The Youth Hub
We are the Youth Hub of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature GARN. Our goal is to connect youth and young professionals internationally to join forces in the fight for Rights of Nature.
About the Youth Hub
The Youth Hub for Rights of Nature is a global network and GARN Hub by youth and for youth (-35 years old) all over the world.
As part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, we are committed to the “universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce ‘Rights of Nature’ and to making the idea of Rights of Nature an idea whose time has come.”
The Hub has the objective to empower youth to become ambassadors of the Rights of Nature movement, generate positive impact and advocate successfully on behalf of the Rights of Nature and future generations.
In the Youth Hub, youth and young professionals will find an inspiring atmosphere where they can learn and work together with likeminded people who are engaged and enthusiastic in spreading the word of Rights of Nature. The Hubs‘ members are encouraged to actively take part in Summits and international Events to make their voice heard in the environmental debate.
Youth Hub Facilitators
Members of the Youth Hub will elect at least three Hub Facilitators for a duration of the coming 12 months. The goal of these facilitators is to ensure a smooth and professional progression of the Hub in terms of memebership involvement, outreach and education for the coming year.
Youth Hub Governance Lead: Create strategic plan and monitor progress towards objectives, liaison with the GARN global office, and help to create and monitor budget and possible sources of funding.
Youth Hub Membership Lead: Bring in new members, and to communicate with our current member base (we have a mailchimp account), organize database, and develop partnerships with other youth groups and organizations. Be the first point of contact for the Hub, receive and respond to any email inquiries concerning the Hub.
Youth Hub Communications Lead: Develop and share educational materials, largely on social media, the websit, and in newsletters, to help raise awareness and boost the visibility of the Youth Hub. Share updates/news with the GARN Global Office Coordinator and other Hubs as needed.
Meet our Facilitators
Governance Facilitator 2022-23
Somabha Bandopadhay is a doctoral student and University Junior Research Fellow at The West Bengal National University for Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata where she was formerly associated as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Regulatory Studies, Governance and Public Policy.
She is pursuing active research and activism on transgender law and their rights. She pursued BA.LLB (International Law Honors) from School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and pursued LLM (Human Rights) National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. Recently, Somabha has been awarded the Indo-Canadian Shastri Scholarship to pursue research on victimization of transgender persons and is preparing to undertake the comparative research soon.
She is regularly invited as panellist by Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) Kolkata and for lectures on topics like Human Rights Obligations and India, Need for Coronavirus Act in India and on research methodology by All India Reporter (AIR) and AIR Research Centre. She is presently pursuing a research on Glyphosate and Rights of Nature in collaboration with Earth Thrive, United Kingdom and another with WBNUJS, Kolkata on Transgender trauma and stigma.
She is furthermore a member of World Youths for Climate Justice and is passionately working on Rights of Nature where she also serves in the advisory boards of various organisations.
Membership and Outreach Facilitator 2022-23
We are losing such an invaluable richness of life with the biodiversity and climate crisis. To Tosana Töben, this is the greatest and grossest injustice that exists, requiring radical change in our collective consciousness; from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism. Why doesn’t nature, on which the existence of life critically depends, have the right to exist and regenerate?
When she was 15, she asked at an open day whether Rights of nature would also be covered in the study programme of Law. The student looked at me questioningly, said he had never heard of that before and went on to talk about civil law and career prospects. But she knew that my future prospects had to have something to do with environmental justice, although she was not familiar with that term at the time, so she chose to study Forest and Nature Conservation in Wageningen and to involve justice at a later stage. Now she finished her bachelor’s thesis on eco-jurisprudence and for more than a year she is a board member of ‘Forests owning itself’ – a grassroot youth foundation with which they pioneer the rights of nature for forests in the Netherlands.
It makes her hopeful to work with other young people on this critical ideal. Now that it is clear that environmental regulations are failing and we have lost confidence in the system as a whole, we can make room for a moral breakthrough to an alternative system. Nature conservation within unsustainable economic growth feeds the alienation between nature and humanity instead of seeking a (re)connection. I believe that the Rights of Nature movement can fuel both a shift in consciousness and a conservation revolution, protecting nature as an end in itself.
Communications Facilitator 2022-23
Sarah Pritchett has recently gotten involved in Rights of Nature through finding GARN on social media, and joining the Youth Hub’s Rights of Nature book club. From there, she decided to run for communications facilitator having a background in helping Solarize Evansville with their social media.
She is currently pursing an MPA degree with a concentration in Community and Economic Development at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University (IU). She graduated with a B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies in the Fall from IU as well. In addition to GARN Youth Hub and Solarize Evansville, she has also been active with the local Sunrise Movement hub that has been campaigning for the end of investments into fossil fuels by IU.
She has various research interests such as how utopian versus dystopian climate narratives affect people’s motivation to organize around climate change and civic engagement.
The Steering Committee is assembled from past members and facilitators of the GARN Youth Hub.
The role of the Steering Committee is to provide strategic oversight, guide the activities of the Hub, connect members, guide facilitators, and create a cohesive, inclusive and conflict free network, which stands in line with the overall values and goals of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.
Rafaela is an Ecuadorian advocate of the Rights of Nature in the Latin American region and around the world. Rafa has been involved in the Rights of Nature movement for about 6 years, mostly volunteering for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) particularly in their International Rights of Nature tribunals in Paris, France, and Bonn, Germany as well as helping organize the International Rights of Nature Symposium to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rights of Nature in Ecuador. In 2017, she studied abroad in New Zealand where she learned and researched more about the Voice of Nature and the rights of the Whanganui River. Today, she lives in New York City where she founded the GARN Youth Hub for the Rights of Nature and continues to be part of the movement. She works full-time as the Latin America Regional Organizer for Waterkeeper Alliance and supports GARN as their Global Hub Coordinator.
Rafa’s hope for the future of the Youth Hub is to continue to see how youth become empowered by being a part of this relatively new movement and become ambassadors for the Rights of Nature in their own regions and communities.
Michelle Bender is the Ocean Campaigns Director at the Earth Law Center where she is the founder and leading expert in the movement towards “Ocean Rights,” an ecocentric framework to ocean law and policy.
Michelle has been advancing Rights of Nature and Earth-centered governance internationally for six years. She is on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and founder of the Youth Hub, where she empowers youth to be effective advocates of Earth-centered law. Additionally, in 2018, she was named one of the fifteen “Youth Ocean Leaders” at the World Ocean Summit and in 2017 accepted as a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law. Finally, she is an expert of the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative and member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law.
Membership and Outreach Facilitator 2020-21
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Jack Omondi is highly dedicated towards empowering youth and communities through knowledge sharing, training, events, webinars and campaigns in the field of Rights of Nature. Currently, he is working at Don Bosco Tech Africa as the project officer in charge of Greening the Don Bosco TVET centers in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Jack took on the position of ‘Membership and Outreach Facilitator’ in 2021, with the goal to support GARN Youth Hub to bring new members, communicate with the current member base, and develop partnership with other youth groups and organizations.
Governance Facilitator 2020-21
Lauren Tarr joined the GARN Youth Hub in 2020 and served as the hub’s ‘Governance Facilitator‘ for 2021. She joins GARN from the United States, where she is an Environmental Policy PhD Candidate at the State University of New York (SUNY ESF). Her research focuses on Rights of Nature, Environmental Justice, and Community-based Conservation.
In addition to her studies, Lauren has worked as an environmental educator and English teacher for several years.
Communications Facilitator 2020-21
Anastasia Körner is a student of Environmental Sciences with her Major in Environmental Policy and Economics at Wageningen University, NL. She is actively part of the local Environmental and Social Justice Group OtherWise, and has been a volunteer for Human Rights at Amnesty International for several years. Her passions lie in Environmental Philosophy and Law, in Human Rights and Justice as well as in Indigenous Knowledge systems.
Anastasia took on a position as ‘Communications Facilitator’ in 2021, where she contributed in spreading Rights of Nature to youth worldwide.
Co-founder and Steering Committee 2020-21
Rodrigue Gehot has been involved in the Rights of Nature for 10 years. Next to his studies in law and political sciences where he has been focusing his research on the reckognition of RON in Ecuador, he has been part of the presentation of the first RON European citizen initiative in the European Parliament. After having actively participated in the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature by co-founding the Youth Hub, he decided to dedicate all his time to his current work in the Amazon.
He defines himself as a passionate person and always curious to learn about the relationships of the Living in various fields such as permaculture or bioeconomy but also spiritually through his current work in the Pachamama Foundation with the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon.
Membership and Outreach Facilitator 2021-22
Carlota Houart holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in IR – Peace, Security and Development Studies from the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She worked as a junior researcher at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra between 2018 and 2021, and she is soon to begin her PhD studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, within the research project “Riverhood – Living Rivers and New Water Justice Movements”.
Her current research interests include Critical Political Ecology; Rights of Nature; Ecofeminism; Critical International Relations Theory, Political Theory and Post-Anthropocentrism; and Indigenous Wisdom and Knowledge Systems. Carlota has been actively involved with social justice and environmental justice movements over the last several years, including the co-creation of a local chapter of Extinction Rebellion in her city of Coimbra. She is currently involved in GARN, both as a facilitator of the Youth Hub and as a member of the Academic Hub