GaYA's Youth Participation Toolbox was developed to answer the question on how to effectively engage young people in decision-making processes for the future of the Alps. It was created in the frame of the Interreg Alpine Space project GaYA - Governance and Youth in the Alps. The Toolbox highlights different approaches of youth participation to meet the needs of both young people and politicians. It also addresses the need to adapt the participatory process to the local level.
Therefore, GaYA's Youth Participation Toolbox provides insights, clarify terms and concepts, showcase participatory methods, inspire and motivate. The toolbox presents a selection of case studies, with templates and cards to create your own participation processes and to suggest solutions to some frequent problems.
The toolbox and its contents can be downloaded at :
The official press release in all the alpine languages is available here:
The 4th edition of Youth at the Top took place on the 12th and the 13th of July 2018 in 43 destinations of the Alps and the Carpathians. The event brought together more than 450 young people and had Climate Change as the topic of a common thematic aciton. The two days spent in the mountains were also animated with diverse activities: collecting drinking water and edible and medicinal plants along the way, bathing in the cool rivers, making campfires, watching the stars, and many others!
The press release is available below and at the project's website on this link
The 4th edition of the project is led by ALPARC – The Alpine Network of Protected Areas, with the financial support of the German Ministry of the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.
One of the latest items of news from the Prealpi Giulie Natural Park concerns the foundation of a Youth Advisory Board. As of the day of its foundation there are 13 members, aged 16-30, some of them having had experience of the Junior Ranger program. The board acts as a forum with a regulation approved by the board of the park.
The primary objective is integrating the needs and wishes of the younger generation in order to keep the six municipalities active. In this direction, spokesperson Verena Ambrosino explains: “we want to engage in transboundary connection, in cooperation with the Triglav National park and the Bayerischer Wald Nationalpark, in order to have common projects with other young people and keep our territory alive.”
The first project the youth board will manage is the 4TH edition of Youth at the Top. Hence, it will be the youth representatives themselves who will plan activities for other youngsters to spend together one day and one night in the mountains.
In the next months the park board will also allocate a budget to the Youth Advisory Board which will give them the financial means to get initiatives started.
The YOUrALPS challenge continues. After the start of the pilot activities in September 2017 and further scientific investigation on framework conditions for the development of the Alpine School model, the next step implies the involvement of political stakeholders in the context of the so-called infodays.
With the start of the pilot site activities since September 2017, the bottom-up development of the Alpine School model has been launched: Pilot schools and associated protected areas are aiming at integrating non-formal learning approaches in the teaching of young people either in class or outdoors. In this context the practical experience of non-formal educators enriches the nature experience and will strengthen ties between youngsters and their natural environment.
At the same time a scientific analysis on the framework conditions in all the five Alpine partner countries has been carried out. At the heart of the theoretical approach remains the UNESCO concept of education for sustainable development and its interpretation by every partner country. In this way light is shed on innovative aspects for a multifaceted and interdependent approach to learning.
Hence, in spring 2018, the time will be ripe for presenting these insights to political stakeholders over the whole Alpine territory. Infodays on the project will be held in Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and France, with the goal of mobilizing political influencers and decision takers for the aims of the YOUrALPS project. It is at the political level that willingness to cooperate has to be established and an agreement has to be found to integrate the idea of the Alpine School model into formal school curricula. It is an ambitious goal and there is still a long way to go, but the infodays will be the first step on that way, calling on political stakeholders to take notice and take action.
ALPARC is lead partner for YOUrALPS and responsible for technical and financial management and the coordination of project partners’ activities. Moreover, the network is responsible for the project’s communication activities.
YOUrALPS is an Interreg Alpine Space project and lasts from November 2016 to October 2019. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.
For further information about the project, please visit the YOUrALPS website.
In the frame of the EU Interreg Alpine Space project GaYA (Governance and Youth in the Alps), 15 pilot sites engage in experimental approaches to involve young people in local politics. Four ALPARC members are participating in the project. Besides, the project already boasts some successful actions: an award-winning project teaser and the participation of young people at the EUSALP Forum on 23rd November.
Over the last months, ALPARC and the seven other GaYA partners have selected 15 pilot sites in which work on pilot activities has started. Supported by the GaYA partnership and accompanied by external experts, a set of first workshops involving decision makers, administrations, youth organisations, youth workers and young people have taken place in the majority of the pilot regions. The aim, in a first step, is to develop local participatory action plans that fix objectives for youth participation in policy-making for the years to come; in a second phase, the pilot groups can implement one action within the GaYA project terms, i.e. until December 2018.
The ALPARC operational unit is responsible for this last project stage in 2018. It also has the task of assisting and supporting the pilot activities in the Baronnies Community of Communes (part of the Baronnies Regional Nature Park, France) and in the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Nature Park (both Southern French Alps). Two other areas of the ALPARC network are involved in the project as pilot sites: the Grosse Walsertal in Austria and the Massif des Bauges Regional Nature Park. Major outputs in 2018 will be a participatory toolkit and political recommendations for the inclusion of young people in all Alpine languages.
GaYA teaser awarded at EUSALP forum
On the occasion of the first annual EUSALP forum on November 23rd in Munich, the GaYA project and its teaser which was produced by ALPARC were awarded by the Alpine Space programme among two other projects. The international political forum also was the occasion for a group of young people to express their opinions before decision-makers from the Alpine region. In order to give youth a voice in the Alps in a creative way, an international film contest has recently been launched by CIPRA. The winners are invited to present their films at the final conference of GaYA on November 30th 2018 in Chambéry (details below).
GaYA runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1,092,748 € - ERDF grant 928,836€). ALPARC is work package leader in the pilot stage (End 2017-2018).
Together with the project partners, ALPARC coordinated the development of a short video clip to disseminate the message of the project GaYA (Governance and Youth in the Alps) to the regional and local decision-makers and local administrations.
A creative storyboard with pictures is drawn on a whiteboard and available in five languages. The main message: it is up to the decision makers (local communities, administration and protected areas) to involve young people in their localities! For this reason GaYA is there to help and provide them with appropriate tools.
The challenge behind GaYA project is the low implication that young people have regarding political life and the decisions made in their alpine localities. Besides providing tools and methods that can help foster youth participation on local level in the Alpine space, the project wants to promote youth participation and communicate good practices in this regard.
For further information visit: http://www.alpine-space.eu/projects/gaya/en/home
GaYA (Governance and Youth in the Alps) runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1,092,748 € - 928,836€ ERDF grant). ALPARC is work package leader in the pilot stage (End 2017-2018).
The Sondrio Film Festival, the International exhibition on protected areas documentary take place from the 13th to the 26th of November 2017 in Sondrio.
The event aims at raising awareness on nature conservation and protection, valorising environmental education activities and promoting nature documentaries.
The video clip reflecting the atmosphere of the 3rd edition of Youth at Top has just been released !
Are you curious? Please have a look and discover the experiences lived by our young participants and their guides.
The third edition of “Youth at the Top” took place on July 11th and July 12th in six Alpine countries and three countries of the Carpathians.This time, the international youth event hosted 48 events which involved numerous different day and night activities.
Hence, more than 500 enthusiastic young people from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Poland, Romania and Slovakia set out on a great adventure to discover the treasures of the mountain environment.
For more information about the 2017 edition, please consult the Youth at the Top website.
We are looking forward to seeing you on the 12th of July 2018 !
This international initiative is coordinated by ALPARC and supported by the German Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.
Give Youth a Voice in the Alps! GaYA Encourages Youth Participation in Local - Urban and Rural - Politics
How can young people become more involved in local political processes? How can local politicians, their municipalities and the young themselves benefit from increased inclusion? These questions are central to the EU Interreg Alpine Space GaYA project (Governance and Youth in the Alps), and especially to its pilot stage that started at the beginning of September. As project partner and coordinator of the pilot phase in 2018, ALPARC also works closely with three Nature park regions in France.
The first stage of the project ended with the “Youth Participation in Political Decisions in Alpine Regions” workshop on 29 June in Bozen/Bolzano. The aim of this first stage was to analyse democratic and participatory processes across the Alps with particular focus on youth, and to highlight good practices. At the workshop, the partners presented these results to numerous representatives from municipalities and the political sphere from all over the Alpine space (report available, see below). The GaYA project teaser video-clip, which was designed by the ALPARC coordination unit with an external video maker, encourages youth participation in local politics by highlighting some of the existing examples (see below).
Over the next months, the pilot stage will start in the different GaYA pilot areas. Based on local needs and challenges, the aim is to test innovative approaches to mobilise and include youth in political processes in various fields: from youth-related topics such as education and culture to wider regional challenges such as biodiversity and climate change. Accompanied by the GaYA partnership and supported by external experts in the fields of citizen participation and democratic innovation, each pilot area will develop a participatory action plan and should implement at least one specific action in 2018. The experiences and lessons from this experimental approach will help the consortium to develop a toolkit and recommendations for policy-making in the field of youth participation in local politics.
GaYA runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1,092,748 € - 928,836€ ERDF grant). ALPARC is work package leader in the pilot stage (End 2017-2018).
For further information
Have a look at the GaYA comparative report (all Alpine languages): EN DE FR IT SI
Watch the GaYA teaser video-clip available in (all Alpine languages): EN DE FR IT SI
To keep yourself updated, please visit: www.alpine-space.eu/projects/gaya
Whenever legendary figures are scrambling out of book pages, folk songs are springing to life, you are savouring your grandmother’s favourite recipes, travel reports are enticing you to go on a walking tour, forests get to dance, rocks are trembling in the face of a mystery story, classical or contemporary literature get communicated - then, the mountains are reading! On International Mountain Day - 11 December - the cultural diversity of the Alps is celebrated!
The Reading Mountains Festival is an opportunity for partners around the Alps to organize events to celebrate Alpine literature, languages and cultures under a joint umbrella. On International Mountain Day, (11 December) and the days leading to it partners (stakeholders, schools, libraries, interested individuals, restaurants and other interested organisations) are invited to organize their/your own event highlighting Alpine literature. There are different ways to do so: by organizing a reading by a local author, having a presentation of a book set in the region or in any other innovative way. It is all about being part of a project promoting the values of the Alpine Convention: protection of the Alps, its sustainable development and its diversity. Hence, every event emphasizes the economic, environmental, social and cultural dimensions of life in the Alps.
The Reading Mountains Festival goes beyond each of the events itself – it is also a way to connect people despite their being physically apart. In the last edition book lovers and authors, mountaineers and artists throughout the Alps (and beyond) discussed similar issues and assessed the meaning, impact and purpose of Alpine literature. Some of these discussions are captured in the film “People, Books and Mountains - The Quest for Alpine literature” that was produced as a follow up.