#TheGreenTrack campaign, launched by the European Commission in collaboration with the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) and Biodiversity Action Europe (BAE), has drawn to a successful conclusion. The campaign has enabled young people across Europe to voice their hopes and concerns about nature, biodiversity and Europe’s sustainable future. Over the past several months, the Green Track effectively mobilised thousands of young Europeans, ahead of CBD COP 15, the major UN Biodiversity Conference scheduled for December this year, where a new global framework for nature protection will be agreed.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:
As a flagship initiative of the European Year of Youth 2022, the Green Track campaign provided a platform for young people across Europe to contribute to the debate on how to put the planet’s biodiversity on a path to recovery. The campaign also put a spotlight on their very concrete actions to protect nature, and the key role they are playing to make the European Green Deal a reality. We have been listening and watching carefully, and will carry the messages gathered from young people with us to COP 15 and in future discussions on how to protect and restore the planet’s biodiversity.
As a major EU contribution to the European Year of Youth, over the past several months #TheGreenTrack has listened to concerns and recommendations from European young people on key topics, such as biodiversity and nature, circular economy, climate change, zero pollution, and lifestyle.
Under the slogan ‘Ready to act #ForNature’, the Green Track campaign made 32 stops in 21 countries across Europe. Events took many different shapes, from public debates to outdoor activities, exhibitions and swap parties. Over 1,500 participants took part in these events, and over 21 million people were reached by the online campaign. Wherever it stopped, #TheGreenTrack helped amplify young people’s messages to a wider audience, and bring their needs and recommendations to the attention of policy-makers.
At #TheGreenTrack closing event, held in Brussels on 30 May as part of EU Green Week, the participants voiced their recommendations for progress towards a more sustainable future. These included continuing #TheGreenTrack initiative, but disseminating it more towards the general public; fostering dialogue between youth and policy-makers and between society, governments, enterprises and scientists; creating better structured communication pathways from youth to decision-makers; and involving activists and NGOs in environmental decision-making.
As the Green Track campaign comes to a close, this is not the end of the journey. Participants in the Green Track are now calling on world leaders meeting at COP 15 to take action to protect nature. In a video summarising the outcomes of the campaign, they are urging decision makers to also get on the Green Track, “because the only way to restore and protect nature is to make sure we all do our part”.
Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are all interconnected and mutually reinforcing, with major negative impacts on health, economy and the natural world. At the UN Biodiversity Conference COP 15, world leaders are expected to agree on a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The EU is ready to lead efforts and work with like-minded partners to achieve an ambitious global agreement to halt biodiversity loss.
2022 is the European Year of Youth, which aims to help young Europeans build a future that is greener, more inclusive, and more digital. The year offers opportunities to learn, share a vision, meet people and engage in activities all over Europe. The European Year of Youth accompanies NextGenerationEU which reopens perspectives for young people, including quality jobs and education and training opportunities for the Europe of the future, and supports young people's participation in society.
#TheGreenTrack campaign in numbers
For more information on the campaign, visit #TheGreenTrack website.
Find out more about EU action in the following areas:
- Publication date
- 27 June 2022
- Directorate-General for Environment