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Gorj Youth Declaration on Environment

Asociatia Tineret si Dezvoltare Regionala - Romania
Youth and Regional Development Association – Romania

Gorj Youth Declaration on Environment
Sacelu, Gorj, Romania

We, a group of European youngsters, representing Estonia, France, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Romania Slovakia and Slovenia who participated in the youth exchange “Youth for Nature“ financed by the European Commission through the Youth in Action Programme have discussed between 20th and 28th of March 2010 in Sacelu, Gorj, Romania, about the impact of human activities on environment and adopted this Declaration on Environment.

This statement comes in a time of international economic crises to underline that even in this period, the environmental objectives should not be abandoned and the degradation of the environmental standards should remain a concern for the political and public agenda.

Reducing the risks that lead to environmental degradation is a major concern for the young generation and it needs to be addressed consequently by the owners of the public decision, the public authorities.

In order to reduce the human negative impact on environment the young participants of the project “Youth for Nature“ recommends the following measures in the field of:

1. Education
a) Introduction in primary school a subject called “Environment protection”;
b) The training of the teachers on environmental issues – teachers act as promoters and facilitators for future that is why they need to be trained accordingly. People start the education in childhood that is why, the persons that contribute to their education should inspire knowledge and respect for the environment;
d) The change of habits (support for the companies that reduce the amount of the raw materials they consume; programmes to stimulate the use bicycles and public transport instead of cars, the usage of the textile bags instead of plastic bags, campaigns to promote environmentally friendly behavior etc.);

2. Deforestation – the excessive use of the forests for industrial purposes raise major concern about the use of this natural resource. Slovakian participants for the project “Youth for Nature” raised the concern about deforestation in Slovakia as well as in other countries and its future impact on the quality of human life. The excessive use for the production of paper and other industrial purposes should be limited by steering the market towards greener alternatives;

3. Advertising in televisio n – we can see how TV has impacted our lives in very diverse ways. It can easily reach a wide range of target groups and help to deliver the needed message very fast. The governments need to use this tool to determine the society to change habits;

4. Excessive use of resources – Malta, for instance, is suffering from having excessive nitrogen in the watertable. Therefore, the authorities should monitor and regulate the amount of water that comes from ground water and use sources as secondary class water by filtering the water that is already used;

5. Better control of the use of landfills – the Greek participants in the project “Youth for Nature” consider that the waste management systems need to be improved so that uncontrolled land fields will fall under strict monitoring and evaluation;

6. Projects involving young generation – young generation participation to projects related to environmental issues are especially addressed by the NGOs. Those organizations can, in a non-formal and attractive way, determine youngsters to be more focused on the problems of the environment. That is why, governments should support the development of such projects by the youth organizations.

7. Dissemination events – campaigns ;
a) The establishment of national days for different environment issues (recycling day, cleaning day, bicycle day, no cars day etc);
b) The involvement of known public persons: actors, singers etc., to send the messages on environment issues;
8. Government programs ;

a) Higher governmental support householders to use Renewable Energy Sources;
b) The development of the programs like “Pay as I through”. The more garbage you through the more taxes you pay;
c) Mc Nature – info clubs for young generation where they can go to meet their friends and, in the same time, get the needed information about environmental issues;
d) Cultural phenomenon – transform the activism for the protection of the environment into a cultural phenomenon. This is to be realized by the involvement of both NGOs and governments;

9. The spread of the sustainable development concept - Integrate the concept of sustainable development in the core of the various public policies and a different public management levels due to the positive impacts of this integration that will help ensuring the wellbeing of future generations;

10. Protect environmental issues from political disputes and influence. There is a need not to use environmental issues for political ends but rather use political means for sound environmental management;

11. Use of academia expertise - regularly conduct needed research on the state of the environment and ensure the full right of the public to information access.

People's environmental awareness in Europe is still low and it needs to be grown. Only few people have good environmental knowledge and experience in enjoying the nature. Therefore authorities should take appropriate and more efficient action to implement better educational system to reach to youngsters as they are our future.

It is very important to teach environmental basics already in primary schools, to take children to the nature, to create green and enjoyable connection between children and nature. All this must continue and go more specific in secondary schools. Also there is serious need to reach to working people. For that, youngsters and students interested in environment can make lectures/courses and spread the green knowledge in companies as one part of their studies.

People's everyday life goes often around the city life. There must be opportunities for people to be right in the middle of an action, eg. educational trips in nature, cross country cleaning day (ie. Lets do it). It makes people realize the connection between their lives and environment. The humans care about their family because they are connected with it. In the same way people should care about the nature as people are connected with it.

Thus, the participants of the project ”Youth for Nature” adopt the ”Gorj Youth Declaration on Environment” and commit to the implementation of the recommendations of the declaration.

The young participants of “Youth for Nature“ project will make every effort so that the declaration recommendations would be integrated within the environmental public policies in the European countries.

The project “Youth for Nature“ was implemented by ”Youth and Regional Development Association” – Romania.

‘This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.’

12.04.2010. 07:18

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