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The Role of Youth in Achieving the SDGs: Supporting Youth-Led Solutions for Sustainable Food Systems

  • Dario PiselliEmail author
  • Siamak Sam Loni
  • Kayla Colyard
  • Sienna Nordquist
Chapter

Abstract

Young people are often identified as “the leaders of tomorrow”. In recent years, however, this mantra has slowly been replaced by a growing emphasis on the role of youth communities as critical agents of change, “leaders of today” who are already contributing to the sustainable development of their economies and societies. This holds particularly true for the challenge of food system sustainability, given that increases in agricultural productivity and broader rural transformation critically require skills and knowledge that rural youth are more likely to possess over older adults. Accordingly, this chapter analyzes the interplay between existing youth-led contributions to implement Sustainable Development Goal 2 (‘No Hunger’) and the challenges imposed upon young people by unsustainable agricultural practices and food systems. First, the chapter examines the negative impacts that unsustainable food systems have on rural youth, including in terms of rural outmigration, youth unemployment and rural poverty. Secondly, the chapter focuses on young people’s actual contributions to sustainable food system transformations, as well as on the importance of addressing the barriers facing young farmers and entrepreneurs in their countries and communities.

Keywords

Youth SDGs Youth bulge Sustainable agriculture Food systems Youth-led solutions 2030 Agenda No hunger Rural development 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dario Piselli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Siamak Sam Loni
    • 3
  • Kayla Colyard
    • 4
  • Sienna Nordquist
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Centre for International Environmental Studies, Graduate Institute of International and Development StudiesGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.SDSN YouthNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.SDSN YouthNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.SDSN YouthNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Robert W. Woodruff Scholar, Emory College of Arts and SciencesEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.SDSN YouthNew YorkUSA

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