People and Planet: UK Students Tackling Poverty, Human Rights and Environmental Issues


We've covered plenty of green-minded student initiatives on the pages of TreeHugger before. Whether it's Oregon students voting for an increase in fees to pay for carbon offsets, or Penn State students tackling issues of sustainability and poverty, it's clear that student action on important issues is not just a relic of the sixties. Take People & Planet, for example, a UK-wide network of students tackling global issues such as poverty, human rights and environmental issues. The network offers advice, support and materials for individual groups, and also co-ordinates centralised campaigns on key issues. People & Planet is also responsible for an annual two-day conference with workshops on all aspects of sustainability and social justice, with input from leading activists, thinkers, journalists and entrepreneurs.
Recent campaigns have included tackling trade justice and fairtrade, the global AIDS epidemic, and climate change. The organization has also been involved in campaigns to green individual universities, and is part of the iCount coalition which we reported on here. It seems that many activists outside of the student movement are taking note too:

"Student activists from People & Planet have shown that solidarity really can change the world. Campus campaigners have been the backbone of the AIDS treatment movement in the UK and their formidable activism has shifted G8 from being bystanders in the AIDS emergency to visionary radicals in the field of HIV. Thousands of people are dying from HIV every single day. G8 have the power to stop that - and student campaigners have the power to make them use it. The world will never be the same again."

Kirsty McNeill, Stop AIDS Campaign