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Rural Development for Environmental Protection | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability

Rural Development for Environmental Protection

Rural NGO’s for environment protection


Who is behind this?

Matea Jarak

Zagreb Speleological Union


Who is joining forces?

Croatian Biology Research Society


Udruga “Geopark imotska jezera”





Idea pitch

Strengthening small local NGOs in undeveloped areas

Where will your project idea take place?

Towns of Imotski, Duga Resa & Gospić, small places in 3 rural regions in Croatia.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Specific societal challenge faced by this regions are lack of activities in any section and involvement of young people. The civil sector lacs volunteers, involvement of citizens and capacity to attract funds for nature conservation.We can say that environmental associations suffer from the same "disease" as the whole society; they did not escape excessive centralization of Croatia. By analyzing CRO NGOs, largest financial and project activity have NGOs in large urban areas. Our target groups are local NGOs & young people there as well as the public, institutions, the professional community and the existing network of environmental associations whose expansion would contribute to the development of civic awareness and environmental protection.

Who are you doing it for?

The target NGOs’ towns have a total of 34.689 (2011) inhabitants that will be directly or indirectly influenced. They have their own schools, public organization and municipality. That way they’ll be able to educate & activate different range of community members. We’ll be strengthening local NGOs’ & teach them how to prepare projects on environment protection, to activate citizens and be a part of local policy making process. Newly strengthened NGOs’ will join a Croatian environment network, spreading the range of their impact all over Croatia and Europe. For now, local NGOs’ have merely few members, but we intend to expand their numbers through activities we will organize with them as a learning process.

How do you plan to get there?

Our main task is to educate NGO participants (15) to engage the local community through specific education programs as business, environmental law and civic activation. We’ll provide knowledge and skills from “Big brother” NGO’s to local ones and by the end of program they’ll have to prepare their own projects for their local community, engaging as many people possible. Having round tables they will gather info & problems their neighbors have, implementing them in their projects. We expect the creation of a new network and cooperation with the existing network of CSOs, through which strengthened CSOs will exchange information, establish cooperation with each other and with public and private entities, prepare and implement environmental protection projects.

What are the expected results?

We expect at least 15 members of NGOs to finish the educational program, and to make 3 projects that will deal with environment problems in their surroundings. We expect to grow the NGOs’ memberships for at least 50 % and to organize 6 round tables for public for 50 local key stakeholders. 6 public events will directly gather over 600 locals and have indirect impact on over 30 000 people. We plan to involve 3 local elementary schools, 3 municipalities and 3 local tourist boards. We plan to develop local strategy for each NGO for their enrolment in local policy decision process and development of activities for local tourism development.

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

To combat the lack of information flow, we aim to make local NGOs active parts of the civilc infrastructure that allows for a swift and free passage of information through the entire community. Through this project participants will gain necessary skills & knowledge to educate locals in environments protection and to participate in public politics that will strengthen civic cohesion. It is crucial to strengthen the work of NGOs, which together with the residents will ensure their human right to a healthy and clean environment. By strengthening small local NGOs in undeveloped areas, the existing network of environmental associations operating in larger cities is also strengthened, ensuring coverage of larger areas, especially rural areas where negative environmental impacts are more common.

Why is this idea important to you?

We see it almost every day: laws being broken in Croatia on the issue of environment & nature protection, beautiful sceneries being destroyed, people trying to gather in groups but lacking information and knowledge to stop it from happening. We need as many active people ready to stand against nature devastation and to activate their communities to protect it. Safe and clean environment is human right and we will need it in the future, it will not repair itself. Understanding the democratic process of law making and implementation will provide fast and high-quality reaction from citizens. Making a network that will make sure every inch of Croatia is safe from pollution and devastation will be our coup de grace in our mission.

€ 48850,-

Total budget

€ 48850,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Education coordinator 12 month = 10500 EUR
Network and visibility coordinator 12 month = 10500 EUR
Educators (external trainers) fees = 10000 EUR
External services (Administration, 3 workshops, catering, posters, visibility, web, print, promo material) = 9900 EUR
Subsidence costs =1600 EUR
Travel costs (12 trips x average 600 km per trip x 2 kn/km) = 2500 EUR
Accomodation (5 person, 3 workshops- 9 nights, 3 educations- 9 nights, 3 actions- 9 nights =5 person x 27 nights/30 euro - 4050 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are very open to any kind of advice, comments or feedback. We believe that only with the help of comments, feedback and positive and negative criticism we can improve society and thus contribute to the success of our proposed project.



Idea created on May 27, 2020

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