Democracy and participation, Civic education

Young in environmental politics

Elementary and high school students in participation of environmental political action and decision-making processes

Creators

Who is behind this?

Jasna Sarhatlic

Alpe Adria Green

https://alpeadriagreen.wordpress.com/

Slovenia

Idea

Idea pitch

Grey legacy instead of green?! Only investment in raising awareness and knowledge of the active involvement of young people in environmental policy will prevent environmental degradation and arbitrariness of the environmental decision makers. Detailed legal environmental possibilities (what, who, how, where, why) will be presented in the form of interactive workshops in schools and by fieldwork (analysis, measurements) with the aim of achieving effects in participatory democracy.

Where will your project idea take place?

In the area of The Triglav National Park (TNP); Bohinj, Bled, Tolmin, Bovec, Kobarid, Kranjska Gora

What is the local challenge?

TNP as fragile, vulnerable and protected area is facing increased environmental pressures as a result of developing mass tourism and trying to find balance among people and preservation of the natural and cultural heritage. The problem with its concretization is closest to the local population, so informing and educating of all possible legal approaches, which enable harmonization of different interests, is urgently necessary. Because the world stands on young, they are our main target group of the project. A parallel problem presents the existing school system, which does not offer (environmental) legal literacy and field measurements, which is reflected in non-inclusion of young people in actions, processes and patterns of their legal, environmental and general behavior.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

When solutions provided by the constitution, legislation or other regulations are presented in an understandable and simplified way to people, who encounter or live with a problem, it will encourage their engagement and participation. The opportunity to perform analysis with measuring instruments and to provide insight into obtained measurement results in direct presence of local people is also a point of their cognition and awareness. The "cutting" of legislation into simple and essential components and its presentation in the form of interactive workshops, emphasizing that participation in procedures is the sole control of the democratic processes and functioning of the authorities, is the reasons that will activate citizens, initially locally, then regionally and nationally.

Who are you doing it for?

Our main target group are elementary and high school students who live in the area of the Triglav National Park (TNP). The project will be implemented in collaboration with TNP located schools in the form of interactive workshops (environment legislation, procedures) and in the form of Science days (field analysis, measurements with environmental measuring instruments). When environmental legal knowledge is passed on to students, they will obtain stamped Alpe Adria Greens' certificates based on the completed questionnaires and selected guided procedures in the authorities' online portals. The tool of power in students' hands will bring changes in their pattern of behavior, so it is logical to expect them to pass on their knowledge to their parents and grandparents (target subgroup).

How do you plan to get there?

Selected elementary (grade 8 and 9) and secondary schools, located in the area of TNP will get
1. interactive workshops (in duration of 3 school hours) that include:
- environmental legal theory and existing TNP problematic, presented by our experts
- brainstorming of potential solutions
- selected guided procedures in the authorities' online portals (know-how)
- questionnaires on acquired knowledge
- AAGs' certificates for each participant
2. Eco patrol activities (fieldwork on selected spots) that include:
- analysis and monitoring (water, air, noise and other meaningful parameters)
- environmental monitoring instruments and equipment,
- obtaining measurement data and its comparison
- leadership of AAG experts.

What are the expected results?

Theoretical written environmental content (school books, laws) does not have the same power as those that are verified in practice through analysis, measurements or written complaints, public comments or other engagements in dialogue with the authorities, on which our project is based, so we expect changes in students’
- understanding of the impact and power of the citizen active role and consequences in the case of passive participation
- awareness of the importance of environmental protection
- active involvement in formal processes and procedures in the field of legislation, regulations and decisions of public authorities
- initiation for co-creating networks to promote the activation of young people in local environmental matters
- critical thinking and problem solving skills

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

First, it's necessary to incite locally, so formal problem solving in the domestic environment. When local affairs are favorably resolved with the help of the locals, when formal procedures knowledge is acquired, the process of awareness that decision-making and influencing is in the hands of active citizens is started. Complexed legislation must be presented to young people in a simplified how way. When young people realise that their voice count and that they are given the opportunity to integrate, they will also begin to take an interest in regional, national and European issues. Any involvement and engagement is, in fact, a reason to strengthen control and democracy. As good practices are transferred from country to country, this will soon be reflected at European level as well.

What is your story?

AAG would like to bring the concept of environmental protection and the importance of active involvement in the procedures and decision-making processes at the local and national level as close as possible to young, who still have the best chance for perception and change of established patterns of environmental behavior. Preventive attitude instead of curative will
- reduce the inflow of new concrete environmental legal issues that we deal with in our NGO
- reduce needs for NGO interventions in the functioning of the authorities, as supervision and control will be exercised by already active citizens,
- reduce needs for our ecological interventions in the field and
- increase active cooperation, participation and inclusion, which will consequently mean a cleaner environment.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 54667,-

Total budget

Major expenses

- 1 interactive workshop costs 600 €; 10 schools * 600 € = 6.000 €
- 1 Eco patrol on fieldwork and obtaining results cost 2.590 €; 10 schools * 2.590 € = 25.900 €
- Implementation staff costs = 15.248 €
- Travel expenses 70 €; 10 visits * 70 € = 700 €
- Public relation costs 1.850 €
- Indirect costs 4.969 €
= 54.667 €
requested budget is 50.000 €, our existing sponsors will donate 4.667 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any comment obtained, regardless of its content, will be carefully examined. Any opinions, criticisms and comments are welcome, because two heads are better than one and consequently this means a better formulated project idea and greater effects of its implementation.

Team

ALPE ADRIA GREEN

Idea created on May 15, 2020
Last edit on May 25, 2020

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