We are delighted to welcome the new YPARD Sweden representative Sunil Abeyasekera
Sunil is currently undertaking MSc. Studies in Rural Development and Natural Resource Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden. His research interests focus on the relationship between food security and climate change, and its effect on local livelihoods. He is also interested in the geopolitics of waters, and the implications of the virtual water trade. He will soon be conducting his master’s thesis research within his field of study.
Sunil’s interest in food security and climate change stemmed during his BSc in Chemistry at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom which he completed in 2013. During his studies, he had the opportunity to work at Dow AgroSciences, New Zealand, where he saw the need of pesticides towards achieving food security, and the innovations required to adapt to the increasing prevalence of pests.
After graduating, Sunil worked as a commodities trader for iBasis, London, where he worked in a highly globalized marketplace and strategically increased sales through his business development skills, as well as growing his customers’ accounts. Nevertheless, his interests in climate change and environmental issues persisted and in 2015 he worked at the Institute of Experimental Botany, Czech Republic, where he participated in a land regeneration project. The project involved rehabilitating an old coal processing facility through “green” methods to transform the site into a more safe and hospitable site.
He has recently been working closely with SIANI by assisting the team at events, through hosting the round table discussions and also providing social media coverage. He has also published a blog for SIANI on the FAO, OECD and UNCDF report on “Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy”, which outlined a bottom-up approach to rural transformation. Sunil has had the opportunity to meet influential actors during the Youth, Agripreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals seminar hosted by SIANI and SIDA, and realized the growing demand of youth in agriculture, which he hopes to address as his role as the Sweden Country Representative at YPARD.
“I am excited to get young people engaged in agriculture and food security issues. Becoming the Sweden YPARD country representative signifies that I have joined a globalized network which will help young professionals in Sweden connect with young professionals across the world. I will be using the @ypardsweden twitter account to share agricultural news and events in Sweden, and I will be using my platform to communicate the opportunities available for our future agricultural professionals.
I plan to increase the footprint of YPARD members in Sweden using my affiliation with SLU, organizing workshops and facilitating discussions and forums for young people to get involved in agriculture, food security, rural development and climate change. ”
Sunil is determined to continue the good work of Karolin Andersson, the former representative for YPARD Sweden. We express our profound gratitude to Karolin for the time invested into the country chapter.
Welcome on board Sunil Abeyasekera!
If you are from or based in Sweden, and want to get involved in YPARD Sweden activities, please contact Sunil at firstname.lastname@example.org