When: 6-13 November 2017

Where: Kapraluv Mlyn, Ochoz u Brna, Czech Republic

Who: Youth and Environment Europe

Project description:

During the 2016 Annual Meeting several YEE member organisations expressed their interest in exploring the topic of ecotourism. Some members even pointed out the need to further develop this type of tourism in their countries. Moreover, ecotourism was identified as a current topic and a good way to promote active citizenship among young people. We believe that ecotourism can connect different parts of communities and could therefore be an innovative approach for promoting youth participation.

Under ecotourism we understand "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education". We believe that many local communities can benefit from promoting ecotourism in their areas, especially if they are located close to natural parks and protected areas. As YEE is a youth organisation, we would like to find ways to empower young Europeans to feel more responsible for their homes and communities and to have sufficient competences to promote ecotourism and protect their homeland.
We think that working on this project of the topic of ecotourism and youth participation is especially relevant as 2017 is UN International year of Sustainable tourism and development.

Aim and objectives:

The aim of this training course is to strengthen youth participation and active citizenship through ecotourism and related projects.


  • To define the role and importance of ecotourism in local communities.
  • To create the common understanding about youth participation in local communities through ecotourism.
  • To provide space for partners to share the experience of organising ecotourism projects with young people.
  • To expand the knowledge and skills needed for organising ecotourism related projects in local communities.
  • To create space for networking and building new partnerships among environmental youth organisations.

Achieved objectives:

Most of the objectives have been achieved thanks to a balanced combination of formal, non-formal and informal education strategies.
In particular:

  • The role and importance of ecotourism in local communities were defined both through sharing sessions where participants expressed their ideas, impressions and even personal experiences and through visits to five different ecotourism realities in the area around Kapraluv Mlyn.
  • The common understanding (both theoretical and practical) about youth participation in local communities through ecotourism was established through a teamwork project where participants had to develop a product or service targeting young ecotourists and meeting ecotourism standards. Moreover, during an intercultural evening, participants had the possibility to present an object, food or drink related to ecotourism practices in their country or region.
  • A large space was provided to participants willing to share ecotourism practices in their countries. Two participants from Italy, two from Hungary, one from Russia and the two trainers (from Spain and Czech Republic) provided concrete examples of ecotourism projects involving young people. 
  • The knowledge and skills needed for organising ecotourism projects were  expanded through the session “Ecotourism and heritage interpretation” held by Michal Medek where the topics of marketing strategies, ecotourism practices and youth participation were interconnected with each other.
  • A large space for networking was provided to each participant. They had the possibility to present their organisation, their role within the organisation and latest projects. In the light of the genuine interests that participants showed for others` activities and the emergence of common grounds, new partnerships are likely to be built.
  • Additionally, several other activities (Service and Care, bonfires, movie night, visit to caves) have supported participants in their quest to know each other, build a great team, exchange ideas and even make new friends.

Follow-up planned:

Many participants found the training inspiring and decided to use it as an opportunity to develop concrete projects that will be realized in their countries. In particular:

  • Two participants from Italy decided to develop an ecotourism map of Rome where young travelers can find ecofriendly shops, restaurant and bars in the city. Information about green mobility will also be provided.
  • Three participants, stimulated by the vegetarian food served at Kapraluv Mlyn and the recurrent discussions on the topic, decided to collaborate in order to organise a training course on the topic of food in spring 2018.
  • A participant from Georgia, inspired by the “Ecotourism and heritage interpretation” session, decided to create an ecofriendly tour in a Georgian national park – where he currently works - putting ideas on heritage interpretation into practice.

Photos from the training course

Video about the project:


  • Youth and Environment Europe (Czech Republic)
  • Young Biologists Association NGO (Armenia)
  • Stepanavan Youth Center (Armenia)
  • Yeghvard (Armenia)
  • FYCA (Armenia)
  • 7ARTE (Kosovo*UN Resolution)
  • Let's Do It Peja (Kosovo*UN Resolution)
  • EDEN Center (Albania)
  • SAEM (Georgia)
  • AYA (Russia)
  • YRS (Serbia)
  • ReCreativity Social Enterprise (Hungary)
  • OPE (Portugal)
  • Eufemia (Italy)
  • FÖJ-AKTIV e.V. (Germany)
  • Asociación Biodiversa (Spain)
  • Eco Logic (FYROM)
  • Common Sense Youth Organisation (Azerbaijan)



When: June 2015 - December 2017

Where: Various countries

Website: www.step4youth.eu 

Contact person: Gosia Zubowicz-Thull This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



STEP QR code


Project description:

The STEP project addresses the need of public organisations to effectively open their decision-making procedures that have an environmental impact to young people. The overall objective of the project is to develop and pilot test an eParticipation cloud platform, enhanced with web / social media mining, gamification, machine translation, and visualisation features, which will promote the societal and political participation of young people in the decision-making processes on environmental issues.

Four pilots in an operational environment have been selected for the deployment of STEP solution in 4 locations: Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey, with the participation of one regional authority, 3 municipalities, and an association of municipalities. The pilots are expected to involve testing by 8.200 young users and 85 policy makers.

Aim and objectives:

The aim of the project is to develop and test an eParticipation cloud platform, which will promote the societal and political participation of young people in the decision-making processes on environmental issues.


  • To enable public authorities to quickly open their decision-making processes to young people.
  • To enable young citizens to participate in decision-making on issues with environmental impact.
  • To develop engagement and motivation strategies for increasing youth participation in environmental decision making.
  • To pilot test the services in an operational environment in terms of technical, organisational and legal feasibility, with the participation of end users (young citizens) and pollicy makers.
  • To assess the usability, effectiveness and impact of the project in embedding open engagement in public sector processes, and to identity the key barriers for wide scale deployment.
  • To ensure appropiate dissemination and realistic exploitation of project activities and results.

Participating organisations:

  • Draxis Environmental S.A. (Greece)
  • Youth and Environment Europe (Czech Republic)
  • Kairos Future AB (Sweden)
  • Linguatec GMBH (Germany)
  • Centre for Research and Techonology Hellas (Greece)
  • Inmark Europa S.A. (Spain)
  • Sampas Bilisim Ve Iletisim (Turkey)
  • University of Abertay Dundee (UK)
  • Hatay Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey)
  • Region of Crete (Greece)
  • Comune di Sant'Agata del Bianco (Italy)
  • Ajuntament de Mollet del Valles (Spain)
  • Ayuntamiento de Valdemoro (Spain)
  • planO2 Consulting Services Private Company AB (Greece)

Check out the STEP BLOG!

Promotional materials:




flag yellow high




This project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649493

When: June 2016 - October 2017

Where: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Portugal, Czech Republic

Who: BALTA DABA (Latvia)

Type of project: Strategic partnership

Project description:

The project was developed by YEE member organisation BALTA DABA together with other partners in order to promote direct youth involvement in solving local environmental problems. Each partner organisations will pick a real issue in their local community (for example, river pollution, waste managements, habitats protection, etc). The partners will work on these issues together with youth groups which they will coordinate during the project. The international campaign and contest will be launched and coordinated by YEE.


To explore innovative approaches for development of youth active citizenship by fostering youth ability to convince stakeholders of the need to implement their proposed solutions for environmental protection.


  • Estonian Fund for Nature (Estonia)
  • Organização para a Promoção dos Ecoclubes (Portugal)
  • Youth and Environment Europe (Czech Republic)
  • Lithuanian Fund for Nature (Lithuania)
  • BALTA DABA (Latvia)

Partners meetings:



Here you can check the presentations about waste management prepared by the participants of the youth exchange "Three Rs for the Environment":

Waste management in Georgia


Waste management in the Czech Republic


Waste management in Portugal


Waste management in Russia