Youth Advisory Board of the MAB Reserve “Italian Julian Alps”
Ente Parco Naturale delle Prealpi Giulie
Region & country
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
The Youth Advisory Board of the MAB UNESCO Reserve of Italian Julian Alps includes almost 25 participants from 11 municipalities between 16 and 30 years old. Our main purpose is to play a consultative and proactive role in the Julian Prealps Nature Park’s decision-making process: we share our ideas and proposals or make notice some weaknesses and problems, and then suggest some ways to solve them from a young point of view.
We also aim to promote the cooperation, the participation and the bond between young people from the local municipalities, involving them in cultural exchanges, writing youth projects and realizing activities that can bring youngsters closer to the reality of the Reserve.
Advisory board members during a presentation
Group photo during Youth at the Top
First pic of the Advisory Board after its foundation
Zoom meetings during the pandemic
Survival activity in the woods
Background of the project
As it happens in rural areas, youngsters tend to leave their territories in search of more comfort in big cities, without being aware of the cultural and natural heritage that surrounds them and the opportunities that these places can give to young people. Another aspect is that some institutional events cannot speak to young persons as only youngsters can do, so there was the need of a young point of view.
First of all, we felt the need to talk to young generations and involve them in the life of the territory, spreading awareness about our natural heritage; we thought that this could help in guaranteeing a future in our protected area. Moreover, we believe that main institutions must have youngsters among its components, in order to receive fresh suggestions and proposals and, at the same time, cooperate and create a bond with the youngsters from the area, preventing them from leaving.
Solution and actions taken
We founded our advisory board, through which we have the opportunity to create informative meetings that deal with contemporary and sustainable topics and organize social events, such as festivals or hiking trips. With these activities we share our small reality, trying to inspire other youngsters from all over Europe to start having an active role in their protected areas.
An example of our actions is Nature Beats: a day spent surrounded by nature and with an eco-friendly vibe, given by the use of biodegradable products. There is a blend of music, hiking, e-bike trips, small talks by young associations and a final gig sharing fun together! Another event we organize is called Youth at the Top, promoted by Alparc: in a common day, groups of youngsters from different parks hike or take part in good actions to discover the importance of the alpine territories.
Other institutions or parties involved
Alparc, EUROPARC, European Green Belt, Punto 3, Julian Prealps Nature Park
Our actions could make our reality known to other guys who wanted to follow our examples, in Italy and abroad too. That is so gratifying, because the awareness and the love for our territories is spreading among young generations and this could lead to a flourishing future. Many youngsters are asking to join our board and we are continuously collaborating with local associations that want to give space to us and to our ideas, which is essential to achieve our goals.
The main obstacle we had to face was the recent pandemic, which did not give us the chance to meet and discuss properly about our future project. Moreover, we could only organize online events or cancel others, because we couldn’t give the same experience in order to guarantee social distancing.
In our path, we understood that team job and collective strength can lead to big results and satisfaction. We continuously have the chance to meet lots of people that live in and work with nature, share our ideas with them and always learn something new, which makes this experience an example of growth and never-ending enrichment of our knowledge.
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