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Youth Water Camp 2016: Sensing the City
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Berlin youth camp seeks to strengthen the youth voice in the huge effort of European Water conservation – by bringing young people together & giving them tools to interact with other voices from politics, administration and civil society. Via a focal point on water in the city – water quality and the rediscovery of urban rivers, ecological continuity of the river, new challenges linked to climate change – participants will experience water in the city and then discuss the WFD in exchange with administrators, politicians and social innovators moving from the local, to the national and finally the transboundary, transnational level. The participants will produce, present and discuss a policy brief on water in the city, with specific reference to the WFD/Bathing Directive processes.Youth so far plays a marginal role at best in the European water conservation policy process. Yet, the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) will not be implemented in time (original goal year: 2015). Therefore European water conservation effectively becomes a multi-generational task: experiences have to be passed on; new perspectives have to be brought in by the younger generation. There is an additional benefit to this task: rivers cross countries & water conservation unites people across borders. Therefore water conservation is a theme to nurture European civil relations, and to reconfigure them. This task is further complicated by the refugee crisis: young migrants join the European youth population, and ways have to be found to integrate them in multi-generational European efforts such as nature conservation. 60 participants, youths between 15 and 25 as well as accompanying staff from national partners, will come to Berlin for a week of group work on water conservation. The week will be preceded by three months of preparations, where the participants, facilitated by online modules, engage with their rivers and its challenges and opportunities at home. They will share these experiences in Berlin, learn and apply up-to-date ways of sensing water in the city in the German capital via group work on water quality and digital mapping, enjoy intercultural activities (joint fish-soup preparation) and a local Big Jump, and discuss their ideas with water experts from politics, administration and civil society. The week will provide them with inspiration to take home to their schools, associations and rivers, and with an international network of youth inspired to promote the big multi-generational European effort of water conservation. The long-term goal is to nurture a European youth river network. Following the Brussels youth camp 2015, the Berlin camp seeks to pick-up the torch, and then pass it on to the organizers of a 2017 camp (in Slovenia). In the words of the 2015 Brussels youth for water manifesto: We do not inherit water from our ancestors, we borrow it from future generations.
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