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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.1 General context

Last update: 27 March 2021

Main concepts

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development (SNSvS) is a strategy approved in 2017 on the proposal of the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea (MATTM), renamed Ministry for Ecological Transition in February 2021, to implement the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

As part of the review of the SNSvS - which represents the first step to outline the principles and objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a national level - in Italy, a process has been launched which envisages the involvement of a plurality of subjects, based on the cardinal principle of inclusion: businesses, municipalities, regions, citizens and associations (Cf. 5.4).

In December 2019, the MATTM organized and hosted three days of preparatory work dedicated to the operational start-up of the Forum for Sustainable Development working groups. A specific moment was dedicated to the active participation of schools and youth organizations, mobilized on sustainability issues. On this occasion, the opportunity emerged to provide a “moment dedicated to young people” as part of the annual conferences that are an integral part of the Forum’s work. 

In view of the renewal of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development (SNSvS), the following event has to be mentioned: “Towards the National Conference for Sustainable Development. Together for the Future, a Sustainable Revival for Italy”. The Ministry for Ecological Transition has the task of guiding this path and for this reason, in 2021, it will organize a series of inter-institutional working tables, opportunities for discussion with civil society, technical coaching and public events that will accompany the review process of the SNSvS and will culminate, by the end of the year, in the National Conference for Sustainable Development (Cf. 9.7).

In addition, Italy is among the protagonists of the efforts conducted at both European and international levels to reduce the impact of climate change on the environment as well as to ensure sustainable development for the next generations. The Ministry for Ecological Transition is organizing a series of important initiatives linked to the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (Glasgow, United Kingdom, November 2021). In June 2020, the MATTM launched an ambitious program of virtual and interactive meetings aimed at young people from all over the world, in view of the special event “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition” and the Pre-COP26, which will both take place in Milan in autumn 2021 and which, for the first time, will allow young people to contribute to the negotiations of the Pre-COP26 and COP26 conferences (Cf. 9.7).

Youth interest in global issues 

Although there are no regular national surveys or studies on global issues at a national level, there has recently been an increased interest, awareness, and participation of young people in matters related to the environment, climate change, and sustainable development. 

The interests of young people in global issues is promoted in the context of several national policy frameworks: cross-border mobility in the fields of education, training (Cf. 6.5) and employment (Cf. 3.7), as well as international volunteering (Cf. 2.5).