GB No. 3(18)/95
The Green Federation, as the name itself indicates, is made up of several ecological groups working all over Poland. The groups are not connected by any formal relations but by shared principles of functioning and goals. The primary ones are environmental protection, peace and democracy.
The Oświęcim group of the Green Federation (FZO) was founded in 1989 united by a protest against a refinery planned in the town. Owing to formal and informal proceedings undertaken (demonstrations, poster and handbill distribution, publicity) the location of the scheme was altered. Initially it was to be built in agricultural areas but under our influence the decision-maker decided to place the refinery on the grounds of an existing chemical complex. Finally, the scheme was completely abandoned.
Since then the Federation has undertaken many forms of action aimed at natural environment restoration as well as local community education on the subject. A few instances are tree planting, clearing the banks of the river Soła, meetings and contests, educating people about waste segregation developed in the town, protests against violation of animal rights.
Thanks to the participation of the Federation representatives in the work of the town advisory commission dealing with forest management many trees were saved. In case of loosing a case or the authorities not respecting the opinion of the commission, the environmentalists took legal action in order to get the decision concerning tree felling repealed.
Asked by the community of Babice, a village near Oświęcim, we had the decision made by the local authorities concerning modernisation of a local road repealed. The road was to go from Silesia to the south and it is highly dangerous for the health of the Babice people. As a result of our legal intervention we managed to stop the work for six months. At present the road through Babice is closed down. The Federation is aiming at making the local authorities decide to build a ring road which has been planned for a long time.
The Federation dealt also with the illegal management of waste rock from coal mines which was used for the embankment of fish ponds. Due to our intervention this was stopped.
The Green Federation Oświęcim actively participates in the campaign for pro-environmental waste management. Its members have co-operated in preparing a pamphlet on the subject of municipal waste incineration. We also organise a recyclable material collecting action to back up the waste segregation system in our town.
The action we have initiated meets with strong media interest . Therefore many people, not only from Oświęcim, ask us for help. Sometimes we cannot offer constructive support ourselves but at least we always advise who turn to and in what way.
During the last Oświęcim Autumn '94 the Green Federation prepared an "ecology day" including a workshop on vegetarianism, a fair of healthy food and books on environmental problems, an exhibition devoted to animal rights and a performance by the theatre "Poeton" on the ecological subject, entitled "The sphere of doubts, or what will the future bring about".
At present the Federation's activity focuses on pro-environmental waste management, on animal rights (we are preparing a publication on the subject) and reduction of the negative impact of transport upon the environment. We have initiated promotion of waste segregation in the whole town, in schools and other institutions. We took part in preparations for the "cleaning of the World" as we did last year. Actions started in 1994 aimed at car transport reduction are now being expanded with promotion of public transport and cycling (a campaign in favour of developing the cycling paths system called "It's Healthier by Bike").
Recently we have initiated a co-operation with the Foundation "Prometeusz". Together we are trying to found the Centre for Ecology and Promotion of Health in our town.
During the last tenure of the Town Council a representative of the Green Federation became a member of a commission for health and environmental protection. One of us was also chosen to represent ecological organisations in the Board of the Environmental Protection Fund in Bielsko-Biała.
The Green Federation is an association registered in the voivodship court in Bielsko-Biała. Since its very beginning the organisation has neither a headquarters norm regular employees. Our meetings take place in private homes or in the International House for youth Meetings. All our work is done voluntarily. The donations we are granted by sponsors have been used e.g. to buy educational materials, but never for salaries.
the Green Federation - Oświęcim
P.O. Box 13
32-606 Oświęcim 6
tel. 48/33/432557 (Andrzej Kanadys)
48/33/431792 (Robert Wawręty)
bank account: PKO BP O/Oświęcim,
no 7621 - 534 - 132
translated by Małgorzata Maciejewska