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Joining the wave of active environmental citizenship!

Take 20 newly educated climate ambassadors; put them together in a room with a laptop, a data show and a white board, and within minutes you will have a highly engaged discussion going on! This was what happened Friday 3rd June 2011 when we gathered 20 of our national climate ambassadors at MS ActionAid’s facilities in Amman to share achievements and experiences from the first month of their lives as climate ambassadors. Several of the ambassadors had been very active and they were more than eager to tell about their accomplishments. Among the activities they had conducted were environmental lectures at schools, plant-a-tree events and a theatre play about youth leadership and environment. The young Jordanians are so creative!

Several times during the meeting I was thinking that our presence as facilitators was superfluous – the national climate ambassadors were conducting the meeting just great without us! They were sharing experiences and giving each other tips and advices on how to overcome the challenges they are facing as ambassadors for the environment. Moreover, they were very eager in getting engaged with campaign activities – and I am really looking forward to see what they have of brilliant ideas! The best part of the day was experiencing the spirit of the group – they are really supporting each other and doing a great job in their society.  So come along and take part in the wave of active environmental citizenship!

A new team of climate ambassadors has seen the light of day

It has only been two weeks since a new team of Jordanian youth climate ambassadors saw the light of day. Yet they are already busy spreading the word of climate change and sustainable environmental practices. The group consists of energetic youth from all over Jordan eager to make a difference in their local communities and in society in general. We had a great course with talks by German Anselm Ibing (Abu Saleem) who was sharing his knowledge on Jordan’s main environmental challenges focussing on water scarcity, Rula Asir who talked about transforming green knowledge into action, Ahmad Alzghoul who taught the group about advocacy, and Dr. Ayyoub Abu Dayeh who  was sharing his solutions to climate change and environmental challenges focussing on energy. We would like to thank all of you for these contributions – we couldn’t have made it without you! Moreover, we would like to thank all the participants for your engagement in the project and the enthusiasm you came to the course with. You are the reason it became an incredible weekend.

As part of the course, the participants were asked to plan their own environmental training programme, where they go out to schools and institutions and spread the message of environmental challenges and acts of change. Many interesting ideas were developed and we are now exited to see these ideas come into action. In two weeks we will gather the group again to an informal talk on achievements, challenges and further idea sharing. Based on this, we will gather the group once more to develop the environmental and climate change knowledge base as well as the advocacy and communicative skills of the group.

I am really looking forward to see what Jordan’s new climate ambassadors have achieved! You can be the change you want to see in Jordan!

Revolution wave in the Middle East – Impressions from a Dane

I’ve followed the news of the revolutions spreading throughout the Middle East on a daily basis since the brave young Tunisian set himself on fire in January. Last night during a panel discussion at Krogerup Højskole in Denmark, I felt in a new and different manner with the people at Tahrir-Square in Cairo and all over the region. Through a Climate Ambassador Program youth from Jordan and Egypt have travelled to Denmark to pair up with a danish team and innovate new forms of activism and campaigns. They have all in different ways been involved in the uprise and demonstrations. Through individual stories and sharp analysis the young passionate Ambassadors, told the audience about years of oppression, corruption and humiliation culminated in the intense but amazingly organised demonstrations.

A central part of the revolution in Egypt and uprise in Jordan that shined through the youth attending the debate and transmitted to my heart was the sense of solidarity. Both between the demonstrators insisting on non-violent activism and a solidarity between the youth in the MENA region, exchanging information and tips across borders on how to rise and challenge the unstable regimes. The new sense of empowerment seemed to have inspired, a will to go through enormous structural changes and the discussion went high with ideas of how Egypt and Jordan should and are changing.

Though heartbreaking stories of police brutality and a fear of a system in many ways still intact, the panel discussion showed me the greatest determination and optimism for the future. It was like the spirit of Tahrir-Square for a moment entered the rooms of Krogerup Højskole and touched the hearts of the large audience of all ages remembering the casualties through minutes of silence and honouring them through a lively discussion lightning up the school.

Frederik Felding

DEMENA Climate Ambassador


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