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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Green volunteering
  2. Green production and consumption

Green volunteering

As presented in more details in  Chapter 2.4 Youth volunteering at national level, the Youth Rules Programme (Mladi su zakon) is a national youth volunteering programme with the aim of encouraging young people to join, actively participate in and conduct small initiatives that can change and improve their quality of life in the local context.

Two main types of activity are supported and implemented within the programme: 

  • Youth voluntary projects and 
  • International voluntary workcamps.

It is coordinated by Young Researchers of Serbia – Voluntary Service of Serbia and selected Resource Centres (see Glossary) across the country. Volunteering projects with wide spectrum of environmental topics are systematized in the Volunteering Camps Catalogue. Regardless of the camp theme, all organized camps are meant to be ecologically sustainable. Since 2010 they have joined the global action of "sustainable camps" called Environmental Sustainability Campaign. The idea is that the organization of camps gain another dimension: caring for the environment by changing the habits of volunteers, organizers and local population. In practice, this would mean that during the preparation and implementation of the camp, additional effort is made in preventing the irrational use of natural resources, unnecessary costs, destruction of nature.

The Ministry of Tourism and Youth conducts an annual call to fund the implementation of the Youth Rules Programme. Available financial resources for the realization of the programme or projects in 2020 amount to a total of RSD 22,000,000.00.

One such national volunteering activity supported through the Youth Rules Programme 2019, has been organized in cooperation with the Young Researchers  of Serbia , the Vojvodina Environment Movement, CeGraD, the National Parliament and the public company "Djerdap National Park". Volunteers participated in removing rubbish action and cleaned 60 km along the Djerdap highway.

Green production and consumption

Besides organizing volunteering camps, the Young Researchers of Serbia is an organization that stands for and acts on nature protection through the promotion of the principles of sustainable development. They are focusing on the promotion of the sustainable production and consumption, sustainable tourism and sustainable urban transport. The range of the activities is from capacity building and campaigns to participation in decision-making processes related to sustainable development.

In addition, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, conducts a public call for distribution of funds to support civil society organisations’ (CSO) projects in the field of environmental protection.

The general goal of the call is achieved within the following topics and areas:

  • Nature protection - protection and improvement of the quality of nature;
  • Ecological entrepreneurship - sustainable development - sustainable business of CSOs; encouraging cooperation on projects between CSOs and the business sector;
  • Citizenship activism - strengthening and raising the capacity of CSOs for citizens activism;
  • Climate change - advancing knowledge, raising awareness and promoting the battle

against climate change.

The call is intended for civil society organisations working with all target groups, however youth is specifically emphasised within topics of Ecological entrepreneurship and Climate change.

Some of the projects supported in 2020 with the themes related to environmentally friendly production and consumption patterns or activities:

  • "Find an alternative to a passenger car” by “Serbia, my home”
  • "Can for our shore" – “Gea Nature Society”
  • "From waste to resources" – “Environmental engineers”
  • "Together in recycling" - Association “We live together”
  • "PET is not garbage" - Rural centre Sova

As stated in the Voluntary National Review of the Republic of Serbia 2019 the UNDP has initiated the project „Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia“ in 2018 to support the transformation to circular economy (see Glossary) in Serbia.  The project is being realised in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the private sector, academic institutions, creative industries and civil society organisations. To build a circular culture among the young people, a series of learning sessions and creative workshops was organized with pupils. Pupils were encouraged to think about reducing waste in their daily lives and think of creative ways of using waste which is still being generated to make new products or works of art. Other activities aimed at youth such different competitions and festivals were also supported.