JMA (Young Friends of the Earth Netherlands, or YFoE NL) is the youth environmental association of The Netherlands, run for and by youth between 12 and 28 years old. It is the youth organisation of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), but has its own board (who's in the board, Dutch), policies and plans. Therefore, on grassroots campaigns, actions and activities can be decided by the board and members of JMA. With everything we do, we want to reach peers with positive messages and make them aware of the influence they have on politics, economy and the environment.
JMA was founded in 1991 and has achieved quite a bit since then (History and successes, in Dutch).
Themes and organisation
Some examples of our campaigns, actions and activities can be found below. They all are centered around the three themes: Food, Energy and International justice. Almost everything we do comes from the three related teams, but we also aim to support and help realize ideas from our members and supporters. Each team gets the help of a board member, as there is a board member especially assigned to each theme. As of 2012, there are about 10 to 15 members who are actively involved in the initiation, development and organisation of campaigns, actions and activities.
Apart from the board, teams and active members, we have the support of four employees who are paid for by Milieudefensie: Our employee youth engagement, Sylvia Klop, is responsible for supporting the board, financial administration, office based fundraising, and the general organisation (including volunteer management) of our campaigns, actions and activities. Arlinde Plomp is our project coordinator for Green Canteen, a project described below. Freek Vossen is project coordinator for Koelestudenten, also described below. Merel van Goor den Held is our webeditor.
What we're working on
Een duurzame toekomst boer je zelf
Since January 2015 we work on a new project together with the young Dutch farmers organization (NAJK): Een duurzame toekomst boer je zelf, literally translated “ A sustainable future you farm yourself”. Together we will provide guest lectures on agricultural schools about the sustainability of the dairy and egg chain, including regional cultivated silage.
From March 2014 untill November 2015 JMA will contribute to a big European energy saving project Koelestudenten, "Cool students" literally translated. With ten partner organisations from seven European countries, youth between 18 to 29 year will be informed about saving energy through on- and offline campaigning. For this targetgroup it's often difficult to save energy effectively, because they live in studentrooms or do not have the tools to make a difference.
With the Koelestudenten campaign we want to organize meetings and activities. The online campaign will involve a website, an energy saving tool app and social media campaigns.
Starting already back in 2011, this project's aim is to green secondary schools' canteens. Students take an active position by studying how their canteen can get environmentally friendly, by campaigning for a long-term solution in their school and by temporarily working at their canteen. At the end of each project, which takes a week, the management and catering company of the school are asked to make an agreement for an environmentally friendlier supply. Currently we need new funds to be able to proceed with the project in the nearby feature.
Make IT Fair
JMA is a partner in this international campaign for fair and sustainable electronics. In December 2013, former board members Koen and Niels surprised employees in mobile shops in Amsterdam while shopping for December gifts. They asked for a green phone, but unfortunately, these phones were nowhere to find. JMA talked about this with the management of KPN, one of the largest telecom providers in the Netherlands. We will continue addressing the environmental problems linked to the production of electronics in a new project. We will focus on the mining of the metal tin on the Indonesian island Bangka. In the months May untill September 2014 we will visit music festivals and student introduction days to inform young people about the devastating effects of tinmining. During this unique festivaltour we ask festivalgoers to sign our petition for a sustainable tin mine in Bankga.
With the campaign “Kleine Hoefprint” - literally “Small Hoofprint” - in 2013, JMA and Milieudefensie worked together to increase the usage of regional grown animal feed in the production of dairy. Most cows in The Netherlands eat soya beans, which is grown in Latin-America, mostly in Brazil and Argentina. For the soya plantations large areas of rainforest are cut down. Dutch cows can easily eat homegrown food, such as grass, beans and lupines. This would be better for cows, humans and the environment.
With help from 8000 consumers we were able to produce a soya-free cheese, with cheese maker Aurora, which is still for sale throughout The Netherlands via online channels. Unilever, the biggest ice cream maker in The Netherlands, received our petition signed by 17.000 Dutch. EnglishWe asked them to produce a rainforest-free Magnum. Sadly Unilever did not commit to do this, but is willing to talk about regional grown animal feed. Frozen Dutch, an ice cream factory in Amsterdam, proved that rainforest-free ice cream can be made. They produced a strawberry flavour which was sold at stores Marqt and Ekoplaza.
What we've worked on
Food@Farm – Discover the roots of your dinner
How can you cook in an easy, healthy and cheap way, and at the same time take the environment into account? In several towns each year, JMA organizes workshops for first-year university students to find that out. First, students get a tour on an organic farm and a small lecture on the effects of food on the environment. Then they prepare, together with a professional caterer, a lovely meal, after which they have dinner together.
Mag 't Licht Uit?
This campaign against offices leaving their lights on at night - literally "Can the lights be turned off"? - was organized by JMA's Energy working group, JMA/E. Throughout The Netherlands, volunteers cycled through cities to register offices that had left their lights on at night. Spotted offices were mapped on the website and asked to turn their lights off. Over 150 companies received a letter and the campaign was on national radio. This campaign will be continued by local groups of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands).