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A wind of change for municipalities

At the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park/A, young people are teaching primary schoolchildren for a day. Together, they study water courses as a habitat for plants and animals. In l’Argentière-la-Bessée/F, another group is creating an adventure trail to the entrance of a silver mine.

These and other initiatives are the result of CIPRA’s youTurn youth project, which has been implemented together with the Alliance in the Alps network, the Alpine Town of the Year association, the French municipalities of Chambéry and Argentière-la-Bessée, the Austrian localities of Nenzing, Nagelfluhkette and Montafon, and the Liechtenstein town of Schaan. As part of the project, young people, youth workers and representatives from the participating Alpine municipalities collated instances of good practice in youth participation, gaining inspiration from the initiatives of others and implementing their own ideas. As a result, young people felt more involved and more motivated to dedicate themselves to their community’s sustainable development.

At the final meeting in Chambéry thirty or so young people aged 14 to 17 and accompanying adults came up with suggestions on how to improve youth participation in their municipalities. For example, by raising the awareness of politicians for their concerns and inviting them to attend their activities or calling in on them at their place of work – bringing cake along, of course. The general consensus in Chambéry was that a certain amount of incentive was of course needed from the political side, too, for instance the establishment and mentoring of a Youth Parliament.

www.cipra.org/youth

“It is very important to involve young people in the life of the community; after all, young people are tomorrow’s adults. The YouTurn project has shown me that, even if we are young, we’re able to participate in the community.”

Clémence De Langavant, YouTurn participant, Argentière-la-Bessée/F

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