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Développement durable en milieu marin
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXT: The CORE (Ecumenical Centre of European Exchanges), member of YMCA France, was founded in 1964 in Agon-Coutainville (Normandy) in order to offer youngsters from all European countries the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas about subjects like Reconciliation, Anti-Racism Struggle, Human Rights, etc. Since its foundation, over 10,000 young people have worked together through these exchange projects at The CORE. The municipality of Agon-Coutainville is situated at the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, right beside the bay of Mont Saint Michel, in a region where maritime activities (coastal fishing, oyster-farming, mussel culture, seashell fishing…) and where the issue of environment protection is essential (protection of the foreshore beach, the dunes, water quality, etc). In this way, The CORE is situated in the heart of maritime activities. Moreover, during a project in 2014, the youngsters had declared that The CORE was an ideal place to exchange ideas about sustainable development. Considering further that in December 2015 the international conference of climate (COP 21) will take place in Paris, the theme of “Sustainable development in sea environments” seems to be a natural subject for our next exchange. OBJECTIVES: The intercultural youth meeting is an occasion for each youngster to develop his/her abilities in communication and foreign language skills, his/her sensitivity in cultural expression and creativity, and his/her senses of initiative and investment for a common cause. In this way, we will train youngsters to develop an active and European citizenship. Through these learning techniques, we hope to raise youngsters’ awareness of the importance of maritime environment protection, train them in group work, decision-making, targeted information research, dialoguing and structured actions, and also to make possible the forging of European networks. PARTICIPANTS: Partners are coming from four European countries that have important sea borders and essential maritime activities: France, Greece, Portugal and England. We will recruit prioritarily among people with fewer opportunities aged between 18 and 25. METHODS and ACTIVITIES: Given that The CORE is situated on the coast, we are going to tackle structures that have a direct link to our themes so that they will bring us their knowledge, helping us to form our own vision. This interactive method between the youngsters and the local partners will be the emphasis throughout the project. Most of the led activities (excursions, visits and exchanges with professionals …) will take place at the different places of maritime activities and will be interactive with the participants. One day will be dedicated to visiting Mont Saint-Michel where important actions of environmental protection are being carried out. We will discover the biodiversity of the sea and foreshore beach environments, the practices of maritime fish breeding and shellfish farming professionals, who aim to preserve the resources by using sustainable development methods, taking respectful environmental actions when shellfish gathering, encountering foreshore beach species and their gastronomic values. An in-depth study of these exchanges will take place in themed workshops. Youngsters could undertake research into renewable maritime energy, prepare debates and produce a report of their observations. Daily life is the sole responsibility of the participants, including shopping, meals, cleaning and leisure activities. Different actions like a town rally, an intercultural evening and linguistic activity sessions will help the participants to create rapidly a good group dynamic and approach cultural differences; this will enrich them mutually. IMPACT AND EXPECTED RESULTS We wish that youngsters understand that their involvement in an intercultural project can enrich their personal development, enhance their different skills and enable them to feel like a European citizen. Their outlook on life and their behaviour towards other people will change through the reinforcement of values such as tolerance, solidarity, democracy and friendship. The results will be published and displayed in the YMCAs and will be used for other debates and learning processes.

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