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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The youth exchange "Green ConNEXTion" took place in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, from September 5th to September 15th. The project aimed at addressing the concept of Sustainable Deevlopment, with a specific focus on environmental sustainability. The concept of Sustainable Development, in fact, has been recognized as a crosscut principle in previous decades. Significant efforts are being put by governments, organizations, researchers, scientists and scholars around the world in this direction, aiming to develop a society which ensures harmony between environment, society and economic growth. This is more and more evident today, also thanks to global initiatives such as the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) and UN conferences and events such as the COP21. In general, starting from the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972, “environmental education” gained considerable level of recognition, focusing on raising awareness about the environment and its associated changes. In recent years, the need for a more holistic approach emerged and the idea of Education for Sustainable Development has been born. Education for Sustainable Development is about the learning needed to maintain and improve our quality of life and the quality of life of generations to come. It is about equipping individuals, communities, groups, businesses and governments to live and act sustainably; as well as giving them an understanding of the environmental, social and economic issues involved. It is about preparing for the world in which we will live in the next century, and making sure we are not found needing. Education for Sustainable Development engages people in new ways of seeing, thinking, learning and acting. This is why YEU believes in the need to involve young people, the next generation on Earth, in education for sustainable development, in order to provide them with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to act responsibly towards themselves and the others. In this context, the project “GREEN conNEXTion” was developed. The aim of the project was to bring participants closer to the concept and overall idea of sustainable development, to help them make connections between the past, the present and the future and to move to the next chapter of humanity with a “green” vision. Young people, through data, examples, practical experiences, confrontation, etc. have been able not only to explore the relationships between their lives, the environment, the social systems and institutions, but also to become active citizens and decision-makers in the process towards a "green" change. The objectives of the project were: -to raise awareness of sustainable development and necessity of environmental project - to raise awareness and learn the ways to ensure active participation of young people related to personal responsibility and everyday contribution to sustainable development -to promote healthy and green lifestyle -to encourage young people to do more sports and outdoor activities -to motivate and support participants in using newly gained knowledge and skills to follow up on the project by organizing different events in their countries The objectives set have been achieved through outdoor education, non-formal education and sustainable development education methodologies offered by the facilitators and the group leaders of each partner. The project, developed in the form of a youth exchange, took place in Brussels and Sint-Job-in't-Goor/Antwerp (where participants have been able to cycle from the campsite to the city and experience different elements of green lifestyles). The countries involved in this youth exchange were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Ukraine, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia and Romania, for a total of 45 young people (all aged between 18 and 30).
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