Silva Mediterranea’s Mediterranean Youth Task Force (MYTF) elected its first board of coordinators for the year 2023, in a completely democratic and transparent procedure. The Direction Board is responsible for the overall functioning of the Task Force, coordinating all the committees and activities.
The Task Force, a self-led youth group of the FAO Silva Mediterranea secretariat and supported by the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute (EFIMED), is composed of young students, researchers and professionals who are from, living, working or studying in the Mediterranean region.
The call to the first elections was open to all members of the MYTF, where each candidate could run for two positions, by presenting their curriculum vitae and a motivation letter. The voters then had a full week to carefully inspect all applications and select their preferred candidates through the STAR voting system.
The young members have chosen Hiba Mohammad as the Task Force Coordinator. Hiba is a PhD student in environmental engineering, originally from Syria. She previously got her Master’s in Mediterranean Forestry and Natural Resources Management (MEDfOR) and was an active participant at the Conference of Youth (CoY17).
Rankeshwarnath Sanjay Mishr, also a MEDfOR student, was selected as the Deputy Coordinator. He comes from India and has a six-year international work experience in Sustainable Forest Management and Nature-based Solutions. He is an active member of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) and the Young Scholar Initiative (YSI).
The newly elected board, represented by Hiba and Sanjay, will be actively participating in the Joint Organizing Committee meetings for the 8th Mediterranean Forest Week and the 25th Session of the AFW/EFC/NEFC Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions – Silva Mediterranea, to be held in Tunisia in Spring 2024.
Leila rossa Mouawad, an active member of FAO’s Forest Communicators Network for the Mediterranean and Near East (FCNMedNE), was selected as the Communications Coordinator. This Lebanese forestry student has experience in communication at the Mediterranean Forest Week, the World Forestry Congress, the European Forest Institute Mediterranean Network Forum and more.
Federica Romagnoli, an Italian PhD student working on a three-year project related to forest resilience and adaptation to Climate Change, was voted for as the MYTF Scientific Coordinator.
Also from Italy, Giovanna Caramuta was selected as the Partnerships Coordinator. She is a licensed forester with a two-year experience in natural resource management. Additionally, Giovanna is an active member of IFSA and has previously participated in the Committee on Forestry (COFO24) and the Global Landscape Forum.
Lastly, Idris Oladayo Olanrewaju from Nigeria was selected as the Events Coordinator. He is currently a Monitoring & Evaluation assistant at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and has more than three-year experience in events planning.
It is important to note that no candidate ran for the Financial Coordinator position, meaning that a new call for applications will be launched soon.
On an ending note, many candidates were competing for the Coordinator roles, but we are certain that all members of the MYTF will be working hand-in-hand, sharing their knowledge, experience and diverse backgrounds towards the common good of Mediterranean forests.