Global Youth Leadership Council
Nozinhle is a 20 year old climate activist from the country of Zimbabwe in the continent of Africa. She has been raising awareness about the climate crisis through the earthuprising.zw instagram page and educating the people in her country. The climate crisis is of great importance to her, partly because the impact climate change is having in her home country. In 2019, the tropical cyclone Idai devastated the Manicaland and Masvingo regions of Zimbabwe, leaving it inundated and thousands displaced. While those regions were submerged under water, the opposite was happening in the region she comes from. Drought has plagued Matabeleland; with the drop in rain levels destroying crops, increasing poverty, and hunger throughout the population. As she listens to her neighbors lament their dying crops, the issue of climate change is not only global - it is personal. For Nozinhle, the solution to the climate crisis comes in the adaptation and understanding. The pathway to change is not only created through educating rural communities on climate change, but also understanding their resilience and their specific vulnerabilities. There is a need for increased awareness of climate smart agriculture, not only so these rural communities can survive, but also to move away from deforestation and reduce tillage. As a member of the Youth Leadership council, Nozinhle wants to increase climate action and awareness campaigns, host education seminars, increase tree planting initiatives, and have workshops done in collaboration with other climate action organizations.
Maria Serra Olivella
Maria is a student at Blanquerna - Universitat Ramon Llull pursuing a degree in International Relations. She is the co-founder of Fridays for Future Barcelona and has organized with ReEarth.org, Societat Nova Geográfica, and Oxfam Intermón. She is an experienced media spokesperson having appeared on the main Spanish media like Time Out Barcelona, El Periodico, El Nacional, FAQ TV3, and Catalunya Ràdio. Likewise, she is now a key actor in conversations around Climate Change both in Spain and in Europe. Maria attended COP25 as a Spanish Youth Delegate and a media and press organizer for FFF. After a year off due to health issues, Maria returned to activism by creating and working on different tools to help the youth mobilize. One of them is a course on activism with over 300 students and 40 professors to introduce young people to Activism. Another key tool for activism is social media, Maria is now a key member of Curv's team, a new social media made with ethics and social change in mind. Trying to revolutionize social media in order to create social change is the main objective of the platform, as well as taking care of our democracy and young people. She has recently been recognized as a European Climate Pact Ambassador.
An experienced ethnographer and policy consultant of dual British and Sierra Leonean nationality, Augusta is the Founder of Walinda Lingo. Primarily operating within Africa and other MAPAs within the global south, Walinda Lingo is an ethnographic research and multimedia consultancy that explores how indigenous, displaced and rural realities intersect with human rights and environmental policy. Pre-launch, the organization has self-financed several research projects and collaborations across Africa, parts of the Pacific & Europe. Some of their work has explored the relationship between resource scarcity, conflict and climate change; climate displacement and indigenous land rights. Hailing from a lost line of indigenous Paramount Chiefs in Sierra Leone, she has personally witnessed how the loss of rich cultural identities can stem from pressures to conform to a singular globalization standard. She hopes she can help normalize the inclusion of indigenous and non-Western knowledge systems in policy formation that empower stakeholders & decision-makers to apply these principles, alongside empirical evidence, when building policies in their regions. By cementing the validity of local lore internationally, she believes that new avenues for marginalized communities will be created; allowing them to influence the policies that affect them. Augusta has written and spoken extensively about the interconnectedness of climate change with other developmental and foreign policy issues; consulting with foreign governments, civil society organizations, UN agencies and traditional leaders, all committed to embedding non-Western processes within their strategies for change. Augusta most recently served as Youth Advisor for Plan International UK and was a Global Ambassador for World Sustainable Development. She is also a Founding Member of an international research hub committed to female empowerment in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals & Agenda 2063. As a member of the Global Youth Leadership Council, Augusta hopes to amplify the uses of local lore within climate action. She hopes that her work with Earth Uprising will increase the visibility of frontline marginalized actors, and increase financial & consultative pathways for public and private sector partnerships in achieving sustainable development.
Middle East and Asia Representative
When Hania was in 3rd grade, she learned about climate change in her classroom. Pakistan, her home country, was among the most impacted by the climate crisis. Feeling inspired, she took paper from her grandfather’s room, made posters labeled “Don’t Litter”, and posted them all over school the following day. On that day onward, the climate crisis and climate action have been on the forefront of Hania’s mind. She bears within her a great spirit full of tenacity, resilience, and courage. Despite being continuously told her efforts were pointless, she has continued her activism. She has founded Youth Climate Activist Pakistan (formerly known as Sabz Soldiers) which bolsters 100+ activists across Pakistan. She has organized various campaigns calling for government action towards climate action, so much so that in 2020 she was declared the “Greta Thunberg of Pakistan” by the Minister of Climate Change (Zartaj Gul). Hania believes that individuals make a global community, and it is through individuals that climate change begins. It is by giving everyone, including the marginalized people of society, a voice in policy-making spaces that climate action becomes a reality. As a member of the Youth Leadership Council, Hania wants to bring the spotlight to Palestenian climate activists and increase awareness of their unique struggle, as climate justice is social justice. Furthermore, she would like to organize a women’s climate action day or march, as women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
Middle East and Asia Representative
Born and raised in Pakistan, Razan comes from the 5th most vulnerable country to the climate crisis. He recalls the severe droughts suffocating the south, whilst the north contends with glacier locked lakes that flood the land. Having always loved nature, he wanted to work towards protecting and restoring the beautiful environment, however he realized that making changes locally would be impossible without changing the global climate. Razan believes that in order to effectively do climate actions, we must first understand what factors are preventing climate action. Government bodies and corporations behind most of the world’s pollution have a lot of say in global policies, impacting how quickly we can make positive changes. As these bodies hold on to their power, they resist movement towards renewable energy. It is his belief that only by voting these bodies out of policy making spaces that true change can occur. As a member of the Youth Leadership Council, Razan intends to hold these powers accountable for their carbon debt owed to the global south. He hopes to raise awareness of developed nations' responsibility in transitioning undeveloped economies towards clean energy, as they have profited from their exploitation. Through Earth Uprising, he will spotlight the struggles of communities at the front line of climate change, those whose livelihoods rely on fossil fuels and climate destructive activities, and campaigns to remove polluters out of politics.
North America Representative
Evelyn G. Bigini
Evelyn’s first memory in the fight against the climate crisis began when she was a child. Her family stressed the duty to care for the environment, and Evelyn learned about the Great Swamp in New Jersey, United States: a 7,800 acre National Wildlife Refuge located near her hometown. This beautiful area provides many ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services), but it was almost drained to build an airport in the 1960s, until a youth-supported grassroots movement saved the Swamp. Later in her childhood, Evelyn was exposed to the stark inequities people faced during and after Hurricane Sandy. Through these experiences and others, Evelyn witnessed how the climate crisis is a risk multiplier (amplifying inequities in exposures, sensitivity, and adaptive capacities). She therefore developed an intersectional, social justice-based perspective as a nursing student at the University of Pittsburgh. Evelyn often wondered if patients (especially those that are unhoused, (im)migrants, and/or children) who left the hospital were given the tools to survive and thrive in a socially- and environmentally-hostile world. Wanting to continue working in the health and environmental justice field, Evelyn has since completed two Masters of Science in Global Health (Delivery) at two seperate universities. At Maastricht University in Maastricht, Netherlands, Evelyn worked with youth at a refugee center and completed her thesis about NYC community gardens and their role in food sovereignty. At the University of Global Health Equity in Butaro, Rwanda, Evelyn has enjoyed community engagement work and completing her practicum about the integration of One Health into Sub-Saharan African medical curricula. As a member of the Global Youth Leadership Council, Evelyn aims to promote public education and advocacy about the right to health and healthy environments. By listening, learning, and collaboratively acting, Evelyn hopes to accompany the various communities that Earth Uprising engages.
North America Representative
Strongly devoted to her identity, Nadiya’s climate story begins in the country her parents fled. She is a first-generation Somali-American, having been born in the US after her parents escaped the civil war that gripped Somalia in the 1990’s. The country is among the most heavily impacted by the climate crisis, with constant droughts leading to a rise in food insecurity, leaving its population vulnerable to health disparities. This inspires Nadiya to address how climate change disproportionately affects and marginalizes countries like Somalia, and invigorates her to pursue climate activism. She believes that the solution to the climate crisis consists of finding avenues to support underserved communities, holding leadership accountable, and advancing sustainable projects. There must be a demand for environmental legislation that ensures protections for communities at risk of exploitation. To this end, Nadiya has worked as a regional organizer for the VA Youth Climate Cooperative and was a communications team member for Earth Uprising prior to restructuring. As a member of the Youth Leadership Council, she would like to champion a campaign to make a set of international laws that recognizes climate refugees, as well as host annual conferences for Earth Uprising. Using the resources available to her, she will push towards the integration of climate science into education and increase climate literacy.
Oceania and Southeast Asia Representative
Angelica is a naturalist and environmental and climate advocate born and based in Melbourne, Australia but hailing from the Aegean island of Chios, Greece. At the age of 21 years old she founded the social enterprise Climate Cookies which plants one tree for every five cookies sold as well as supporting conservation projects around Australia and the world. Angelica’s mission in establishing Climate Cookies is to reforest Australia one cookie at a time. Angelica aims to make climate and environmental action attractive and accessible to as many people as possible. Angelica also represented the youth of the Asia-Pacific region at the United Nations Environment Assembly 5.2 in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was a youth negotiator especially involved in negotiations concerning the first ever legally-binding global resolution to combat plastic pollution. Angelica has also served as a facilitator at UN Youth Australia, facilitating conversations and debates concerning global issues between young people from around Australia. Angelica is also completing a double degree of International Relations and Political Science at the Australian National University.
Oceania and Southeast Asia Representative
Born in Malaysia, Gabby’s climate change story begins when she learned that the world was drying and burning because of climate change. Since her awakening to the climate crisis, she has spent the last 8 years advocating for climate change action and education. She has proudly represented the Malaysian perspective at conferences such as EurOCEAN, UN Youth Climate Summit, and the Global biodiversity Festival. In 2020, after joining Paul Hawken’s team as a research fellow for Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, she noticed the inaccessibility of climate science. This led to the founding of Tideturners, a south-east asian environmental education initiative funded by National Geographic. The program creates resources for local schools, offers youth mentorship via localized action projects, and delivers free workshops about climate change to under-resourced youth communities. She believes that, while we have the technologies and knowledge to end the climate crisis, there is a severe lack of political representation, will, awareness, and leadership to realize it. It is only by expanding accessibility on climate education, as well as action, that we can bridge the gap between people, science, and policy. Having previously been an Earth Uprising Ambassador for Malaysia, Gabby has high hopes as a member of the Youth Leadership Council. She wishes to promote global youth climate events, create a speaker series which breaks down complex climate research into digestible information, and promote videos that provide aspiring climate activists the resources to navigate activism within their communities.
South America Representative
Isabella Sabrina de Barros
While Isabella was taking classes for environmental politics, economics, and law at the Universidade Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), she realized that highly developed nations were at the forefront of political action. It left her to ponder, does her home country of Brazil have the resources to afford the same developments of those nations? Isabella concluded that it does not. Despite having an array of natural resources that would benefit from public policies, she realized that the current measures were deficient in their effectiveness and scope, leaving all those natural resources at great risk. It is here that she began to form her own theories of how to maintain the resources of her country, and other nations that were not as developed as the top political actors. Her work entails bringing the dialogue regarding the disparities of developing worlds to the international stage, and disseminating data on the public measures that have been successful in sustainable development issues to the public. It is with this goal in mind that Isabella has developed Global Public Policy, which raises awareness of successful policies and makes the analysis of their impact more accessible to the general public. By arming the public with knowledge of climate change issues, she hopes citizens will demand national and international policy makers more policies in favor of the environment. Now that Isabella is a Youth Leadership Council Member, her goal is to use the international reach of Earth Uprising to create joint work of different parties, regions, and nations to create a network of knowledge that can provide political, financial, and technological support to each other. In turn, this network would create the collective manifestations and commitment of the world necessary for the conservation of the environment.
South America Representative
Alejandro has always felt an empathy for nature. Defining himself as an activist and an artist, his journey begins years ago when he began suffering mental health issues. Seeking help, he had undergone therapy and seen a psychiatrist - eventually finding painting as a way to cope. But, somehow it wasn’t enough. It was in this restlessness that he realized the ongoing environmental crisis was a major factor that was impacting him negatively. As he painted landscapes to calm his mind, so began the marriage of art and activism in his world. In 2018 he formally began his activism, creating a movement called “Compromiso Q’umir”, aiming to make the school he attended into a more eco-friendly institution. When he was voted Student Council President, he wasted no time in implementing environmental awareness activities such as upcycling clothing events or paper cleaning. Since then he has participated in consultation work for both U-Report Equador, Children and Youth Major Group of UNEP, and a podcast called “Eudaimonia ''. In his Podcast, as well as life, Alejandro believes in the three pillars of well being; environmental care, mental health, and education. It is by educating everyone on the environmental crisis that we can save our planet. By doing so, not only do we promote environmental care, but ultimately preserve the earth. As a global youth leader, Alejandro would like to work with other organizations such as UNEP Latin America to create a wider network for youth led climate change spaces. He would also like for Earth Uprising to team up with local NGO’s to enforce existing environmental education laws in a variety of countries.