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Impressions from the Planning Weekend 2014

6 November 2014

By Max Menkenhagen and Thomas Gits

As with every international IYNF event, the first step in this years’ Planning Weekend was to reach the venue: the Naturefriends house in Feldberg, located on the biggest mountain in the Black Forest. With a cosy meeting room, wonderful wooden-furnished rooms (some even with balconies), a breath-taking view and its philosophy of ‘smooth tourism’, meaning that food and drinks are bio and regional, and the tourism is regulated in an environmentally friendly way, this lovely mountain hut proved to be the ideal venue for this year’s Planning Weekend, held from 21st to 26th of October.


Make Love not War - IYNF Urban Art Action

3 November 2014

Symbols of hate and racist comments can often be found scrawled across the walls of our cities. We so often simply pass by them, allowing them to fade into the urban scene. These images seem to imply that this kind of hateful expression is acceptable in our society.

There is a clear need to create positive, inclusive artwork and symbolism in our urban spaces to counteract these messages.

On November 9th, during the United Day of Action Against Racism and Antisemitism, IYNF need your help to make the urban outdoors a more positive place!

European-wide Demonstrations against TTIP and CETA: What is all the Fuzz about?

16 October 2014

On the 11th of October protesters took to the streets all across Europe in order to demonstrate their concerns over – and opposition to – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA. Several Naturefriends organizations joined the protests, like the Greeks right in front of Syntagma Square, as shown on the picture. This article tries to dig into the topic and analyzes why the free trade agreements raise so many concerns among European citizens. 

Call for Interview Partners

3 October 2014

Katja Fischer, a student from Germany, is writing her master’s thesis in cooperation with IYNF. Therefore, she would like to conduct interviews via Skype with participants from the Young Naturefriends movement.
You are the ideal interviewee if you are active in a national or local member/partner organisation of IYNF. She would like to conduct interviews with:

- Participants who already took part in IYNF activities AND

- Participants who never took part in IYNF activities.

The interview will last about 20 minutes and can be conducted in English or German. Please reach out to katja_fischer_lht@gmx.net and help her with the interviews! Thank you very much!

Alexandru's Photo Blog

3 October 2014

Alexandru Mustata has recently organised a photo exhibition from his travelling experience during this year in the Czech Republic and abroad. The goal is to convey a highly individualised experience, while also avoiding the obvious touristic attractions and clichés. The exhibition will continue until 10th October in Prague at MUDDUM, and you can follow his unique pictorial journey here.

Biggest Climate March in History with a (yet) uncertain Impact

3 October 2014

On September 21 the world witnessed the biggest Climate March in history. According to its organizers, more than 2600 events took place in 162 countries all over the world. Naturefriends organizations joined the masses and participated in different marches.


Readleaf - a blog from our EVS volunteer

26 September 2014

Ruth Coughlan reveals the impressions and confessions of an EVS eco-adventurer in Prague. Read her first articles here, and stay tuned for more insights into the life of an EVS volunteer at IYNF. 

Naturefriends Flanders prepare for the 'Seven Summits'

26 September 2014

De Natuurvrienden (Flanders) proudly present Seven Summits, an ambitious experiment to climb seven mountains in Europe and seven ‘peaks’ in Belgium next year.

Each trip will be environmentally friendly and socially inclusive. The plan is not to simply step into a car, but examine whether we get on site in a more sustainable way and with limited financial resources. Therefore the journey takes place on sailboats, canoes, donkeys, public transport, ... They will explore whether it's still possible to clear this job in an affordable way and within a reasonable period of time.




Going for Gold III: Canada and Bans

17 September 2014

In the third article in the series, our EVS volunteer Alexandru Mustata tries to understand better why 75% of all the gold mining companies in the world are based in Canada, as well as what their behaviour is in the countries where they operate. In the second part of the article, we see what measures some countries have taken against cyanidation.

In the previous article about gold mining I enumerated a series of accidents caused by this unsafe industry. Today, I wanted to write about bans and how these dangerous practices can be stopped. However, two extremely relevant events took place recently, requiring immediate attention, as they remind us why these methods need to stop expanding, and even cease existence as soon as possible.

Workshop “NATURA IN AKTION” in Germany

15 September 2014

Our member organization from Germany – Naturfreundejugend Deutschlands – invites anyone interested to their “Natura in Aktion” workshop at Lake Constance, Germany, from 24th to 26th of October 2014.

“Natura in Aktion“ brings together the natural riches of European Natura 2000 network of protected areas with exciting, as well as nature-friendly youth travel. “Natura in Aktion” journeys offer a wide range of activities: Participants  discover the great outdoors and  its ecological diversity through hiking and cycling tours, while climbing a mountainside or on the water in their canoes


CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Planning Weekend 2014 – Resilient Youth, Resilient Planet

24 July 2014

International Young Naturefriends (IYNF) has the pleasure to invite you to this year’s Planning Weekend, the annual meeting where representatives of IYNF member and partner organisations meet to exchange ideas, network and brainstorm on the upcoming projects and future developments of the Young Naturefriends network.

The year 2014 is announced as IYNF Year of Urban Outdoors, aimed to foster youth making urban spaces more liveable, enjoyable and green through creativity, environmental and social action. 

Resilient youth, resilient planet is the main theme of this meeting, that will motivate participants to explore ways in which youth can address urban outdoors to make a positive impact on a global scale. We will look at the case studies of city activism, see the work of transition movements, and explore the cultural barriers and opportunities in organising city initiatives, as well as seeing how holistic approaches and outdoor activities could be used as powerful tools for empowering youth towards community building.

Miguel's Internship Impressions

17 July 2014

In 1975, a group of young people decided to get organised around nature-friendly values. Thus International Young Naturefriends was born. Probably, they didn't imagine that almost forty years later they would have changed so many lives.

All around Europe, young naturefriends share experiences in IYNF activities throughout the year. Apart from that, great work takes place everyday in the central office in Prague. Three employees and two volunteers take care of the activities and the organisation itself at all levels. This team is often completed with an intern. I had the opportunity to be the person to fill that position and I grabbed it without hesitation.

Although it's hard to quantify how much I have learned from this international experience, the essential thing is that I learnt things that I haven't expected to and I lived in Prague for three great months. I have to remark the warm welcome that I received from my colleagues. We shared a lot of good moments. We developped projects with many other people: members and partners, the presidium and all the people who collaborate with us. Together, we made things that will remain in many peoples' minds. We can be proud of that and I can be proud of having been a part of this great organisation which is IYNF. 

Going for Gold II: Accidents

2 July 2014

After finding out how gold is extracted, this week we discover why our EVS volunteer Alexandru Mustata is so against cyanide mining. In this article, he first explains what are the risks, and then goes through some infamous recent accidents. How long did it take the Papua New Guinea government to intervene to stop a spillage, and how much did it cost the US a very small operation? Read on to find out.

Cyanide tailings dam in Kutahya, Turkey

IYNF Networking Conference 2014 "Resilient Cities, Resilient Youth"

30 June 2014

The IYNF Networking Conference 2014Resilient Cities, Resilient Youth, was held in the idyllic surroundings of Volterra, Italy, from May 28th to June 1st. Approximately 35 participants from the young Naturefriends network, including experts and enthusiastic newcomers, met to discuss practical topics regarding the IYNF framework, under the motto “Resilient Cities, Resilient Youth”, aimed at encouraging people to make our cities more healthy, liveable and sustainable; and how to connect youth and nature in an urban environment. In four days of intense activities, the programme was unfolded through methods of non-formal and experiential education, which included debates, workshops, dynamic spaces, as well as team building activities and games, in both rural and urban environment.


Erasmus Internships at IYNF

20 May 2014

Dear students, dear Naturefriends,

Marco - IYNF intern 2013

IYNF would like to react to an increasing amount of requests for Erasmus Internship at our office.

We were pleased that the opportunity we provide attracted many of you and we regret to say that we will not be able to give a chance to everyone who would deserve it. Due to capacity reasons we can only host one intern at a time and next opportunity will arise in the period September – November 2014. If you are searching for internship within this time-frame and you would like to gain more knowledge about work in the NGO sector, please contact Sarka Bambasova – sarka@iynf.org.


We expect to select the intern at the end of July. Please note we will most probably not be able to confirm any documents to your university before that. We want to give fair chances and time to young students to apply and we truly hope that this will not mean an obstacle to anyone.

The IYNF Breakdown: Going for Gold (I) - Technical Considerations

7 May 2014

This week's IYNF Breakdown marks the beginning of a series of articles on gold mining, written by our EVS volunteer Alexandru Mustață. The first instalment describes, as objectively as possible, the way gold is mined nowadays throughout the world. It stays away from unnecessarily technical terms, opening up a path for a discussion on a very current topic. 

Belgium Naturefriends visiting Prague

18 April 2014

The Petřín Park is a good place to rest and read the Green Toolbox.


On Monday the 13th my girlfriend Lisa and I came to the capital of Czech Republic. We are both active members in the Flemish Naturefriends organization ATB De Natuurvrienden and were excited to visit 'Praha' and the IYNF office for our first time.

Since we had a couple of days to visit the capital we decided to ask IYNF to help us guide trough the magnificent city. We are both quite interested in a green lifestyle, that's why we wanted to see the city from a green perspective and get to know the cool places in town. And what is a better way to get to know a city than by help of the local people? Although… when we met those locals, it seemed they weren't so local like we had imagined them. Together with the help of Alex, who is an EVS volunteer from Romania, and Miguel from Spain who is doing his internship at IYNF we investigated the city.



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