GB No. 1(16)/95
Officially registered in 1981, the Polish Ecological Club (PKE),
Upper Silesian Branch, is an independent regional, non-governmental,
non profit organization acting in co-operation with other PKE
regional branches throughout Poland. PKE's basic aims are to minimize
health threats to the inhabitants of Upper Silesia, restore and
protect the natural environment, and create conditions for sustainable
economic development through a strategy based upon a respect for
human and natural resources and the region's historical heritage.
Now in existence for over 13 years, PKE continues to be at the
forefront of environmental activism and change.
The PKE Upper Silesian Branch is the largest branch within the structure of the national PKE organization and is organized into 16 local chapters. Its members represent a cross section of society, including students, workers, journalists, teachers and other professionals. The policy of the organization is controlled by a democratically elected council. PKE programs and the activities of 500 volunteer members are managed by 5 full time professional staff. PKE's activities are structured around its programs which are separately funded.
PKE, Upper Silesian Branch, acts as a pressure group through direct action by educating the public and organizing campaigns. PKE publishes its own bulletins, brochures and scientific reports, and organizes seminars, workshops, events and public meetings covering ecological issues. Through its efforts, PKE is able to identify environmental problems, offer solutions, and influence government actions through democratic processes. PKE co-operates with international environmental organizations, including the Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain, European Nature Heritage Fund, Milieukontakt Oost-Europa and is a member of Friends of the Earth International.
Information Centre for Air Protection (ICAP): ICAP prepares and disseminates information on the effects of air pollution and the energy sector including alternative energy sources; initiates discussion on policies and plans proposed by government and industry aiming at reducing air emissions and restructuring the energy sector; conducts direct and indirect lobby work; and networks with other regional, national and international organizations concerned about air quality protection and energy issues.
Information Centre for Waste Management: The waste centre promotes environmentally sound waste management alternatives such as waste minimization, reuse, recycling, and composting. The Green Consumer Packaging Project promotes environmentally friendly packaging alternatives by preparing and disseminating informational materials to local consumers, retailers and government officials.
Food Quality Testing Program for Upper Silesia: The Food Quality Testing Program is conducted by the Gliwice Local Chapter, and informs local residents about the harmful effects of heavy metal contamination in food, and operate a co-operative network consisting of farmers, a wholesale shop and retail shops that market organically grown and tested food. (See article Page 3):
Ecological Information Point for Community Members (PIES): PIES is a public outreach project informing local citizens about the region's environmental problems and how they can participate and influence decisions affecting the environment.
General Activities/Events: In June 1994, a "Day Without Cars" was organized in downtown Katowice to inform the public about the negative environmental impacts caused by excessive automobile use, and to encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation such as mass transit and bicycle. Brochures discussing automobile traffic related problems were distributed to the audience and PKE staff were on hand to answer peoples' questions. The event was covered by both local TV and radio.
A monthly informational newsletter (PKE Ecological Bulletin) is published in Polish to inform the public about PKE's activities and various ecological issues. The circulation of the newsletter has increased during the first year of its publication from 200 to 1 D00 copies. The newsletter is distributed to local PKE members, regional PKE branches, local authorities, state officials and interested persons who visit the PKE offices or attend PKE's monthly open meetings.
For further information contact:
Aleksandra Chodasewicz or Katarzyna Klich
PKE, Upper Silesian Branch
PI. Grunwaldzki 8/10, p.243
reprinted from Ecological Bulletin
of the PKE Upper Silesian Branch