ISEC Cameroon Trains 50 Climate Justice Activists
The International Student Environmental Coalition (ISEC) Cameroon organized a one-day training workshop on Saturday the 3rd of July 2021 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The aim of the workshop was to enhance and equip 50 Cameroonian climate justice activists and environmental advocates with leadership skills, key strategies to enhance their work at the grassroots in environmental and climate justice activism, and advocacy best practices suiting the context of Cameroon. We curated four modules for the workshop, including modules on leadership; climate change, environmental issues, and sustainable development; climate justice activism/advocacy strategies; and the Earth Power Movement. The module on leadership (leading self, service-leadership and community impact) supported ISEC’s mission of building basic leadership skills from the ground up, so that activists can effectively lead both themselves and groups of other environmental justice advocates.
We were extremely privileged to host Angèle Taba, a Cameroonian2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders FellowShe delivered an excellent 90 minute leadership session, which featured discussions around how we can best leverage our strengths to better impact our communities.
Mangong Brian, a local environmental engineer, sustainability advocate, and consultant, presented a wonderful module on climate change, environmental issues, and sustainable development. Starting from the base-level awareness that is essential to understanding climate/environmental justice, we built towards further strategies of activism and advocacy.
Drawing from my over 6 years’ experience in this environment and climate space, I drilled participants on climate activism and advocacy, environmental justice, and grassroots activism. Participants also learned key strategies to enhance their advocacy/activism work, such as sourcing for grants/funding to foster their work, and connected on a personal level about my personal experience.
With our Earth Power Movement campaign and curriculum, we had participants divided into two groups, each group working on a campaign which will be implemented subsequently. It was really exciting to see the innovative campaigns developed by the participants. One group developed a campaign around Ending fossil fuel infrastructural development, which they named “Lets Stop Dark Energy Invasion;” the second group developed a campaign around Just Transition to Renewable Energy which they named “Clean Energy For All.” I couldn't be more proud of the creativity and ingenuity of the participants when they presented their campaigns:
71% of Global Greenhouse gas emissions is caused by 100 companies in the fossil fuel sector. For any form of climate justice and if we are to stop the climate crisis, then fossil fuels should be a thing of the past. With our two campaigns, we hope to bring these issues to light particularly in the country and globally.
Cameroon aims at having 25% of renewable energy in its energy mix by 2030. With the renewable energy potential in the country, we believe this is not enough.
In the country’s energy structure, HEP (Hydroelectric Power), which constitutes the greatest percentage of the country’s energy supply (over 5MW (Megawatts)), it is considered non-renewable. It can, however, be made renewable by rethinking its development and design. Our campaign around Ending Fossil Fuels Infrastructural development in the country pushes Cameroon towards and beyond its goal of reducing emissions to 32 percent by 2030, by stopping any fossil fuel infrastructural development. The goal is to foster a Just Transition to renewable energy.
We believe that equipping grassroots leaders in championing climate justice is key. Through this we are amplifying the work of local leaders and together we can foster climate action.
We are thankful to Stop the Money Pipeline and our partners for believing in the power of young people and grassroots climate justice activists in this climate justice movement, especially in the Global South.
I ended the training by encouraging our 50 participants from different parts of Cameroon with this personal quote from my experience “It is what you do locally that will take you Global. In this Environmental and Climate Space, Think Globally, Act locally and the World will give you an audience.”
HARRISON ASHANGWA, Co-Executive Director, ISEC
Edited by Sophie Cash