The Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) are launching the fourth edition of the Restoration Stewards program to support and highlight the work of young restoration practitioners and their teams, who will represent the next cohort of Restoration Stewards.
The year-long program will provide funding, mentorship, and training to help young restoration professionals and their teams develop their restoration projects and raise awareness among their local communities about the importance of ecosystem restoration and healthy landscapes.
APPLY FOR THE 2024 PROGRAM
We will accept applications until Monday, 7 August, 2023, 23:59 CEST (UTC+2).
During the program, the Restoration Stewards and their teams will be supported to further develop their projects and will become ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards will share their journeys in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges. Locally, they will spark a restoration movement, creating pathways to connect, share, learn and act for more sustainable landscapes.
Meet the 2023 Restoration Stewards
Gloria Amor ParedesPhillipines
Tahina Roland FredericMadagascar
Samara PolwattaSri Lanka
Ysabel Agustina Calderon CarlosPeru
David Santiago Rocha CárdenasColombia
Gloria Amor Paredes Philippines, Forests
Gloria Amor Paredes is an environmental education and community development specialist. She is the co-founder of Salumayag Youth Collective for Forests, an Indigenous youth and women-led initiative that empowers local and Indigenous communities in the stewardship of their ancestral lands through regenerative practices and narratives. This project is based in Sto. Domingo, Quezon, Bukidnon, a Manobo-Kulamanen community on the Philippine island of Mindanao with a long history of ecological, social, and economic disadvantages. The work of Salumayag Youth is anchored on the community’s desire to nurture culture and sustain Indigenous ways of living. For Salumayag Youth, forest regeneration and regenerative agriculture must be accompanied by community storytelling and nature-based education.
About the project: Salumayag Youth Collective for Forests is an Indigenous and local youth-led initiative that empowers local communities to lead the stewardship of their ancestral lands through regenerative practices and narratives. The project is based on four main interrelating pillars of engagements. First, it works to regenerate land and culture through agroforestry and organic farming. With community youth volunteers, the collective manages native tree nurseries and natural regeneration methods. The project is also based on dialogues and training, including forest walks with Manobo youth volunteers, dialogues with smallholder farmers, and community consultations. Environmental storytelling also plays a big part for the collective as stories are a huge part of Manobo and other Indigenous cultures. Finally, it consists of a social enterprise, being in the exploratory stage for the collective farming of heirloom grains, coffee, and cacao, in addition to exploring farm tourism.
Tahina Roland Frederic Madagascar, Drylands
Tahina Roland Frédéric is a young Malagasy agronomist who specialized in forestry at the Higher School of Agronomic Sciences (ESSA) at the University of Antananarivo. He has over four years of experience in conservation in his native Menabe region of Madagascar and has been involved in park management, habitat and species conservation, law enforcement and sustainable livelihood activities. The idea behind Taniala Regenerative Camp came to him after leading community patrols to fight against slash and burn agriculture and to protect the region’s dry forest ecosystem. He is currently the president of this non-profit organization, and he is convinced that if we manage to promote a model of regenerative agriculture in Menabe, the degraded soil will regenerate and the forest will be restored.
About the project: Taniala Regenerative Camp aims to restore land that has been degraded by deforestation and agriculture in the Lambokely village of the Menabe region of Madagascar to prevent the irreversible loss of soil fertility. The project replicates forest ecosystem processes and “plants water” on these drylands through syntropic agroforestry, reconciling food production and ecosystem regeneration. The project consists of (i) developing models of syntropic agroforestry systems adapted to the local context; (ii) promoting these models to the local community, and (iii) practicing these models at the home garden, field and school garden levels.
Institutional Facebook: : @TanialaRegenerativeCamp
Dwi Riyan Indonesia, Wetlands
Dwi Riyan is originally from West Kalimantan, Indonesia and is currently completing his final year as a master’s student in Sustainability Management at the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, and the University of Agder, Norway. Encouraged by his passion for youth development, he co-founded Pongo Ranger Community, a youth-based organization focused on youth empowerment in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. The organization recognizes that ecosystems are vibrant and connected and works to restore coastal areas and help coastal communities in the area. Pongo Ranger embraces collaboration as its primary approach and believes that environmental protection can create enormous positive impacts when all stakeholders unite for a common purpose.
About the project: Since starting his movement in 2018, Riyan and his youth group, Pongo Ranger Community, have focused on the intersection between nature conservation and human welfare through restoration and community development. Their coastal activity, Pongo-dopsi, promotes the restoration of mangroves in the coastal areas of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, to mitigate seawater intrusion into local farmland. Based on a collaborative approach, Pongo Ranger Community works closely with local farmers to prepare mangrove plants and with a group of young women to produce plastic-free eco-polybags made from Nipah leaf and bamboo for the restoration process.
Samara Polwatta Sri Lanka, Oceans
Samara Polwatta is pursuing a Joint Master’s at the University of Bonn and United Nations University institute for Environment and Human Security. This field has allowed her to understand human and environmental security and to how to engage in humanitarian relief, disaster risk management, ecosystem-based adaptation, and conservation. She is currently writing her master thesis on the topic of coral reef ecosystems as a tool for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. She also works as a Junior Consultant at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Integration team on data curation and data management related to SDG tracking within the GeoHub.
About the project: “School Meets the Reef” aims to grow the value of coastal ecosystems through coral reef restoration and by building awareness of coastal ecosystems. The project was established to fulfill the urgent need for restoration in Sri Lanka’s coral reefs and works primarily in Kalkudah, Batticaloa district. It aims to build artificial in situ coral reef nurseries and carry out monitoring and evaluation on the restored reefs and nurseries. The project is also guided by a strong educational focus, working with local schools to build awareness of the importance of coastal ecosystems, restoration methods and nature-based solutions around coastal ecosystems.
Ysabel Agustina Calderon Carlos Peru, Mountains
Ysabel Agustina Calderon Carlos (Ysa Calderon) is a beekeeper, farmer, environmental entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Sumak Kawsay.
About the project: Sumak Kawsay is an environmental enterprise that promotes native bees and other pollinators conservation through the restoration of mountainous ecosystems in the village of El Higuerón, San Francisco de Asís peasant community in the Salas district, Lambayeque, Peru. It currently conserves three species of native stingless bees and reforests their impact zone with native and predated species such as palo santo, hualtaco and faique. To finance its work, the project sells honey and panela from local fields cultivated through agroecological practices, free of pesticide residues. Sumak Kawsay also offers agritourism services through the “honey route,” an experience of connection with bees, honey and nature, hosted by local women, thus allowing them to generate income and improve their quality of life.
Levis Sirikwa Kenya, Oceans
Levis Sirikwa has over half a decade of experience in coastal and marine resource management, specifically in the active restoration of degraded mangroves, sustainable agriculture and local coastal community empowerment. He co-founded the Ceriops Research Environmental Organization, which works on several projects within the blue economy space in Kenya. The projects that he manages in the organization include the Casina Farms (sustainable coastal agriculture), Mikoko na Jamii (mangrove and communities) and Mangrove Buddy (advocacy and awareness) programs. The three project models are underpinned by community empowerment, sustainable development and data-driven approaches.
About the project: The slogan for the “Mikoko na Jamii” model is to halt loss, double restoration, and triple protection through investments. Working directly with Indigenous coastal communities around mangrove ecosystems in Kenya, the project seeks to not only restore 1 hectare of degraded mangroves but also build the capacity of local communities to generate livelihoods through mangrove ecosystems. The project will be implemented across four community groups in Mombasa and Kwale counties. Upon the completion of the project, the project beneficiaries are expected to be able to conduct mangrove monitoring by themselves as well as understand the policy frameworks that govern their operations and hence align themselves to benefit from the provisions of the policy frameworks.
David Santiago Rocha Cárdenas Colombia, Peatlands
David Santiago Rocha Cárdenas is a Colombian ecologist currently working on decarbonization strategies based on natural climate solutions. He has been part of the Laboratory of Ecosystems and Climate Change (LECC) at the Pontifical Xavierian University for six years. LECC studies the potential of ecosystems in climate change mitigation. He has experience coordinating projects related to the study of the carbon cycle in the Colombian paramo, the generation of ecosystem restoration policies, and other tasks such as greenhouse gas flux measurements in wetlands. He started coordinating his first restoration project with the community of Paramo El Almorzadero, located north of the eastern cordillera of the Andes.
About the project: This project aims to restore 3 hectares of high mountain peatlands located in Páramo el Almorzadero in the municipality of El Cerrito Santander in the northeastern branch of the Andes Cordillera of Colombia. The peat bogs located in the Páramo have been drained for sheep livestock activities, leading to the loss of their functionality and ecosystem services. This has affected the supply of water resources for the community and released thousands of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere. The purpose of this project is to isolate peat bogs to prevent goats from entering the water bodies, to recover the vegetation cover, and to restore water flow. These activities are conducted in the hope of increasing ecosystem services, reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions, increasing carbon accumulation, and empowering local communities to manage their projects and generate carbon credits that ensure their future sustainability and scalability.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
As a Restoration Steward, you will receive support from experts to take the project to the next level, as well as opportunities for professional development. You will receive a grant of EUR 5,000 to develop their restoration project while meeting the following objectives:
- Set project-specific targets to be reached by the end of the year, with guidance from the GLF and its partner organizations
- Seek and carry out training activities to improve understanding of the landscape approach, and about the relevant ecosystem
- Run a minimum of two events to engage their local community
- Coordinate with the GLF team to promote your project via social media
- Create a news story every two months about the progress made on the project.
- Meet with the GLF team and the assigned mentor on a regular basis to discuss the project’s progress
- Run by a person or a group of young people who are either local, Indigenous, or nationals of African, Asian, Latin American or Caribbean countries and are running projects in these regions;
- Already in the early development stage and have been running for a minimum of one year.
Project selection is a competitive process, and as such, the application will require some preparation. When applying, you will be asked the following questions, which you may answer in English, French or Spanish:
- What experience do you have related to restoration? (200 words).
- Prepare a one-minute video of yourself telling us why you would like to become a Restoration Steward. Share the video as a post on Facebook or Twitter, tagging the Global Landscapes Forum (@GlobalLF) and using the #generationrestoration hashtag, or use an unlisted YouTube or Google Drive link. If you share your video via social media, please make sure to add the link to your post in the application.
About your project:
- Please make sure you have a name for your project.
- Prepare a description of the landscape you are working on: Why are you working on it, what is its current status, and what environmental and social problems have you encountered? What are the drivers of degradation (if any), and who are the key stakeholders? (500 words).
- Prepare a holistic summary description of the project (500–1000 words), describing the objectives and intended impact (500–1000 words).
- Prepare a document (Word or PDF) with an overview of the activities that will be carried out by the Restoration Stewards program, including a timeline and indicators.
- Please explain how you will implement a landscape approach and ensure different elements and stakeholders of the ecosystem you are working in are taken into account (300 words).
- Prepare a 200-word answer to the following question: If you become a Restoration Steward, where do you see your project in a year’s time after completing the program?”
- Prepare a one-page PDF or Word document with a breakdown description of how you intend to use the stipend.
- Provide a picture of your project area.