By Luke Pritchard, moderator of the investment discussion at the youth session. Share your thoughts by commenting at the end of this blogpost!
Kit Kat. CoverGirl lipstick. Oreos. Domino’s Pizza. Xerox paper. These and many other thousands of products have, at some point, been linked to huge deforestation in Southeast Asia.
But times are changing. A growing list of large companies such as L’Oreal, Nestle, Asia Pulp and Paper, Proctor and Gamble, Wilmar and Unilever have recognized that if they want to be able to source products well into the future, they needed to change their practices.
Over the past few years, many of these companies have made pledges to ensure that their products are “deforestation free”. This means they are making efforts to keep better track of how their products are sourced, so they can ensure that none of the materials they are using or the products they sell drive tropical deforestation.
This movement is gaining momentum and many believe it will change the way products are sourced, made, bought and sold in future.
All this progress is promising. But what role have youth played?
We have not played a significant role in pushing to ensure deforestation-free policies are implemented in an equitable and fair manner.
The absence of our voice from the dialogue is concerning.
Youth will be most impacted by these policies. In the coming decades, we will be charged with ensuring their effective implementation.
Southeast Asia is a hub for commodity production. More than ever, young people in the region need to get involved in green investment conversations and actions.
But the responsibility isn’t just on young people. The private sector needs to actively facilitate our involvement in the development of green-investment policies such as deforestation free commitments.
I’m keen to hear your ideas:
- What can young people do to encourage green investment policies such as (deforestation free products) in Southeast Asia? Are there any policies in particular that need our urgent attention?
- Are there lessons we can learn from other sectors, or other regions of the world that can be the basis of a model for more active youth involvement?
Here are some interesting articles on the subject: