...EAY IN A NUTSHELL.
For the even busier ones: Welcome to EAY!
So, who are we and what is our plan?
Earth Advocacy Youth is an international for-impact action group of creative young (18-35) professionals in Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature, building and applying bold Earth-based solutions and practices through youth-led advocacy in education, policy, and legal action. We aim to confront today’s dominant narrative that fuels destructive human governance systems and advance new ways of being, relating, and thriving with Earth’s web of life (or “Nature”). Our approach is bold, innovative, and radical as it is both Earth-based and youth-led.
Our long-term vision is to contribute to Earth Jurisprudence becoming the underlying theory and practice of human law and governance worldwide by 2050 and beyond. To work towards our vision, we build and amplify youth participation and leadership through Earth-based and transformational education, empowerment, and advocacy work for policies, laws, and agreements that have what it takes to preserve and defend Earth’s living systems. It is a daring mission, which we believe in profoundly. We consider Earth Jurisprudence and storytelling to be a fundamental compass for us as youth, helping us to re-discover our place and role on planet Earth, and to secure a vibrant future for all living beings calling Earth home.
What does our idea imply in practice? Why now?
We see severe implementation issues and economic/political interests that undermine policies and agreements that aim to restore balance on Earth. To confront this long-term, it requires human societies to dive deeply into the destructive structures, narratives, and values of today's governance systems. Additionally, youth participation and leadership in decisions and actions for the protection of life is essential to transform the way we understand, relate to, and interact with the Earth as a whole.
For our 2050 vision, we have developed three themes:
In ‘Policy’, we will advance Earth-based practices and narratives in policy and law that aim to protect Nature, e.g. through our Earth Advocacy Lab where youth will be co-creating policy recommendations, advocacy statements, research articles, and position papers for policy incentives addressing biodiversity, climate, and conservation.
In ‘Earth-themed Education’, we will lead creative initiatives rooted in cultural storytelling, ecological literacy, creative exploration, embodied culture, and transformative education, through training with journalists/editors, interactive workshops, and experiential handbooks on Earth-conscious dialogue, storytelling, and messaging.
In ‘Connection’, we will foster cross-movement bridge-building with other youth actors by organizing summits, campaigns, building strategic collaborations, and experimenting with alternative activism and climate courage.
How does our work contribute to the global Rights of Nature movement?
One important element in our work is the cross-pollination of Earth-based solutions such as the rights of Nature. This, for EAY, means that we will not stay and do all our work within the fairly tight Rights of Nature bubble. Rather, we believe that the Rights of Nature movement has been isolated too long and must open its doors to more actors so that we can spread its idea to other environmental and social movements around the world. That is one of the key contributions we are working towards for the rights of Nature movement. We are already seeing positive effects, where environmental youth organizations whom we are working with are including rights of Nature into their principles and considering this idea in the work they are conducting.
Another important contribution we are making to the global rights of Nature movement is that we are building youth presence in the movement and amplifying our voices within it. For a long time, young people have found it difficult to enter the rights of Nature movement and have considered it to be fairly closed and isolated. EAY knows that youth are the future, so youth must become a strong voice within the rights of Nature movement if we truly want the movement to keep advancing and growing. For this to be possible, the movement’s doors must open and youth must be given proper access to the movement’s knowledge, story, space, and future. That is why we are working hard to have youth from diverse backgrounds, organizations, regions, and movements meet, interact and learn about the rights of Nature through what we call youth-led Earth Advocacy.
In this way only can the movement grow, become inclusive, open, and give space to the future - the world’s youth.
What do we need to make our ideas a reality and amplify our efforts?
Capacity (secured). With our existing global team of 10 bold and skilled Earth defenders, we have a solid and strong capacity that we are very eager to apply to our projects and have our activities reach their highest potential. We are currently all contributing time on a voluntary basis but no matter how inspiring or admirable, it is not sustainable nor ethical (according to EAY) in the long run. To that end, we need...
Financial support (in need). Financial support is essential for us in order to nurture our team, compensate people fairly for their incredible contributions to EAY, and, last not but least, build internal economic sustainability. We also want to take our stand and set an example in the elimination of the common practice of not compensating young people for their work in environmental movements, for the purpose of them being "young" and "learning".
Connections (being built). We put a lot of effort into fostering and growing our global web of meaningful relationships with other youth leaders, movements, and groups, and we always feel curious to meet new people with whom we align and find exciting points of intersection.