the wider environment, aiding their professional development and channeling their energy to create meaningful contributions on a local, national and international level. Working on a national level I am the student ambassador for both the Future Trees Trust and the Continuous Cover Forestry Group, promoting sustainable management. My interests focus on environmental policy and the use of bio-remediation techniques when restoring degraded land.
  • My name is Malik Ar Rahiem from Indonesia. I’m a geologist who interested in peat restoration effort. I have experience working in peat restoration project in Central Borneo, Indonesia. Currently I live in Darmstadt, Germany, and pursue my master degree in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at TU Darmstadt. I have some experience in youth volunteering which I think is very important to bring landscape restoration issues to more people.
  • My name is Silvia Abruscato, I am originally from Italy and I am living in Copenhagen for a couple of years. I recently graduated from both the University of Copenhagen and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) with a European Master’s degree in Environmental Science (EnvEuro). I am an alumna of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) and I led the IFSA delegation to CO23 recently this year. I am especially driven by focus my career on the interface between science-policy and society looking into landscape restoration scenarios and local community engagement around the globe. During the Global Landscape Forum, I will be part of the restoration pavilion. I am willing to work hard with the Youth team; aiming to share knowledge, establish dialogues, listen and support a broad target of international stakeholders, involved in this process.


German Pavilion:

  • I am Yi-Chen (Ethan) Lin from Taiwan and currently teaching biology in international high school in China. I just graduated this year and completed my master’s in Germany.During my bachelor’s, I worked in IFSA as an RR in Asia-Pacific region and became a council member for the next year. As a current educator, I think it is great to attend the GLF as a youth coordinator and bring more energy into this event.
  • Sergio Urioste is a 25 years old young professional from Bolivia. He graduated from Zamorano University with a degree in Environmental and Development Engineering, and has a master´s degree in International Rural Development from Ghent University. He has worked in food security and rural development in eight different countries; and has been volunteering as youth mentor for the MIT Climate CoLab, the Hult Prize Foundation and the Thought For Food Challenge. He represented his country in several international conferences and youth events, where has been advocating for the participation of youth in the achievement of Zero Hunger.  He is a One Young World Ambassador and member of the Honor Society of Agriculture Gamma Sigma Delta. Sergio is currently working as consultant of food value chains for the Swiss Network for International Studies, and was recently appointed as Next Generation Council member and South America representative for the Thought For Food Foundation.
  • I am Thuan SARZYNSKI from Vietnam/France. I am currently studying my master in Landscape Ecology near Stuttgart. I like to travel (here is my travel YouTube channel), I like to learn and to write (I just started a blog on Medium). During the GLF, I will coordinate the food security and livelihood pavillion. Moreover, before the GLF I will participate in the digital media bootcamp.


Development Solutions Pavilion: 

  • Hello fellow GLF participants! My name is Jasmine Lum and I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I am passionate about knowledge sharing and collaboration across different sectors and disciplines, and I am grateful to participate in-person at the GLF to help facilitate collective action for sustainable landscapes. I have a Master of International Forestry from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry, and I hope to continue building my skills and experience for a career in conservation and natural resource management. See you there and I can’t wait to learn from all of you!
  • I am Dode Heim, a Benin national and I have an engineer degree in forestry sciences and a master degree in protected area management. Through various training programs and field experiences, I developed my capacity for dialogue with stakeholders, negotiation and management skills by using different tools to propose solutions and actions that guide the sustainable management of landscapes and natural resources. I joined the African Wildlife Foundation’s Conservation Leadership and Management Program (CLMP) last August, and am very interested in conservation planning and mainstreaming ecosystem based approaches in African landscapes. I am always enthusiastic and by attending this event as pavilion coordinator, my goal is to learn from all of you, share with you my experience gained over the year in Africa and take new challenges for the sustainable use of our natural resources.




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