Mr Sunil Abeyasekera, YPARD (Co-opted)

In 2017, Sunil Abeyasekera was appointed as Sweden’s representative for YPARD, Young Professional for Agricultural Development. A global collective platform where young professionals can proactively contribute to innovative agricultural development and increase youth participation in policy developments. Alongside this position, Sunil works at SIANI, the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative, which addresses the need for effective development cooperation for poverty reduction through sustainable agricultural production. As the SIANI Youth representative, he produces innovative content, through blogs, podcasts and workshops to encourage youth engagement with the sustainable development goals, especially SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Sunil is a rural development and natural resource management master’s student at the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences and is writing his thesis about on the environmental and social implications of increasing palm oil production in India. Working closely with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), he has been exploring the impact palm oil cultivation will have on India’s water scarcity. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey and has worked with agricultural chemicals, beneficial insects and a land restoration project.