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This section presents main top-level policies aiming to foster young people’s participation in environmental or nature-friendly initiatives.
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 not young people specifically.
If a young person or an association wish to volunteer in outdoor projects, they should contact the Danish Nature Agency’s contact person in the 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 the 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 under the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the projects. The agency is responsible for developing project proposals for the two parks. In this process, several working groups are established that will be involved in developing the proposals. 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 will participate in the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in autumn 2021. In the process of preparing the Danish approach, young people and youth organisations are involved. The minister for environment involves 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. Two ministries have launched two separate challenges at higher education institutions:
In 2018, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, in cooperation with the public enterprise Energinet, launched a challenge in the initiative Open Innovation X (Oi-X) at the Skylab of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Oi-X is an initiative for students at DTU who are interested in working on challenges provided by the industry. Prizes are given for the best ideas, and promising projects can be awarded a scholarship.
The challenge provided by the ministry and Energinet focused on the Danish energy system by asking: How can we create a more sustainable energy system and thereby contribute to the goal of 55% renewable energy in 2030 and the end goal of becoming 100% independent of fossil fuels by the year 2050? One part of the challenge looked at how consumers can help create a more sustainable energy system.
The target group was students at DTU, the University of Copenhagen, and Copenhagen Business School.
In 2019, the minister for higher education and science launched the Green Challenge. It is possible for all scientists employed at a public research institution to participate, which also includes young scholars. The challenge runs from mid 2020 to August 2023. 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?