Young People in the Alps
Sustainability means that later generations have the same opportunities for development as preceding generations. But all too often young people – as the generation most affected – are sidelined when it comes to addressing the issue of sustainable development. They are not included in the process, neither by governments nor by local authorities, NGOs, associations or protected areas.
For many years now CIPRA has been advocating intercultural co-operation, recognising how important it is to involve young people in the process of shaping the Alps as a living environment. And so a new process has been put in motion. Since 2009 CIPRA has been exploring innovative ways of establishing exchanges and co-operation with young people. CIPRA wants to incorporate the concerns of young people more effectively in its work and also encourage and empower other players within the Alpine region to do so. It sees itself as a mentor and enabler for a more intense involvement of young people in the Alpine region. That also includes environmental education, which represents a key component for raising the awareness of young people for their habitat.
Incentives for the future
An initial result is the co-operation with the Youth Parliament of the Alpine Convention (YPAC). 2012 saw the launch of the co-operation with the YPAC organisation in Liechtenstein. The partnership ensures that young people are able to benefit from CIPRA’s wealth of experience and contacts. Conversely the YPAC provides CIPRA with a way into the thinking and ideas of young people, enabling it to come up with new incentives for future projects.
In AlpsInsight No. 97 (to be published in autumn 2012) CIPRA is devoting one issue of its feature magazine to youth participation in the Alps. An internal CIPRA workshop is also planned with national representatives in November 2012 aimed at formulating a youth strategy and organising youth activities. Preparations for the 2013 and 2014 YPACs are also under way in co-operation with the relevant schools.
CIPRA is looking to work with other key players operating throughout the Alps who are interested in working more closely with young people, organisations such as the Network of Alpine Protected Areas (Alparc), the Alliance in the Alps network of municipalities, the Alpine Town of the Year Association and the French environmental education network (REEMA).
The CIPRA's program for the youth at the AlpWeek 2012 in Valposchiavo here