Imagining the Green future: Environmental strategy and Youth advocacy

Why do we need to imagine the green future?

We already know that the world is facing major unprecedented environmental crisis. In response, young people are expressing their concerns in non-violent protests, campaigns and direct actions. They do so as individuals, by joining different organizations or forming informal action groups. These groups then come together to organize a specific campaign, action or any other action. Usually, these tend to be one-time events that aim to achieve a specific goal. However, after one such an event takes place people often part ways,
regardless if it succeeds or not.

We recognize the youth as a key actor of the current and future developments of both environmental action and politics. At YEE, we believe that the scale of the environmental crisis we are currently facing demands a rapid and better structured response. The voice of young people and the future generation has to be better recognized and included in decision-making at all levels. Young engaged citizens and activists should feel like the change-makers. That´s why we decided to support them with building more organized and sustainable vision and structure providing different activities within the project “Imagining the Green Future: Environmental Strategy and Youth Advocacy”.

What came before?
Our work plan in 2018 was focused on environmental decision-making and youth participation. In 2019, we were focusing on the topic of grassroots, bottom-up initiatives and young people who want to solve concrete environmental problems and issues in their local communities. Now, we would like to build up on the identified needs from both projects and focus on capacity building for young people, to actively engage in local level policy making, with a strong background and support coming from a structured and sustainable organisation.

What are the aim and objectives?

Aim of this project is to contribute to the sustainability of the activities and structure of environmental youth movements, informal groups and organisations to ensure young people’s access to participation in policy making processes. We want to develop strategies for youth workers, environmental activists, informal environmental youth groups and environmental youth organisations to build up an organisational structures from one time activities, grassroots movements to achieve long-term impact on environmental policies and influencing local policy making through participation in political structures by campaigning and advocacy.

Objectives of the project:

  • Vision Building – to support youth to create a sustainable vision and structure for entering political environment;
  • Advocacy for environment – to develop competences of youth workers and informal groups of young people needed to advocate, campaign and lobby for environmental policies on local level;
  • To support and empower local groups to influence local environmental policies through advocacy, campaigning and lobbying;
  • To create a space for exchanging good practices and learning from each other among youth engaged citizens, activists, youth workers, youth movements and informal groups of young people.

What are the activities?

The project is composed of 3 activities: two international trainings and local actions. The first activity, training course “Building the Vision: Youth environmental organisations of the future” will take place in Brussels on 18.05-24.05.2020. With this activity we would like to prepare young people from environmental movements, informal groups and NGOs to (re)think of (re)establishing their structure and (re)defining their vision, organisational aims and objectives. We will focus on the necessity of membership management and financial sustainability. We consider that this is the right base for any movement or group before diving into advocacy and lobbying on local level!

The second activity, the training course “Advocates for a Green Future”, will take place in July 2020 in Germany. This training course will bring together volunteers, youth workers from movements, informal groups and organisations wishing to revise their structure or strengthen their sustainability to work on environmental policies and policy making on local level. Trainers and experts, together with the project team will design a programme to develop the skills which are needed to get engaged within political processes: how to do
advocacy and lobbying, how to design and implement a successful campaign, how to communicate with different stakeholders and how to mobilise communities to join their projects. The final activity will consist of various local projects organised by participants of the training courses and member’s organisations. The 7 selected applicants will receive funds from the project to organise local projects with young people, to create a basis of their future organisation and start working on environmental issues through political processes on local level. They will be able to practise the skills obtained during the training courses.