The Youngest Environmental Leaders
The Environmental Ruwwad
Supported by: USAID
Through: Education Development Center
Duration 8 Months
Location: West Bank
Palestinian environment is very rich with all forms of flora and fauna and has considerable biodiversity. However, other issues tend to overshadow concerns about environmental conservation, education and appreciation. Despite the fact that some sectors of Palestine are working on cultivating the required awareness and education by targeting specific groups in the local communities, things are not moving forward to preserve what is left. The focus should be enhancing the next generation’s environmental awareness and provide them with alternatives to secure a better life style while maintaining species diversity and natural integrity of the ecosystem.
This project aims to target Youth aged between 16- 30, from the YDRCs and Affiliated Clubs throughout the West Bank, under the motto “Learn to Appreciate and Conserve your Environment: The Youngest Environmental Leaders for a Better Environment in the Coming Future”. The project will introduce youth to the environmental situation in Palestine, giving them a glimpse of the ecosystems’ degradation. It will provide them with general information on the species that live in their surrounding environment, such as birds, animals, and plants, as well as basic ideas about conserving their environment. The Youth Environmental Leaderswill be taught based on the three R’s principle (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) as a method to conserve the environment and maintain its species diversity. As a result of the training, they will be able to lead environmental efforts within their clubs, friends, and families, in order to preserve a healthy and secure environment. In the long run, this means that those affected by the training will be able to comprehend and educate others of how their life styles influence the future of sustainable development.
1.To rehabilitate and reconstruct the capacity of youth for protecting and appreciating the Palestinian environment and its biodiversity.
2.Raising the YDRCs and Affiliated Clubs’ Awareness of and involvement in Environmental issues through the offering Environmental Awareness programs and activities.
3.To Motivate the Youth to become Role Models between their colleagues in the Clubs for Education and Environmental Awareness.
1. To develop and polish the Environmental Skills of 40 participants by giving them the basic knowledge and experience needed through training and activities to help conserve the Environment.
2. Create YOUNG Environmental Leaders network with members who will pass the knowledge they will gain onto others (clubs, friends, households and communities).
3. To Establish youth-led Environmental units at 3 YDRCs and 17 Affiliated Clubs that will work to raise Awareness in their Local Communities.
4. Enhance Environmental Awareness among Palestinian youth through Media Campaign and Community Activities.
5.Lay the basic groundwork for a youth environmental parliament council to strengthen youth role in decision making related to environmental issues through a Parliament Day meeting.
PWLSwill work through local youth clubs (YDRCs & ACs) and assist in educating youth on the ecology of the Palestinian region and the importance of understanding how the environmental status of Palestine affects the economic and social well-being of the population.
Through the creation of a network between the youth in the selected districts and clubs, we will facilitate communication in regards to all local and national environmental needs.
Participant Recruitment: At the Launch of the project, a meeting will be held at each YDRC to introduce the project and determine selection criteria for the youth that will be trained and enabled to lead the environmental units at each club. Two youth leaders (ages 18-26) –college students or recent graduates preferred to be specialized in environmental related studies - committed to their youth clubs and interested in environmental issues and raising environmental awareness will be selected from each of the 20 clubs in coordination with their respective clubs.
Workshops: The 40 leaders will participate in a three days Environmental Workshop held in Beit Sahour at the PWLS training center. The workshop will not only provide the youth leaders with the basic concepts of the project and the opportunity to share their ideas about the project implementation and work in groups to design their work plans, it will introduce them to Environmental Awareness Programs and explain the concept of the 3Rs, a field visit to Bethlehem Area will be held during this workshop to study the natural sites. Another two day workshop will take place in Nablus soon after. This will be an extensive workshop that includes a full program about Environmental Awareness, working on paper recycles, and other Environmental Experiments. During the workshop, the youth leaders would also be prepared to launch the awareness campaign through local media. A field visit will also take place to study the natural sites in the area.
These workshops will provide the opportunity for the youth of all the YDRCs and ACs Clubs to meet and educate each other about the local Environmental problems in their districts and their involvement of Wildlife and Environmental Awareness Programs, through these workshops PWLS will deliver the message of environmental awareness and the concepts of 3Rs for the youth. PWLS education programs reflect the goals of the Palestinian National Authority and the acknowledgement of Environmental Human Rights also connects this project with international environmental issues and opens the possibility of environmental exchange programs.
Environmental Units: Furthermore by establishing an Environmental Unit in each club by supplying pictures, tools (including paper recycling tools), publications, binoculars, magnifying glasses, and others, this will help the target group to deliver the information they obtain to their local clubs and to continue to engage the community in environmental activities to ensure the sustainability of this project. Three main environmental units will be established at the YDRCs, and smaller environmental units will be established at the 17 affiliated clubs. The main units will serve as hubs to the affiliated clubs, as they will be provided with more resources that the affiliated clubs can benefit from as needed.
Activities within the Units: The youth leaders that will participate in the workshops will then in turn lead the environmental units established at their clubs (Youth to Youth Activities), they will work with their clubs to recruit at least 15 participants from their local Community to be part of the environmental clubs. The youth leaders would lead workshops with their groups to share their knowledge and experience gained. Together each club would design its own environmental activity targeting their local community, such as “clean-ups” or “tree-planting” events, this will be arranged with the cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture. Aside from the apparent environmental benefit, such activities would raise the local communities’ awareness of environment issues and the environmental units in their local clubs. PWLS will also encourage the participants to develop and implement additional activities within their communities by both providing technical support and guidance on obtaining other needed resources, including from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Media Campaign: At the same time, the youth leaders with their groups will work on the media campaign by creating television episodes, and radio spots and posters that address local environmental problems that facing their daily lives. The youth will design and create these sketches on their own, with support from PWLS. Production of these sketches will be in coordination with the Media Centers already established at the YDRCs and PWLS’ own media center. Each Affiliated club would create one product, either a radio spot or a poster that will be broadcasted in local media outlets and/or displayed in their communities.
PWLS will work with the YDRCs and the Affiliated clubs to jointly produce a series of 10 episodes that will be broadcasted on local television and available on various websites, including PWLS, shababgate.ps, youtube, etc.
Field Trips: In addition to the fieldtrips to Bethlehem and Nablus during the workshops, the 40 leaders will participate in three additional field trips will to local natural sights. Location will depend on the season, and may include: Ein Bayda, Beit Ello, Hebron and Jericho. The aim of these trips is to let these Youth discover the local Environmental Problems and issues to be aware of helping Nature by delivering these messages to their clubs and to their Communities.
During the field trips, the leaders will work in groups to conduct biodiversity surveys/research on a local Environmental Problem or a Natural Site. These researches and surveys are important for the Environmental Units and for Enhancing the other Youth in each Club to the Concepts of Environmental Awareness.
Youth Environmental Parliament: By the end of the project, the basic groundwork for a Youth Environmental Parliament Counsel ”NETWORK” will be laid out. A One day Parliament meeting will be held in Beit Sahour along with different meetings with Environmental Specialists and other Decision Makers. The meeting will overview the role of the Parliament and the youth will contribute in how it will be designed and how its work will progress after the project ends. The parliament would place emphasis on the role of youth in changing the world, and allow them to be active in making decisions and share democracy that would affect the human lives in general. The long term vision of the Parliament counsel is to establish a communication network with other organizations and related regional and international parliaments. The Parliament would work to reach the Decision makers on national, regional and international levels to strengthen youth role in decision making related to environmental issues.
Final festival: At the end of the project a closing ceremony will take place to provide an overall evaluation of the project, the youth will have an opportunity to exhibit their work and how they will continue with their clubs, and the youth leaders will be recognized with Certificates of Participation.