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YOUTH AND ENVIRONMENT EUROPE – TOGETHER, FOR A BETTER WORLD

YEE, LinkedIn

YEE. UNITING ENVIRONMENTAL YOUTH NON-PROFIT ORGANISATIONS, TO RAISE AWARENESS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND TO EMPOWER THE YOUTH OF TODAY, FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.

Words By Lida Ormol

The Youth and Environment Europe (YEE), is a platform that connects many individual youth organizations that are working to protect the environment and educate the youth on the relevant matters through non-educational ways of teaching. So far they have completed many successful projects with inclusion of its member organizations. It was founded in 1983 in Stockholm, as the European regional branch of the International Youth Federation for Environmental Studies and Conservation (IYF). Since then YEE’s office has been located in different places across Europe throughout the years. However, it is now located in Prague!

Yee is…

YEE is an independent platform of many European youth organisations working towards creating a lasting and powerful change, by the study of nature, or are engaged in finding climate crisis mitigation solutions. YEE fundamentally aims at uniting those organisations in order to make essential contributions to the environment, society and the sustainability of the world by enhancing international cooperation and raising awareness about key environmental issues.

The YEE Projects

YEE has undertaken many projects so far. These include; ‘The right to be(e)’ that was a grassroots campaign which aimed to support the survival of bees with local actions. The first concern was to attract more attention to the disappearance and well-being of bees in Europe, and ‘EU4Ocean’ that YEE is a founding member of, works to connect changemakers, young people, and communities to exchange ideas, only to name a few. All with the objective of educating and engaging the youth. In addition, YEE has working groups that explore a topic, exchange best practices and create new materials within the YEE network. The online meetings, lectures and workshops that have only recently started taking place online are in order to keep more and more young people to collaboratively learn from one another and stay connected, especially during these times of social distancing.

YEE movie

The Challenges YEE has faced so far

The greatest current challenge has of course been due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced everyone to reevaluate the way they were previously performing certain activities. YEE was able to turn this challenge into a change and organised its interactive lectures and workshops online, in order to still be able to connect people from all around the world for the mutual exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas. Besides, the second challenge in general for YEE is the limited funding, the membership fees paid by members only cover a small part, and their core funds come from European Union Commission and Council of Europe. Moreover, ‘’we are actively seeking further funding opportunities.’’

The long term goals of YEE

Right now, YEE focuses on two specific areas. First, the climate crisis and ocean. ‘’Therefore, we will be trying to develop the needed knowledge about these concerns. Then, to increase the digital literacy of the youth environmental movements and for young environmental activists to be truly heard we will also focus on communication, in order to empower young people and include them in decision making, developing their communication skills to help them better communicate their concerns about the current climate crisis digitally through our annual long term project Youth Digital Communic(Action) in form of non-formal learning activities for young people.’’