GB No. 4(15)/94

An Initiative of the Environmental Partnership for Central Europe (EPCE)


The Training and Assistance Program (TAP) is a non-profit entity founded in 1993 through a joint grant from the Environmental Training Project of the University of Minnesota and EPCE. Environmental activists and professionals in Poland had reached a stage in their development where they realized that they needed to acquire a new level of operating standards in order to work effectively. TAP's genesis was a response to the growing demand from the environmental movement for professional skill and information transfer. In its early stages TAP relied completely on foreign trainers, and although these trainers and the materials they produced were sensitive to the Polish reality, it was necessary to train Poles to take over in order for the program to be sustainable. This strong commitment to the future and to producing the highest quality training program has become TAP's hallmark.

In May and June of 1994 TAP conducted two 4-day workshops. The intense preparation and professional delivery of strategic planning and financial resource development material received an overwhelmingly positive response from the 48 participants who represented environmental NGOs, training professionals, and local governments. Each participant was given a complete resource manual including the topics of fundraising, budgeting, community outreach, program planning, and many other important institutional strengthening subjects. This allowed participants to bring the information back to their groups. The participants were encouraged to have two representatives from their organizations present, also in an effort to facilitate information transfer. Following the conviction that the workshop is only the beginning of the training process, TAP continues the process through frequent letter contact, site visits, and consultations. The program also continually updates its materials in an effort to increase the quality of each workshop.

TAP began its Polish trainers program by sponsoring an intensive two week training of trainers practical apprenticeship. This hands-on method of training was experienced by the initial four Polish trainer corps members and proved to be a very effective tool in both skill transfer and team building. These trainers have now gone on to become team captains for four regional training teams consisting of a total of 21 new trainers. These trainers began their program with a thorough five-day training of trainers workshop and have continued with team meetings aimed at producing their own workshops. One team has already delivered a two-day workshop on fundraising.

The training of trainers program will continue throughout the next year with additional meetings, individual consultations, two advanced training of trainers and personal development workshops, practical hands-on training by the training teams in the form of strategic planning and financial resource development (SPFRD) workshops, and attending workshops being sponsored by other foundations in Poland.

Mission Statement: In order to increase the capacity for positive environmental action in Poland, EPCE's Training and Assistance Program serves environmental activists, NGOs, and local government departments through training courses in the fields of institutional strengthening, democracy building, training of trainers, and issue-specific topics supported by expertly produced training materials.

TAP is currently in the process of developing and enhancing its program. The program strives to go into several different directions including training of local governments, participation and democracy building, consultations and workshops for NGOs, and training of trainers at beginning and advanced levels. If you are interested in assisting with the enhancement of the program, your help could come in several forms: financial support, sponsoring a workshop, donating training materials that could be used in future workshops, and providing information on training opportunities within Poland.

Radosław Tendera, TAP Coordinator
ul. Sławkowska 12/14
31-014 Kraków, POLAND
tel. (48 12) 22-88-44 ext. 4
fax (48 12) 22-22-64


picture 1

Cooperation between the FOLKECENTER for Renewable Energy and the ECOBALTIC Foundation in Gdańsk has lead to the development of a wind turbine in Swarzewo, Poland. The FOLKECENTER-designed "DANmark 20" wind turbine has a maximum power output of 95 kW, which is equivalent to the energy requirements of 80 family households. This energy is delivered directly to the public power grid. The production of the same amount of electrical energy during the course of one year in a traditional coal-fired plant would have emitted 230 t of CO2, 1.0 t of NOx, 1.3 t of SO2, and 13.3 t of cinders, ash, and dust. None of these pollutants are ever emitted from the wind turbine plant, thus ensuring less acid rain, smog, and nitrogen deposition to the Baltic Sea. picture 2

The FOLKECENTER for Renewable Energy is an independent institution supported by the Danish Government and local authorities since 1983. The main objective of the FOLKECENTER is to promote the dissemination of information and the development of ideas in regard to renewable energy technologies for small and medium scale industries. Over the past 11 years, the FOLKECENTER has acquired a comprehensive expertise in obtaining energy from solar radiation, wind, biogas, and co-generation. The international division of the FOLKECENTER organizes training programs, conferences, and international co-operation projects throughout Denmark and Eastern Europe. In addition, the FOLKECENTER publishes the monthly newsletter "Renewable Energy Centres worldwide" -- a newsletter for people and organizations applying renewable energy for local development. The international division of the FOLKECENTER has established six Energy Offices in Central and Eastern Europe: Gdańsk and Katowice, Poland; St Petersburg, Russia; Kaunas, Lithuania; Banska Bystrica, Slovakia; and Gyor, Hungary. The ECOBALTIC Foundation in Gdańsk has been a regional FOLKECENTER Energy Office since 1992.

In order to obtain information concerning the branch FOLKECENTER offices throuhgout Eastern Europe and subscription material for the "Renewable Energy Centres worldwide" newsletter, please contact the Energy Office at the ECOBALTIC Foundation or the FOLKECENTER for Renewable Energy, Kammersgaardsvey 16 Sdr. Ydby, 7760 Hurup Thy, DENMARK; tel. 45/9795 6600, fax 45/9795 6565.

Energy Office
ECOBALTIC Foundation
ul. Ja¶kowa Dolina 76
80-286 Gdańsk
tel./fax 48/58/41 00 82


Missoula, Montana, USA - The destruction of the Białowieża Forest became one of the hottest issues at the 1994 Native Forest Network (NFN) Conference held in the Rocky Mountains this November. The Canadian-based organization BISON presented the situation of the Białowieża Forest to over 200 activists from around the world. North American and Western European environmentalists have made a commitment to organize an international campaign to stop the logging in the Białowieża Forest. picture 3

BISON (Białowieża International Support Organizations Network) is a conservation organization devoted exclusively to the protection of the Białowieża Forest. It was founded in October, 1994, as a response to the inability of the Polish government to protect this last ancient lowland forest on the European continent. Its main goal is to draw the attention of the international community to the liquidation of the forest. In addition, it aims to build a coalition with worldwide environmental organizations like the NFN in order to create opposition abroad.

BISON's report at the NFN conference marked the beginning of the international awareness campaign, causing a lot of outrage. "I didn't realize they are logging this forest," said Theo Hopkins, an NFN representative from Britian. "We are really concerned about the forest. When we get back home, we'll certainly be working on it." As the logging season starts in Białowieża, environmentalists across the globe will take action to exert political pressure on the government of Poland to preserve the entire area of the forest.

For more information, contact BISON, R.R. #1, Site-2 C-14, Gabriola Isle, B.C., CANADA VOR-1X0.


On the November 8, 1994, the Minister of Environmental Protection signed a document for the opening of forest lands for the "Promotional Forestry Complex." The State Forestry Commission (Lasy Panstwowe or LP) is responsible for this idea. By ministerial decision, 90% of the forest falls under the management of the LP. The following developments arise from the signing of this document (see the 2/94 issue of Green Brigades for a synopsis of the situation in Białowieża to date):

  1. The creation of protected areas contiguous to the national park (regretfully belated, as many precious trees have already been cut in these areas). In these areas there should be a ban on clear-cutting, with a preference for natural renewal and little or no use of heavy machinery. It has been decided that only 10% of the valuable old trees will be preserved (the rest, presumably, will be cut out, if with some delicacy).
  2. The designation of a second area (so-called Zone II) in which there will be a multi-faceted forestry management scheme, with a higher threshold age for trees (oaks - 300 years; ash - 180 years; pine - 140 years; fir - 120 years). And therefore, after they have achieved an impressive natural stature and also when they have achieved the greatest economic value, then 5% of ancient trees can be magnanimously left in peace. Therefore, in this zone, not 90%, but 95% of trees can be cut.
  3. Zone III has to be designated on the periphery of the forest and is to be subject to less experimental management, though the possibility of replanting a natural temperate forest is not totally excluded.

Yet another development, concerning forest fauna, is the idea of culling the strictly protected bison, the few remaining moose, and (necessary for the well-being of the forest ecosystem) wild boar. Also targeted are the innocent roe deer (only 1% damaging), the principal prey for the extremely rare lynx, and elk, which in natural forests cause little problem.

The minister's decision on two points comes close to the real issues of nature conservation and protection -- it recommends an inventory of the breeding grounds of rare birds and other categories of rare fauna (which should be a routine procedure, anyway), and proposes the creation of strict reserves (without, however, defining how many, what area, or when -- though it is quite precise in defining the proportion of ancient trees permitted to be cut in already existing partial reserves as 80%!!).

We demand that the cutting of ancient trees in the forest be stopped!! We demand that the whole forest area become part of the national park!!

the Workshop for All Beings
ul. Modrzewskiego 29/3
43-300 Bielsko-Biała
tel. 48/30/73153, 29496, 77241


NGO Action Needed to Stop Precedent Setting Decision of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Support the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant

In the coming weeks the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will make a decision about funding for the completion of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia. This decision will dramatically affect the future of nuclear power and energy policy in Central and Eastern Europe. Funding for this project will enable completion of a dangerous soviet designed nuclear reactor. Lower cost energy efficiency projects and alternative energy sources exist in Slovakia and instead need the support of the EBRD. The actions of environmental NGOs can ensure that the EBRD does not fund the completion of Mochovce and supports instead existing energy efficiency alternatives.

Located one hundred and twenty kilometers east from Bratislava, Mochovce is a partially built VVER 440-213 reactor whose construction was halted in 1991 because of a lack of funds. The Slovensky Energeticky Podnik (SEP) and a consortium of western firms, headed by Electricite de France (EdF), have formed a joint venture company to complete two of the four reactors. To complete the reactors, however, the companies need about $850 million from the EBRD and Euratom as well as other western banks. The EBRD was established to help facilitate the economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe and is committed to "promote in the full range of its activities environmentally sound and sustainable development." On December 8, 1994 an official public participation process begins that will allow all environmentalists and people concerned about the expansion of nuclear power and the need for alternative energy strategies to present their comments about the project. A project description, information on planned safety improvements, an economic study of the project and alternatives, and an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project will be available from SEP, in Slovakian Embassies in Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Kiev and at 5 locations in Slovakia.

Environmentalists in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary; Austria have been active for months in opposing EBRD funding for the project and promoting instead the available energy efficiency options and alternatives to Mochovce. The completion of Mochovce can only be achieved with the support of western partners and founders. Your help is needed in the effort to stop the wasteful funding for this dangerous and inappropriate project.

What can you do?

  1. Write to both the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Slovensky Energeticky Podnik to express your opinion about the project. A sample letter is attached with the necessary addresses.
  2. Lobby the EBRD director for your country. The EBRD is composed of directors representing each member country. A letter to the director from your country opposing the project will have. a powerful influence in expanding the opposition to the project. The address for the director is the same as the president.
  3. Lobby the government department responsible for EBRD director for your country. Each country has an Ministry to which the EBRD director must report. Lobbying of the Ministry responsible for the EBRD director (usually the finance Ministry) will help ensure that the director opposes the project.
  4. Encourage other NGOs in your country to join the international effort to stop this project.
  5. Encourage media in your country to write stories about the project.

A sample letter to the EBRD

President Jacques de Larosiere
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
EC 2A 2EH London
Great Britain

Dear Mr. de Larosiere

We are writing to inform you of our concern about possible financing by the EBRD of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia.

As the nuclear accident at Chernobyl demonstrated, the dangers of nuclear accidents are not confined to the country in which they occur. Completion of the Soviet designed reactor at Mochovce presents direct danger to the people of my country. In addition to our concerns about safety, we believe that the use of international funds, for completion of this reactor is inappropriate given that energy saving and other alternative energy options are available and cheaper for Slovakia.

We sincerely hope that the EBRD rejects funding of this nuclear power plant and works instead to ensure the energy needs of the people are realized through assistance in developing energy savings potential and lower risk and lower cost energy options.

Yours Sincerely, Name and Organization

The address for Slovensky Energeticky Podnik is:

Karol Bodorik
Hranicna 12
827 36 Bratislava

Slovakian and international environmental NGOs are working together to stop this project. If you require more information or ideas on what you can do to stop this project please contact:

The Mochovce decision is an important precedent. Please do all you can. Thank you.

In Poland contact:

The Campaign against the candidature of POPRAD - TATRY
as an potential place for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002

In October 1994, the North-Eastern Slovak Union for the Preservation of Nature "PCOLA" started its campaign against placing the Winter Olympic Games in the Tatra Mountains, Slovakia in 2002. The main aim of the environmentalists is to show how Nature Protection Law is broken, in the core zones of the two largest National Parks - the High Tatra N.P. and Law Tatra N.P. The environmentalists, during their silent protests in Strbske Pleso (2x), Poprad and Tatranska Lomnica, carried on a dialogue with the local inhabitants and the Tatra Mts. visitors. The SZOPK stands in a position, which is absolutely discordant with the Olympic ideals. It is considered as wrong presentation of Slovakia all over the world. The five points of the SZOPK's position/warning are as follows:

  1. The forest (6,127 ha) and dwarf mountain pine (1,278 ha) are to be clean cut in the Law Tatra's core zone.
  2. Breaking some legal acts (the High Tatra Mountains Act, Nature Protection Act, Slovak Republic Constitution).
  3. The Winter Olympic Games in Albertville had deficit amounted to 1,5 billion SK (Slovak krones).
  4. Lack of infrastructure/activity plan after the Olympic Games, what makes impossible to introduce alternative forms of development (e.g. eco-tourism, agro-tourism).
  5. Breaking the nature protection regulations - International Agreements - in a barbarous manner.

The above presented SZOPK's standpoint was accepted and signed by app. 20% of the local inhabitants and the Tatra Mts. visitors. The appeal's issue had an impact on a meeting in the Hotel GRAND, Stary Smokovec, where Thomas BACH (the International Olympic Games Committee), Olaf MYRHOLT (expert on ecological parameters evaluation) and the SZOPK's representatives gathered. The planned short meeting became an informal, sincere two hours long discussion, ended by promise that on December 9, the official report would be prepared. Furthermore, after a week, the next meeting with the Poprad-Tatry Olympic Games Committee was held. Also that four hours long meeting should bring an official standpoint concerning the Slovakian candidature.

The campaign, supported by the local REC Office in Bratislava, was appreciated as the most correct by the Olympic Committee. It is a pity that the most of Slovakian media representatives have not been so correct. The final output of the campaign will be known after January 29, 1995, when four final candidates will be chosen in Budapest.

For more information contact:

Ela Polacková
nám. sv. Mikuláša 16
064 01 Stará Lubovna, Slovakia

GB No. 4(15)/94 | Contents