Educate. Connect. Inspire

Educate. Connect. Inspire

Aug 29, 2014

FAO new publication : ''Youth and Agriculture: Key Challenges and Concrete Solutions'' is out !

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has just released a new publication in partnership with the CTA and support from SIDA, entitled ''Youth and Agriculture: Key Challenges and Concrete Solutions''.
The global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, of which, 14% are youth aged between 15 – 24 years. While the world’s youth population is will grow significantly, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth, especially those living in developing countries’ economically stagnant rural areas – remain limited, poorly remunerated and of poor quality. Few young people see a future for themselves in agriculture or rural areas. Some of the major challenges faced are: limited access to land; inadequate access to financial services; insufficient access to knowledge; information and education; difficulties in accessing green jobs; limited access to markets; and limited involvement in policy dialogue.
Yet, solutions exist in all parts of the world.  

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have joined forces to conduct research and produce a publication which provides real life examples from developing and more advanced economies.  
Each of six key challenges indicated above have been documented, and for each of them, seven to nine cases studies illustrate how they can be addressed. Analyses of the experiences, their implementation frameworks and indications on some of their results have been provided.  Additional experiences have been indicated in the conclusions of each chapter. A number of the case studies carry innovations that have strong potentials to strengthen the engagement of youths and family farmers in agricultural value chains, enhance global food security and youth livelihoods.  
Many of the initiatives reported originate with the young people themselves. They show that – when there is a supportive environment – youth are able to find innovative ways to create a future for themselves, and also contribute to the societies and communities in which they live.  
The document builds on results of the project “Facilitating Access to Rural Youth to Agricultural Activities” undertaken by FAO/IFAD/MIJARC, as well as on CTA youth activities. CTA, FAO and IFAD hope that this publication will help development practitioners, youth leaders, youth associations, producers’ organisations and policy makers alike by providing insights into possible solutions that can be tailored to their own context.  

Aug 27, 2014

Open Call for Participants : Participation in IFOAM Organic World Congress 2014

Open Call for Participants - Participation in IFOAM Organic World Congress

Interested applicants are requested to complete the Application Form and send it to the e-mail address of TACSO office in their country by 3 September 2014.

The IFOAM Organic World Congress will bring together CSOs, practitioners, business people and academics from around the world in Istanbul, 13-15 October 2014. The varied levels of the conference will include developing values and principles for concerted action, developing future action points for organic agriculture, sharing of experiences, building of solutions and exploring future collaboration. Please see for more details.
Some of the topics that will be covered by the Congress are:
-          Organic visions and trends;
-          Food security;
-          Social and environmental challenges;
-          Organic agriculture for development;
-          Institution building;
-          Innovations;
Who can apply? 
- CSOs (associations, foundations, cooperatives, unions):
-  Working on issues related to organic agriculture/animal husbandry, sustainable development/community supported agriculture, rural development, local food production, participatory guarantee systems, food security and related topics;
-  Based in the IPA countries.
Participants are expected to have experience in the field and act as resource people throughout the conference by sharing and discussing good practices and lessons learned.
Active members of networks of associations working with organic agriculture, farmers associations and unions are encouraged to apply.
Applicants need to be fluent in English to the extent that they can actively participate in the conference.
Additional selection criteria for participants include the connection of the goals and mission of the organisation with the theme of the conference, experience in managing activities in relation to the conference theme and the experience of the proposed CSO representative in relation to the theme of the conference.

Application procedure
Interested applicants are requested to complete the Application Form and send it to the e-mail address of the TACSO office in their country (see list below) by 3rd September 2014 with the subject heading: People to People: IFOAM Organic World Congress. The selection process should be completed by 10 September 2014. Five participants will be selected per country. Please note that only selected applicants will be contacted.
For selected participants, TACSO will cover travel costs (including costs of visas, if applicable), accommodation, meals and refreshments, cost of participation in the conference.  Further information can be obtained from the TACSO web site ( If you have any additional questions please
TACSO contacts:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
DownloadOpen CallApplication

Aug 22, 2014

Call for best practices at the UN Forum for Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All

The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) plans to organize a Forum for Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 to promote accessible tourism as an effective means for poverty eradication, employment generation and social inclusion of persons with accessibility needs.

DSPD is calling for nominations of initiatives (policies, projects and innovative solutions) that have proved successful in the promotion of the accessible tourism and sustainable development.

Interested Governmental authorities, UN agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners are encouraged to send nominations by filling an online nomination form at: along with relevant supporting materials to by August 30, 2014. Due to the high volume of nominations, please be as concise as possible. More detailed information may be requested by DSPD after the first-round contact.

More information at:

NGO Relations and Advocacy
Department of Public Information
United Nations Headquarters in New York

Aug 19, 2014

2015 Conference ''Education for Sustainability in Higher Education - Achievements and Prospects''

Conference : Education for Sustainability in Higher Education - Achievements and Prospects

8th January 2015, Plymouth University, hosted by PedRIO and the Centre for Sustainable Futures

January is named after Janus, the Roman god of gateways, endings and beginnings, so this is a timely opportunity to look back at what has been achieved in sustainability education and to explore and consider its future prospects and potential in higher education.   This coming January also sees the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the ten-year anniversary of HEFCE’s influential policy document Sustainable Development in Higher Education, and marks ten years since the Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF) was established here at Plymouth University, with the ambitious goal to embed sustainability across university policy and practice, particularly in teaching and learning.  

This conference will bring together, showcase, and celebrate achievements in sustainability-related teaching and learning, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), pedagogic research, resource development, hybrid learning space design, and whole institutional change. We welcome abstracts for research papers and posters (500 words maximum) on the themes shown below.  

While we particularly welcome submissions that address the indicative questions included here, we also invite broader abstracts that align with these overarching themes of the conference. ESD Pedagogy: Criticality, Creativity and Collaboration: What are the teaching and learning processes that enable students to (i) develop their own capacity to think critically and creatively in the face of global sustainability challenges and (ii) act collaboratively in ways that pursue more hopeful and sustainable futures?

Innovative Learning Spaces for sustainability education: What are the physical and social environments that provide opportunities for new forms of sustainability education to flourish?  What lies beyond the lecture hall that is conducive to student learning through inquiry-based, active, participatory, interdisciplinary, and experiential methods?

Towards the Sustainable University: What are effective approaches for leading institutional change, organisational learning, and staff CPD towards sustainability? To submit an online abstract please click here (deadline: 12th September 2014). 

Please note that while attending the conference is free (lunch and refreshments will be provided), delegates will be responsible for paying for their own travel and accommodation. If you have further queries or would like any additional information, please email Adam Fisher ( or Dr Lynne Wyness ( 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 Teaching & Learning SustainabilityCentre for Sustainable FuturesPedRIO

Aug 7, 2014

Women to watch ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France

Here are 20 key women influencers from politics, diplomacy, business and civil society who will be central in Paris

International climate conferences are usually a sea of dark suits – like a mass audition for Men in Black – only there’s not much action.
It’s a situation UN climate chief Christiana Figueres describes in an interview with RTCC, published on Monday: “I don’t think I am the only woman who is very acutely aware, every time I walk into a room, how many men and how many women are sitting round the table.”
But dig a little deeper, and the influence of women in the climate sector is more profound than it looks, evident across most countries and all sectors.
Below are 20 women who are set to play a vital role in shaping the conversation and structure around a proposed emissions reduction treaty.
Laurence Tubian
Appointed special representative of the French minister of foreign affairs in May, Tubiana will advise the Paris 2015 climate summit president Laurent Fabius and his negotiating team. An aide to Prime Minister Jospin between 1997-2002, Tubiana was recently Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), where she was an advocate for tougher climate action.
Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for climate negotiations (Pic: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)
Laurence Tubiana, French Ambassador for climate negotiations (Pic: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)
Angela Merkel
The German chancellor is the most powerful woman in Europe and one of the most influential politicians in the world. A former environment minister, she ran the 1995 UN climate summit in Berlin, where the idea of the Kyoto Protocol was born. Last month she reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to a UN deal, and pledged $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund.
Malia and Sasha Obama
They are highly unlikely to feature at the UN talks, but President Obama has frequently cited his daughters as one of the reasons why he wants to address the causes of climate change. “You talk to Malia, you talk to Sasha, you talk to your kids or your grandkids — this is something they get,” he said. “They don’t need a lot of persuading.”
Connie Hedegaard
She leaves her post as EU climate chief later this year, but the fiery Dane has a critical part to play in securing the 2015 treaty she has fought for. In October the EU’s 28 member states meet to agree the bloc’s 2030 climate targets. An ambitious package will place pressure on other leading emitters like the US and China to follow.
Marlene Moses
Nauru’s UN ambassador is the current face of small island states, the conscience of the UN climate process. The 39-strong group represent countries that may soon disappear under the waves. That may be inevitable. Moses is charged with letting the world know it’s also unacceptable.
(Pic: Rachel Kyte/IISD)
(Pic: Rachel Kyte/IISD)
Rachel Kyte
The tough-talking West Ham football fan runs the World Bank’s clean energy division and together with president Jim Kim has led its transition away from its roots as a fossil fuel funder. Kyte wrote the investment standards for the Bank’s private arm – these have now been adopted by the UN’s Green Climate Fund – making her one of the architects of the clean revolution.
Izabella Teixeira
Brazil’s uncompromising environment minister treads a delicate line. Climate science studies indicate the country will be hit hard if warming breaches 2C. But as an emerging economy she wants to retain flexibility over its pathways and ownership of the Amazon rainforest. Host of the 2012 Rio+20 summit, she’s also on Ban Ki-moon’s post-2015 high level development panel.
Nawal Al Honsany
Masdar City’s director of sustainability is the face of clean tech in the Middle East. The oil- and gas-rich region has struggled to embrace the UN climate process, fearful of how its economic model could be affected. Masdar and Al Honsay, based in Abu Dhabi, is an attempt to demonstrate the benefits from low carbon growth, through solar power and hi-tech urban centres.
Frances Beinecke
When President Barack Obama announced new carbon standards for power plants in June, corks popped (metaphorically) at the NRDC. The influential green NGO, based in Washington, was instrumental in designing the new legislation with the White House. Tipped by some to join the administration, for now Beinecke still leads the NRDC, where she has been for 30 years.

Lisa Jackson
Climate change is real and a real problem”. That message carries real weight when it’s from tech giant Apple. Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Jackson is now head of sustainability at the iPhone makers, which has set ambitious climate goals, proving business can lead in this sector. It says 94% of its corporate facilities and 100% of its data centres are now powered by renewables.
Mary Robinson
Passionate and eloquent, Robinson probably rages about global injustice in her sleep. The former Ireland president turned climate justice campaigner was recently appointed Ban Ki-moon’s climate envoy. A barrister and 20 years an Irish senator, Robinson played an important role in the early 1990s laying the foundations for the Northern Ireland peace agreements.
Sheikh Hasina
Low-lying Bangladesh faces increasing climate impacts as sea levels rise, and extreme events become more common. First elected in 2009, Bangladesh’s prime minister ‘gets’ climate change, according to local campaigners. Evidence can be seen in the country’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), and two climate change funds worth half a billion dollars.
Hela Cheikhrouhou
The little known Tunisian is now one of the most important green finance officials in the world, in her position as Green Climate Fund executive director. Formerly at Citibank, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, Cheikhrouhou is tasked with raising $15bn by the end of 2014 so the GCF – an essential part of plans for a 2015 UN climate deal – can invest in developing countries.
Claudia Salerno
Known for dramatic interventions at UN climate negotiations, Venezuela’s chief negotiator Salerno plays a central role in the Like Minded Group of Developing Countries (LMGDC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Iran and Ecuador. The small but influential body will need to be brought on board for the 2015 agreement to achieve full consensus. That will need careful and quiet diplomacy.
Pilita Clark
The FT’s environment correspondent performs a vital role in communicating what is being discussed at UN talks to the global business community. Widely respected among her peers, Clark’s coverage is known for its clarity, impartiality and apparent eagerness to avoid acronyms – not a trait always associated with reporters following the UN process.
Monica Araya
The Costa Rica climate campaigner and former climate negotiator ran for vice president in recent elections on a green ticket. She failed in that attempt, and now runs Nivela, an environmental thinktank focused on Latin America. Araya caused chaos in 2013 when she was removed from Costa Rica’s UN team for complaining about the country’s oil investments with China.
Tasneem Essop
Former South African provincial minister, now a central player in WWF’s efforts to secure a global climate deal. A strong advocate for an agreement that involves poverty alleviation and climate justice, Essop is part of an influential global team including Sam Smith in the US, and Leo Hickman in the UK.
Ban Ki Moon and Thorning-Schmidt visited Greenland to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change there (Pic: UN Photos)
Ban Ki-Moon and Thorning-Schmidt visited Greenland to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change there (Pic: UN Photos)
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
In March Denmark’s prime minister accompanied UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Arctic to explore the effects warming temperatures are having on the region. The country has consistently pushed for tougher EU climate laws – and recently passed its own legislation binding it to reducing its emissions 40% by 2020.
Lavanja Rajamani
A professor at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, insiders say Rajamani is “a quiet mover but influential”, advising UN officials and at times the EU and India. At a time when information over what levels of emission cuts developed and developing countries make take is limited, she is likely to play an important bridging role.
Bernarditas Muller
This complex and experienced Philippines negotiator helped draft the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, but has a mixed relationship with UN talks, finding herself kicked off the national delegation in 2009. Closely linked with the China-funded South Centre, Muller recently cropped up at the Green Climate Fund talks in Bali, with some board members accusing her of obstructing the negotiations. One to watch.

Aug 6, 2014

Attend a webinar of ''10 Social Media Best Practices for NGOs''

10 Social Media Best Practices for NGOs
10 Social Media Best Practices for NGOs
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Time: 9 am SGT (Singapore), 11 am AEST (Sydney), 1 pm NZST (Wellington)
Cost: Free
Presented by: Heather Mansfield of Nonprofit Tech for Good and Public Interest Registry
The rise of social media has profoundly changed the way non-governmental organizations (NGOs) communicate with their donors and supporters, and although most organizations are currently experimenting with social media, few have been properly trained on how to effectively use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Your organization’s Return on Investment (ROI) from using social media is directly related to whether your staff are knowledgeable of each site’s unique functionality and toolset, so training is essential for success.
This webinar will present ten of today’s most cutting edge social media practices. Topics include:
  • Highlighting the shift from to broadcast to social communications and fundraising.
  • Learning the top three best practices for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • Telling your nonprofit’s story through video, images, and infographics.
  • Creating an editorial calendar for social media communications.
  • Tracking and reporting your ROI.
Please Note: This webinar will not be recorded, however attendees will be sent a set of comprehensive notes within 24 hours of the end of the presentation and a Q&A chat occurs at the end of the webinar. Also, a toll free number is not provided for the webinar, but attendees can listen to the audio presentation for free over their computer speakers or call into a phone number provided by GoToWebinar. Phone numbers are provided for those in the United States, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Jul 30, 2014

Nominate civil society speakers and attendees for the UN Secretary-General's 2014 Climate Summit

At the request of the United Nations Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team (CCST), the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is conducting an open process to obtain nominations for 4 civil society speakers and 34 additional civil society attendees for the Secretary-General's 2014 Climate Summit, which will take place on 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York. The roles for these representatives are outlined in Section A below. 18 of the 38 representatives will receive travel funding from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited Heads of State and Government along with leaders from business, finance, and civil society to the Climate Summit to catalyze ambitious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen climate resilience, and to mobilize political will toward achieving an ambitious, legally binding international climate change agreement by 2015. Complete information about the Climate Summit is available here.

Please read this entire email if you will participate in this process, as it has a few steps and specific requirements.
Kindly note: this nomination process is not open to representatives of the private sector. Participation of the private sector in the Climate Summit is facilitated by the UN Global Compact and the CCST.

A. Submit nominations for the following 4 civil society speaking roles and 34 additional attendees for the Climate Summit

1. The following 18 civil society roles in the Climate Summit will receive travel funding from the Executive Office of the Secretary General. All candidates must be representatives of civil society organizations.

a) One speaker in the Opening of the 2014 Climate Summit on behalf of civil society at large
Criteria: For this speaking role, the CCST is seeking a young woman (under the age of 30) from a developing country. Candidates must have a proven track record of effective advocacy or implementation of community based solutions for climate change mitigation or adaptation, as well as proven strong communication and public speaking skills. This speaker will collaborate with a diverse civil society Selection and Drafting Committee for the development of this statement (see Section C below).

b) Three panellists for the Thematic Debate "Voices from the Climate Frontlines" (organized by UNICEF and UN Women)
Criteria: Candidates must be able to proficiently address the questions in the concept note for this Thematic Debate. At least one of these panelist roles will be given to an Indigenous person, and at least one will be given to a person under the age of 30. Two panellists will be from a developing country, and one from a developed country.

c) 14 Summit Attendees
Criteria: Candidates must have a proven track record of effective advocacy or implementation of community based solutions for climate change mitigation or adaptation. These attendees will not have speaking roles in the Summit programme.

2. An additional 20 civil society representatives will be invited to attend the Summit through this nomination process without offer of travel funding support. These representatives will not have speaking roles in the Summit programme.

B.  Instructions for submitting nominations to UN-NGLS

Please submit your nominations using this online form.
All nominations will automatically load into a google doc spreadsheet, published here
Before submitting a nominee, please confirm the nominee:
  • is a representative of a civil society organization, and officially authorized by their organization/network to speak on the organization/network's behalf.
  • has a proven track record of effective advocacy or implementation of community based solutions for climate change mitigation or adaptation.
  • has excellent competency with climate change issues, experience with presenting climate change issues in public fora, and demonstrated ability to engage constructively with a variety of stakeholders.
  • for a speaking role: is a compelling public speaker (the online nomination form requests links to writing samples or remarks delivered at speaking engagements).
  • is available to be at UN Headquarters in NY at 8:30am on 23 September, and for travel if necessary. The nominee must have a US visa, or be able to obtain one within 3 weeks, for travel to the US.
Please note that the Climate Summit also involves Action Area Sessions, and leaders of civil society, non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples that are actively contributing to announcements for those Sessions have already received invitations to the Summit via another process. Anyone receiving an invitation for an Action Area Session will not be considered for opportunities provided via this process to attend the Summit. Please check with potential nominees to see if they have received an invitation to an Action Area Session before submitting them to this process. The list of attendees for the Action Area Sessions will be provided to the civil society Selection and Drafting Committee for this process.

C.  Apply for the civil society Selection and Drafting Committee 

A civil society Selection and Drafting Committee will be facilitated by UN-NGLS to evaluate all nominees and determine a short-list of 76 candidates for the roles outlined above in Section A.
  • 36 candidates will be submitted to the Secretary-General's CCST for the 18 funded roles; and
  • 40 candidates will be submitted to the Secretary-General's CCST for the 20 unfunded attendees.
The final selection of speakers will be made by the Secretary-General's CCST, with input by UNICEF / UN Women for the roles in the Thematic Session "Voices from the Climate Frontlines," ensuring regional, gender and age balance, and diversity of expertise.

The civil society Selection and Drafting Committee will also serve to collaborate on the drafting of the statement to be delivered by the civil society speaker selected for the Opening of the Summit, to enable a diversity of constituencies to contribute perspectives to these remarks.

To learn more about the Selection and Drafting Committee, and to apply to be a member, please clickhere.

Please note that members of the Selection and Drafting Committee cannot be considered for the civil society roles in the Climate Summit to be filled through this process.

D.  Timeline for participation in the nomination process

Friday, 8 August:  Deadline for applications to participate in the civil society Selection Committee
Friday, 15 August:  Deadline for submission of civil society speaker nominations
Wednesday, 20 August, 8:00-10:00am EST:  Selection Committee conference call #1
Thursday, 21 August, 8:00-10:00am EST: Selection Committee conference call #2
Friday, 22 August, 8:00-10:00am EST:  Selection Committee conference call #3 (if necessary)

E.  Visa arrangements

The Secretary-General's CCST will provide an invitation letter for the selected civil society speakers and attendees. These participants will be responsible for obtaining their visas for travel. Please confirm with candidates you are considering for nominations that the US Embassy/consulate in their home country will be able to issue a visa for travel to the US within 3 weeks.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Thank you and best regards,


United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS)
Sign up for the UN-NGLS listserv here