20 young activists join ProVeg International to push for food system change

(Last Updated On: 6 April 2023)

Global food awareness NGO, ProVeg International, has appointed a new Youth Board to advise ProVeg on pushing the global transition to more plant-based diets in the run-up to this year’s UN climate summit, COP28.

COP28 takes place in Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December 2023 and the new Youth Board members are charged with helping to raise awareness about the need for food system change among the delegates from nearly 200 countries.

Animal agriculture is responsible for around 20% of global carbon emissions, widespread deforestation and biodiversity loss and a shift to more plant-based diets will help bring down carbon emissions and avoid ecosystem collapse.

“Getting young people involved in lobbying for food system change is vital to keep the momentum going towards progress in tackling climate change,” Juliette Tronchon, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Specialist at ProVeg said.

“Our Youth Board members are already seasoned activists who are fully aware of the issues facing the food system and have taken the initiative to fight for a future on the planet. They are ideally positioned, particularly on social media, to engage with the public and policymakers to show how plant-based diets will help bring us back from the brink of climate chaos. We are thrilled to have them on board,” Tronchon said.

The Youth Board members are truly global, hailing from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. They beat off stiff competition from more than 100 other applicants to win a place on the board.

The members are as follows:

Brunna Sachs, 13, Brazil

Brunna is a very influential vegan teen activist who advocates for veganism, animal rights, and climate on her social-media platforms, as well as on YouTube as a member of the Vegflix Channel team. Follow Brunna on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Isaiah Thomas, 27, Trinidad and Tobago

Isaiah is a Food Science and Technology student with a passion for sustainable food systems that was ignited through interacting with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. He is studying various topics, including global health diplomacy, transforming the food system, and climate action. Follow Isaiah on InstagramTwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and TikTok.

Selma Bichbich, 21, Algeria

Selma is a social and climate youth activist who has taken part in many programmes and organizations seeking change and serving the SDGs by speaking out for youth and justice. She is involved in various United Nations projects and organizations. Follow Selma on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Watan Mohamed, 22, Sudan

Watan is a 22-year-old Sudanese climate activist and medical student, active in the fields of policy-making, climate change, health, public health, environmental health, food sustainability, and plant-based diets. Follow Watan on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Sulaiman Abubakar Umar, 22, Nigeria

Sulaiman is a climate activist, youth advocate, and humanitarian with a professional background centered on the promotion of inclusive sustainable development and a rights-based approach to water/climate action and more plant-based diet consumption. Follow Sulaiman on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Sara Salgado, 23, Portugal

Sara is a 23-year-old who lives in Braga, Portugal. She’s currently doing participatory research under a Gulbenkian scholarship while taking part in more traditional forms of activism within groups such as Fridays for Future. Follow Sara on LinkedIn.

Sara Merhi, 23, Lebanon

Sara is a Junior Consultant at HealthyPath and a future sustainability leader at Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company). Sara is passionate about food systems transformation, and advocates for sustainable food systems. Follow Sara on LinkedIn.

Jenipher Alum, 24, Uganda

Jenipher is a Ugandan Food Scientist with professional experience in climate advocacy and innovation. She is passionate about sustainable consumption and production, as well as youth empowerment. Follow Jennipher on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Nika Moeini, 26, Canada/Iran

Nika is an Iranian-Canadian author and a climate activist at Youth Climate Save Canada. She works full-time at Environment and Climate Change Canada as a policy analyst for coal-mining regulation. Follow Nika on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Helen Monica Regina, 26, India

Helen is from India but currently lives in Germany. She is pursuing her master’s degree in food quality and is the co-president of the Alternative Protein Society, based in Germany. Follow Helen on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Matteo Busetti, 26, Italy

Matteo is a young activist driven by his passion for a sustainable future, one plant-based meal at a time. As a former member of the European Youth Parliament, he has worked towards promoting sustainability and active citizenship. Follow Matteo on Instagram.

Dorah Momanyi, 30, Kenya

Dorah Momanyi has a master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition and is the founder of the Nutritious Agriculture Network. She is passionate about the nexus between nutrition, agriculture, food systems, and climate change, for people and the planet, and is working to contribute to ending malnutrition in all its forms. Follow Dorah on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Megan Chen, 19, Canada

Megan Chen is currently studying Urban Studies and Earth Systems at Stanford University. She is the Founder and Executive Director at The Urban Garden Initiative, an organisation that focuses on environmental sustainability and gardening education. Follow Megan on Instagram and Linkedin.

Ryann Fineberg, 15, Canada

Ryann Fineberg is an animal, climate, and sustainable food systems advocate from Toronto, Canada. She is a volunteer at Care About Climate and a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto. Follow Ryann on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Livia Chaves Marcolin, 24, Brazil

Livia is a plant-based environmental activist at Fridays for Future Brazil. She is a Bachelor’s student in Humanities and Law at UFBA, and a researcher in the area of environmental and climate justice, more specifically in the research group ‘Governance for Sustainability and Low Carbon Management’. Follow Livia on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Joshua Omonuk, 27, Uganda

Joshua Omonuk is a climate-justice activist from Uganda. After realizing that climate change affects all of us and that many communities may not be able to adapt, Joshua quit his full-time job and devoted all his time to making a tangible contribution towards a better tomorrow for all. Follow Joshua on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Adelina Dobrila, 25, Romania

Adelina Dobrila is 25 years old and has a background in International and European Law. She is from Romania and has also lived in the UK, Finland, and the Netherlands. Follow Adelina on Instagram and Linkedin.

Alexandra Wenzel, 23, Canada/USA

Since starting a vegan club at the age of 16, Alexandra has been passionate about coming together to create a sustainable planet. As a Youth Delegate to COP26, Alexandra has advocated for issues of climate justice, rights-based action, youth inclusion, and sustainable food systems. Follow Alexandra on Linkedin and Instagram.

Erika Xananine Calvillo Ramirez, 23, Mexico

Xananine Calvillo is a plant-based climate-justice activist, an indigenous ngiwa descendant, and an undergraduate student of Latin American Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, focusing on community climate action and land defense. Follow Xananine on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Malek Romdhane, 27, Tunisia

Malek is a postgraduate studying for a master’s in Sustainability Management and Innovation from the University of Westminster, and a graduate of the 60th Graduate Study of the United Nations office in Geneva. Follow Malek on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

By Juliette Tronchon, UK

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