As an ocean advocate and someone eager to see change and commitment for the protection of our marine ecosystems, I was very excited to be invited to the Global Oceans Dialogue organized by UN Environment and the Government of Costa Rica from 6-9 of June in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The two days before the dialogue, NGOs and active individuals were invited to participate in the Annual Regional Consultative Meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society in preparation for the third session of UN Environment Assembly (UEA) under the theme “Towards a Pollution Free Planet.” This session will take place in Nairoi, 4-6 December of this year where ministers of the Environment of all countries around the world, private sector representatives, and civil society organizations will come together to discuss the actions needed to be taken to address our current pollution issues in all its forms: air, water, soil, land, and marine.
My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections! As the Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires.
I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!
Since leaving St. Edward’s University to continue my MSEM degree (Master’s in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development) I’ve had a wealth of incredible opportunities. The second half of my degree was finished at L’Université Catholique de l’Ouest (UCO) in Angers, France. Some of the classes I enjoyed most were Urban Ecology/Sustainable Cities and an Environmental Ethics class. In our Environmental Ethics class my eyes were opened to the growing environmental injustices present today within a gender related context. In many countries women are vulnerable to environmental injustices and inequalities simply because of their roles at home or because they make lower wages than men. In this class we spoke about Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate. After this class, my colleagues and I were inspired to form an eco-book club to read the book together and discuss topics throughout the book.
The documentary Sustainable is a close investigation into America's food and agricultural system. This film focuses on exposing the climate crisis we face if we don't unite to find solutions to sustain our future for not only us but our future generations.
The film focuses on a local central Illinois farmer Marty Travis. Marty is a 7th generation farmer who has experienced his land and his neighbor's farms collapse from large industrial agribussines. Determined to overcome big agribusiness greed, Marty forms a cooperative of farmers, The Stewards of the Land, allowing these farmers to work together growing chemical free and to pioneer the sustainable food movement in Chicago.
After watching the documentary Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print directed by Marcello Cappellazzi and Sally Lee I was shocked at how little I really knew about our modern agricultural system. This documentary dives into the shocking relationship contract farmers have with large poultry companies across the United States. Under Contract tells the story of these farmers and the lives they face because of the deceiving misguiding contracts they have signed on with companies such as Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride. In the U.S. alone, 97% of the chicken produced is raised by family farmers under contract with large companies. These farmers often face unfair challenges such as lifetime debt and bankruptcy because of the confusing and often deceitful fine print of the contracts with these companies.