International Young Naturefriends (IYNF) is an umbrella organisation of young Naturefriends associations from 20 European countries. The total number of individual members associated in national organisation exceeds 130 000, with some organisations having tens of thousands members (Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary) and some having just tens of youth members. You can find out more about these organizations by checking out the section Members and Partners.
IYNF was founded in 1975 as an independent branch of the International Friends of Nature (NFI). Legally it had been based on the NFI Statutes, article 7, which established IYNF (Naturfreundejugend Internationale, NFJI) to care for the international youth work of the Naturefriends organisation. Work of IYNF had been based on NFI‘s Guidelines, subject to approval of International Youth Congress and Congress of NFI.
In 2005, IYNF gained its own official legal status with an official seat in Vienna. IYNF also gained its own Statutes and IYNF Presidium and the Secretary General are the ultimate representatives of IYNF as a legal entity. The official name of IYNF is Naturfreundejugend Internationale.
In 2002, after more then ten years of seating in Brussels, the office of IYNF was moved to Prague. IYNF office had been run thanks to hospitality of Duha Czech member organisation until July 2005. In July 2005, IYNF gained an official legal status in the Czech Republic according to the Act no. 116/1985 as an international organisation and started working independently of Duha, however still using their premises. This has changed in the end of 2008, when IYNF set up own contract with the landlord of the building where we have our office, completing the path to independence.
IYNF work is based on its Statutes. According to them, IYNF is and independent branch of “Naturfreunde Internationale”, which is the international umbrella organisation of the adult Naturefriends. The Statutes most importantly define:
- main tasks of IYNF,
- four types of membership (Full Members, Candidate Members, Partners and Supportive Members)
- members’ rights and obligations and various membership procedures, and
- decision making structure and what responsibilities belong to the different bodies (General Assembly, Council, Presidium, Audit, Arbitration commission and Secretary General)
IYNF Statutes can be downloaded and read below.
General Assembly meets every two years. It consists of representatives of member and partner organisations, representatives of NFI and Presidium members. The General Assembly decides on a 2 year working strategy for IYNF, its political and practical issues, and on future activities and involvement of IYNF in various issues. The Assembly takes decisions on reports, closing of accounts, alterations to the Statutes, applications for membership, motions and resolutions and other issues. The Assembly gives guidelines for the work of the Presidium and staff. It elects the IYNF Presidium for the next General Assembly period.
Council meets more often, once or twice a year. It decides on short-term technical and practical issues, gives immediate directions to the Presidium and staff and examines the work of the Presidium. The Council’s main responsibility is connected to the budget and the annual state of accounts. The Council ratifies the appointment of the Secretary General.
IYNF is run by a Presidium elected for two years. The Presidium consist of up to five elected volunteers and the Secretary General (without voting power). The Presidium implements IYNF strategies into life. In June 2006 the Presidium adopted a new way of working as a board, Policy Governance. With this model, the Presidium decided to make all its decisions in the form of policies that set objectives and rules for the Secretary General, who is responsible for their implementation. The Presidium only appoints the Secretary General, who is then responsible for the recruitment of other staff members, their development and evaluation. This way the Presidium wants to work in a competent, coherent and transparent way with a responsible attitude.
IYNF employs a Secretary General who is selected, appointed and dismissed by the Presidium and whose task is to manage the staff and volunteers according to policies adopted by the Presidium. The Secretary General is confirmed by the Council. The Secretary General works with other members of staff in the Secretariat, which is located in Prague. The Secretariat provides information, advice, administrational back-up, resources, communication channels and meeting opportunities for IYNF’svolunteers, member organisations and partners to support them with their activities and effort in fulfilling IYNF’s mission.
Volunteers and their teams
IYNF invovles volunteers into most of the tasks connected with implementation of the IYNF working programme. The volunteers come together in several teams according to the project, or thematic field (e.g. European Representation). The teams are self-coordinated and supported by the Secretariat.
Control and auditing
The Audit of NFI is simultaneously the Audit of IYNF. The Audit consists of four auditors elected by the Congress of the NFI. The Congress of IYNF proposes one of the four auditors to the NFI Congress for election. The Audit examines all the accounting and reports back to the statutory bodies of NFI and IYNF.