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Act Local, Think Global

(Zelenkovac, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
20.08.2006—29.08.2006

The common youth exchange, which is prepared by participants from partner organisations from Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia and Italy, is meant to share experience and knowledge of partner organisations in the field of sustainable development promotion and encourage young people to express social and ecological issues.

The aim of the project is making possibilities for reflection what local action might mean in the modern globalising world. These possibilities will include the methods of self-organisation and decision-making processes (and through it raising awareness concerning active European citizenship) as well as workshops, discussions, elections.

As it became a good practice, all our recent projects represent results of ideas, which were generated and discussed long time ago, and when, finally, right circumstances have come, they found it place in letters, words and, later, in action. Moving forward in field of improvement of practice of youth exchanges we like to find new forms of implementation of youth projects. By this exchange we would like to bring the idea of learning by doing and at the same time gaining new experience of appropriate behaviour on backgrounds of ecological environment has never been shaped to a project yet, that we finally make an effort to do.

Planet Earth today in unsustainable in all dimensions. Inequality in ecological, economic and social terms is one of the central characteristics of current globalisation processes.

Today’s world is more interlinked and at the same time more divided then ever before in human history and far away from a sustainable path of development:
- today 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of global resources,
- in almost all parts of the world an increasing number of violent conflicts based on access to fossil fuels and clear water,
- furthermore we’re witnessing an increasing number of environmental problems like global warming and a decline in biodiversity.

European area unites different states with a lot of differences in environmental protection, economic growth and society inequalities. It is principle mistake of our times to leave fundamental questions to bureaucratic administrations. The world is our common home and what belong to all people, can only become solved by all. Concerning such problems, we need to be coherent, from local to global level.

The conception of Sustainable Development articulates an alternative path to an unregulated process of globalisation. The challenge of Sustainable Development is to initiate the social, economic and ecological change of our society at a local, national and international level. Through our project on Sustainable Development we would like to discuss a path to a more just and more social world and on the other hand we want to show the means of this issue expression. By our project, we are following the idea of explanation and presentation of role local action and personal responsibility.

Our youth, as main coming actor of future of Europe, now remains quite vulnerable to production and consumption growth and unaware to such a basic issues like nature friendly behaviour and ecological balance. Giving a live example of natural park management (on example of Zelenkovac, where voluntary work is one of main engines) combining it with progressive and comprehensive tools of spreading the knowledge on ecological issues (or fighting inappropriate behaviour towards our planet) in our opinion would seriously develop awareness of youth and stimulate process of active citizenship in context of not only single subject of European family but on whole region and, through this, to demolish the feeling of separatism in context of EU, but to grow the understanding of unity amongst young generation.

As main aims of project we define:

  • Broadening participants’ knowledge and skills on practices/strategies in intercultural communication;
  • Gaining some first-hand experience that goes beyond what the participants can get from books and studies;
  • Creating personal relations and extending the network of partners for strengthening youth involvement in promoting sustainable development ideas;
  • Raising intercultural sensitivity in the field of sustainable development through interpersonal contacts/relationship.

Participating countries: Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslavian Respublic of Macedonia (FYROM), Estonia. In total is 28 participants.

Project is supported by YOUTH Programme.

More about this project: report, pictures.

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