GB No. 3(14)/94
The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) is a non-governmental organisation established as a foundation which is to promote, develop, and implement principles and methods of sustainable development. The institute was set up in September, 1991, by some members of the Polish Ecological Club who have been professionally involved in environmental issues for many years, namely: Zbigniew Bochniarz, professor at Minnesota University, U.S.A., and currently an ISD Council member; Krzysztof Kamieniecki, board member of Friends of the Earth International in 1992-1994 and currently Vice-President of ISD; and Andrzej Kassenberg, member of the Environmental Advisors Council of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, currently President of ISD.
The founders appointed the Foundation Managing Board, which manages the day-to-day activities of ISD, and the Foundation Council, which is responsible for initiating, reviewing, and evaluating the Institute's policies and the Managing Board's performance. A number of leading scholars and experts as well as environmentalists from Poland and abroad are members of the Foundation Council.
ISD employs an interdisciplinary staff of professionals (mainly geographers and economists) that maintain broad contacts with both domestic and foreign experts and institutions.
The establishment of this institute -- the first independent organization in Poland that analyses relations between environmental issues and economic, legislative, and social changes -- was made possible by contributions from several American foundations: the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The Institute for Sustainable Development focuses its activities on economic, legislative, social, and political issues. The Institute maintains close working relationships with Parliament and governmental agencies (mainly with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry) and with local government authorities. In this field, ISD is a unique organization in Poland.
ISD pursues its goals and objectives by way of influencing political and economic decisions (mainly long-term), by applying international expertise to sustainable development as well as institutional models in Poland, and through environmental education and training.
The Institute also initiates and fosters collaboration among other groups, such as community organizations and movements, local government institutions and authorities, governmental agencies, and industry associations. Such linkages are formed to solve environmental problems related to social and economic development.
The Institute's major responsibilities are:
Of the most significant achievements of last year's ISD projects, the following should be noted:
Also, a training workshop for environmental groups was recently organized jointly with the Polish Ecological Club. It was designed as a forum where ISD experts could share their expertise and practical experience gained through their research with representatives of local environmental groups. Reports published by the Institute were used as resource materials. Such workshops may be a useful tool for strengthening the position of environmental groups in their local communities and increasing their participation in environmental decision making. Training was also held together with Gaja Club and Green Federation trainers to develop a more effective model of future projects to be jointly carried out by environmental groups and expert groups.
Among other things, the Institute is currently working on:
The Institute for Sustainable Development publishes the results of its research projects in its reports and bulletins and also cooperates with the media. It organizes round table discussions to address a wide range of environmental issues. The latest meeting discussed the right to environmental information. It was attended by legal professionals, environmentalists, and media representatives (Green Brigades was represented by Piotr Rymarowicz).
Institute for Sustainable Development
Krzywickiego Street 9, VIIth floor
tel.: 48/2/252558, 250378
Bank Information: Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A.
II Oddział w Warszawie
Account No.: 501031-21016572-2701-3-1110
Fundacja Instytut na rzecz Ekorozwoju
Careful protection should be given not only to inanimate nature -- air, soil, and water -- but also to life in its various forms. This is the conviction that led to the establishment of "PRO NATURA" on May 20, 1990. Though there are numerous environmental organizations in Poland, there are few that deal specifically with wildlife conservation. "PRO NATURA" aims to work out and to disseminate theoretical and practical principles which serve wildlife conservation. This is accomplished through seminars, lectures, nature trips, and publications. "PRO NATURA" allows the general public to meet scientists and scholars. "PRO NATURA" also acts to protect wildlife directly, by taking care of valuable areas, doing commissioned research, or buying land for future reserves.
"PRO NATURA" is taking part in efforts to protect the European pond tortoise. The pond tortoise population is threatened by changes in the turtles' natural habitat. The invasion of the raccoon dog from Russia, drainage work, and general development are all factors threatening the survival of the turtles. Last summer "PRO NATURA" members worked on the restoration of a field station, started to build a pond for young turtles, controlled nesting sites, and searched for turtles in places which had not yet been investigated.
"PRO NATURA" has also decided to get involved in efforts to protect the white stork. Although over 25% of the world's population of this species lives in Poland, the stork is not really safe here anymore. One of the important elements of stork protection efforts is repairing destroyed nests and putting up breeding platforms.
"PRO NATURA" is currently trying to set up an amateur bat protection movement. Collaborators will gather information, enter it in the Bat Sites Data Bank, inform the authorities and the public about threats to bats, and educate people about bat-related topics. These are the preliminary steps to the long-term bat protection activities of "PRO NATURA".
From the beginning, "PRO NATURA" has had contacts with several schools. While many teachers are poorly prepared for field lessons, a lot of members of "PRO NATURA" can recognize plants and animals and are able to lead excursions and outdoor training activities. Intensive educational projects include a lecture series, publication of educational materials, and special courses for teachers and "PRO NATURA"'s own instructors.
Together with "Zielone Akcja", "PRO NATURA" has developed a restoration plan for the Przemków area. Przemków, formerly used as training grounds for the Soviet Army, covers over 2500 hectares of wet meadows which are gradually drying up and losing their value as nesting places for waterfowl. The objectives of the plan are to restore the appropriate water level and to maintain the unique natural values of this area by adequate land management. In recent months the area has received partial legal protection. Efforts to establish a nature reserve there are continuing.
"PRO NATURA" is a Polish organization, yet wildlife can often be protected only on a global scale. The Society is open to international cooperation, and we would like to invite both organizations and individuals from all over the world to participate. Please send any questions and suggestions to "PRO NATURA" at the following address.
PTPP "PRO NATURA"
ul. Podwale 75
The Local Environmental Management Project (LEM) is a three-year technical assistance and training project conducted by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. The project assists selected local governments in Poland and Hungary to strengthen their ability to manage local environmental problems by focusing on solving technical, management and financial problems for one specific project, e.g. waste water systems and landfill management.
LEM is an AID/Washington-supported project (No. 180-0039) and operates under a 3 year contract between RTI and the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of AID/EUR (Contract No. 0039-C-00-2065-00). The contract will end in 1995. RTI is the prime contractor with two subcontractors: the International City Management Association (ICMA) and the Eastern Research Group (ERG). Selected local subcontractors are also associated with LEM in project implementation.
The LEM's project purpose is threefold:
A subpurpose of the project is to act, through the project manager, as broker-liaison by matching municipal requests for technical assistance not supplied by LEM with various AID supported projects which may be able to provide the needed information, data or assistance.
Through a series of field visits and consultations with national and local officials undertaken in September and November, 1992, the project team selected nine target Municipalities in Poland and Hungary. LEM efforts in Poland concentrate on wastewater management in Ziębice, Święta Katarzyna, Miedźna, Nowa Sól and Namysłów in Poland's south central and western regions. In Hungary project emphasis is on solid waste management issues in the cities of Györ, Ózd and Edelény and on hazardous waste problems in Sajószentpéter. Györ is two hours due west of Budapest while Ózd, Edelény and Sajószentpéter are in Borsod County.
LEM has had a full-time project manager in Kraków, Poland since February, 1993. A project office was established in October, 1993, with a 3 person local staff. The technical assistance and training is conducted through a series of short term consultancies by US technical specialists in local government and environmental management who are then associated with Polish and Hungarian technical experts during project implementation.
Training is an integral part of the LEM program. A specialized training schedule has been adopted to fit the needs of the Polish cities who have focused on the problems of waste water management and the Hungarian cities targeting both solid waste management and hazardous waste problems. In Poland the training courses being developed cover such topics as waste water plant operators training, waste water management and organization, project management and public information and outreach. In Hungary the training array features workshops and courses in landfill operation demonstrations, operations and maintenance, hydraulic systems, vehicle maintenance, the bidding and contract process, enterprise accounting, revenue collection and management systems.
Once these courses have been given to personnel of LEM's participating municipalities, they will also be available to other municipalities with similar training needs. When the LEM project completes its work in July, 1995 the training courses will be placed in the hands of various government and non-government agencies as part of their sustained training offering in these areas of environmental need.
LEM Project Office
Grodzka 1, Suite 200
tel.: 48/12/23-08-55, 23-08-61
Center for International Development
Research Triangle Institute
AID Project No. 180-0039
The Ecological Library Foundation was founded in 1989 to disseminate means and methods for solving the environmental crisis by making available the most important literature concerning protection of the natural environment, animal and plant conservation, ecology, health care, etc. The aim is to sensitize society to resolve environmental problems.
THE FOUNDATION'S PROGRAMMES
ECOLOGICAL LIBRARY FOUNDATION
The Ecological Library Foundation is located in the centre of Poznań, near the main buildings of Adam Mickiewicz University and the Academy of Economics, which is why it is not only a source of knowledge for many students and researchers, but also a place to meet people who are involved in environmental protection and nature conservation. At the present the Library has about 1300 readers.
There are 22 branches of science represented in the Library, mainly those connected with biology, environmental protection, treatment technologies, agriculture, medicine, etc.
The collection is listed both in traditional and computer catalogues. The computer catalogue enables swift location of the literature the clientele is interested in.
The Library organizes exhibitions which show methods of environmental education. By presenting photos, exhibitions enable the beauty of Polish and also foreign nature to be known, and make people more familiar with species of our fauna and flora.
DISTRIBUTION OF BOOKS
Since the end of 1989, the Foundation has distributed books to university and public libraries, research institutions, hospitals, etc. All these books are supplied by many non-profit organizations from the United States. The Foundation has also started to help to create school libraries in the country.
PUBLISHING OF BOOKS
So far the Foundation has published two books:
Jak żyć ekologicznie ("How to Live Caring for Nature", translated from the German)
Nasze Środowisko ("Our Environment", written especially for small children)
The next book (in the form of an album) is in preparation:
Zwierzęta chronione w Polsce ("Protected Animals in Poland")
The Library collects video films which can be shown at the Foundation's premises and lent to other institutions and individuals.
The Foundation is supported in the form of grants and donations from other organizations and institutions, both Polish and foreign, and from private sponsors.
The Ecological Library Foundation is an organization in accordance with Polish Law (Dziennik Ustaw Nr 21-97) and is registered in Court for the district Warszawa-Praga.
Fundacja Biblioteka Ekologiczna
ul. Kościuszki 79
tel.: 521-325, 524-139, fax: 528-276
Bank Account: PKO SA Oddział Poznań
ul. Masztalarska 8a
The Journalists' Environmental Protection Club EKOS was founded in Warsaw on April 20, 1983, as an independent non-governmental organization for journalists from all media. During martial law in 1981, the Association of Polish Journalists had been abolished. Environmental journalists established EKOS together with the Nature Protection League.
The EKOS journalists were the first to break the barrier of silence about environmental problems in Poland. The club's activities are carried out on several levels. The first one is raising awareness about environmental problems and introducing new insights into older issues. The second is to stimulate dialogue about environmental issues between the government and the public. Another area of the club's activities is education of its members about environmental problems and collaboration with other environmental organizations in Poland and other countries.
This program is implemented by organizing press conferences with experts, scientists, and representatives of local and national government. EKOS has organized more than 80 sessions in all parts of Poland, from the Baltic Sea to the Tatra Mountains and from the Polish-German border to the eastern regions of Poland. The club includes a group of journalists who intervene in urgent environmental matters. One of the biggest successes of EKOS was its significant role in stopping construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec in 1989.
Currently there are 120 members of the club representing the majority of Polish mass media.
Dyrekcja Generalna Lasów Państwowych
ul Wawelska 54/52
Directory of Polish Environmental Groups Available
The National Environmental Education Center in Warsaw has published a directory of Polish environmental groups ("Organizacje i ruchy ekologiczne w Polsce," Krajowe Centrum Edukacji Ekologicznej, Warszawa, 1994). This directory is available either from the Center or from Green Brigades. Send us $1 plus $2 shipping and handling.
The Animal Liberation Front (Front Wyzwolenia Zwierząt) started as a local sabotage group in 1988. Now they are the leading animals rights group in Poland. They work informally, trying to draw the attention of young people to animal rights. They represent the biggest animal rights group in Poland. Their protests are getting better and more constructive. The media and politicians are starting to get interested in their actions.
The activities of the Animal Liberation Front are supported by donations. They would be very thankful for help in printing of leaflets and papers in Polish. They also collect all kinds of materials (pictures, posters,etc.) on animal rights, for use in their exhibitions.
P.O. Box 223
86-300 Grudziądz 1