UNFCCC Toolkit: Raising Key Issues 1.9

UNFCCC toolkit page
Factsheet: Message 9

Message 9: “We need to make agriculture an appealing option for young people, not only as a means of ensuring food security, but also to boost rural economies. And the decisions we make today on climate change will shape the environment in which young farmers operate in the future.”

The ninth of nine factsheets containing data and facts extracted from the sources below and others, then mapped to the nine key messages or topics of this guide/toolkit. Data will be related to UNFCCC negotiations, food security and nutrition, small vs large scale farmers, as well as specific topics such as:

  • The benefits of adapting to, and mitigating the effects of, climate change;
  • Key statistics on the impact agriculture has on climate change;
  • Impacts of climate change on agriculture;
  • Adaptation-mitigation co-benefits;
  • What is the SBSTA work programme?

The world’s population is young, with nearly 2.2 billion people under the age of 18. 85% of these youth are living in developing countries, with the majority in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, South-Central and South-East Asia, and Oceania. Source: FAO IFAD

Children are particularly sensitive to the impact of climate change, which directly affects their health. In Ethiopia and Kenya, two of the world’s most drought-prone countries, children aged five or under are respectively 36% and 50% more likely to be malnourished if they were born during a drought. Source: UNICEF
Undernutrition is a major risk co-factor for disease and contributes to a large burden of illness, especially amongst children. For every 10% increase in stunting, the proportion of children reaching the final grade of school dropped by almost 8%. At the same time, each year of schooling increases wages earned by almost 10%. Children who have been severely undernourished in early childhood suffer a later reduction in IQ by as many as 15 points, significantly affecting their schooling achievement. Source: UNSCN

Rural youth continue to suffer from disproportionately high levels of unemployment, underemployment and poverty. In 2012, close to 75 million young people worldwide were out of work. This resulted in a global youth unemployment rate almost three times the corresponding rate for adults. Furthermore, among those young people who were working, over 200 million were earning less than $2 USD per day. In Africa, the proportion of working youth earning less than $2USD per day is over 70%, many of whom were living in the continent’s economically stagnant rural areas. Source: CTA

Global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, with youth (aged 15–24) accounting for about 14% of this total. While the world’s youth cohort is expected to grow, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth – particularly those living in developing countries’ economically stagnant rural areas – remain limited, poorly remunerated and of poor quality. Source: FAO
Up to 70% of the youth in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia live in rural areas. Over half of the youth in the labour force engage in agriculture. Source: ILO