Minett Biosphere Youth Forum
Second edition of our Youth Forum
12 -16th July 2023 in Esch-sur-Alzette (L)
We are looking for 20 young people between 18 and 28 years wanting to participate in this thrilling experience.
The participants will come from France 🇫🇷 (4 participants), Germany 🇩🇪 (4 participants), Sweden 🇸🇪 (4 participants) and of course Luxembourg 🇱🇺 (8 participants).
Free participation for all the participants (travel and stay will be paid by ERASMUS+) together with one coordinator for each country participating.
After the success of the first Youth Forum organised in April 2022, we will be working on concrete solutions to an environmental problem in the Minett UNESCO Biosphere that has been identified during last year’s edition.
Topic of the 2023 Forum
How to encourage positive behaviour in nature reserves?
- What are you allowed to do in a nature reserve?
- How can we positively integrate the ecosystemic benefits that nature provides us into our daily lives?
Problematic and non-engaging signs because they are not being respected by the population, e.g. barbecues or cigarette buds are a common cause of wildfires and free roaming dogs often disturb the ground-nesting birds populating these areas.
Alerting the population of the impact of their behaviour in these protected zones is mandatory for raising long-lasting awareness and action-based behaviour. For the signs to raise awareness, they should therefore focus less on pointing out the prohibitions (although they should still be mentioned), whereas they should focus more on the “why” with the help of explanations on how anthropogenic behaviour could harm the protected areas.
To achieve this, the signs should be designed in easy language combined with pictograms, pictures or graphic designs while at the same time having an interactive character, i.e. a QR-code that invites hikers to log in rare fauna and flora that they encountered. The idea behind this is for by-passers to increase the information-bank linked to these signs, making them richer and more complete over time. The signs would then have the effect of a. information given to the population, b. diversified and completed by the population and c. for the population.
While keeping in mind the need for creativity concerning the behavioural signs, the participants suggested to organize a graphic-designer-contest during which the aim and framework of the desired signs are clearly stated. The contest should help to gather a diverse range of perspectives and ideas for the signs. With cooperation of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, the Nature and Forest Agency (ANF) and natur&ëmwelt, the explanatory texts could be recited and with the help of an IT-specialist, a platform/website could be created with the aim of sharing the information about the protected areas and allowing interaction between the signs, the by-passers and new information.
About the region
The Minett UNESCO Biosphere is situated in the south of Luxembourg, a former site of intense industrial activity. Mines and their man-made terraced landscapes are a prominent feature of the biosphere. Today, they show that the impact people have on nature can also be positive.
When the mines were shut down, a special type of flora and fauna started to develop there, including orchids, butterflies, bats, amphibians, lizards, reptiles and birds. This environment is surrounded by human activity which needs to be made more sustainable without expanding it in order to preserve these natural areas.
Today, this densely populated territory has recovered its biodiversity and also features an historical heritage in need of preservation. The reconversion of the old industrial sites to modern and sustainable urban districts offering housing, working opportunities and leisure facilities while respecting the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UNESCO in the other great challenge for Luxembourg’s only biosphere reserve.
Wednesday 12th July
Afternoon: Arrival at site
Evening: Dinner in Esch-sur-Alzette – get to know all the participants in a relaxed way
Thursday 13th July
Morning: Hike to discover the core zones of the biosphere reserve
Afternoon: Workshop ecosystemic services
Friday 14th July
All day: Workshop with artist collective La Bonneterie
Evening: at your free disposal – You can visit the region or Luxembourg-City, with its UNESCO World Hertitage city center
Saturday 15th July
All day: Workshop La Bonneterie
Evening: Common barbecue on site at Ellergronn
Sunday 16th July
Morning: Presentation of the results to political leaders of the region and representatives of the government of Luxembourg.
Want to take part?
Register by filling out this form or contact us by mail for further details about the forum.
The Minett Biosphere Youth Forum 2023 is supported by:
Review of the first Youth Forum 2022
Click here to see the outcome of the first Youth Forum organised by the Minett UNESCO Biosphere in April 2022.