9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption
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Sustainability is an interplay between ecological, social, global and economic dimensions. In the Flemish Youth and Children’s Rights Policy Plan (2015-2019) the Flemish Government places the emphasis on the ecological component.
The Flemish Youth and Children’s Rights Policy Plan (2015-2019) and the Policy Plan on Environment (2014-2019) mention that children and young people can make their own active contributions to a sustainable living environment in 2019.
Flemish-funded youth organisations
The Flemish Government will support projects and initiatives in all kinds of areas which will make sure that sustainable choices are deliberate choices. These projects must devote special attention to young people. Either because they (help) implement the project, or because it is specifically targeted on them. Creating involvement and enhancing competences are key concepts.
This process involves pilot projects regarding Education for Sustainable Development (MOS-project) of the Flemish Department of Environment and Spatial Development and projects as part of Ecocampus. These projects are funded by the Flemish Government.
Furthermore, the Flemish Government supports organisations, who increase young people’s competences on sustainability, through the Flemish Parliament Act of 20 January 2012. These Flemish-funded youth organisations encourage their participants to do green volunteering and organise activities on this topic. For example Globelink and JNM.
Globelink has projects for youth organisations, for instance ‘Art D Eco’ workshops: creating art with garbage of the youth work organisations. Globelink also co-organises an annual eco-contest for playground initiatives, which receives financial support from the Flemish Government.
JNM is a youth organisation for Nature and Environment. JNM focuses on young people who are interested in nature and stimulates a sustainable and environmental friendly way of living.
The Department of Environment and Spatial Development of the Flemish Government
As mentioned above, the Department of Environment and Spatial Development and other Nature and Environment authorities focus on education for sustainable development and care for nature. A platform and working groups for green education in formal and non-formal education exists in youth work (Milieuvorming en –educatie).
In the period 2015-2019, the Flemish Government wants to help make sustainable and ecological products as attractive and accessible as their non-sustainable counterparts. In the following we describe the planned processes of the Flemish Government.
The Flemish Government wants to reduce environmental impacts by giving financial injections and raising awareness of this theme. Making the choice for sustainability is rewarded. When doing so, the Flemish Government keeps in mind that they have an exemplary role to fulfil. They pay specific attention to sustainability in their own projects and communication.