Video challenge spotlights African youth restoring drylands

30 Mar 2021
Charity Lanoi (left) a Restoration Steward for dryands in Africa; the Moilo Grass Seedbank plot in Kuku Group Ranch in southern Kenya (right). Lanoi and a group of women from her community are working to restore the productivity of their pastoral land. Photos: Charity Lanoi

If a picture says a thousand words, then the value of a story captured in a selfie video might well be immeasurable – especially the kind of story that’s seldom told or heard. (Details on the competition below.)

At the upcoming Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) conference on restoring Africa’s drylands, which will take place online on June 2-3, young dryland restoration practitioners across the continent have been invited to turn the camera on themselves and show the world what they’re doing to protect and restore these under-acknowledged, fragile and fundamentally-important ecosystems.

Africa’s drylands stretch over two-thirds of the continent’s land area and are home to around 45% of its population – and they’re particularly vulnerable to degradation and climate change. The continent also possesses the globe’s youngest average population, so that vulnerability matters deeply for the future of a huge swathe of the planet’s young people.

Hearteningly, young people across the continent are already stepping up and leading the way on dryland restoration – and it’s hoped that the current UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) will inspire many more. Through the video competition announced on March 30, GLF hopes to garner attention and support to progress and scale up these initiatives – and catalyze others to come.

The competition is open to young people aged between 18 and 35 (inclusive) who are working on dryland restoration anywhere on the African continent. Submissions should be one to two minutes long, and can be filmed on a smartphone in selfie mode.

The best videos will be shared with over 5000 people at GLF Africa 2021, and millions more on social media. The deadline for submissions is May 16.

Details on how to enter:

Are you aged between 18 and 35 and a passionate restoration practitioner working on a dryland restoration project in Africa?

Take us on a virtual tour of your project site. Record a one- to two-minute video about your dryland restoration project, using the suggestions below as a guide:

  • Hi, my name is [your name] and I’m here in [location].
  • My project is about… and the goal is to…
  • So far, my project has had a [small/large] impact on…
  • In the future, I hope that my project…

Recognizing young people’s continuous efforts in restoring Africa’s drylands and contributing toward the attainment of global restoration goals, the video competition aims to highlight dryland restoration best practices in Africa and celebrate youth restoration activities across the continent.


  • Do you have access to your project site? If so, film your video there.
  • If not, just film your video outside and tell us how far away you are from your project site.
  • You don’t need to be a professional filmmaker! A video on your phone is enough. Just make sure that the audio is clear and loud.
  • Tag your fellow restoration practitioners to take part in the challenge.

Deadline for submitting your video: 16 May 2021

How to take part in the challenge, in three steps:

  • Record your video
  • Upload it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn using the # below
  • Use the #GLFAfrica hashtag and tag YIL on Twitter (@YIL_Initiative) and Facebook: @Youth in Landscapes Initiative), and/or @globallandscapesforum on Instagram.

Need inspiration for the video? Check out Ghanaian eco-entrepreneur and Hyginus Laari’s (from our social media team) example here.

Disclaimer: By uploading your video, your story and video assets can be used by the GLF and YIL to promote activities across its communication products and platforms. By submitting videos, applicants agree to a creative commons, attribution, non-commercial share-alike license (BY-NC-SA).

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