One of the missions of the Latvian Fund for Nature project “Game on! Don’t let climate change end the game’ is to empower and support a variety of youth activities related to climate change. Last year, the youth association “Protests” also received support in our Grants Programme with its project “Youth for Climate – Youth for the Future”.
The aim of the “Protests” Association in this project was to prepare young climate activists so that they could successfully and effectively pass on the knowledge gained to other peers and involve them in climate activism. In order to achieve this, a two-day camp was held, which focused on the issues of the climate crisis in the context of Latvia. During the camp, Latvian environmental institutions and legislation in this area were reviewed, as well as a simulation of a creative climate protest was organised. Ideas for real climate action were also created in the workshops, climate psychology was viewed and focus was put on the individual's ability to engage in action at a national level to tackle the climate crisis. Great emphasis was put on climate policy in the camp, as well as the opportunities for individuals to get involved in nature conservation organisations and other associations that are raising awareness of the climate crisis and looking for solutions.
After the camp, the participants highly appreciated the lectures on a waste-free lifestyle and climate psychology, as they also provided an opportunity to learn practical, more nature- and climate-friendly practices to implement in their households and among friends.
Several guest lecturers also took part in the camp. One of the guest lectures of the camp, with Jana Simanovska, Doctor of Environmental Engineering, “Climate Crisis and Human Behaviour”, can be watched in video format on YouTube. In it, the lecturer discusses valuable principles of human behaviour when it comes to the climate crisis, which would certainly be worthwhile not only for the participants of the camp, but for anyone interested in the topic.
After the face-to-face camp, the young people were asked to more precisely supplement and develop the ideas created in the group work, which were presented in an online seminar. During that time, ideas were developed for new campaigns, such as electrification of the railways, promotion of a plant-based diet and the education of young people about waste sorting.
In Latvia, as with elsewhere in the world, young people are getting actively involved in various activities and projects to mitigate climate change, because it is young people who feel that climate change will have a direct impact on their future. Often, climate change is considered a foreign issue, and it is often said that Latvia will not be affected by climate change. But this is certainly an idea that needs to change. It is also important for young people to understand their own country's view on environmental and climate crisis issues. Young people will be the ones to make decisions in the future, so it is important to educate them by providing local examples and giving them insight into their country’s policy. We, the Latvian Fund for Nature, are happy to support projects for young people that provide an opportunity to develop skills, increase responsibility and thus lay the foundations for sustainable development.
The project “Game on! Don’t let climate change end the game’ is an initiative of 10 partners from 8 European countries to mobilise young people to fight against the threat that climate change poses to the future of humankind. The project is co-financed by the EU Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) programme and is also financially supported by the Society Integration Foundation from the Latvian state budget.