Ajloun Youth Declaration
Press release, 23 May 2022
From the 21st to the 23rd of May, over 100 young people from 35 countries attended the Global Land Forum Youth (GLFY) at the Ajloun Forest Reserve in Jordan. At the event, participants had the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences on people-centred land governance, sharing solutions and concrete actions to increase youth access to land.
The Ministry of Youth in Jordan, Mohamed Al-Nabulsi, opened the first day, welcoming participants to the event and talking about the government’s commitment to engaging with young people on discussions related to the future of Jordan: “We are committed to communicating and listening to young people and we have being actively doing so on a number of topics, from agriculture to irrigation methods. It’s essential that political institutions are equipped to support young people, while we are also working on making them more sustainable.”
The rest of the day focused on the importance of youth participation in decision-making processes to build a future that is sustainable and dignified.
“Self-determination without young people doesn’t mean anything. We need to pave the way, not only for us but for the youth who will come after us.” said Kantuta Conde, young indigenous activist from the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
On the second day, participants discussed the connection between climate change and conflict suggesting that young people play a key role in building a world that is both more sustainable and peaceful.
Each day, the group also had the chance to visit local projects within the Ajloun Forest Reserve to experience and learn from local examples of sustainable natural resource management and community empowerment.
“Being here for me means that I have a voice, that I can influence decisions and change things. Young people may not have a lot of experience but we have time, energy and the opportunity to learn." said Siti Marfu'ah, youth participant from the Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment.
The event, which was co-organised by the International Land Coalition (ILC), SEEDS Jordan, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the Ministry of Youth in Jordan, resulted in the development of a Youth Declaration that will be presented at the Global Land Forum on the 23rd of May.
The Declaration offers solutions to address the current climate crisis by making concrete recommendations to different stakeholders to resolve the problems faced by the youth in owning, accessing, controlling and having stewardship of land. It also commits to creating a global movement that can shape a more sustainable future in which land rights of youth, women, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, afro descendents and other local communities are recognised, secured and respected.
“The International Land Coalition reaffirms its conviction that change and advancement in land rights cannot take place without the potential and strength of young people. The GLFY encouraged youth participation and opened up a space to form a global movement that can lead the transformation. Without young people there is no future but neither is there a present!” said Carla Donayre Oropeza from ILC.
The Global Land Forum Youth was organised under the umbrella of the Global Land Forum - 23-26 May 2022 - a triennial event that brings together ILC members, partners and the broader land community to advance understanding of the complex linkages between land and climate, food systems, inequality and democracy - and to plan joint actions towards people-centred land governance.