FEASTA’s COP-27 Delegation Includes Young People from Most Affected Places

Following a successful youth climate delegation to COP-26 in Scotland last year, FEASTA is using its accredited observer status to nominate a delegation of young activists from Ireland, Brazil, India, and Pakistan to go to the UNFCCC’s next climate conference COP-27 in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt taking place in November 2022.

FEASTA hopes these representatives of the youth climate justice movement, including those from Most Affected Places can elevate voices that are often excluded and bring a much needed sense of urgency to the proceedings.  Special thanks to Theresa Rose and Marina (see below) for reaching out to their international networks to help broaden the reach of this delegation.

Check out the amazing things these young people are doing, and please click the links and support their organizations!

Theresa Rose, Ireland, age 19

My name is Theresa Rose and I am a 19 year-old Indian Irish climate activist from the rebel county of Cork, Ireland. I am originally from Kerala in the Southern part of India. My active work towards climate justice began when my state was extremely flooded in the torrential monsoon rains of 2018. It was a scary time for me as I saw fields submerged and towns “swimming”. I came home safely to Ireland and decided I had to hold myself accountable for that privilege. I went on to work with Fridays For Future on a local (Cork), national (Ireland) and international basis. I then founded an international NGO called Re Earth Initiative. I also held an international conference to promote and compile research on climate education that saw the likes of Kumi Naidoo and Xiye Bastida give speeches and had participants from 25+ countries attend. I now have projects based in Ireland like Able2Change, a youth empowerment project and the Climate Assembly, which is a youth led assembly to curate demands and keep our decisionmakers accountable.

I am attending COP to make sure that the justice I advocate for is made vocal at every meeting there. I want to share information with my peers about what actually goes on there. I will continuously tweet and update on my stories to educate and show people what happens. I will continuously hear what people want to say and make sure those things are being heard by those who attend. I want to get as involved in the nitty gritty of policy and ensure that wherever I can get the words climate justice in, they will be heard.

Implementing climate justice has never been impossible. The resources, the solutions have always been here. It was about convincing those in power to accept the solutions and make the resources. We have had what we needed to achieve climate justice for years, but those in power chose short term greed and ignored indigenous wisdom.

Policies I would like to promote – complete shutdown of the fossil fuel industry before 2030, and returning to a circular economy.

Jessica, Ireland, 18

Hi, I’m Jessica Dunne, I’m 18 years old. I’m involved in Fridays For Future, organising global climate strikes since 2019. I’m also a member of Young Friends of the Earth where we work on a national and global level to make climate justice a reality. This COP is a reminder of the continued inaction that has resulted from all it’s predecessors. I hope,this time, that we achieve agreements based on climate justice and informed by science that enact radical changes.

This COP is more inaccessible than most and I hope to go and be a voice for those who can’t be there, highlighting the continued injustice which continues as a result of the lack of progress we have seen at previous events.

Marina, Brazil, age 18

Hi! My name is Marina, I’m 18 and an activist from Brazil. I’ve been active with the Fridays For Future Brasil and MAPA movement for almost 3 years, mobilizing myself for environmental justice and intersectional climate education. As one of the authors of the Manifesto for Climate Education in Brazil, I took the text to COP26 (where I attended as part of FEASTA delegation as well) asking for the commitment of Brazilian leaders to the topic – almost a year later, we currently have several bill projects in progress about it in various cities. This year I curated LivMundi, the largest socio-environmental festival in Brazil, and also continue my work with sosamazonia.fund and indigenous communities in the post-pandemic context.

I’ll attend COP27 to make sure the decisions leaders take at that excluding space is shared and well understood by especially Brazilian young people. But besides that, as an International Relations student, I’ll tackle Brazilian’s cooperation agreements and how the new president will present his proposals for a livable present and future in Brazil.

Nayara, Brazil, age 25

Nayara is a young LGBT woman from the Rio de Janeiro slums and currently lives in the interior of Bahia, in northeast Brazil. She is 24 years old and is a biologist from UFRJ. Her main agenda is to make the climate agenda accessible, especially on climate adaptation, to young people and people in the slums, through communication and education tools. For this reason, she created Brota no Clima, a climate education program for young people from Rio de Janeiro favelas, and co-coordinated LabPimenta, an audio narrative lab on climate change, gender, sustainable cities, and biodiversity. She collaborates on projects at Escola de Ativismo, and is part of the digital strategy team, which together with other members, intends to continue producing daily content on the climate agenda for Brazilians.

Having a Climate Ministry in Brazil would help combat the climate crisis, especially with professionals involved in the area and focusing on adaptation and mitigation. The major challenges found for it are political and financial – we need a political renewal in our country, especially with more young people, women, and people of color in these spaces.

Mikaelle, Brazil, age 21

I am 21 years old, I am a young black activist from the Brazilian northeast region, one of the regions most affected by climate change and social issues in Brazil. I am a student of Renewable Energy Engineering at the federal university of my state – UFPB. I am part of movements for climate justice such as Fridays For Future Brasil, and Fridays For Future MAPA, My fight started long before I was here in life, I started with my acentrias, and today I fight for the rights of women of the black people and also for an energy transition where the countries of the global south and the vulnerable territories are included as the main focus of change, and not only of resource extraction. Youth has managed to reach important spaces, but we still have to pressure politicians for inclusion. Being inside such an important space as the COP is a starting point for civil society to come together and shout to the world about the real reality we live in. In my region the catastrophic events of climate change are intensifying more and more. Furthermore, we need to make Brazil’s politicians declare a climate emergency in vulnerable regions.

Hania, Pakistan, age 19

I have been a climate activist for the last five years, and have also founded a Youth Climate Movement called YCAPK with a 100+ activists from across Pakistan. Here we organise protests, mobilise youth and our community and have tough conversations regarding the climate crisis. I am 18 years old.

I am a Muslim woman, and from Pakistan, so these are the two communities I hope to represent. I would specifically like to focus on Pakistan and Asia, and how climate justice intercepts with the regions I live in. Also how it affects the daily lives of Pakistanis.

COP is a the biggest climate conference that occurs every year, and Pakistan being one of the top ten countries most affected by the climate crisis, I believe there has to be more representation from MAPA regions (Most Affected People and Areas), which is why I deserve to exist in such a space where our representation lacks severely. The decisions that affect my country, my people and my land my people have had no say in. The challenges I would like to raise awareness about are children, education and women in relation to the climate crisis in the context of Pakistan. The policies I wish to support are what the IPCC reports recommend, the actions we need to take to ensure the survival of our planet.

Prakash, India, age 26

I am working with Step of Inspiration youth group. I am the founder of this youth group and I am currently working as the working president of this group. I am currently working with 2287 youth from South Gujarat and various Indigenous organizations. At the national level within India, I work as the convener of the Adivasi(Indigenous )Yuva Chetna Manch from Gujarat which involves youth from 12 states which is part of All India Catholic University Federation. I am a representative of Aadilok Magazine. I am a youth representative of Fridays for future Gujarat and AADI (All Adivasi Development Initatives)NGO. Currently I am doing M.Sc (Environmental Science ) in Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in Environmental Science.

I belong to Chaudhari Indigenous community of Gujarat (India). awakening our youth to the present situation so that they can prepare for the future and come along with the youth of the front row. For this they need to be given a space and a platform, which we are giving through the step of inspiration youth group. With which 2287 youth are involved. If given the right opportunity, they can bring a lot of changes in the society with self-development, which is slowly getting results. To prepare them we are conducting various seminars, campuses, training sessions, youth events, youth oriented activities. We are preparing them through training to bring out the strengths in the youth as well as to advance them in every field. Sarita Gaekwad, a gold medalist in the relay race at the 2018 Asian Games, is a prime example. Many scientists in the world today have said that if the world is to survive the effects of global warming and climate change, it must save the Indigenous community. Because the Indigenous community is a community associated with water, forest and land. Many solutions to this global problem can be found through the unique culture, customs and traditions of the tribal community. Because indigenous community lives a life subject to nature. Today the community is struggling to survive. It is slowly losing its culture, customs and traditional knowledge. At a time when the world is in dire need of a Indigenous community, it is time to save the Indigenous community, for which we are raising awareness at the local level. Indigenous community has special rights over forest, water and land for which it is necessary to awaken them. We are working to save community through programs, activities and groundwork. The United Nations has declared August 9th as World Tribal Day. We are working for the purpose for which we made this declaration. And gradually the Indigenous community of South Gujarat is becoming aware of its rights and duties.

I want to attend COP 27 because I am representing Indigenous youth. The youth of Indigenous communities should also be brought on one platform along with other youth. Their ideas, their ideas, their power and their community experience should be used for a better future of the world. Their voices and actions need to be taken into account in the current situation. We are all facing the global problem of climate change. The world’s Indigenous community that has been a nature lover, nature protector and nature worshiper for years. Indigenous communities are born with nature, live and even die. Many of the world’s problems can be solved by the traditional knowledge of the indigenous communities and the practical and nature-oriented lifestyle. For this, tribal youth should also be given a place on the youth platform. They need to be represented and listened to without any discrimination. Let’s make them partners in the policy making process. At the present juncture, it is imperative for the United Nations to engage with young people in every corner of the world. So that the youth working on the ground can be brought forward. For that we have to make efforts and activities. Especially those who are deprived. We can empower the latent forces within the youth and use them to build a better society and a better world. I am from a indigenous community so I want us to have opportunities too because we do not have the right platform. We must also consider our talents, ideas, paperwork and action so that we too can contribute to the achievement of all the goals of the United Nations for a better world.

Amália,  Brazil, age 19

I am a climate activist and physics student from southern Brazil, active in Fridays for Future (FFF) at local, national, and international levels. I focus my activism on social and climate justice – showing how STEM, social and climate issues are interconnected and present in our daily lives.

I started striking in 2019, right as a plan to build Brazil’s largest open pit coal mine was announced near my city, which would have several social and environmental impacts, but now has been suspended. Considering this, a big portion of my local activism has been focused on coal and shale mining. In Fridays for Future, I take part in a series of projects, like the SOS Amazônia Campaign, which has raised over $1 million Reais to help indigenous communities, and a working group in FFF Brazil to push for inclusion of socio-climatic topics in the debate.

I would like to attend COP both to make sure there is accessible and youth-focused media coverage and to push for global leaders to take action without loopholes. Media coverage during these events is oftentimes inaccessible and has an intellectual audience in mind. This is why we need media digestible to the general public, which is one of the things I would like to work on during COP. As well as this, during these conferences, we have an unique opportunity to meet with Brazilian and international leaders that we wouldn’t speak to otherwise. This gives us the chance to push for the change we want to see: inclusion, climate education and justice in our society.

Vitória, Brazil, age 18

Vitória (18) is a high school student in Public Health Management at Fiocruz. Living in a Rio slum, she has a history of working on climate projects for vulnerable people, such as the award-winning Brota no Clima, on climate education and communication, and the Dialogos Periféricos campaign, focused on urban planning and environmental racism by the NGO Engajamundo. She has already led a Girl Up club – UN Foundation, was a Brazilian Youth Congresswoman and US Youth Ambassador to Brazil.

I consider the questioning of sustainability discourses by large corporations to be a key part of making society recognize who handles the climate crisis. I’m attending COP because I want to show for slum citizens how the conference works, what the negotiations are going on, and how civil society is influencing political processes since the Brazilian mainstream media does not carry out this type of coverage. Communication is a fundamental part of transforming the reality that affects me, and that’s why I aim to bring climate dialogues focused through an intersectional lens.

Nihar, India, age 22

Currently I’m working with the Step of Inspiration (SOI) Youth Group. I have also previously served as the Vice President of SOI Youth Group. And currently I’m working in main committee of SOI & AADI NGO (All Adivasi Development Initiative). We are working in 8 different Talukas & District of South Gujarat. In one unit of these 8 units, I am currently working as unit in charge in which I represent our area and our youth on behalf of SOI. A lot of field work has been done in the inner area of our villages. I’m also working with FFF Gujarat & Adilok Magazine as a Coordinator of the our rural areas.

I belong to Vasava(Bhil) Indigenous community of Gujarat. When a name comes up as an adivasi, it is barely that people treat it well, but times have changed now, and our youth are also reaching new heights. As an educated tribal youth, it is my duty to do something for our community. Through SOI we have provided a good platform…where our youth can get prepared for the upcoming opportunities. Activities like seminars, camps, youth events, self-development training sessions are also conducted for the youth through SOI. Through which they can create a better future him/her & for the society. Worldwide, when every country is talking about climate change.. every country. It has also been said by the UN that “If the world is to be saved from the climate change, then the tribal people have to be saved”. And this is what is also completely true ….The life which is being lived by the tribals in harmony with nature, Satisfactory life, Caring of forest land and there’s wildlife, Simple lifestyle, Always connected with nature caring of forest and many more…

In this is the solution of all these difficulties. Nowadays our community is struggling to survive. Gradually our lands and forests are being taken away…which is directly affecting the lifestyle of our people. It is losing culture, customs & traditional knowledge . While people are talking about saving tribals on big platforms… on one side tribals have become homeless. It is necessary to work for this at the ground level and not on big platforms. We have a special rights over forest, water and land. But they have remained only on the pages. Which needs to be awakened. Our efforts regarding this are continuing on… we are seeing positive effects, but these issues are very serious, which the whole world must take note of it.

I want to attend COP 27 because, I’m represent indigenous Youth & Community. If I get a chance to perform on such a big platform. So I will get a chance to work with new youths and will get inspiration to do something new for my community through their new ideas. I will get to interact face-to-face with intellectuals who are working globally related to climate change. Their ideas, their intelligibility & their community experience should be used for the better future of the world. The way of worshiping nature from our ancestors – customs and living in harmony with nature. He not only knows but has been living that lifestyle. And this way of preserving culture and lifestyle has been inherited by the tribal youth from generation to generation. We all are facing global problem of climate change. If tribal youths are made partners in the policy making process of climate change. So through his experience with nature, we will be able to solve many problems. I’m from a indigenous community, so I want us to have opportunities too because we do not have a the right platform.

FEASTA is pleased to support these young activists in their journey to COP-27.  After you have visited all their great sites, please also take a moment to go to the CapGlobalCarbon site, which describes FEASTA’s vision for a global cap on carbon with revenues returned back to people as a climate dividend.

 

Featured photo: Feasta youth delegate Marina Guião taking part in Fridays for Future action at the COP 26.

Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.