#vlogging4forests: youth advocating for forests

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

“I feel a strong need to share simple stories that will increase people’s knowledge of the importance of forests. Since people tend to believe what they see over what they hear, vlogging is a good way to raise awareness,” says Oluwaseun Adekugbe from Akure, Nigeria.

Presentation vlog of Oluwaseun Adekugbe

“Never before have there been more young people in the world than now. According to the UN there are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and how we act will define our future,” says Daniel Guerra from San José, Costa Rica.

Daniel Guerra’s vlog shared before going to COP25

From the Climate Action Summit in New York to UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, Oluwaseun Adekugbe (Nigeria), Trang Le (Viet Nam) and Daniel Guerra (Costa Rica) from the International Forestry Students’ Association have been #vlogging4forests for the UN-REDD Programme. As youth are increasingly taking the lead in voicing the urgency for climate action, and youth climate movements around the world are growing exponentially, the UN-REDD Programme joined forces with the International Forestry Students’ Association to give forestry students a platform to share their views, ideas and stories on forest protection. At the same time, it was an occasion for the students to learn more about REDD+, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) and how to use social media for advocacy. During the month of December, they attended the youth summit Conference of Youth (COY) 15 and COP25 in Madrid to immerse in the discussions on nature-based solutions and forests, capture impressions and share information through their personal perspectives.

“Forests and nature are important topics,” says Trang Le from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, “yet they're not conveyed in a sufficiently captivating way to reach the general public. On another note, stories about forests do not consist of only two characters: trees and humans. They are a nexus of various actors: wildlife, abiotic resources, local farmers, local foresters, indigenous peoples, private sectors, public authorities, youth, scientists and more. Therefore, one narrative is not enough. In my videos, I try to bring stories about forest and nature-based solutions from various viewpoints. I want people who watch the vlogs to understand the forests not only from my perspective.”

Trang Le’s vlog compilation from interviews with International Forestry Students’ Association delegates at COP25

“One of the problems nowadays is to find accurate and honest sources of information and that is why I believe #vlogging4forests can make a difference. It shows how motivated and driven the youth is: we want action and we want it now, and most importantly, we are going to work for it. Vlogging4forests shows that young people don’t want to wait anymore, and it could become a platform for young people to share their success stories, raise concerns and communicate about their joint fight for climate justice,” says Guerra.

“I would like to continue raising my voice and vlog for forests and at the same time involve more youth. Vlogs can tell you many things in simple ways. Not a lot of people have the patience to go through long and technical reports but through vlogging, we can get their attention while sharing the same goal: protecting the forests,” concludes Adekugbe.

Le added, “At the Conference of Youth and the Conference of Parties, I've met many inspiring young people, who understand the situation and are bold to make changes. The vlogging campaign gives us a robust stage to speak up, and I want to share this microphone with others. I hope to partner with more youth-led initiatives so that until COP 26, we will have not only Oluwaseun, Daniel and Trang, but also many new faces leading the conversations.”

UN-REDD will continue working with youth vloggers in 2020 as part of a broader youth engagement strategy.

Compilation video COP25

Would you like to hear more from the students follow #vlogging4forests and the social media channels from the UN-REDD Programme and the International Forestry Students’ Association?

All vlogs are posted on the International Forestry Students’ Association’s IFSA YouTube channel.

#vlogging4forests is a collaboration between the International Forestry Students’ Association and the UN-REDD Programme.

For more information, contact Alice Vanderelstraeten: alice.vanderelstraeten@un.org

(This article was also published on the UNEP website: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/vlogging4forests-youth-advocating-forests)


Alice Van der Elstraeten

Latin America regional Communications and Knowledge Management specialist

UN-REDD Programme

UN Environment



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