Co-Green

Theme

The CO-GREEN action develops an intervention model that supports community development in ecological transition, incorporating the values, principles and sustainable practices that characterise the Green Deal. The action engages and empowers peripheral communities, to mean those communities which are not located in urban centres, and which are not directly involved in local/regional decision-making processes about green policies. As a result of this peripheral position, they tend to be passive recipients rather than active participants of green policy. We consider their inclusion and involvement to be essential. To this end, in the communities involved in Poland, Italy, Croatia, and Greece local teams of “green activators” will provide proximity action, aimed at raising citizens’ awareness about how to tackle criticalities affecting their wellbeing and environmental protection, and at supporting a nonscientization/ empowerment process focussing on what their role can be in the design and implementation of green policies, and what potential in terms of imagination and aspirations they have.

The CO-GREEN action develops an intervention model that supports community development in ecological transition, incorporating the values, principles and sustainable practices that characterise the Green Deal. The action engages and empowers peripheral communities, to mean those communities which are not located in urban centres, and which are not directly involved in local/regional decision-making processes about green policies.

Partners
  • Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wspierania Aktywnosci Lokalnej, Poland – Coordinator
  • Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika W Toruniu, Poland
  • Sveuciliste U Rijeci, Filozofski Fakultet U Rijeci, Croatia
  • Udruga Zmergo, Croatia
  • Forum Nazionale Terzo Settore, Italy
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
  • Euracademy Association, Greece
  • Dimos Karditsas, Greece

As a result of this peripheral position, they tend to be passive recipients rather than active participants of green policy. We consider their inclusion and involvement to be essential. To this end, in the communities involved in Poland, Italy, Croatia, and Greece local teams of “green activators” will provide proximity action, aimed at raising citizens’ awareness about how to tackle criticalities affecting their wellbeing and environmental protection, and at supporting a nonscientization/empowerment process focussing on what their role can be in the design and implementation of green policies, and what potential in terms of imagination and aspirations they have.

The project is in line with the themes and priorities (scope) of the CERV-2022-CITIZENS-CIV call, and especially implements the theme focused on: “engaging citizens and communities in discussions and action related to our climate and environment;” aiming to further stimulate the “growing interest of civil society and associations in discussing climate and green issues and proposing solutions to decision makers.” In addressing the needs of local communities, the identified project beneficiaries are:

Target groups

local communities, where the planned activities will take place, with particular focus on local activists and community leaders, representatives of local government institutions, representatives of local organisations, secondary school students, committed volunteers. In addition, the local trainers and the “green activators” will be considered within the primary target group. It is expected that in each partner country the following beneficiaries will be engaged: 5 local trainers → who will train 15 green activators → who will involve +1000 local residents/community members (e.g. local activists, teachers, secondary education students, entrepreneurs, etc.). These will be actively mobilised in local initiatives, informal training paths and awareness-raising measures, thus realising a sort of waterfall effect. It is worth mentioning that these measures will capitalise on existing initiatives; so, for instance, in Poland there are more than 50 community organisers with community work tasks in Social Service Centres. Similarly, in the other partner countries different agencies are involved in the implementation of sustainable and green policies (e.g. in Italy, third-sector organisations; in Croatia and Greece, local authorities and local development agencies).

Objectives

  1. To strengthen citizens’ perception and raising their awareness about the Green Deal benefits (e.g. fresh air,clean water, healthy soil and biodiversity, healthy and affordable food, sustainable transport, cleaner energy), as well as a number of complex issues affecting the communities where we live, which are connected with the environmental transition and the strategic priorities of the Green Deal, such as: the rural/urban divide, the management of migratory phenomena and of the related inclusion processes, urban degradation, depopulation processes in the most disadvantaged areas (e.g., the so-called “inner areas” as defined in the EU Cohesion policy)
  2. To promote in peripheral communities the change in paradigm with respect to sustainable development (consistently with the Green Deal and the SDGs), fostering the ideas of community awareness, empowerment and self-reliance, interconnection, responsibility and accountability, as alternative solutions to the concepts of demand, production, consumption, and closed borders. In this respect, we aim at strengthening citizens’ participation in local processes regarding social and environmental (land/water/energy) policies in their own territory, particularly ensuring inclusive processes for often excluded groups within these peripheral communities, such as women and youth.
  3. To enhance existing methods and approaches practised in community development. The project concentrates on the collaboration between NGOs, local authorities and academic/research institutions to reinforce community- based participation practices founded on evidence and data.

Consistently, the following country-specific needs have been highlighted:

Poland: In all the sites selected in Poland, Social Service Centres (CUS) will be implemented, representing a key reform of social policy at the local level. The selected sites are characterised by the following features and needs:

  •  everywhere there was a diagnosis of social problems and civic activity
  • CUS can develop ecological activities
  • they have to develop participatory and community activities (community organising)
  • they should develop cooperation with the non-governmental sector and informal groups
  • form a nationwide network of CUS (the solutions developed can be disseminated)
  • have human, financial and organisational resources
  • can act in many fields (culture, social assistance, youth, seniors, ecology, civic education, etc.)

 

The selected places

Poland

Starachowice: The town has about 50 thousand inhabitants, is located in the valley of Kamienna River and is surrounded by vast forests – the remnants of the Świętokrzyska Forest. Starachowice is an industrialised town, and animportant role is played by employers concentrated in the Special Economic Zone “Starachowice”. S.A

Górno: A small commune in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship which is a kind of bedroom community for the nearby Kielce

Wiązowna: A small commune near Warsaw (2,500 inhabitants) is an attractive recreational place not only for its residents, but also for those living in the capital

Elbląg: Elbląg has a population of about 125,000, which is steadily declining. It is located on the Vistula lagoon in the direct vicinity of the Kaliningrad region.

Italy

The network that will be selected identifies territories in the inland areas of three Italian regions (Veneto in theNorth, Marche in the Centre and Calabria in the South) as a priority and central to the development of project activities.

Chioggia is a municipality of 48 086 habitants, located on the southern edge of the metropolitan city of Venice (Veneto Region) and borders the Venetian lagoon to the north and west, the Adriatic Sea to the east, and the mouth of the Adige and the Po Delta to the south.

Amandola is an Italian municipality of 3 401 inhabitants in the province of Fermo in the Marche region, it is a town of great culture.

Lamezia Terme is an Italian municipality of 67 323 inhabitants in the province of Catanzaro in Calabria.

Croatia and Greece

In Croatia: The network of sites selected in Croatia is situated in the region of Kvarner, a bay in the northern Adriatic Sea, located between the Istrian peninsula and the northern Croatian Littoral mainland.

 

In Greece the project will be implemented in the territory of the Municipality of Karditsa, located in Central Greece in the region of Thessaly. It is home to 55.216 inhabitants and covers an area of 647.92 Km2 at the west part of the Thessalian plains.