D‘Verännerung si mär!
THEY WERE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE!
“We’ve been in the streets, there’s been discussion, there’s been a lot of blah-blah, and now it’s time to act!”
This spring, the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, and it’s partners: Youth For Climate Luxembourg, Youth4Planet, UpFoundation, natur&ëmwelt, Ville de Differdange and the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, offered the chance to do exactly that to a group of young adults between 18 and 29 years of age! Through a series of workshops in collaboration with environmental and creative specialists, they were able to address current environmental issues in the Minett, find concrete solutions for them and present them to key decision-makers for them to be implemented!
Saturday: Identification of the problems and search for solutions
On Saturday and Sunday, 23rd & 24th of April 2022, the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, a member of UNESCO’s global “Man and the Biosphere” program since 2020, organized the first youth forum of the only Luxembourg biosphere reserve. Around 20 young adults between 20 and 29 years old from the 11 municipalities of the biosphere reserve, the rest of Luxembourg, Germany, France and even Italy participated in the “Minett Beyouthsphere Youth Forum” in the picturesque mining village of Lasauvage.
The aim was to promote youth participation in the development of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere and to actively involve them in the evolution of the Biosphere Reserve. Furthermore, the Youth Forum gave the participants the opportunity to elaborate concrete proposals for the conservation and improvement of the region’s biodiversity, the participation of its inhabitants and the implementation of the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals.
The participants of the “Minett Beyouthsphere Youth Forum” started the day on Saturday with a rally through Lasauvage. Here they met scientists who are confronted with concrete problems in the field of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation on a daily basis. After an intensive exchange with the experts the following concrete problems were identified in a first step in working groups.
Revision of the behavioral signs in the Minett UNESCO Biosphere
Facilitate sustainable building in the Minett UNESCO Biosphere
Preservation of traditional fruit and vegetable varieties
Restoration of swallows in urban areas
In the afternoon, the participants of the Youth Forum worked out solutions to these problems and ways to implement the proposed solutions in concrete terms. In a second phase, with the help of video artist Jan Holler and graphic designer Alessandra Barale, these proposed solutions were summarized in short videos and posters that can be used to actively implement the resulting proposals.
On Saturday evening, the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, together with the city of Differdange, invited the participants of the Youth Forum to a free public concert of the two Luxembourgish music acts “Culture the Kid” and “Le Vibe” in the cultural center “Aalt Stadhaus” in Differdange. In front of a full house, the young adults were able to deepen the contacts they had made at the Forum and to end the evening on a high note.
Sunday: Presentation of the proposed solutions
The second day of the Youth Forum was dedicated to the presentation of the results of the workshops. In the presence of Anouk Boever-Thill, president of the PRO-SUD community syndicate, which takes care of the management of the biosphere reserve, Christiane Brassel-Rausch, mayor of the City of Differdange and other representatives from politics and society, the participants presented the results of the first youth forum of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere.
In a lively and positive exchange of opinions, the concerns, demands and ideas of the 20 young adults were discussed with the responsible persons of the region and the country.
© PRO-SUD for all the photos above
In the coming weeks and months, the Minett UNESCO Biosphere will explore ways to implement the ideas and solutions that emerged at the “Minett Beyouthsphere Youth Forum.” This will be done in close coordination with the scientific partners and member municipalities of the biosphere reserve, as well as the relevant ministries at the state level.