YPAC 2015

March 16th – 20th in Kamnik/Sl

General topic: My Green Alps

Humankind benefits in a multitude of ways from ecosystems. Collectively, these benefits are known as ecosystem services. What are the main changes within the ecosystem services in times of climate change and how can we deal with them in the Alps?

Subtopics (allocated to four committees)

Committee 1: Soil

The term “soil” is not limited to the surface of the Earth’s crust used by agriculture. It is much more than that: It sustains life in the terrestrial eco systems and performs essential ecosystem services. Put simply: No soil – no plants – no animals – no people. This is especially true in the Alpine ecosystems since soils in the Alps are much more vulnerable. However, when well managed and protected, they improve our lives.

Committee 2: Food Production and Waste Assimilation

Food in the general sense of biomass that sustains living organisms, material that can be converted to provide energy and nutrition, to a great extent initially derived from photosynthesis.

Waste treatment: Waste is an unwanted or useless material and, in natural ecosystems, there is no such thing as waste because all materials are utilised, cycled and recycled. One organism’s waste is another’s resource. Leaf litter on a forest floor, for example, is decomposed (e.g. by fungi and soil biota) and the nutrients made available for new growth. Animal feces are similarly sources of nutrients.

Committee 3: Forests as a Source of Renewable Energy

The forest area has increased in Europe over the last six decades. Today, forests cover nearly 40 % of the European surface and are home to much of the continent’s biodiversity. In addition to the supply of wood, to which most forested European land is dedicated, forests provide a multitude of benefits in terms of climate regulation, human health, recreation, refuges, fresh water supply and many others.

Today, European forest ecosystems face multiple natural and anthropogenic threats. For instance, a changing climate is producing increased droughts in the Mediterranean; forest disturbances are foreseen to increase (forest fires, invasive pests), and competing socio-economic demands for forest goods and services can result in multiple drivers of forest change. Forests are also used as a renewable source of energy in the Alpine region.

Committee 4: Recreation and Cultural Aspects of Ecosystems

These are the non-material benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences.

  • cultural (including the use of nature as a motif in literature, film, painting, folklore, national symbols, architecture, advertising, etc.)
  • spiritual and historical (including the use of nature for religious or heritage value or natural)
  • recreational experiences (including ecotourism, outdoor sports, and recreation)
  • science and education (including the use of natural systems for school excursions, and scientific discovery)


Press Release 26 March 2015


Press Coverage


YPAC's Flying Facts

Flying Facts – Tuesday (PDF)

Flying Facts – Wednesday (PDF)

Flying Facts – Thursday (PDF)


Media Group Video

Impressions from the YPAC 2015 in Kamnik: YPAC 2015 (YouTube)

Mladi razpravljajo katere politične dejavnosti so potrebne za zagotavljanje naravnega prostora © Tabea Tandler

Jugendliche debattieren, welche politischen Aktionen erforderlich sind, um Naturräume sicherzustellen. © Tabea Tandler

Giovani dibattono, quali azioni politiche occorrono per garantire la conservazione degli spazi naturali. © Tabea Tandler

Jeunes au débat sur les actions politiques nécessaires, afin de garantir la conservation des espaces naturels. © Tabea Tandler