Wydawnictwo Zielone Brygady - dobre z natury


The Hague, 19 April, 1998

Dear Andrzej Zwawa,

Having read the Green Brigades since 1988 I am profoundly convinced of the impact and unique role the publication has had in the systematic disseminating of environmental information, promoting sustainable development, and in providing information & knowledge tools for citizens' organizations. In particular I find the following aspects and results of your work to be of unique value to the development of civil society in Poland:

- the contribution of the Green Brigades to the pluralization of the debates on development strategies in Poland. So far very few political parties include environmental perspectives into their political programs. Sustainable development, and market instruments to green the economy have not yet been extensively debated by politicians and the media in Poland. Consequently, public opinion remains uninformed about policy options.

- the unique role the Green Brigades played in providing the information on the on-going activities of various environmental organizations in Poland. In view of the absence of other such publications, and the lacking national platform for environmental NGOs, the Green Brigades filled in the gap and helped to maintain the continuity of environmental movement in Poland, and enabled the cooperation among different organizations.

- the impact of the Green Brigades on pluralizing the environmental discourse in Poland by way of articulating connections between ecology and democracy, including the right to know and public participation instruments.

- by way of providing space for articles and debates on the position of women in society and their role in sustainable development, and by giving voice to women in environmental movement, the Green Brigades have contributed to deconstructing the blanket concept of equality inherited from communism. The space for such debates has further played a role in integrating different streams of citizens' organizations.

- the dissemination of information on global environmental negotiations to Polish readers, and through the English version, about environmental movement in Poland filled in acute information gaps between Polish and international environmental issues and organizations. In comparison to the NGOs in other regions, the participation of CEE NGOs in global sustainable development negotiations has been rather limited, and there have been few discussions on the responsibility of the countries in transition, Poland including, for the maintaining of the ecological security and the integrity of global ecosystems.

- Last but by no means least, the Green Brigades have been very unique in providing space for discussion of work methods, terms of cooperation and democracy among and within NGOs, and on other issues in civil governance. Though rarely addressed these issues are crucial in democratizing and strengthening civil society itself, and are of particular importance in societies which overcome the attitudes and thinking patterns inherited from communism.

In view of the above, I am profoundly convinced the Green Brigades do deserve the funding support in order to be able to continue your valuable contribution to the environmental movement and civil society in Poland.

Ewa Charkiewicz
researcher and lecturer, Institute of Social Studies in the Hague
consultant, Tools for Transition
policy research coordinator, CEECAP
World Bank External Gender Consultative Group member
also involved with Karat Coalition for Regional Action
Tools for Transition
Atjehstraat 20
NL-2585 VK Den Haag
tel. & fax + 31 70 3520 289
email echsvb@euronet.nl