GB No. 3, winter 1990/91
Polish Ecological Club (Polski Klub Ekologiczny - PKE) was founded in September 1980 in Kraków. Its founding members were a group of journalists, doctors, artists, research workers and teachers. The Club was the first independent ecological movement in the whole communist block. Its existence became possible due to powerful workers protest in August 1980 which had led to foundation of "Solidarity", the first independent workers' organization in the Soviet block. PKE worked closely with "Solidarity" and was often considered as anticommunist opposition in the previous years.
PKE is a non-political, non-religious environmental organization open to all adult Polish citizens who recognize its declaration and statutes. Still its dominating profile is determined by the academic and expert groups, although they also associate with workers and farmers. The non-political character enables members of different political parties to join PKE. This constitutes the main difference between PKE and the Green Party in Poland.
PKE covers the whole territory of Poland in 16 regional branches. At present the number of members is approaching 5000. It has contact with several national and international organizations, among them with the German BUND, American UCNN, Dutch Milieudefensie, Swedish Svensk-Polska Miljoforeningen, it also belongs to Friends of the Earth International.
Information Center for Air Protection (ICAP) is a new-opened agency of PKE in Katowice. It is occupied in gathering information on air pollution, building up a network of contacts, distributing facts and information. It cooperates with the Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain.
Upper Silesian Branch is one of the most active regional organization of PKE. It has local branches in seven Silesian towns, students' group at the Silesian University and Silesian Academy of Medicine, young people' groups from Secondary Schools. We are working chiefly with propagation of proecological, saving energy thinking in industry and people communities.