Youth speaker Salina Abraham had the crowd on their feet last night in the closing ceremony of the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum.
Well, a sizeable proportion of them stood anyway – when she invited all those aged 30 or below to rise to their feet to be seen.
“These here are not just the people who will be alive and working in 2050 and 2055. These people are also here right now. We’re bringing our ideas, our energy, our enthusiasm and our hope,” she said.
“And what we’re just asking from you is to talk to us; to ask us what we’re passionate about; ask us what challenges we’re facing in our current landscapes.”
She urged the audience to consider youth like gender, race and regional diversity.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, took the message to heart and invited Abraham to take her seat alongside ministers and leaders in the final plenary.
Abraham, from the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), belongs to the Youth in Landscapes Initiative.
Read the full transcript of her speech and watch the video here.
Originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News