Written by Aline and Johanna, Baltic Sea Youth Camp participants
We, the participants of the Baltic Sea Youth Camp, young people from all over the Baltic Sea Region worked hard to develop new ideas and projects for the region, back to back with the 10th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region in Gdansk.
To ensure youth participation and give real voice to the youth
Together we discussed the current issues and those of tomorrow concerning the Baltic Sea Region. We discussed and formulated demands for policy-makers and developed projects to tackle the challenges.
The Baltic Sea Youth Camp was initiated by Martin Rümmelein, a youth representative board member of the BSSSC. The vision was to create a camp which will work on a common youth declaration with the contributions of young people from different regional organizations and living in the region. This declaration will combine all the existing youth declarations that haven’t been taken serious for too long. The voice of the youth who inherits the decisions of today is louder than ever before in the Baltic Sea region.
To sustain our effort and ensure youth participation in the future we call for the inclusion of the Baltic Sea Youth Camp in future EUSBSR Annual Forum budgets.
Furthermore, we demand a single youth platform located at the CBSS to connect young people virtually and physically and interact to implement our ideas in the future. The aim is to enhance cooperation between different Baltic Sea organizations and to give a real voice to the youth.
Therefore, we are proud to present the main projects we have developed throughout our meeting:
1. The youth of the Baltic Sea region envisions a Baltic Sea Music and Culture Festival (Baltic Crocodile Festival). The festival shall be intergenerational, inclusive for everyone and gender equal, as well as free and outdoors. The festival shall happen in different countries every year and be related to a youth event in the specific area. Connecting people, creating visibility and making cultural awareness fun, in a sustainable way. A festival for everyone, organized by the youth.
2. To achieve our goals, we see education as one main facilitator. To address the very young in our region we imagine a book for children promoting the SGDs that is designed by artists from the region. Find more information about the project on the facebook page: ‘Baltic Sea Belongs to Kids’.
3. We envision a university on a ship crossing the Baltic Sea. Focusing on SDG 13 and 14, namely ‘climate action’ and ‘oceans and seas’ the university will ensure research-oriented, interdisciplinary and intercultural learning. The results shall be discussed with the societies, where the ship docks to transfer the gained knowledge and outcomes and to take the considerations of the societies into account.
4. Young people should be given more advice for mental health. Volunteers shall visit schools and talk to youngsters in a safe space. This could help to reduce the stress in schools and create a better environment for youngsters to grow up.
5. Young people all over the Baltic Sea region are struggling to make their career choices. We suggest creating a deliberated career choice platform to help students and young professionals to find an ideal career for their talents and to create a more prosper economy.
6. Digitalization is one of the major challenges of the time. To communicate information clearer and to lower the threshold of participation, we envision the development of an inter-regional online application. The basic information about organisations active in the region and their projects should be transparent.
7. The Baltic Sea Region should work for a more green and healthy forest. The wood consumption should be balanced through a better forest education, support of youth initiatives and the ban of clear cuts.
8. The Baltic Sea includes 7 of the 10 large marine dead zones in the world and we see pollution as one of the key issues of the region. Cooperation and communication of the different stakeholders is needed in a more specific and effective way to preserve and restore the health of the sea.
9. The Baltic Sea Region shall produce the least amount of waste in the world. Therefore, we demand concrete measures regarding tap water, maritime transport, education and green choices.
10. In this regard, we also plan to reduce plastic in our everyday life. We envision a common pant system, the prohibition of plastic and common regulations on usage of plastic, as well as the promotion of alternatives.
Our proposals are based on the SDGs and combine the ideas of more than 100 participants in the Baltic Sea Youth Camp. They are feasible and realistic to be implemented. We will continue to work on our projects. And we will make sure the Baltic Sea Region will be a prosper and sustainable area for everyone to live a healthy life.
More information on the outcomes of the Baltic Sea Youth Camp can be found:
On our website: balticyouthcamp.org
Facebook: Baltic Youth Camp
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