Environmental Education for Young People – a Bridge Towards Sustainable Development of the Local Communities

SHORT SUMMARY

The project pursues enhancing of the awareness and understanding of young people of the advantages of non-formal education in the sphere of environment and sustainable development, as well as of the interrelation between these issues and young people’s fundamental rights. The methods for project implementation were fully consistent with the target group and were based on an innovative approach for engaging young people in environmental and sustainable development education, including:

  • National information and education campaign carried out through a mobile information eco-centre “Friends of Nature” in 7 municipalities on the territory of Bulgaria – Sofia, Smolyan, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo). It contributed for enhancing of the environmental culture and of the civic activity of more than 5 000 young people of up to 35 years of age.
  • 7 educational youth reality shows under the title “Environment and Sustainable Way of Living”, conducted by/in “Future Now” Community Centre in the village of Gudevitsa – partner under the project.
  • “72 Hours of Actions for Sustainable Development” initiative carried out in the 7 municipalities.
  • Promotion of sustainable way of living among young people by visits to eco-centres from the Alive Places Network.
  • A closing event – discussion forum on the topic of “The Role of Young People in the Development of the Environmental Education and the Sustainable Development of the Local Communities in Bulgaria”.

 

OBJECTIVES / OUTCOMES AND IMPACT

  • Young people acquire new skills and competences about the environment, increase their environmental culture and embrace sustainable models of behavior.
  • Young people build competences and get actively involved in advocacy and active citizenship for sustainable development and support local communities in remote isolated part of the country.
  • Partner organisations increase their capacity for providing better services to young people in the fields of environmental education, sustainable development, active citizenship and voluntary service.
  • The funds provided by the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme are effectively managed and the project is widely promoted.

The impact of the project is related to the increased knowledge and understanding of young people of the benefits of non-formal education in environmental protection and sustainable development, and their relation to fundamental human rights.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Executing agency:

Youth Forum 21st Century Association

http://www.mforum21.org

Address: 1, Macedonia Square, 1040 Sofia, Bulgaria

Tel.: +359 884 117 810

E-mail address: youthforum@knsb-bg.orgdalexieva@citub.net;

Project manager: Ms. Daniela Alexieva

OUTPUTS / RESULTS AND INDICATORS ACHIEVED

  • Educational centre of Future Now Community Centre in Gudevitsa village repaired and equipped to operate as a model for sustainable development and education in nature – 4 educational zones constructed; demonstration infrastructure provided.
  • 10 trainings with 60 participants conducted in the renovated educational centre.
  • 14 information and education campaigns conducted through a mobile informational eco-centre “Friends of Nature” – 2 campaigns in each of the municipalities of Sofia, Smolyan, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo. More than 7000 people informed, 75% of them being at the age of up to 35.
  • 852 young people, who visited the mobile informational eco-centre “Friends of Nature” and have been consulted in it, expressed their will to learn more about the environment and the EA’s future activities, as well as to change their daily habits.
  • 753 out of all 870 young people, registered as visitors of the eco-centre “Friends of Nature” expressed their will to be involved as volunteers in the future activities and initiatives of the EA and the partner organisations.
  • 40 new young members of the EA attracted.
  • 7 educational youth reality shows conducted in Gudevitsa village with 70 young participants aged up to 35. Short movies from the reality shows available at the website of the EA (mforum21.org). 40 out of all participants in the reality shows expressed their will to have their own garden and undertake steps for this to happen. 60 young people expressed their will to visit the educational centre in Gudevitsa again.
  • 4 visits to the Alive Places Network conducted – Izvor village, adventure zone in Beglika area, Permaship in Shipka town and Novogortsi village. 15 young people participated.
  • 30 different youth actions conducted in 7 targeted municipalities (Sofia, Plovdiv, Smolyan, Stara Zagora, Yambol, Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo) within the “72 hours of actions for sustainable development” initiative639 participants, 556 of them aged up to 35, took part. 475 young people who participated in the youth actions expressed their will to learn more about the environment and EA’s future activities, as well as to change their daily habits403 young people who participated in the youth actions expressed their will to be involved as volunteers in the future activities and initiativesof the EA and the partner organisations.
  • 2-day discussion forum took place in Gabrovo on 24-25 July 2015, with 68 participants (young people, representatives of NGOs, institutions and regional media). 25 young people out of all 68 participants in the forum expressed (during the working groups of the event) their will to apply sustainable practices in their daily life. 10 young people out of all 68 participants in the forum expressed their will to work on the proposals from the forum in their communities. A Conclusion document with a package of more than 20 recommendations and measures for improvement of the quality of the environmental education in Bulgaria, developed and adopted by the participants in the forum. The Conclusion document disseminated to responsible institutions, national and local authorities and NGOs.
  • Information and project promotion materials developed, reproduced and distributed: 7100 leaflets, 2800 brochures, 1240 mini-guides, 1400 stickers, 288 t-shirts, 288 hats, 970 pens.
  • Information disseminated to media through 20 press releases and 2 press-conferences. More than 40 articles published online.

 

Additional information and videos are available at the website of the EA – www.mforum21.org. Information about the activities of the partner is available at its website – http://gudevica.org/.

PROJECT EVALUATION

The project made a step towards fostering the participation of the civil society in the public agenda, by establishing a community of active young people which would: watch, popularize and participate in environmental education, sustainable development and active citizenship; participate in the discussions and decision making processes at a local level. As a result from the project more than 5000 young people at the age of up to 35 were informed of the local, national and European policies in the field of environmental preservation and possibilities for youth participation in the implementing of these policies. These are of contribution to the objectives of the Reform Fund Linked to Civil Society Participation related to tackling environmental issues. Enhancement of the organisational capacities of the EA - Youth Forum 21st Century and the partner - Future Now Community Centre was achieved through acquiring new knowledge, skills and competences and by increase of the number of volunteers and members of both organisations.

Future Now 2006 Community Center, Gudevitsa village