YPARD is delighted to welcome the incoming YPARD director Yemi Adeyeye . Yemi is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He holds a double MSc degree (Erasmus Mundus MSc program): MSc in Agricultural Development (forests and livelihoods) from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and MSc Environmental Forestry from Bangor University, Wales. Prior to his graduate degrees, he obtained a Bachelor of Agricultural Technology (Forestry and Wood Technology) degree from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria.
On a professional level, Yemi has held advisory roles with international organizations engaging youth in different capacities. Previously, he worked with Fundación Natura Bolivia, an NGO in Bolivia investigating the nature of multi-stakeholder engagement (communities, policy makers, funding agencies etc.) in a watershed conservation program in the Bolivian Amazon. Prior to that, he was the Youth liaison for the XIV World Forestry Congress, where he led the partnership between the youth organizations, YPARD, IAAS, IFSA and YUNGA, which formed the core team for the World Forestry Congress youth engagement. He was also a member of the FAO advisory panel on forest knowledge, International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) committee on global forest education issues and advisory committee for the XIV FAO World Forestry Congress. Yemi recalls the invaluable experiences the YPARD team brought to the partnership leading to the success of the program. To him, that experience illustrates how diverse the YPARD membership base is and how much YPARD has to offer in the areas of advancing youth agenda across a wide range of developmental activities.
As a member of the International Forestry Student Association (IFSA), he occupied multiple official positions between 2008 – 2014. Through these different roles, he has contributed to deliberations that foregrounded emerging advancement in global forest education – through multiple IFSA-IUFRO-FAO collaborative activities. He is a strong advocate for advancing ‘youth engagement in policy processes’ from cosmetic participation to meaningful engagement. On this note, he has developed youth engagement strategies for policy-relevant programs in South Africa, Turkey, Poland, Italy, Finland etc. through efforts espoused by governments, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs.
On the educational front, Yemi explores inquiries about strategies for multi-stakeholder engagement and partnership development, participation and knowledge politics. His academic qualifications illustrate inter- and multi-disciplinary understanding of emerging issues in the context of rural/agricultural development and natural resources governance. In this context, he has studied cases in countries such as Uganda, Nepal and Bolivia.
On the account of joining YPARD, this is what Yemi had to say;
“Agriculture, more specifically, food security is central to human existence. Any conversation we have about agriculture is a conversation about human existence – the continuity of life. And it’s nice to know that the energy, knowledge, innovations that embodies youthfulness is increasingly being recognized by other influencers of sustainable food systems. I am excited to join the YPARD team, be a part of the youthful energy, knowledge and innovation holders that will shape the present and future development in agricultural sciences, policies and practice.”
He looks forward to collaborating with the YPARD community integrating insights from his broad academic/research and professional background in his work. He is determined to continue the good work of the outgoing YPARD director Myriam Perez. We express our profound gratitude to Myriam for the time she invested in the YPARD network and wish her well in her future endeavors.
The GFAR Secretariat is pleased to support the YPARD Global Coordination Unit, securing hosting arrangements for their office at FAO Headquarters, and providing administrative support and financial backing for collaborative projects since 2009. GFAR and its Partners recognize that without more active youth participation in agricultural research for development, the sector risks stagnation and losing touch with the needs of rural communities.