YFoEE Annual Network Gathering 2011

9 April 2011

Building the YFoEE network

Once a year all the YFoEE member groups get together for the Annual YFoEE Network Gathering – our democratic decision-making and network-building event. Back in March, 26 representatives from YFoEE member groups from 15 countries across Europe come to discuss what was done and what needs to be done for future campaigns and network development.

We also set up a plan for events in 2011 within our network such as summer camps and Climate Justice actions. We came up with an idea to empower our network and involve more young active people by organising exchanges and European Voluntary Service which is brilliant opportunity to learn, exchange and stay together. Apart from brainstorming sessions and interactive workshops, we had a great time in the great outdoors and enjoyable evenings!

The tight agenda provided a great opportunity for networking and sharing ideas between many diverse groups and young people that make up the network, and to continue plans for developing the internal structures of YFoEE to be a stronger and more effective, inclusive and empowering network. In particular we discussed the role and ways of working of our 'Working Groups' – structures that were set up at the 2010 YFoEE

Network Gathering – and evaluated their work over the past year. Another key discussion that took place was on the relationship between Young FoEE and our mother organisation FoEE, where we discussed how and why building positive co-operation between our organisations and between younger and older generations of activists in the Friends of the Earth network was possible and important. Following this, and to continue the discussion, two YFoEE representatives from the Steering Group will participate in the FoEE AGM in the Netherlands, 22nd-25th May.

They will run a similar workshop there with members of FoEE to get feedback from them about their vision of youth participation and YFoEE in Friends of the Earth, and we're all looking forward to hearing what they come back with!

Climate Justice Working Group

Climate Justice will continue to be our core focus for projects and activities in 2011. At the gathering we Discussed our involvement in FoEI's Climate Justice programme. The Climate Justice Working Group has also agreed the next steps in their current youth climate campaigns, in particular the launch of the Push Europe campaign and preparation for Durban and a "Durban in Brussels" convergence at the end of the year. Contact for more information or to join them:

New Food and Agriculture Working Group

Food and agriculture is a core topic in climate change, so we used the meeting to give momentum to the food and Agriculture Working Group that started at the Summer Camp 2010, and to talk about possible educational and information campaigns and activities the working group can run during this year's YFoEE Summer Camp. The YFoEE network will gain a lot from this group because the team members are real farmers and passionately devoted to permaculture! Interested to join or share your knowledge?

Contact algirdas@zvejone.lt

Communications Working Group

As our network grows, we need better communication, so at the AGM we agreed on working priorities to improve things. The website, newsletter, and improving internal and external communication were set up as the main working areas. Willing to contribute to the next newsletter with your story, ideas for our yearbook or would you like more information?

Write to jolanta@zvejone.lt

A very important session at each of our annual Network Gatherings is the election of the new Steering Group! The Steering Group for 2011/12 became a team of 8 people whose role is to maintain overview of the network and facilitating communications, discussions and decision making with the network, events and campaigns. The Steering Groups has already moved forward with ensuring activities outlined at the Network Gathering are taking place, and are currently holding online team meetings every second week. So, a very warm hello from:

Susi Hammel, BUND, Germany: Facilitating Climate Justice Working Group and working in Internal

Structures Working Group

Marco Cadena, YFoE UK: Climate Justice and Communications Working Groups

Marijn Engels, JMA, Netherlands: Facilitating Food and Agriculture Working Group

Algirdas Švanys, YFoE Lithuania: Food and Agriculture Working Group

Tage Erlend, YFoE Norway: Facilitating Internal Structures Working Group

Jolanta Uktveryte, YFoE Lithuania: Facilitating Communications Working Group, Newsletter and external

communications

Paul Daly, YFoE Scotland: Summer Camp and Communications Working Group

Tina Rumenovic, FoE Croatia/EVS in YFoE Flanders: Summer Camp

We'd also like to say a really big thank you to our previous Steering Group of 2010/11: Laura, Zoe, Marci, Jeroen, Anna H, Anna Y and Duncan, who did a fantastic job of supporting and developing the network last year! It's not a goodbye though, as all of them continue to be active members of our working groups, member groups and most are alternate members to the new Steering Group.