At the end of November, I (Stefan, new External Relations Officer) travelled to Vienna to take part in the International Youth Conference on Environment, Health and Mobility.
More than 70 participants (all youths!) from more than 30 European countries came together to step up and raise the voice of the young people when it comes to a healthier environment for all of us in Europe and the whole world.
From November 27th until November 29th we had the chance to experience an interesting mix of local initiatives and projects (green catering “Rita bringt's”, “Walkshops”, guided tour through Seestadt Aspern) but also of practical work on the Vienna Youth Position Paper on Environment and Health. We also worked on papers and commitment acts in preparation of the next Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in 2017 plus the next High Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment in 2019.
That means: not only getting more active on the level of direct contacts (face-to-face), but also on the political one.
We became more familiar with the EEHP (European Environment + Health Process), the EEHYC (European Environment and Health Youth Coalition) and THE PEP (Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme) and WHO-Europe and at the same time contributed to their work and development.
We did that by building different workgroups with focused on various topics (e.g. Chemical Safety, Waste&Circular Economy, Sustainable Cities, Air Quality). The workgroups were facilitated (by JUMP members – JUMP helped hosting the event) and accompanied (by Austrian technical experts) – and they were organised on a professional level, meaning that we were productive. The harder part was to find standards and phrase commitments which will bring a growth and positive outcome to and for all member states of the European Union. So it wasn't only working on papers, but also interculturally – what I have already had been familiar with from YEE events (I liked that point a lot).
So was it worth it?
Yes. From different perspectives – for YEE (advertising the network, talking about it and representing it there, bringing our aims and focuses into the workgroups and official position papers, and also bringing back more knowledge and a motivation to move forward even more in the discussed matters), for Europe's citizens (I hope the ministries will pay attention to what we call for!) and for me, personally.
And if you're interested in the documents I mentioned – you can find them here:
External Relations Officer
Photo by JUMP/Julius Holländer