In response to the pressing issues of climate change and sustainability the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) was formed in February 2010. SEACC SF is a non-profit, non-political (i.e. not attached to any political organizations) student forum that aims to lead a student crusade to tackle issues of sustainability and climate change. We recognize that students, as potential leaders and key players in society, have a responsibility to respond to what has become one of the strongest moral callings of our time by exerting our influence to creating more sustainable societies in order that we can protect our natural environment, and the rights of current and future generations to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being, as enshrined in Section 24 (a) of the South African Constitution.
SEACC SF espouses a commitment to the principles of the Green Generation:
- An evolution of energy production, based on sustainable carbon-usage and renewable energy, thereby reducing our dependency on fossil fuels;
- Collective individual commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption;
- Establishing a green economy, to lift people out of poverty and create sustainable green jobs;
- Creating a green global education system
Although we are a young organization in just under two years we are developing into one of the biggest and more progressive student organisations in South Africa. The South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) has moved from strength to strength in 2011, and is emerging as one of the biggest and most progressive student organisations in South Africa. SEACC SF has official nodes at four universities in the Eastern Cape, namely Rhodes University, the University of Fort Hare and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, with Walter Sisulu University quite recently establishing a newly-fledged committee. At each university there is a committee of students who are working in a professional and responsible manner to further the goal of SEACC SF, which is, as the SEACC slogan suggests, sustainability through knowledge and action. Not only that, but SEACC SF has managed to secure a number of dedicated partners, such as the Sustainable Seas Trust and the Environmental Learning and Research Centre, and together we are working on creating a more sustainable future for all. SEACC SF has access to a pool of hundreds of different students in varying academic disciplines, year of study, culture, and backgrounds, which is a truly valuable resource, which has allowed us to push forward with some great projects in the 14 months that we have been running for, and here are just some of the awesome projects we are running (for more info on us visit our temporary site or stay tuned for our new site.
WildREACH – Since its conception in late 2010, WildREACH (Wildlife Outreach) has grown to become an exciting, progressive and active project fostering a valuable relationship between student volunteers and local communities in which knowledge is shared and applied in an effort to promote social and environmental sustainability through wildlife conservation.
The WildREACH vision realises that knowledge is a prerequisite to shifting attitudes and perceptions and it is these attitudes and perceptions that will determine the success of any conservation effort. WildREACH focuses on developing an interest in wildlife in a fun and exciting way and lets those who have been empowered with knowledge discover for themselves why wild areas are worth conserving. With the recent and substantial financial support provided by the Wildlands Conservation Trust, WildREACH looks forward to moving from strength to strength and reaching more and more children with this powerful vision. In 8 months WildREACH reached over 200 children in the Grahamstown area.
SEA Pledges and SEAS Centres (http://sst.org.za/pages/14?project_id=3) – SEACC SF in partnership with the Sustainable Seas Trust has put together a team of passionate individuals who are developing and pioneering the way forward on an exciting community development, environmental conservation and charity initiative. We have developed a strong strategic plan for the roll out of SEA Pledges, which is a project aimed at getting members of the public to make moral and monetary pledges to protect our oceans and natural environment. The monetary pledges will in turn go towards the development of Sustainable Education and Skills (SEAS) Centres in rural and underprivileged communities in the Eastern Cape. SEAS Centres aim to impart skills and education to the communities so that they may end their dependence on unsustainable usage of natural resources through developing sustainable livelihoods. We aim to develop SEAS Centres through bringing together the strengths of all of the partners within SEACC, while also taking into account the importance of indigenous knowledge and its contribution to this endeavor. SEA Pledge also acts as a vehicle to raise environmental standards by getting individuals and organizations across South Africa to pledge to raise their environmental standards. Much of the project has been made possible due to the generous support of Artists Project Earth.
Lobbying for Change
SEACC SF has been involved in lobbying the government of South Africa on a number of important issues. We launched a large campaign to lobby against the reckless development of hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo, and collected thousands of signatures on a petition, which was delivered to parliament. Read more about this campaign here. We are also pressuring the government of South Africa to develop a meaningful carbon tax that will be used to tackle issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as offset the regressive impacts that such a tax would have on the poor. Our petition is currently under consideration under the South African Parliament, however, our campaign continues and if you’d like to sign our petition click here.
Know Your Food Project
SEACC SF has a task team researching the environmental impacts that various dietary options have. The aim is to publish the research in accessible communication channels in order to provide the broader populace with the information required for more ethical and environmentally friendly eating.
SEACC SF, working with partners, were the main coordinators and hosts of the inaugural BlueBuck Network Summit, which saw the official launch of the BlueBuck Network, which is an organization that is bringing together young environmentalists from across southern Africa to share knowledge, develop partnerships, network, pool their resources and in doing so lead the way forward in environmental issues across Southern Africa. SEACC SF is one of the founding members of the BlueBuck Network and will continue to be a pioneer within it as one of its most active member organizations. There were just under 50 youth leaders participating in the summit, and the audience of the BlueBuck Network organization itself spans thousands of youth across southern Africa, thus the potential and actual impact of the summit is immense. SEACC SF’s involvement moves beyond just coordinating the summit, rather through BlueBuck we are reaching out to youths across southern Africa and encouraging them to get involved in creating a more just and sustainable future for all.
SEACC SF has a number of other projects aimed at raising awareness, creating greener communities, research, raising funds, sustainable development, environmental education, and more. If you are interested in getting involved or finding out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our temporary site or stay tuned for our new site.