Erasmus + project -Nature and Diversity in the North
Erasmus+ project -Nature and Diversity in the North
JEF-Finland, JEF-Denmark and JEF-Norway partnered for an Erasmus+ small-scale partnership project called Nature and Diversity in the North. The international partnership project back in 2021 and was planned to consist of two different events: a seminar and a webinar, that covers the themes of nature, diversity and minorities.
The first event of the project was a seminar in Rovaniemi, Finland on the 16-18th of September 2022. Seminar had 55 participants attending from the Nordic countries and also some participants from other EU countries. The weekend-long seminar consisted of keynote speakers, activities, workshops and freetime.
The theme of the seminar was the northern nature, the Arctic region, Sámi minorities and the rights of the minorities. The seminar was opened by the president of the Sámi parliament, Tuomas Aslak Juuso, who told us about the rights of the Sámi people and how climate change affects the Sámi people. The second speaker on Friday was Rainer Hiltunen, the Deputy of non-Discrimination Ombudsman. From these speeches participants learned about the current issues that Sámi people face and about the position of Nordic minorities, especially from the Finnish perspective.
On Saturday, participants were able to choose from different activities: a visit to Arktikum or an outdoor hike at Ounasvaara. At both activities the participants learned more about the Arctic and northern nature and the culture in these regions. After morning activities there were two speakers from the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland. PhD Sari Stark introduced us to climate change and its effects especially to the arctic nature. After Stark´s speech participants learned about the rights of indigenous peoples (especially the Sámi) regarding e.g. different forms of land use from PhD Tanja Joona.
Saturday's activity was a visit to a local reindeer farm called SieriPoro-farm, where participants had the opportunity to be with the reindeers and after that the owners told us about life at the reindeer farm. On the visit, the farmers told more about the reindeer husbandry and the problems this industry faces. In the evening there were games and common freetime, where everyone was able to get to know each other and network with other Nordics.
On the last day, the seminar consisted of workshops and the participants attended two of them. The options for workshops were about (1) Minorities; Romani people, (2) Youth participation and (3) EU climate policy.
The second part of our Erasmus+ project was a webinar that took place on February 11, 2023. The broadcast was from Copenhagen, and it was possible to participate completely remotely or from an auditorium, either from Helsinki, Copenhagen or Oslo.
The webinar started with Gabriela Negru's speech about sustainable development, greenwashing and sustainable entrepreneurship. After the speech, the participants took part in the workshop, which the Negru sisters held on their self-created digital platform. In the workshop, the participants entered an interactive digital game where they thought about solutions to sustainable development issues and discussed them.
After the lunch break, it was time for another speaker to take over the stream. Gösta Toft, the vice-president of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) spoke about the German minority in Denmark and introduced us to the problems of the German minority and other European minority groups, both nationally and in the EU. The last part of the webinar was a workshop about the topics Toft spoke about. The participants tried to find solutions to the problems during discussion in groups.
ALL IN ALL
What exactly did this project give us and the participants? The project deepened cooperation and partnership between the participating organizations and taught important skills that each individual person and the entire organisations can use in the future. The project also supported the establishment of lasting structures for our cooperation. The project contributed to establishing an umbrella-organisation for the participating organisations, but as well as for JEF-organisations in Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. We believe that with the help of the project and strengthened cooperation, we are able to organize higher quality events both nationally and internationally. This project helped us find out if there is a need for events like these and if the Nordic youth is interested in these themes.
The project's events, the seminar and the webinar, increased awareness within the topics discussed in the events and taught participants about youth participating. With the project, we increased the dialogue and knowledge between Nordic youth about the diversity of the Nordic nature, European climate and environmental policy, and the status of minorities. In the project, young people were trained in dialogue using the project's themes and participated in the conversation using digital means. We feel that we managed to produce two different but interesting events, from both of which the participants learned and were able to participate in the discussion at a low threshold.
The project was funded by the Erasmus+ programme and the European Commission is not responsible for the content of this publication. More information about Erasmus+ program: www.oph.fi/erasmusplus
More information about the Erasmus+ project:
Amanda Alvesalo, president of JEF-Finland
+358 50 321 6600
Saana Ylikruuvi, secretary general
+358 44 244 7162
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