At the end of September, the team of the European Wilderness Society and its experts again held workshops for young people within the “Let´s get wild“-project on the topics of climate protection, protected areas & Respect Nature. What was special this time, is that the young people came from 5 different European countries, namely Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Ukraine. There were 4 workshops with 13 to 14 young people in each workshop, the location was Mariapfarr and the whole Lungau, Salzburg, Austria.
Challenges of climate change
During the workshop, the threats and challenges of climate overheating were stated together with the young people. Fossil energies were discussed, how they were created, how they were stored inside the earth and why humans have been pulling them out of the ground again since the age of industrialization. The effects of climate overheating in the form of heat waves, droughts, crop losses, floods and melting glaciers were discussed. All these events are piling up and making life on earth more and more uncomfortable for us humans and they also change environmental conditions. The young people talked about the various climate protection measures that are currently being taken in their home countries.
A glimpse into Europe´s protected areas
After the exciting session on the climate, the focus switched to the various forms of protected areas in Europe – national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves, Natura 2000 protected areas, European protected areas, etc. Many animal and plant species important for Europe were mentioned.
The principles of Respect Nature
Finally, the young people were introduced to the principles of Respect Nature. These rules tell us how to behave properly in nature and prepare for outdoor trips. The principles of “Respect Nature” are:
1.Know where you go
2. Stay on trails
3. Minimise camping impact
4. Keep nature clean
5. Make fire responsibly
6. Show respect
7. Respect wildlife
8. Respect others
9. Respect livestock protection
After the theoretic session, the young people were able to practice outdoors what they had learned before. They experienced how to pack a backpack correctly, which signs are important in nature and which gadgets can be used when one is out in nature. Special attention was paid to going to the toilet on nature.
It was an exciting workshop for everyone, even if the workshop leaders were a bit hoarse after this whole workshop day. The young people were enthusiastic and took the newly gained knowledge home with them.