Places to prosper: engaging with youth migration in forest landscapes
Youth migration shapes economies and ecologies profoundly. Young men and women bring vibrancy to rural communities. But in rural areas, young people must weigh up their chances for prosperity: whether to remain in their place of origin, migrate in search of education or work, or even return home with new skills, capital and ideas. In many rural areas, forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) are the only source of support or employment. FFPOs should engage with youth to develop place-specific strategies, enhance their prospects for prosperity and strengthen their vital attachments to place — whether they are remainers, leavers or returners. Understanding the dynamics of youth migration could also help to ‘build back better’ after the COVID-19 pandemic, with longer-term benefits for resilient livelihoods, both for young people and FFPOs.