2020 Annual Report: International Student Environmental Coalition

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International Student Environmental Coalition

2020 Annual Report







In Honor of Mostafa Khodabeya


Mission and Structure:


In 2020:














Cayman Islands





IN HONOR OF MOSTAFA KHODABEYA It is with great sadness that we honor the passing of our beloved Mostafa Khodabeya, National Director of ISEC Egypt. His enormous heart will never be forgotten, and we will continue to act in his name. Our international community mourns this tragic loss. May Allah grant him and his family sabr and strength.

‫ النشيط‬،‫مصطفى الشاب الطموح‬ ‫غادرتنا بجسدك لكن روحك ستبقى‬ ‫ كلماتك كانت محفزا و دافعا‬،‫معنا‬ ‫ رحلت باكرا‬،‫لكثير من الشباب‬ ‫لكنك كنت ملهما بأفكارك و عملك‬. ‫رحمك هللا و اسكنك الفردوس‬ ‫االعلى‬

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 2020, during a time of immense unprecedented global changes, ISEC grew its network, built its support system, and continued supporting struggles for climate justice worldwide. Additionally, ISEC contributed to the growing international conversation both elevating climate change’s importance and its inextricable connection with historical inequities which COVID-19 and other crises futurer illuminated. This past year, we engaged over 4,000 in-person for our campaigns ranging from a land rights protection program in Indonesia to our work with #savebugomaforest in Uganda that reached over 4 million people around the world and resulted in the arrest of our Co-Executive Director, Jessy Musaazi. For further information, visit our website or email us at contact@isecoalition.org. You may find ISEC on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


COALITION-WIDE 2020 REFLECTION Mission and Structure: International Student Environmental Coalition (ISEC) is a 501(c)3 international network of over 30 countries that provides resources and organizational power to help students anywhere in the world engage in the grassroots environmental movement. Our key goals: ➢ To unite young people to act against climate change globally, with a particular focus on uplifting those on the frontlines and in the Global South. ➢ To mobilize young people to tackle the roots of the climate crisis, namely capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, and racism. ➢ To challenge corporations, governments, and institutions responsible for the climate crisis. ➢ To foster holistic support for individuals and groups in their climate justice projects, particularly those that historically lack access. We use Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing to center justice and equity in our work, are structured with limited hierarchy, and aim to increase intersectional climate justice around the world. We also acknowledge that climate change has historically been caused and perpetuated by Global North countries while Global South countries and marginalized communities bear the brunt of its effects. ISEC aims to empower youth in all countries to fight for a better future, but places particular emphasis on building power in the Global South. Member countries include: Africa: ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧

Europe: Uganda Cameroon Burundi Nigeria Ghana Côte d'Ivoire Algeria Liberia Libya Egypt South Africa Sudan Tanzania Somalia

✧ Turkey ✧ Bosnia and Herzegovina ✧ Iceland ✧ Germany ✧ Romania ✧ Portugal ✧ Norway ✧ Demark ✧ Kosovo ✧ Albania

Asia and the Middle East: ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧

Bhutan Thailand Nepal Bangladesh India Pakistan Afghanistan Syria Iraq Russia

Americas: ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧

Mexico Honduras United States Cayman Islands

4 ISEC has two Executive Directors who are part of an international Board of Directors, and each of its member countries has a National Director.

In 2020: As a collective, we successfully launched Earth Power Movement​in 2019. The purpose of the #EarthPower campaign is to strengthen our demands and increase the inclusivity of the youth climate strike movement. We strive to harness the momentum of the youth strike movement, and direct it toward the fossil fuel industry, as 100 fossil fuel companies are responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions. We believe that confronting the fossil fuel industry is central to addressing the root causes of climate change — colonialism, patriarchy, capitalism, and racism. We believe we can do this by ending fossil fuel infrastructure, just transition, and divestment. This campaign successfully integrated this messaging into the youth climate strikes, specifically during the September 2019 strikes, the biggest youth strike of all time. In 2020 we continued the work of Earth Power, as well as our other major campaign, Plant for the Planet, other ongoing projects, and smaller campaigns in each country.


INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS: COUNTRY HIGHLIGHTS Although many of our planned activities were hindered due to COVID-19, we still managed to organize many successful in-person activities throughout our countries. Here is a glimpse into some of our work this difficult year.

Uganda In January 2020, ISEC Co-Executive Director and Uganda National Director Musaazi Jessy presented to over 400 students from different high schools about the need to immediately get involved in advocating for climate justice. He highlighted that students’ contributions against climate change result in a sustainable future for not only them but also their parents and future generations. He also shared personal experiences, from when he started organizing at 15 years old through 20 years later having facilitated the planting of over 20,000 trees. The students pledged to start with simple tasks such as switching off lights, sorting and recycling waste, and planting trees. In June, Jessy joined the research team collaborating with Kiira Motors corporation and Makerere University to develop the BULAMU Ventilator. It is a low-cost, locally-manufactured medical device which will be able to support life in Intensive Care Units. Our intensive care systems will make use of this equipment developed and built by 100% Ugandans in the fight against COVID-19. In August 2020, ISEC Uganda joined many civil society organizations and environmental activists to protest the

6 decision of the Ugandan Government (National Environmental Management Authority) to clear and replace Bugoma central forest reserve with a sugar plantation. Bugoma Forest is a protected tropical forest that is situated south west of Hoima and north east of Kyenjojo towns, and east of lake Albert, in the Hoima district of western Uganda. Its surface area is given as between 41,142 hectares and 65,000 hectares blessed with about 23 species of mammals, 225 species of birds, 260 species of trees and a considered home of numerous chimpanzees. Our protests included a number of online petitions (Save Bugoma Forest1) signed by over 500,000 people; the hashtag #savebugomaforest which reached over 4 million people around the world; radio shows; walks and street protests which actually resulted in the arrest of a number of youths including the National director, Jessy.

Cameroon Due to the fact that the year 2020 was characterized by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial activities of the year for ISEC Cameroon could not move on as planned. With school shutdowns, gatherings of more than 50 people prohibited and later on, complete prohibition of gatherings of any type or number across the country, we looked for other ways to continue our advocacy, education of the general public, running campaigns, and most importantly joining in the fight against the pandemic. Our activities for the year in Cameroon were centered on three aspects: ➢ Working with other organizations and stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19 at the level of the communities 1

Petitions included Save Bugoma Forest and Save Bugoma Central Forest Reserve

7 ➢ Online Campaigns, Advocacy and Activism ➢ Sharing our experience, knowledge and works in Cameroon on various platforms and speaking engagements In 2020, ISEC Cameroon was involved in: 1. COVID-19 Sensitization Campaign, Distribution of Face Mask and Hand Sanitizers In partnership with Bingo Health Access Initiative, a community-based health organization, ISEC Cameroon organized a awareness campaign in one of the communities in Yaounde, Cameroon to educate and inform the population about barrier measures against the coronavirus and also distributed facemask and hand sanitizers to over 300 people in attendance.

2. Speaking Engagements and Conference Talks ISEC Co-Executive Director and Cameroon National Director, Harrison Ashangwa, spoke in several conferences and online events sharing experience, expertise and what ISEC has been doing in the past 3 years in the environment sector which often involved hundreds and sometimes thousands of participants. a. World Ocean Week 2020: Ashangwa was a speaker and panelist on “Next Generation Leaders with a Global Mindset,” an event organized during the World Ocean Week 2020 by ADEX Virtual Expo. Over 1000 participants from across the world joined the online conference on various social media platforms. He shared about his experience as a

8 community leader in Cameroon, the activities of ISEC, and grassroots environmental activism. b. World Earth Day 2020: In commemoration of Earth Day 2020, Ashangwa and two other ISEC National Directors participated as panelists in an online conference organized by the Earth Day Network on the topic: “Youth Climate Activism in the Global South; Allyship, and coalition building.” Several participants watched the recorded and live streamed session all over the world. c. Diversity and Inclusion Session: in the face of Covid-19 by Global learning for Sustainability: Ashangwa spoke as a panelist for the session where he shared the current impacts of Covid-19 global effects on marginalized, vulnerable, and stigmatized groups of people in Cameroon as a Diversity and Inclusion session. The event in April 2020 had 200 participants from across Africa. d. Africa 3.0 Summit: Youth Driven Solutions: Ashangwa also took part as a panelist in the 2020 session of the Africa 3.0 Summit organized by the alumni and former participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Emerging leaders program of the West Africa regional leadership center. With 150 participants from across Africa, he shared his experience working with ISEC, how youths can best champion grassroots activism, the importance of youth leadership, and how to get involved with social and green entrepreneurship. 3. Online Campaigns Advocacy With COVID-19 restricting physical events and typical activities, the pandemic revealed the importance of online campaigns and advocacy efforts, as well as grassroots onsite

9 programs. ISEC Cameroon continued with online activism and campaigns and most importantly joined our voices to that of other activists and environmental organizations in the country. We asked the government to reject a dangerous logging project earlier approved in the Ebo forest in the Congo Basin in Cameroon, a rich biodiversity site with diverse species of flora and fauna. Continuous national and international online efforts calling on the government to halt the project caused the government to stop the logging project. Despite the challenges we faced in 2020, we did not slow our efforts to drive and foster environmentalism and climate activities in Cameroon. In sum, during 2020, ISEC Cameroon accomplished the following; ➢ Directly engaged over 2000 participants through online events including conferences, training sessions and several discussions. ○ Participated in six online conferences and events, sharing experience and strategies for grassroots activism. ➢ Joined our voices and petitions with others to influence the government to end the dangerous Ebo Forest logging project. ➢ Adapted to a new global online paradigm and engaged youth in climate activism.

Burundi 2020 brought many challenges for climate activists generally and specifically for ISEC Burundi’s National Director, Olivier Nihimbazwe since he was not able to be in his home country during the pandemic. However, we were still able to participate in climate action during 2020 and prepare for future action when COVID dangers ease. In January 2020, Nihimbazwe was selected to represent ISEC in the Africa Climate Week in Kampala whose objective was to share ways for governments to implement the Paris Agreement in Africa. In June 2020, we worked together with the National Director of ISEC in Uganda, Jessy, to plan and apply for a grant whose goal was to raise awareness on the dangers of plastic pollution through a digital information resource centre and a petition to ban plastics in Ugandan public spaces and institutions. We were successful in this application and planning process and are launching the revolutionary project in the summer of 2021. In November 2020, our National Director participated together with two members of ISEC Burundi, in the second edition of the 2063 Academy. During this conference organized by Atlas for Development, we presented a project proposal to Peace First and we were able to secure a

10 $250 grant to implement a project that we called “Empowering the Next Generation of Climate Activists in Burundi.” We keep searching for funds and partners for this project as we hope to scale it up in 2021. As part of the implementation preparations, we created a partnership with Greening Burundi, a local youth-led climate movement whose work focuses on reforestation and tree planting.

Nigeria ISEC Nigeria engaged in many activities, including: ➢ In 2020 ISEC Nigeria launched a Hausa version of Plant for the Planet known as ICE NA DA AMPANI in the Northern part of Nigeria. We realized the conspicuous impact of climate change, particularly in the savannah ecosystems of the Northern states, as well as the population’s limited knowledge about it. We aim to engage students, teachers and communities, so, we started in Abuja, Nigerian Capital City and Zaria, Kaduna State. We are also using this opportunity to orientate people on preventive measures against COVID-19. ○ We engaged over 150 students in Abuja and 550 students in Zaria, and an estimated 1000+ people across communities. ➢ ISEC’s Plant for the Planet (IGIWULO CAMPAIGN) was nominated for the UN 5th Global Entreps Awards. ➢ We participated in the Earth Day 2020 commemorations, connecting with other youths across the world. ➢ ISEC Nigeria’s National Director, Wole Adegbule participated in several awards this year. ISEC appeared in the Sweden Embassy Nigeria and Eleven Eleven Twelve Green Awards as Adegbule was nominated. We also appeared on the HSE Nations, AFRISAFE AWARD 2020 as Adegbule was nominated alongside other professionals in Nigeria. ➢ ISEC rated among the 12 most important NGOs in Nigeria out of over 1200 NGOs nominated for Union Bank of Nigeria’s “Make The Community Rise Outreach.” ➢ ISEC appeared live on Inspirational Radio, Ibadan, Oyo State to teach people about climate change. ➢ ISEC Nigeria grew the Facebook page from 85 followers to 10000+ followers.

11 ➢ ISEC Nigeria made a documentary on PLANT4DPLANET which includes people of different nationalities. ➢ ISEC Nigeria made an e-magazine.

Indonesia In October, the ISEC Indonesia Team, organized by Winny Puteri and Azhary Wailissa, launched an incredibly important Indigenous community building project in Patkalaman, Maluku. The goal is to help the community fight for their land rights. The Indonesian government has been violating the rights of Indigenous peoples who have lost their traditional forests and livelihoods to oil palm plantations. Deforestation occurs on a massive

scale and not only harms local Indigenous peoples but is also a contributor to global climate change. The government only pays 5 dollars/month to the tribe for every hectare of their land. ISEC Indonesia’s project seeks to help aid the community in fighting the big palm oil corporations through efforts through the law, environmental organizing, and mobilizing young people from across the country.

12 One major barrier to the tribe’s ability to fight these corporations has been lack of literacy. Because of this, ISEC Indonesia is also launching reading programs to provide educational opportunities for young people that have been denied access. In addition to literacy programs, they accomplished a huge win by securing three scholarships for them to the Central Maluku Said Perintah University.

Cayman Islands In 2020, ISEC Cayman Islands accomplished: 1. Beach Clean-Ups: ISEC Cayman Islands partnered with Plastic Free Cayman, Girl Power Cayman, and Protect our future Cayman, to a host beach clean-up on November 8, 2019. Gloves and plastic bags were provided free of cost to Participants. Participants were given two beaches to pick from on the western side of the island to clean up the plastic and other trash. We were able to collect numerous bags of trash. Residents were educated afterwards on the importance of keeping the Cayman Islands plastic free and given resources to further their education. 2. Environmental Peaceful Protest: We supported Protect Our Future Cayman in a peaceful protest at George Town, the Islands’ capital. We protested the building of a cruise ship port which would destroy the Cayman Islands coral reef. Over 100+ residents came to the event on November 29, 2019. We were able to inform bystanders on why it is important to vote NO on the Cayman Islands referendum regarding the building of the cruise ship port.


3. EnviroWalk 5k: We partnered with Girl Cayman, Miss World Cayman Islands and The HE Cayman Islands Governor to host “Envirowalk” 5k. This walk is the first environmental focused 5k in the Cayman Islands. Signs were displayed throughout the 5k with environmental tips for participants. The over 100 participants were encouraged to bring a reusable bottle to fill up at the various water stops. After the 5k, participants were educated on various environmental charities in the Cayman Islands and ways they can give back.

Money raised from the Envirowalk was donated to a local environmental organization, called Plastic Free Cayman at the Miss World Cayman Islands 2019 pageants. A short educational presentation was also given to the audience of over 200 about keeping Cayman plastic free.


ISEC GOALS FOR 2021 In addition to building resilience and health in our communities by advocating for a safe and equitable COVID-19 recovery, we aim to increase the global conversation about climate justice throughout the Global South and the world. We will continue to build our current relationships and establish new ones. For the year 2021, the activities of ISEC internationally will be geared around the following; ➢ Reviving the National Boards of ISEC in those countries where activities have been slow or dormant. ➢ Launching ISEC in other countries through call for National Directors. Completing audit of previous and current National Directors before launch. ○ Targeting Global South countries, especially in Latin America, to onboard at least 10 new countries. ➢ Increasing ISECs media presence. ➢ Equipping the various National Directors and National boards with the necessary and required organizational skills to help them thrive.

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