Activating future leaders for Nature protection

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

The project develops an educational programme through which we prepare young people for active involvement and decision making about the challenges of the future, especially those related to nature protection.

We want to increase the level of awareness and involvement of young people in biodiversity conservation, which provides critical environmental services to society, through an education campaign and a leadership programme that prepares responsible adults, ready to be actively involved in protected areas, in the interest of nature protection and taking into account the needs of local communities.

The entire project team, as well as trainers and specialists in fields such as protected areas, biodiversity conservation, climate change, civic activism and leadership will create a special educational concept that encourages civic involvement of young people in issues present in their communities or in nearby communities. The educational programme is structured around five case studies from partner protected areas: Defileul Jiului National Park, Piatra Craiului National Park, Lunca Mureșului Natural Park, Grădiștea Muncelului Cioclovina National Park, Putna Vrancea Natural Park, which are facing pressure on resources or have regulations that do not take into account the needs of local communities.

Project activities:

Carrying out the ecological and civic education programme.

This stage takes place between October 2021 and April 2022. We will organise a mobile education space that will travel to all our partner high schools, where students will be invited to participate in interactive lessons and debates on the case study presented. Twenty high school students, selected by the coordinating teacher, will participate in a contest. In each protected area there will be a winning high school where we will design a themed space dedicated to protected areas. The students and the coordinating teacher will participate in a camp between July and August 2022. After the camp, they will form an Advisory Council and a Scientific Youth Council for each protected area. In Bucharest, the 20 winning students will participate in a camp and then they will form the Youth Council of the Minister, will analyse problems presented by colleagues from other counties, and will then present them to the Ministry of Environment.

The 20 students from each protected area and Bucharest will participate in a camp in the summer of 2022. The camp activities will focus on addressing issues in the partner protected areas, identifying solutions to problems, the role of Advisory and Scientific Councils in a protected area and how they work.
In each winning high school in the partner protected areas we will arrange a themed space that will become a meeting place for young people from the two youth councils.

In the summer of 2023, we will organise a trip to Brussels, to the European Parliament, for 10 of the 120 students, selected through a competition.


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Carrying out case studies.

The case studies in the partner protected areas will form the basis for the civic involvement of young people in their community. These case studies will be researched and the results will be turned into 5 VR format films. Based on these films, activities for ecological and civic education will be developed.

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Establishment of Advisory Councils and Scientific Youth Councils from partner protected areas and establishment of a Council of Ministers for students in Bucharest.

The activity takes place between November 2022 and March 2024. The teams of students that will be formed in the three youth councils will participate in at least one meeting of the adult councils. Also, young people will have at least 4 meetings of their councils. Following these meetings, students will present a signed statement / legal norm and minutes of the meetings.

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Campaign to promote the importance of active citizenship for nature protection.

At this stage we will make 12 short videos based on filmed interviews in collaboration with a famous vlogger from Romania. These films will be promoted on social media and YouTube.

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The results of our project are:

● Designing a mobile ecological education centre that will travel to 12 high schools in the 5 partner protected areas and Bucharest.
● 5 researched case studies for the leadership programme “Future Leaders for Nature Protection”, conducted in the 5 protected areas.
● An ecological education program in which 2400 high school students will participate, based on the case study related to each protected area.
● 5 x 360 films that will be teaching material for the programme, and will present case studies from the 5 protected areas.
● 120 students selected to participate in 6 camps. These students will form teams that will consist of 5 Scientific Youth Councils, 5 Advisory Youth Councils for partner protected areas and 1 Office of Youth Environmental Advisers in Bucharest
● 5 themed spaces arranged in the 5 winning high schools from the 5 partner protected areas.
● 10 students will go on a 3-day trip to the European Parliament in Brussels.
● 12 videos based on filmed interviews with a famous vlogger promoted on social media and YouTube.

For more information, please contact:

Alina Paraschiv,  Project assistant / Ecological Education Specialist

Photo: Dan Dinu