FEMYSOs sustainability pathway
Sustainability and climate action have been part of our work for nearly 10 years. Climate change is an ongoing issue, therefore we have taken the decision for it to be a theme that runs through all of our work more visibly.
Sustainability is closely linked to the Islamic values of our organisation. The earth was given to us humans by God as a responsibility that we need to protect and take care of. The best way to take care of the earth is by sustaining the natural balance of the environment and living a moderate and thoughtful lifestyle. In addition to that by acting just towards all living organisms including people, animals and plants through environmental justice, social justice and human rights.
FEMYSO’s participation as an organising member in the “Interfaith Youth Convention” on the European Green Deal showcases how sustainability and climate justice is an important across faiths. This event allowed Muslim youth to actively partake and get involved in the dialogue together and was a beautiful example of the progressive policy a religiously plural society could achieve.
“Thus We have made you trustees (khulafaa) on the earth after them, to see how you would act.” [Qur’an 10:14].
FEMYSO plans the intensification in eco-friendly and sustainable habits in numerous ways. Firstly, before we advocate for others to become sustainable, we aim to focus intensely on the sustainability factors inside our INGO. We want to introduce and also continue habits like, sustainable waste management, reduction of digital waste, a complete avoidance of plastic use, monitoring CO2 emission caused by traveling and other important measures – described simply as “Reduce, Resue and Recycle”.
Secondly, by advocating for sustainable and climate friendly actions not only in projects and campaigns solely related to climate change, but equally as well in other initiatives. Some examples are the “Green delegation” FEMYSO sent out at the European Youth Event 2021 in Strasbourg and the engagement of our members in the 25% percent project 2022 where climate activism became one of FEMYSOs contributions to the event. As the voice of Muslim Youth in Europe representing 33 member organisations across 20 European Countries, we also recognise that our membership is actively engaged in this theme. A good example would be the Green Iftar Guide encompassed in the “Ramadan Blossom campaign” for FEMYSO, for its member organisations and also available for anyone who is willing to organise a sustainable iftar during the holy month of Ramadan.
Thirdly, it is important to us to highlight the link between climate action, social justice and human rights. This was one of the many topics discussed during the training on sustainability and climate action “Step- up and take action” that took place in Sarajevo 2021.
Ever since our first major project dedicated towards sustainability, “Green up my community” which we launched in 2013, we have seen this type of work as an important area of focus, the decision to embed it thematically across our whole organisation was not taken lightly. However, we recognise the true need, we hope we can provide an example to others in and outside of our community to make the same commitment – for a more sustainable world for all Insha’Allah (God willing).
Implementation of FEMYSOs Green Iftar Guide of the “Ramadan Blossom” campaign
After a very supportive and insightful call with representatives of FEMYSO’s Campaigns Department, as well as the Environmental Officer, we felt very inspired and empowered to continue planning and organising the most sustainable public iftar we could. The framework and tips provided led to a significant reduction of single-use plastics, usage of eco-friendly recycled paper for all cutlery and plates, and recycling and re-using the small amount of plastic we did have to end up using. Encouraging our guests to only pick up the amount of food they realistically think they can consume during the night significantly reduced food waste.
Generally, these small interventions and adaptations were really easy to implement but made a tremendous difference to the waste produced and the awareness it created in the community
Alaee Ziani, Vice President, Muslim Youth of Gibraltar – A FEMYSO Member Organisation
25% project – FEMYSO’s participation in the international event the 24/04
FEMYSO is a partner of the 25% is a project, which is an initiative for young people, by young people to ensure that their voice is heard in decision-making processes and that they are given the tools and resources necessary to advocate for causes they care about.
Moreover, On the 24/04/2022 we took part in the international event of the 25% where we took part in different working groups, including one regarding sustainability and climate change where FEMYSO’s newly recruited Environmental officer, presented the policy recommendation of the working group to the MEPs present at the conference.
Sustainability is one of the most emerging themes expressed in the ideas collected. Young people think sustainability and climate change should be a political principle that shouldn’t be isolated from other important discussions. Moreover, youth also think that we cannot achieve climate justice without environmental justice, meaning that climate change can only be effectively fought if the measures are bearable for all citizens. as FEMYSO, we are convinced that climate change has a multiplier impact on existing inequalities and injustices on racialised communities, therefore it crucial that the fight against climate change reflects social justice principle to guarantee a fair allocation of responsibility of the actors involved.
Nourhene Mahmoudi, Head of Campaigns, FEMYSO
The Interfaith Youth Convention “Striking a Deal for our Common Home”
FEMYSO collaborated with different faith organisations active on European level to organise two interactive webinars with youth from all across Europe representing of Muslim, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian and Jewish confessions, to exchange on the European Green Deal with the background of their religious beliefs. Climate activism and the responsibility towards our earth is a common denominator which connects us all together. Therefore, FEMYSO gave great importance to this interfaith project. We must ensure that everyone can meet their fundamental needs while preserving our environment for future generations. The webinars resulted in a distinguished report gathering all recommendations and ideas collected from the participating youth.
Yusra Eleslambouly, FEMYSO volunteer, Part of the interfaith team
Green Delegation European Youth Event 2021
More than half of the participants of “Step-up and Take-Action” took part in the EYE in Strasbourg as FEMYSOs delegation. Prior to the European Youth Event, preparatory meetings were held by the previous organising team and alumni to discuss environmental topic. During those productive meetings, policy recommendations were developed to be presented at the EYE. We went as a green delegation to continue the work we started in Sarajevo. The common goal for this delegation was to make it clear that young European Muslims stand together with all other Europeans to fight climate change and take action. It was important to advocate for the environment as Europeans with minority background. We aimed to promote diversity and inclusiveness on climate actions and managed to effectively engage in several activities related to topics of climate justice and the environment. Our delegation spread at the EYE to take part in as many green activities as possible, we organised meetings, and had fruitful discussions with various MEPs.
Member of the Green Delegation
Step-Up and Take-Action International Activity 2021
In 2021 I participated in the international activity “Step Up and Take Action”. Throughout the program we learned how to advocate for sustainability on local, national and international level. We also learned what the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are and what they stand for. And this year -2022- I am inspiring European Muslim youth to become more aware of their environment and act by implementing the gained knowhow on sustainability into the “Ramadan Blossom Campaign” as the Ramadan Campaign Lead.
Esma Budur, FEMYSO volunteer
A Message to Leaders from our President
On the 52nd edition of Earth Day we call upon all global citizens to reflect upon their own impact on our planet. With Earth Day falling in the month of Ramadan, I see it as a unique opportunity for the Muslim community to recognise our God-ordained responsibility to take care of our earth and our obligations towards it.
Whenever young people are asked about their own political priorities, climate change is mentioned on every single occasion, we call upon policy-makers and decision-takers to take the concerns of youth seriously in this regard, not only acting upon their asks but empowering them to lead in the protection of their own futures.
As FEMYSO, we hope years from now the leaders of this organisation look back and applaud the significant steps taken by individuals and governments to save our planet – there is simply no other option.
Hande Taner, President of FEMYSO