Environment and sustainability, Law, advocacy and policy

The Tale of Agrafa

Asserting the right of exclusion of Agrafa mountains from the establishment of wind-energy parks by creating a community of active and intervening citizens

Creators

Who is behind this?

Alexandros Touloumtzidis

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development

https://ied.eu/

Greece

Who is joining forces?

Municipality of Agrafa

https://agrafa.gr/

Greece


Idea

Idea pitch

"The Tale of Agrafa" is a project that aims to create an active community, which through its actions will pursuit the exclusion of Agrafa ridges from the societal and environmental hazardous establishment of wind-energy parks. This goal will be implemented through the creation of a coordination body of citizens for the villages of Agrafa and the carve & signage of historical mountainous paths for the featuring of social and environmental consequences of this establishment for the region.

Where will your project idea take place?

Kerasochori, Agrafa, Granitsa, Fragista, Raptopoulo, Evrytania - Greece

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The societal challenges that the population of Agrafa region faces are the lack of civil cohesion, deriving from the migration of the population, the halt of traditional activities and some civil infrastructure inefficiencies. Furthermore, the absence of an inclusive society, as from the one hand the senior members of the communities, after years of economic recession and austerity measures, distrust the political system and cooperation with the younger generations and from the other hand the younger ones detect a cleavage between the practices of the past and their civil and economic regeneration. Finally, the hazardous interventions in their environment and landscape, which affect the communities not only in environmental perspective, but also in their social and economic development.

Who are you doing it for?

The project aims to mobilize the citizens of the Agrafa communities in order to strengthen the civil society and the dialogue for the advocation of their rights in the societal and environmental development of their region. The team will also try to reach active citizens and nature lovers who take initiatives for the preservation and protection of natural and cultural environments and who are active in the region of Agrafa.

How do you plan to get there?

The project will utilize the methodological tool of public history, as well as the community meetings approach. For the implementation of our project, we will undertake the following activities:

1. Initial meetings and educational sessions: The project’s team will inform the citizens of the region in village level, about the beginning, the scope and the activities of the project. It will inform them also about the social, environmental, economic and cultural consequences of the establishment of the wind-energy parks in the ridges of Agrafa. Lastly, from this meeting the 2 delegates for the community level meetings will be elected.

2. Meetings in Community level: They will be held by delegates of each village for: a) the decision making on which historical paths the community will carve and signal based on mutual agreements b) the coordination of the communal action.

3. Historical walks: The community, with the continuous support of the project’s team will organize and launch historical mountainous walks aiming at the promotion of the connection between the historical, cultural & environmental heritage of Agrafa region, as well as the exploitation of the publicity of the action for the advocacy of its interest.

4. Act submission: As final activity, the Community will submit an act to the regional authorities with its prepositions for further deliberation.

What are the expected results?

The successful outcome of the project will facilitate a systemic change in Agrafa region. It will inherit a process of civic engagement through the participation in local and regional assemblies. In this sense, the benefits will be multiplied as citizens will not only engage in collective action for the advocacy of their right to be heard in regional issues, but also with this paradigm they will empower young people to remain at Agrafa and seek their personal and regional development through collective action. Moreover, with the participation of the Municipality of Agrafa, a mutual cooperation will be fostered between the citizens and the local authority for mutual understanding of their interests in social and civic life, which eventually will lead to civic cohesion.

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

The social and environmental effects from the establishment of wind-energy parks in the ridges of Agrafa affects the life quality of region’s citizens. The fostering of active citizenship will be implemented by the participation in regional assemblies, the debating about the carve of historical paths and the cooperative launch and participation in historical mountainous walks for the featuring of the social and environmental heritage of Agrafa and their violation. This will be supported by informative sessions regarding the nature of the issue, the policies which regulate it and the institutional & systemic ways for citizens' rights advocacy. Finally, the strategic cooperation between the actors of civil society and the Municipality will foster cooperation for sustainable civic engagement.

Why is this idea important to you?

Team members are descended from Agrafa and hold relevant backgrounds for the activities. Alex Kardabikis, Mayor of Agrafa Municipality, is president of Granitsa’s village brotherhood and former civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture. He is dealing everyday with the societal problems of the region and he dedicated efforts for the assessment on the consequences of wind-energy parks establishment. Alex Touloumtzidis is coming from Anavra village, on the foothills of Agrafa. He is a PhD candidate in modern Greek History and a member of hiking association. Alexandra Kyritsaka and Maria Pournari are experienced project managers. The ecosystem of Agrafa we knew is in grave danger and as the population of Agrafa getting older, we decided to act and combine our skills for its regeneration.

€ 38000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

20000 personnel costs for project implementation and management
4000 equipment and consumables
4000 travel and accommodation costs
4000 construction activities for village halls and path clearance activities
3000 dissemination activities
1500 direct costs (printings, brochures, posters etc.)
1000 graphic design fees
500 Literature platforms fees

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

It may seem oxymoron that the project fights against a renewable energy source. We declare that we are not! Wind-energy parks must be established in a proper way in accordance with the social and environmental landscape of Agrafa. We can discuss this and any comment or feedback in the section below!

Team

Alexandros Touloumtzidis

mpournari

Alexaandra Kyritsaka

Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

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