Youth in Europe ready to “Take the lead for Nature”
An increasing number of Junior Rangers (aged 13-17) are turn 18 years old and are keen, motivated and passionate about their Protected Areas and want to stay involved. “We want to be heard” was the clear message from youth to Protected Areas managers at the EUROPARC Youth Conference in 2013. Through contacts with Protected Areas, Rangers and youth, the need for an innovative programme to involve youth in Protected Areas became evident. This is how the Youth+ Programme was born!
The programme offers young people the opportunity to:
- Keep learning about nature conservation in Europe
- Develop leadership skills and play an active role in supporting the work of the PA in the JR programme
- Develop advocacy skills and contribute youth perspective to governance and management of Protected Areas
- Develop communication skills to speak on behalf of the Protected
- Network internationally with peers from Protected Areas across Europe
In the course of the recent years EUROPARC, with the support of an active group of Rangers and Youth, has developed training modules for youth in the field of leadership, advocacy, nature conservation and communication. Those have been elaborated in the course of the 2015 Youth+ Camp, in the Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Mauricy National Park – Spain. In the course of 2017 EUROPARC has ensured Youth could be more actively part of the Federation activities and specific space has been reserved for them at the Conference in Scotland in 2018.
To help Parks and Protected Areas create their Youth+ Programmes. EUROPARC has published a Youth+ Manual with the aims and purposes of the programme.
The Youth+ program is addressed to Protected Areas and managing authorities member of EUROPARC Federation and it is aimed at young adults aged 18 to 30 years. The Youth+ is coordinated at European level by EUROPARC and managed locally at park level by members and Youth+ themselves. If you want to join the Youth+ Programme, please complete the registration process!
The Youth+ Programme is founded on 4 pillars:
- Nature Conservation
These pillars were indicated by young people as the most important areas for skill development. The goal of the Youth+ Programme should be to help young people develop their capabilities in these areas, so they can become the nature conservationist and activist of the future. The manual offers further information on techniques to develop these key skills, as well as example activities. It is seen as a living document, and we will continue to update it with new inputs from Parks and Protected Areas around Europe developing the Youth+ programme.