Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) is a platform of many European youth organisations that study nature or are active in environmental protection. These member organisations come together from 26 countries. The aim of YEE is to encourage youth to be involved in environmental protection and to provide a platform where these organisations can work together.
YEE gives an opportunity to contact other European organisations, to exchange experiences and ideas and to work together.
All our activities are organised and carried out by young people under 30. YEE organises and encourages all activities that can increase the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of nature and the awareness of environmental problems among young people in Europe. Its aim is to promote the commitment of youth to the principles of environmental conservation. Therefore, young people's voluntary actions have to be stimulated for the protection and the rational use of the Earth's resources. Since environmental problems have no borders, we act together within YEE in order to implement our ideas in our local groups and in joint activities. Within international actions, we intend to raise public awareness and to put pressure on enterprises and politicians.
YEE's European activities fall into two main areas:
Youth and Environment Europe is member organisation of:
Youth and Environment Europe was founded as the European regional branch of the International Youth Federation for Environmental Studies and Conservation (IYF) on the 3rd of August 1983 in Stockholm. The first YEE office was based in Copenhagen.
The origins of the organisation lay in the year 1948 when IUCN was founded by the United Nations. This event made it possible founding many organisations from which later YEE was constituted. The reason YEE was created is connected to the problem of international organisations that couldn't reach all the areas in the world where they wanted to be represented. That is why a need for local activities appeared and as the result there was the necessity to divide the world in 5 regions.
YEE was established by IYF with the cooperation of 15 organisations. Three original organisations are still members of YEE: Faltbiologerna (Sweden), DJN (Germany), JNM (Belgium).
In 1986 as a consequence of work of the research group on the forest, a new organisation was born from YEE - the European Youth Forest Action (EYFA) that remains active today.
In 1990 the YEE office was moved to Utrecht in the Netherlands to locate it more centrally to the member organisations being united in the federation that time.
In 1991, as a further subgroup from EYFA, A SEED started to work as a separate network..
The fourth cooperation was between YEE, A SEED, YDC and EYFA. Some of the results obtained were: World Bank campaign (A SEED, YDC, YEE), Climate Change (A SEED, EYFA, YDC, YEE) Magazine the Verge (YEE and EYFA) and grant applications.
For some years in the 1990s there was a second YEE office hosted by a member organisation from Malta in order to deal with the Mediterranean issues closely.
In 1998, the third change of the location of the office occurred. This time for the residence of YEE's office a medieval stronghold Toulcuv Dvur based in Prague was chosen. The ecological center establised there unites a range of ecological, educational and cultural activities. The area includes eight hectares of land including wetlands around a little stream. YEE's office is still located there today.
In 2001, there was a dispute among the board and it was problematic to organise the Annual Meeting. There were financial problems and it was hard to rule the organisation.
After that critical year many new improvements were done in the organisation. Every year more and more organisations attend the Annual Meeting, the budget is growing, more projects are run and more participants attend them. In 2013 we have 45 member organisations from 26 countries.
From 2003 YEE started to host EVS volunteers who help as members of the office team in daily work of the organisation.
Today the office team consists of the General Secretary, Main Coordinator and 2 EVS volunteers. They are joined by the office cat Knedlík.