Youth’s vision on the sustainable development of the Northern Apennines

by | Dec 12, 2022 | MOVING

Author: Tarek Allali, Manola Colabianchi , Francesco Felici , and Michele Moretti (UNIPI)

Editor: Miranda García (AEIDL)

The MOVING project is heading towards the end of its second-year journey, a year that witnessed many activities and events. Recently (14th October 2022), the UNIPI team, coordinator of the Northern Apennines Reference Region, organised a workshop, like all the other partners have done, involving young people coming either from mountain areas or urban ones. The goal of the workshop was to explore those young people’s vision of sustainable development in mountain territories. Additionally, it was an opportunity to show potential opportunities that could thrive and attract them to stay or to come back to these areas. 

The workshop took place physically. Around 80 students between 17 and 19 from two high schools together with their teachers and responsible staff joined the UNIPI team in a series of activities.

The event started with a brief introduction about the MOVING project. Afterwards, the young participants attended a session of “key speakers” (MAP members and partners) sharing their experience, their struggle, and their hopes for the future of mountain areas. Then, a debate was opened to exchange ideas and questions from the audience. Finally, since it was a participatory workshop, the UNIPI team animated a couple of interaction activities involving the students. 

Photo Credit: Tarek Allali

The first one aimed at gathering participants’ perspectives towards sustainability, their experiences with mountains, and their suggestions to make mountain areas more sustainable. 

The second interacting activity was about the “Newspaper for tomorrow”. The purpose of it was to understand what role young people can play in ensuring the sustainability and resilience of mountains. Students were divided into small groups; each group chose a sustainability challenge to discuss and suggest the roles that young people could play to overcome this challenge. Each group of students wrote a newspaper article describing initiatives they can implement as effective actors to overcome mountain threats and promote the sustainable development of the area.  

At the end of the workshop, and as the best way to close the session, a “journalist” representative of each group reported the article for the evening journal. The atmosphere moved from academia to more awareness and motivation to improve mountain areas’ sustainability.

The workshop itself was not the final stop for this journey, in fact it was a foundation stone for more practical activities planned for 2023. In any case, considering that the main chestnut activities are held in October and November, a first field visit to one of the chestnut drying buildings (metato) was organised on the 11th of November. The objective was to bring the students closer and familiar with one of the chestnut flour value chain’s most crucial practices.

During the field visit, the students have made and have tasted the traditional “ciaccio” (Tuscan chestnut flour pancakes) stuffed with fresh ricotta and stirred with different varieties of local honey.