Youth Dialogue

Mediterranean Youth Dialogue

In the countries of the Mediterranean basin, youth from 15-to-29-year-old account for a major age group of the population. However, they face several challenges, including unemployment, high NEET rates, lack of financial opportunities and lack of inclusion and participation in local and international decision-making. These factors encourage migration and depopulation of rural and mountainous areas.

Data on forest employment in the region, and more particularly, youth employment in the forest sector in the Mediterranean, is scarce, or non-existent. However, the forest sector plays a pivotal role in providing socio-economic opportunities for young people, as part of the green economy and of a green transition.

Many youth movements are claiming participation in climate change action, especially through actions like afforestation and ecosystem restoration. In this context, it is crucial to discuss the main role that young generations will have in implementing the necessary economic and environmental strategies to mitigate the impact of our global changing climates.

The Brummana Declaration (2019), as well as the Antalya Declaration (2022), encourage political and administrative authorities at national level to create incentives for youth to participate in diversified forestry education programmes, including through the creation of jobs for youth and to ensure that youth entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean region can fully and effectively participate.

The 8MFW places a special focus on youth by holding a second Youth Dialogue, which builds on the dialogue that took place at the 7MFW, held in Türkiye in 2022. It revisits the five key themes, highlighted by young people as the main challenges faced in the Mediterranean forest sector, with a strong focus on restoration.

Co-organised in the framework of the three main youth dialogues taking place within the forest sector in 2024, the Youth Dialogue represents the third and final thematic session.