University of Milan launches mountain education manifesto at Expo 2020 Dubai


The University of Milan’s UNIMONT Centre launched a youth-centred manifesto for the promotion of a sustainable and lively future in mountain areas globally at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Mountain Education and Innovation Manifesto (MEIM) was created through an international consultation involving over 100 youth from 28 countries around the world. The consultation series, titled “Youth4Mountains”, was developed by UNIMONT, and supported by the Mountain Partnership, EUROMONTANA and Alparc.

Over the course of three online meetings, youth between the ages of 16 and 29 came together to discuss the main issues that characterize sustainability and life in mountain areas. Divided into working groups and guided by international experts, the youth focused on climate change, biodiversity, interconnection, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

The final manifesto was presented by UNIMONT student Magda Ciullo, during the event “Connecting youth and mountains, creating a lively future” hosted in the Italian Pavilion on 8 October 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai. It calls for lessons on mountains to be included in school and university curricula, specifically on the risks related to climate change, the value of biodiversity, the importance of networks for sustainable development, and opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation in mountain areas.

Mariastella Gelmini, Italian Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, received Ciullo’s presentation of the MEIM and assured participants that the Italian Government will consider the manifesto, as the active participation of young people is essential for the implementation of new models of sustainable development.

Furthermore, Minister Gelmini congratulated the University of Milan with its UNIMONT Centre for their work conducted for the development of mountain areas: “There is nothing more naturally within the scope of the European Green Deal than the Italian mountains, and with your help, I am sure that we will be able to make these territories extraordinarily dynamic and attractive.”

Connecting youth and mountains, creating a lively future

The event “Connecting Youth and Mountains, Creating a Lively Future” examined the importance of training, innovation and networking to promote the sustainable development of mountain areas.

The meeting was opened by Marina Carini, Vice-Rector’s delegate for Third Mission, Cultural Activities and Social Impact of the University of Milan, who underlined the importance of specific training initiatives for the sustainable growth of mountain areas. Paolo Glisenti, Italian Commissioner General Expo 2020 Dubai, reiterated the role of universities in facilitating the settlement of young people in mountain areas.

Interventions follow by representatives of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, the European Association for Mountain Areas, the Network for European Mountain Research, CREAF – Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Grenoble Alpes – LABEX ITTEM, and the University of Milan along with Italian Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador Lino Zani. The speakers presented the initiatives and strategic projects carried out in their respective mountain territories, highlighting how collaborative networks are crucial to generate impact on local communities.

A session on the role of training and policies to give equal opportunities to youth who want to study, work and live in mountain areas followed. The event closed with the presentation of the MEIM.

Download the manifesto 

Watch the event recording

Read more 

Photo by Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash

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