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Multiplying Eco-Leaders | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability, Youth participation and empowerment

Multiplying Eco-Leaders

The Planet needs Leaders and local Solutions. We need those who inspire, who activate those arround them! Let’s find, train and support them so they boost the regeneration of their communities!


Who is behind this?

Susana Guimarães

Salve Instituto Luz e Vida (Association), Reflorestar Portugal (Initiative)


Who is joining forces?

Parish Council of Fornelos


Socialware - Personal and Social Development


Retumbana Velha


It is expected to have two more partners directly involved: Joyas da Terra (Soajo village), an organization from Pedrogão Grande, as well as other local private and governmental institutions.


Idea pitch

We aim to find leaders across the country and provide them the tools they need to be able to collaborate in efficient ways, so that they can train more changemakers and inspire action locally in their communities. A network of City Halls, Parish Councils, NGO´s, private companies, informal colectives, activists and individuals will be created in this process, while providing knowledge about how to restore nature and create regenerative economies, based on Sintropic Agroforestry potential.

Where will your project idea take place?

Fornelos and Soajo (north), Pedrogão Grande (central), Relíquias (south).

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The lack of civic engagement in regeneration, protection, preservation of forest land and native species as well as the loss of ancient and traditional knowledge/practices are strong issues we aim to directly address. We will tackle the lack of communication between locals and their Parish councils and/or City Halls, as well as the lack of collaborative skills for collective project development.We want to dismantle misconceptions on how nature works, so we can avoid the continuous natural degradation and provide insight and knowledge as a path to create new regenerative economies, based on forestry and agroforestry potential. We will also tackle the physical distance that causes the feeling of loneliness, separation and impotence by bringing people together in the “Gathering for Forests"

Who are you doing it for?

We are doing this for all Portuguese people and the next generations.The target groups for phase 1 of the project, “workshops on social collaboration tools and ecological restoration, for changemakers” (10 people + 30 people), are local community leaders, people who have a leading will and/or experience in facilitation, willing to learn about collaborative techniques and want to contribute to tackle climate change as well as other ecological issues and are motivated to teach in and activate their communities. Phase 2 of the project, the Gathering for the Forests (+200 people) includes: phase 1 participants, farmers, landowners, new rural inhabitants, governments and political parties representatives, universities, forestry experts, as well as local activists and general population.

How do you plan to get there?

Multiplying Eco-Changemakers has 3 stages that leads to the creation of an active inspirational citizens network:
1)A training course for 10 facilitators from different locations.With two components: a) social tools for personal development and collaborative work (to boost active citizenship, community resilience and autonomy); b) Ecological thinking approach and basic technical components on ecologically regenerative practices.
2)These facilitators will then develop a similar training &a pilot project in 3 target rural communities, involving 10 to 30 individuals from each community and aiming for a specific and useful outcome for the community involved.
3)3rd Gathering for Forests event (with+200 participants) to keep connecting and feeding the network of active citizens and changemakers, increase awareness and provide more collaborative tools on social technologies, create synergies and encourage projects with common goals to co-create/collaborate. It brings together:experts,activists,farmers, therapists,communities from permaculture movement,natural farming and circular economies projects. Local groups will be in the Gathering,having feedback and finding like-minded people to collaborate and support their local projects.As an outcome of the Gathering there will be a co-created plan to present to governmental institutions as well as solutions to share with the population

What are the expected results?

At least 40 citizens will be empowered to develop local initiaves, activating more people and bringing social-environmental impact from north to south of Portugal (i.e creating a local plant nursery or a seed bank; organizing reforestation); Data on local issues and needs will be gathered during this process and will serve as working material for the Gathering for the Forests, where we will work on the possible solutions, having this as an outcome to be shared with the population and governmental institutions; A group of facilitators from different locations will be identified to co-create the Gathering. Relations between citizens and local governments will be reinforced. Social tools will be shared and available to rural communities. The regenerative network will be strengthened.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

With a strong focus on environmental regeneration, we believe it is equally essential to develop skills in collaborative work, where many are involved and contribute to identify local problems and specific solutions. We will use methodologies inspired in Dragon Dreaming and Sociocracy, where we go deeper on skills such as authentic communication, active listening and empathy, as well as project planning and collective decision-making.By disseminating these tools in different local communities and involving public entities in the developed initiatives, we create references&influence in decision-making bodies.
Our goal of multiplying changemakers aims to create a movement of active citizenship in rural areas, where the outcome projects will have a ripple effect, inspiring more similar ones.

Why is this idea important to you?

Reflorestar Portugal emerged after the 2017 wildfires, that killed +100 people and burned over 50.000hct of land. Our mission is to Empower local Resilience through social-environmental regeneration. With this in mind, Marina and Susana, Co-Founders of the project, have been on the road since 2017 from north to south of Portugal, meeting different projects and ecosystems, making assessments, promoting partnerships and workshops. From that extensive work a lot of contacts and knowledge about the land and communities was gathered. The other team members are: Virgínia Santos, sociologist and project developer for 20 years, specialized in social tools for collaborative work. Yassine Benderra works in Permaculture, regenerative agroforestry and consultancy, with experience as facilitator.

€ 43620,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Considering the 3 phases of the project, namely, first training, 3 local pilot trainings and final gathering for training and network, our estimated costs are:
Trainers: 17.670€
Financial, Administrative and management costs: 5.400€
Traveling: 3.800€
Food and Accommodation: 5.200€
Renting and other logistic costs: 6.350€
Marketing and communication: 2.500€
Equipments and consumables: 2.700€

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We have a clear and concrete idea of ​​the project to be developed. We believe that we have the skills and the competencies we need and we are super motivated and committed to make it happen. We would like to know if the way we have exposed our project idea is clear to those who read it.


Reflorestar Portugal


Idea created on April 22, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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