This Earth Day, and to coincide with the Leaders Summit on Climate, we look to five young female climate leaders who are on the frontlines of climate impacts.
Where were you and how old were you when you first realized you wanted to work for climate justice?
I was 14 years old when I realized I wanted to work for climate justice. I was on a mentorship journey with one of my mentors Mr. Hamba Richard, the Executive Director of TEENS Uganda.
He took me under his wing and allowed me to grow with the environment program that the organization was running at the time.
During my time at TEENS Uganda, I was introduced to the concept of Food Security, and I witnessed the birth of EBAFOSA, which is the Eco-Systems Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly.
The way that climate change affects food production really stood out most of the time. It’s then that I realized that if I want to contribute to the food value chain, I must address the climate crisis.
As a young climate leader, what impact are you most proud of?
The impact that I am most proud of is with my current role with the Media Challenge Initiative, where I am contributing to how journalists report about climate change.
In 2019, we hosted a Media Challenge Expo on the theme “Reporting on Climate Change in Uganda and Africa”, and since then the narrative has changed. More media houses in Uganda are paying attention to the subject of climate change and this kind of coverage opens up opportunities to tell more people about what kind of climate action is currently being undertaken, and how individuals can collectively solve issues around climate change.
I’m a communicator! I love communicating and I love helping people communicate about climate change.
What advice would you give other young women who want to work for climate justice?
Start now, let no one tell you that can’t do it. In whatever capacity and with whichever kind of knowledge you have, your contribution to climate justice is equally important as everyone else’s.
If you could say one thing to world leaders gathering at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate this Earth Day, what would it be?
Tax fossil companies so that this money can be used to provide financing for climate action initiatives.
Also, pay attention to the work being done by young people through supporting their efforts. Don’t close the doors of engagement in their faces because they have the full potential and passion to protect our planet from the perils of climate change.
What do you do to relax and switch off!
I read a book, take long walks and most of the time escape to the countryside just to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the views of the lake.
Juliet Grace is a self-confessed environmentalist, conservationist and travel die-hard. She is the Interim Facilitator for the Global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land (UNCCD) with a particular interest in land management and food security. She is also the Focal Point for the AYICC Uganda Chapter (African Youth Initiative on Climate Change), a co-founder of Friends of The Environment in Uganda and Programs Officer at the Media Challenge Initiative, with an interest and focus on reporting on climate change. She was also the joint winner of the Dragons’ Den contest at the 14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation (CBA14). You can find her on Twitter here.