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Young ideas for a green economy

Participants of the project "Youth Alpine Express" with Markus Reiterer, secretary general (c) CIPRA International

This year’s Youth Parliament of the Alpine Convention, held in the Italian town of Bassano del Grappa, focussed exclusively on the topic of “Green Economy”. The “Youth Alpine Express” also stopped off there.

Demography and quality of life, social innovations and sustainable tourism, consumer behaviour and culture: just some of the aspects concerning the topic of “Green Economy” discussed by some 80 school students from seven Alpine countries at the Youth Parliament of the Alpine Convention (YPAC). Together they formulated 10 proposals: among other things they demanded sustainable spatial planning, with sufficient green areas and no overdevelopment. Unused tourist accommodation should also be sustainably renovated rather than building new structures. Another proposal was to promote the principle of ecological balance (Life Cycle Assessment), determining the environmental effects of each product as regards its production, use and disposal.

Participants of the YPAC were young people from CIPRA’s “Youth Alpine Express” project who, under the motto “a good day has 100 points”, travelled sustainably to Bassano to show how CO2 emissions can be reduced. The more CO2 used through products or activities, the more points are accrued. The aim is not to total more than 100 points per person per day in order to ensure that the climate balance is maintained. Together the YPAC participants developed measures to compensate for excess points: they did not use products with plastic packaging for a whole month, or set themselves personal challenges such as doing without coffee or meat, or growing their own vegetables. There was an active exchange with the YPAC students and the political representatives present, including the mayors of the region, the youth council of Bassano del Grappa, Alpine Convention General Secretary Markus Reiterer and Andreas Pichler, designated executive director of CIPRA International. The adults too found the exchanges a worthwhile experience, underlining the meaning of youth participation and encouraging young people in their commitment.

Source and further information: www.ypac.eu (en), www.youthalpineexpress.eu (en)

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The “Youth Alpine Express” is supported by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the EU Erasmus+ programme. (see http://www.cipra.org/de/news/cipra-staerkt-jugendbeteiligung)

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