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Youth project "Impact of conflicts on the environment"

On the 15th  of  August, 2016 with the initiation of Armenia’s biggest youth organisation, the Federation of Youth Clubs (FYCA), launched "Impact of conflicts on the environment" youth project. More than 40 participants from 10 rural areas (Armenia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Spain, Austria, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus) took part in this project.

The aim of the project was to bring together young people living in present or former conflict zones who are concerned about the humanitarian disaster alleviation, environmental protection, and to draw their attention towork in their communities to raise awareness about international conflicts and the involvement of the young people in solving the local problems that the conflicts brings to their communities. The project became a good platform for young people from different EU and non EU countries, with the emergence of conflict in their country and submission of its overcome history.

In his speech the president of FYCA Mr. Atom Mkhitaryan mentioned that it was very important for young people to understand that only joint efforts can stop the war and to contribute to the process of peace. "The effects of wars on the environment can be neutralised only by joint efforts, abstracting from the political borders of countries, and the borders between the two sides, creating bridges of cooperation," says Mr. Atom Mkhitaryan.

The main objectives of the first two days were to introduce the participants in involving young people to the importance of environmental protection and effectively neutralising the negative impact of conflict. The active involvement of the participants held constructive discussions on seeking ways out of crisis situations and disasters of war.

During the project the participants of the international project have been to Gyumri city, which is the second biggest city in Armenia, where they met local representatives of non-governmental and governmental structions and got acquainted with their role and function for civil society and particularly with the protection of nature.

Along with the discussions of important issues and the acquisition of new knowledge, participants had the opportunity to visit Yeraskh village, which is considered one of the conflicts zones in Armenia and has borders with Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan and the people living in the village have difficulties in everyday life. The participants had a walk in the village and the mayor of the village informed about the current situation of people (especially young people living in rural area) living there, about their inclusion, their unity as well talked about the impact of conflicts on the environment.

After the village the participants enjoyed the wonders of Armenia, visiting Khor Virap, as well as feel the spirit of active and colourful evenings in the sightseeing and entertainment venues of Yerevan city, Armenia.