BUNDjugend, young Berlines big steps

They meet once a week, around a wood table, all of them are young from 15 to 27 years old, they call themselves BUNDjugend collective and they share a have a common feeling: they need to change something.  The next Saturday, this collective will join to the initiative against the sign of the TTIP in Berlin, but their biggest opportunity will be this November in Paris with the celebration of the Climate change convention where the group is not doubting on taking part.

The Bundjugend is the biggest non-governmental environmental organization in Germany, the collective belong to Friends of the Earth and there is in connection with the main environmental organizations. Bund was created in the 70s and currently their success has and gather a total of 518,000 members.

BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland) or in English Association for the Environment and Nature conservation and Jugend mean “Young”. In BUND and BUNDjugend there is not structure, no hierarchy all the members divided in three groups Climate Change, Renewable Energies and Mobilization all of the members have the same voice and power to speak and propose.

The meetings the groups of around 8 to 10 members they are peaceful sit around the table, drink tea and discuss about the themes of the meeting that would be later summarize in the blackboard. There is no moderator need, no one feels interrupted, John the youngest on with 15 years would have the same voice than Peter, 27 the year when the member will past to the adults group.

“I feel impotent, I always told myself Felix that is not enough” said one of the participant in the table. “That is exactly what we are looking for, is good to feel hunger that is what feeds our association” replies Serina Wieser the speak voice of the collective.

The story of Serina is exactly the example of the essence of BUNDjugend, the girl with just 20 years old is one of the volunteers that runs the representation in Berlin of the BUND collective. Serina is originally from Austria, after finish high school she moved to New York to start her new life but she find the programme Freiwislliger Oholoyisch Jahr and fall in love of the idea of spend a whole year working in and live for BUNDjugend.

“I just wanted to do something I got the feeling that its need to be something done I feel I need to do that for the people, for everyone, not for me to help the new generations” says Serina.

Sirena in front of the logo of BUNDjugent
Sirena in front of the logo of BUNDjugent

Another of the peculiarities of the course is the exchange programme each year some to the member of the group have the opportunity to spend three months in another country, in order to share the values and learn from each other.

This year 20 youngster from Belorussia will come to Berlin while some Berliners will fly to the country. Members like Felix Hermann, that participate in the international program to Egypt in 2013, ensure the importance of shared the passion about save the environment with another countries and cultures.

“It was a bit disappointed because I belong to the Climate change group and to get to Egypt we flew in a aircraft plane that produce a lot of CO2 emission” recognize Felix.

Bigest concerns

Over the table Serina is putting the themes of discussion, today as a main topic come the TTIP the Trade agreement between the European Union and the Unites States that has been polemic since the start of the agreements.

One of the members signing the TTIP mail list
One of the members signing the TTIP mail list
source BUNDjugent webpage
The last TTIP protest of BUNDjugent







”Germany is taking a lot of care about the environment, we banned the use of nuclear power and our regulation over companies in terms of pollution are very strict however the TTIP will put the EU-USA regulation over the German one” explains Felix Hernan member of the BUNDjugent and activist on Greenpeace “We could even loose our Europeans foods and products standards, people should be aware of what the sign of that treaty will bring to the EU” declares.

In the protest against the agreement the BUNDjugend, Germany and the European Union association play an important role but nonetheless groups and collective from other countries over the world will join the iniciative “People in China and Australia is going to protest against the agreement at the same time, the TTIP won’t affect them but our colleagues of Friend we move by heart and solidarity” said Felix.

Looking in a long-term the BUNDjugend is planning to take action at the COP21, the United Nation Climate Change Conference, that will be hold in Paris this year from the 30 of November to the 15 of December. BUNDjugent will claim for a strict the compliment of the agreement sign to reduce the greenhouse gas emission.

When we asked Serina what and why, she gets emotive traducing her feelings to words:

“The experience of being in the group reshape me, I always knew I could give something to the other and I thought I need to do that another year and another year. Have the opportunity to motivate people and told then – You can do something and you all are part of it! That is the best feeling that I get from work here”