9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption
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In Denmark, there is no top-level public programme or action aimed specifically at helping young people to engage in green volunteering activities.
However, the Danish Nature Agency administers a programme, Project Volunteer, in which Danes can volunteer in local outdoor projects, for instance, monitoring bird life, constructing mountain bike trails in national forests, volunteering at a nature centre, etc. The programme targets the entire population and specifically not young people.
If a young person or an association wishes to volunteer in outdoor projects, they should contact the Danish Nature Agency’s contact person at their local unit.
The young person or the association can suggest a specific task to carry out, and often a cooperation agreement with the Danish Nature Agency is formulated.
The objective of the programme is to strengthen interest in nature and outdoor activities, as well as to increase the co-responsibility for nature.
The Danish Nature Agency is under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment of Denmark.
As another example of green volunteering opportunities, in June 2020, a majority in parliament settled an agreement on establishing two national parks in Denmark.
The objective of the two parks is to optimise the conditions for wild nature and biodiversity in Denmark. The Danish Nature Agency is responsible for the projects. The agency is responsible for developing project proposals for the two parks. In this process, several working groups that will be involved in developing the proposals are established. The Minister for Environment has appointed the movement The Young Biodiversity Ambassadors to the national stakeholders working group. A total of DKK 105 million is allocated to the two parks and four other projects.
Moreover, the Ministry of Environment participated in the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in autumn 2021. Young people and youth organisations were involved in the process of preparing the Danish approach. The Minister for Environment involved civil society in a range of meetings and conferences until the UN Convention in 2021.
There is no recurring top-level public programme aimed at helping young people orientate themselves towards green consumption or production patterns. However, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science has launched a couple of challenges in higher education institutions: Open Innovation X and Green Challenge.
In 2019, the Minister for Higher Education and Science launched the Green Challenge. The challenge runs from mid-2020 to August 2023, and it is possible for all scientists, including young scholars, employed at a public research institution to participate. The challenge asks three questions:
- How can we turn CO2 into a resource?
- How can we develop a plastic-free future?
- How can we produce enough food for everyone?