Environmental movement-aAlbanian Environmental Movement in European Contextlbania
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Environmental movement-aAlbanian Environmental Movement in European Contextlbania Environmental movement-aAlbanian Environmental Movement in European Contextlbania Document Transcript

  • AlbanianEnvironmentalMovementin European context Serving society towards sustainability
  • NGISED Shtëpia Botuese ‘Natyra’ isbn 978-9928-114-02-0 978- 9928- 114- 02- 0
  • AlbanianEnvironmentalMovement inEuropean Context
  • PrefaceIn his road to development Men have shown extraordinary values,but in certain phases, is dominated by aggressive behaviourtowards himself and the living environment. In such a context thestatement in1952 of Albert Schweitzer, the German theologian,organist, philosopher, physician, is very significant."When men will learn to respect even the smallest creature, plantor animal, nobody will need to educate him to love and respectmen itself”In the beginning of 1990s the Albanian society entered in a newphase, which was accompanied with dramatic effects in all aspects,not only on human beings but on nature as well.Nevertheless, there were many voices and organisations thatstarted to work for the protection of nature and environmentalvalues in urban and rural areas. Some of those voices werepersonalities in academic institutions direct linked withenvironment. Without their role the destructions in Albania wouldeven have been bigger. They were professors, teachers, specialistsand journalists who, with their authority and contribution, achievedto raise awareness of students, youth and interest groups in thecommunity to protect nature values as a treasure for today andfuture generations. I would like to highlight three of them.First the role of Association for the Protection and Preservation ofNatural Environment in Albania (PPNEA). In the first transitiondecade that involved many intellectuals. Second, Ekolevizja, as anemblematic form of organisation of the environmental movementin the second decade. Both organisations played a very importantopponent role towards anti-environmental policies andenvironmental education in the past 20 years. Finally, I would liketo mention Prof. Dr. Lekë Gjiknuri as a distinguished pioneer inAlbanian environmental movement.In strengthening the Albanian environmental movement the roleof the international partners have been of importance, since theyhave passed through our experiences in earlier years. Theirfinancial, organisational and capacity building contribution have (2
  • been vital in different sectors of NGOs in Albania.The booklet it is a synthetic summary of the main phases thatenvironmental movement has passed on in Albania and Europe.Even though in a limited number of pages the treated themes aresubstantial for the functioning of the environmental protection asthe civil society and its environment, building networks,information and transparency, capacity building and finances.In the state when the civil society, in its role for the protection ofenvironment, lacks the political support, its activity has beendifficult and brave. I would like to emphasise that without this rolethe Albanian environment would have been damaged considerably.Im ending with the idea that when the Albanian politics willinvolve more civil society actors with eco-friendly behaviour, thenit will really show maturity in human aspects and care and respectto simple creatures, plant or animals. This will sign the end oftransition in Albania and its entrance to the civilisation path. Besnik BARE, Member of Parliament Albania (3
  • IntroductionThis booklet describes lessons learned about building civil societyfor the environment within the project, Strengthening AlbanianCivil Society for an Improved Environment (SACSIE), conductedin Albania from 2007 to 2010. The project is an excellentexample. The publication will serve the needs of Albanian NGOsfor future network development. It will also be distributed toother sectors of Albanian society that work on networkdevelopment.The SACSIE project marks a stage in network development ofAlbanian environmental civil society, but based on our experience,this stage is not the final one. The booklet will not only describesteps, achievements and lessons learned, but will also providefood for thought regarding next steps to be taken within thecurrent Albanian environmental movement. The samerecommendations could also apply to other sectors and theirnetworks, although their current stage might be a different one.The SACSIE project had all the elements of civil society buildingthat were developed one by one in earlier projects in othercountries. Currently there is no publication available in this fieldthat deals with the subject of civil society building forenvironment and nature. In the current EU accession process,funds like IPA support civil society building in many countries.This publication can help donors, civil society organizations andinterested professionals in forming their opinion andstrengthening their theoretical base for their actions in this field.The publication is also an excellent way to generalize theexperiences from the past three years in the SACSIE project andlessons learned after 10 years of cooperation betweenMilieukontakt and civil society for nature and environment inAlbania. (4
  • Content1. Civil society for the environment A short description of the history of civil society with a special section on Albania and its recent developments placed in the context of developments elsewhere2. Building Networks Experiences with network development and a description of Ekolevizja and its role within the environmental movement in Albania, compared with other networks3. Strategies (Cooperation, Working groups, Information, Innovation, Confrontation) Examples of different strategies used by environmental organizations4. Capacity building for civil society Effective and appropriate methodologies5. How to finance the movement, future of Albanian civil society on environment Description of ways to finance environmental organizations, their advantages and disadvantages6. Essential aspects of an effective civil society for the environment, lessons learned in Albania Wrap up of the content and recommendations (5
  • I. Civil society for the environmentA short history of civil society on environment and nature, with aspecial section on Albania and its recent developments placed inthe context of developments elsewhereHistory of civil society on environmentIn general one could say that the history of the environmentalorganizations throughout Europe developed from agenda settingcitizens to professional campaign organizations.While nature protection organizations developed as early as the19th century and the start of the 20th century, and someorganizations concerned about the environment emerged at thattime, the height of the development of organizations with amission to work on environmental protection only started in theearly seventies of the 20th century. At first, concerned citizensorganized themselves on issues like pollution of air and soil fromfactories. Later this issue broadened to include energy,agriculture, consumerism, transport, water and many moreOne can distinguish three periods in the emergence oforganizations for the environment. The first period (naturalism andnature protection) is from 1860 until the Second World War, thesecond period (environment under threat) is from 1960 until 1980,and the third (international networks for the environment) from1980 until now.Naturalism and nature protectionThe effects of industrialization, developments in natural scienceand a changing attitude towards nature in the first half of the 19thcentury led to the emergence of biologists, artists, nobleman andindustrialists wanting to preserve natural areas. A famous exampleis the action of the the painters who lived in Barbizon (France) whowanted to preserve the forest of Fontainebleau (1837) because ofits beauty. The forest administration wanted to cut the oldest treesin the forest to create an open space. The painters managed tosave this area through a lobby. In 1853 the first European naturereserve was established by the French government. One decadelater, on the other side of the world, President Lincoln signed the (6
  • Park bill for the protection of Yosemite Park, followed by theestablishment of the first National park in the US in 1872:Yellowstone Park. In fact, this happened because of the lobbyingand publicity work of entrepreneur James Mason Hutchings andartist Thomas Ayres. They ran a true publicity campaign in NewYork, with articles and exhibitions that attracted attention and evencreated tourism to the area. Through lobbying the Congress, theymanaged to pass the "Bill on Yosemite Grant".In the Netherlands in 1904, the authorities of Amsterdam decidedto create a waste dump in the "worthless, barren lakes ofNaardermeer", which in fact was a beautiful wetland full of birdlife.It was thanks to a teacher from Amsterdam, Jac. P. Thijsse, thatthe area is still enjoyed as such. Thijsse managed to lobby withimportant people and raised the sum of 155.000 guilders, aconsiderable amount at the time, to buy the area. It led to theestablishment of Natuurmonumenten, which, after World WildlifeFund, is the biggest nature protection organization in theNetherlands, with 820.000 members in 2009, owning more than100.000 hectares of land. The WWF was established in 1961 inSwitzerland under the presidency of the Dutch Prince Bernhard.Environment under threatAlthough there were some organizations dealing with protection ofthe environment before the Second World War, only after 1960 wasthe issue raised on the political agenda and several organizationswere established. In 1962 Rachel Carson impressed many readerswith her book, "Silent Spring". Rachel Carson described the effectsof pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds, causingthinner egg shells and resulting in reproductive problems anddeath. She criticized the use of DDT and the information providedby the industry. More publications followed, like "Limits to Growth"in 1968, describing the limitations of the use of commodities inconnection to the fast growing world population, and "Blueprint forSurvival in 1972 that propagated a transition of modern societyinto small scale communities. In the supporters view, this is theonly way to survive as a planet. Critics say that these publicationswere also the start of the doom scenarios often predicted byenvironmentalists. Nevertheless, the growing awareness provokedthe establishment of several international organizations andnetworks for the environment, based on, roughly speaking, threeparadigms. (7
  • The first were the radicals who wanted to change structures insociety because it was the technocratic, large scale, capitaliststructures that caused environmental problems. It was impossibleto solve the environmental problems within these structures.Friends of the Earth (1971) can be regarded as an example of thisschool. FOE was also an example of an organization connecting thereal grass roots movement with international activities. The DutchFOE member, Milieudefensie, was established in 1972.Second were the organizations that tried to create changes withinthe system, through lobbying and publicity. A Dutch example isNatuur en Milieu (1972), a real expert and lobby organizationmainly focused on the national government.The third kind of organization was those that developed anddemonstrated examples of alternative ways of living in the form ofbiological agriculture, saving energy and water and reducing thelevel of consumption and waste. De Kleine Aarde (1972) is aDutch example in this category. In 2010 De Kleine Aarde ended itsactivities after 38 years.In 1971 a group of Canadian environmentalists, calling themselvesthe Dont make a wave committee, chartered a boat to sail intothe nuclear testing zone of Amchitka near Alaska. They werestopped by the U.S. Navy but gained a lot of support and publicityfor their heroic action. They had named their ship Greenpeace andestablished an organization with that name in 1972. Thecombination of heroism and press coverage turned out to be verysuccessful: Greenpeace now has organizations in 41 countries allover the world.Towards international cooperationThe decade that followed, 1976 to 1986, can rightly be called thedisaster decade for the environment. Big chemical disasters(Seveso 1976, Bhopal 1984) oil spills (Amoco Cadiz 1978 and atleast 10 other oil disasters) and nuclear accidents (Three MileIsland 1979 and Chernobyl 1986) are all featured in theEnvironmental disaster top ten described by S.M. Enzier atwww.lenntech.com/environmental-disasters.htmThese disasters, in combination with the development of massmedia and the use of communication techniques by theprofessionalized environmental and nature protectionorganizations, created massive moral and financial support.Citizens became members and governments started to finance (8
  • organizations that had proved to be right. At the height, in theNetherlands the organizations had a membership base of around 4million members, 25 % of the entire population!International networks for the environmentAlthough international organizations and networks, likeInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (1960) andEuropean Environmental Bureau (1974), were already establishedorganizations in 1980, it was during the past three decades thatthe environmental movement developed into internationalnetworks. Civil society had become a respected partner in thedialogue with governments and the environmental issue hadclimbed higher on the international agenda. The UN organized anhistoric meeting on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro in1992. It had a lot of media coverage and many NGOs werepresent. A year earlier (1991) in Prague the first conference forEnvironment in Europe took place. In this process Europeancountries discussed mutual policy and cooperation on theenvironment. In 1997 World leaders got together in Kyoto todiscuss climate change. These conferences grew bigger and biggerwith a kind of apotheosis at the meeting on climate change inCopenhagen in 2009, with more than 40,000 participants fromgovernments, civil society and media. This may have been one ofthe reasons for not reaching a satisfactory agreement there;decision making is quite difficult with so many participants andsuch broad media coverage.Civil society organizations developed international networks likeTransport and Environment (1990), Central and East EuropeanWorking Group for the Enhancement of Biodiversity (CEEWeb,1994), CEE Bankwatch (1995), Climate Action Network (1997) andPesticides Action Network (2003).Another form of international cooperation was between Westerncivil society and transition countries that opened up after thecollapse of the Soviet Union. The first contacts in this field fromthe Netherlands were between Polish dissident organizations andDutch Civil Society. Friends of the Earth was very active insupporting newly developed organizations. After a (secret) visit toPolish dissidents, the Dutch minister of Environment Ed Nijpelsstarted a support program that was implemented by MilieukontaktOost Europa (1988), established by, amongst others, (9
  • Milieudefensie, Friends of the Earth Europe and Natuur en Milieu.In the early eighties dissident organizations came tolife in theslipstream of Solidarnosc, the famous Polish workers union.The firstwas the Polish Ecological Club (PKE) founded in Cracow in 1980,probably the first legally established independent, environmentalnon-governmental organization in the former socialist bloc countriesof Central and Eastern Europe. This was followed by organizationslike the ecologists paper Green Brigades (1989), Green Federation(1993) and the network Polish Greennet (1995) based on theexample of the Dutch network of Milieufederaties. Similardevelopments were taking place in the Czech Republic and Hungary.With international support, civil society in former communistcountries developed as rapidly as the societies changed themselves.Environmental organizations in AlbaniaAlbanian environmental groups appeared for the first time after theoverthrow of the totalitarian regime in June 1991, when democracycreated conditions favourable for civil society organizations. Thereis a geographic division in the development. The first groupsappeared in Albanias capital Tirana around 1991. In 1994-1995groups emerged in regional capitals like Shkodra, Korca, Pogradecand Elbassan. In 1997-2001 there was a boom of NGOs all over thecountry, triggered by the Kosovo crises; during this period over160 NGOs were registered. After 2005 network building forenvironmental organizations began with the ekolevizja network.According to a survey conducted by the Euclid Network on thedevelopment of the third sector in Albania, in 2007 Environmentaland Heritage NGOs were approximately 10% of the total numberof active NGOs registered in Albania (human rights organizationscomprise 43%; economic development 12% and promotion ofdemocracy 12%). Environmental NGOs are active mainly in bigcities or near areas with special natural values. Among the topicsthey cover are biodiversity, urban problems, environmentaleducation and protection of natural values.Democracy and the wake of civil society in Tirana (1991-1993)In Albania environmental problems were the most visible negativeeffects of the totalitarian system. Environmental protest was seenas an expression of anti-communist ideas. In the early days of thenew government the first environmental NGOs were established inTirana. The Association for the Preservation and Protection of the (10
  • Natural Environment of Albania (PPNEA) was the first, officiallyestablished onJune 13, 1991, by a special decree of the AlbanianAcademy of Sciences. PPNEA has developed into the most importantvoice for the environment outside the government of Albania.It emerged during a period of turmoil and socio-economic change inthe country and the wider region, a time when environmental issueswere looked down upon and given marginal priority in governingand policy issues. Following its creation, PPNEA established itselfas a highly active organization, participating in and organizingmany environmental awareness campaigns in Albania as well asundertaking a vast array of different projects with focus on variousenvironmental issues. PPNEA is particularly concerned withconservation and sustainable development issues and its mainareas of interest are wildlife management and endangered speciesconservation, local sustainable projects and initiatives, andlandscape conservation. (www.linkedin.com/companies/ppnea)Within the framework of PPNEA, dozens of NGOs focusing onenvironmental protection have come to existence since 1991.Initially, most NGOs were established in Tirana, Albanias capital,and their members were limited to specialists in fields related tothe environmental sciences: biology, chemistry, geography. Mostwere small groups of fewer than 100 people, though groups withhundreds or even thousands of members do exist. Although theorganizations were weak, they showed commitment to protectingthe environment. It is not surprising that one of the main eventstook place in the capital. In 1993 PPNEA organized a campaign toprotect the Botanical Garden from illegal constructions. Many otherNGOs joined PPNEA in this campaign. The result was not onlytermination of illegal constructions, but also raising the awarenessof the public on environmental issues.Broadening the movement to regional capitalsA few years later NGOs were established with a more broad-basedmembership, involving students and support from the general public.In 1994-95, a large number of NGOs were established outsideTirana, especially in districts with acute environmental problems,such as Shkodra, Korca, Pogradec and Elbasan. Those organizationswere branches of national NGOs such as PPNE of Shkodra andKorca, or Ecological Club of Elbasani, Kruja, Fieri, Lezha, etc.The number of environmental NGOs in Albania stood at 52 in 1995, (11
  • including the independent district branches of national NGOs. Inthis period members of the Association for the Protection of NaturalEnvironment in Albania and the Pearl Young Club (est. 1993)protested against the construction of a Sheraton hotel in the area ofArtificial Lake. Such protests tried to bring nature protection to theattention of politicians, but unfortunately Albania was a countryunder development and the Government was open to any type ofdevelopment and investments, and the Sheraton was built. Anotheraction turned out to be more successful. In 1999 as a result ofpublic demonstration again organized by PPNEA, the governmentannulled the decision of the National Council for the Regulation ofTerritory regarding some construction permits in the Tirana Park.Still, most activities took place in the capital, although there weresome regional actions in cities with significant natural resources.The successful actions of PPNEA were still unique in Albaniabecause during the first decade of the movement (from 1991-2000)there was no wide public support for environmental actions. This incontradiction to the numerous environmental problems faced by theAlbanian society: severe water pollution, illegal construction andcutting of forest and garbage occupying even peoples livelihoods ordestroying public areas. It was very difficult for the organizationsto mobilize Albanian society to fight the heritage of communismand later to face the consequences of the new consumer society.Activities had limited participation and organizations few members.One reason for low involvement of the Albanian public can be thefact that since 1999 there is no fulfillment of basic needs, likeemployment, housing, health care, electricity, food and education.Maybe these basic needs have to be met before people startthinking about the environment. For as long as the fundamentalliving issues are not resolved, despite the fact that the long-termrequests or goals of the ENGOs support their optimal solution, theywill not sensitize the people who are in need of the basic livingmeans. A family that doesnt have a house (the demographicmovements have been enormous) will not care if they cut a tree ora forest, which is needed for their new house, or that the opensewers represent a health risk.Besides giving environmental problems low priority, people add tothe problems in the fulfillment of their basic needs. An example isillegal wood cutting. Most of the households in Albania and all ofthe households in the countryside are dependent on wood fuel for (12
  • heating. Albania has been struggling for many decades with the problem of providing sufficient heating for dwellings. The recent reduction in the energy supply caused the shortage to become even more severe. In the last 45 years, 30% of the forest area has been destroyed by the clear-cutting activities of Albanian citizens and foreign companies. In addition, hunting and fishing, as well as the sale of medicinal plant species, have become popular ways to earn hard currency. Rare bird species and fish have been exported and sold for relatively high prices. The hunting practices themselves often have serious consequences. The Kosovo crisis and the booming civil society During 1997-2001, right after the severe economic crises in Albania, there was a boom of NGOs. The highest ever proliferation of NGOs in Albania occurred during the Kosovo refugee crisis. At its peak, there were over 160 new NGOs registered with the central office in Tirana. Many NGOs started to deliver social services as part of their activities and they provided a wide range of welfare services. Growth of Eco NGOs in Albania160 1991: start of establishment of140 environmental NGOs;120 1994: limited number of NGOs in Tirana with branches in big cities;100 1996-7: boom of small NGOs in cities covering local 80 problems; 60 1998, 99: events in the Balkan region impacted development of civil sector in 40 Albania; 20 2000: sustainability and growing citizen protests … 0 90-91 94-95 95-96 2000 2005 2010 (13
  • Sustainability of ENGOs and Growing citizens protests againstunsustainable foreign investments (Since 2000).After the year 2000, environmental actions were covered moreintensively by the mass media following new investment plans. Anexample is the Narta project. No Oil was the motto of thecampaign organized in 2002 by environmental organizations andcovered by the mass media in order to stop the plans for oil drillingin the Narta Lagoon by the Ina Naftaplin Company. This initiativewas supported by young groups and many associations in theregion. Another example is the construction of an incinerator by anItalian Company, Albania Bag (May 2004). This plan faced protestsby a coalition of NGOs (environmental and human rights), in whichEkolevizja was a leading force. For a few months many activitieswere organized against the importation of waste from Italy toAlbania. For the first time, citizens were part of the protests andobliged the government to withdraw from the commitment andinvestment.More and more citizens spoke out against planned investments,and not only in Tirana. A plan for a hydrocarbons terminal adjacentto the southern Albanian harbor town of Vlora was conceived bythe Albanian government in 2001. The project was approved in2003, and a year later a concession agreement with an Italianinvestor - La Petrolifera Italo Rumena - was signed on the basis ofan unsolicited proposal. Part of the agreement included a set ofgenerous incentives, enabling the Italian company to purchase183,000 square meters of the project area for a symbolic price of 1euro. In addition, the concession granted the company the right tobe the sole operator in the Bay of Vlora. Despite governmentbacking for the project, Vloras citizens have strongly opposed it,initiating a petition (supported by 14,000 signatures), two requestsfor a local referendum and numerous civic actions. The first requestfor a local referendum against the energy and industrial park waspresented by the Civic Alliance for the Protection of the Vlora Bay(est. 2005) to the National Election Committee in 2005. The secondrequest for a referendum about the terminal was submitted by theVlora City Council in October 2007. Both requests were rejected onformal grounds.The street protests against the terminal intensified following thecommencement of the construction work. The protests at the turnof the year and in spring 2008 were met with police repression. (14
  • A protest organized in May saw the arrest of six Vlora citizens;three Civil Alliance members were kept in prison in inhumaneconditions and are currently awaiting trial. This issue has beenraised not only on the national level but also through a policypaper prepared by EDEN Center as partner of CEE BankWatch. Itwas presented at a World Bank meeting in London.In 2008 Albanian environmental NGOs contested theenvironmental impact study by Italian company Enel of its PortoRomano coal-fired thermal power plant, demanding that thegovernment either revise or cancel the project. The Ekolevizjamovement and EDEN Centre, as front organizations composed ofseveral Albanian environmental NGOs and supported by CEEBankwatch network, accused the Italian energy giant of ignoringAlbanian laws in its environmental impact study of the plant, ofmisrepresenting the nations energy strategy and providingmisleading information on the application of technologies forcarbon capture emissions. According to Ekolevizja and EDEN,Enels environmental impact study does not give a clear evaluationof carbon emissions by the plant during production.Environmental groups estimate that if the Albanian governmentproceeds with the project proposed by Enel, its carbon-firedthermal-power plants will increase carbon emissions in Albania by6 to 7 million tons every year, doubling current emission levels. Inthe end, Albanian Environmental NGOs succeeded in cancelingsuch technology.As we can see, the number of NGOs engaged in real policydialogue with the Government also increased during this period.Watchdog activities were increased in number.In 2010, in the framework of the program, "Strengthening theAlbanian Civil Society for an Improved Environment", the Albanianenvironmental movement managed to present clear positionpapers on the issues of air, water, waste and public participation.The papers received serious attention from the Ministry ofEnvironment and can be used as a mutual guideline and lobbyinginstrument by the organizations. (15
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  • II. The development of networks for the environmentDescription of the development of networks for the environmentwith a special section on Ekolevizja and its role within theenvironmental movement in Albania, compared with other networksThere are many ways an environmental movement can develop. Toa large extent, this is connected to the financial basis of themovement. There is a big difference between a country lik TheeNetherlands where the environmental organizations started todevelop with financial support from businessmen and land owners,later taken over by private supporters, now around 4 million, (VaraVroege Vogels 2010 supporters list) andgovernment support. Sustaining Environmental movement Development of networking and participation Internal NGO capacity development Emergence of environmental CSOsIn many countries the organizations are mainly financed b foreign ydonors. There is a small membership base and hardly an support yfrom the local or national government. In Milieukontaktsexperience, organizations in former communist countries are muchmore internationally oriented than Dutch local organizatons.Although different, many civil society networks on environment havesimilar characteristics. Milieukontakt developed a practical theory on (18
  • the support of environmental networks using these characteristics.Stage 1In most countries, concerned professors, teachers and citizens startto produce publications on the state of the environment. Groupsof committed students, mothers, nature lovers and scientists areformed and start being active in their community or country.Stage 2Many of these groups develop into organizations that meetregularly to discuss new activities. Often they are helped by seedgrants from (international) donors and start writing projectproposals to get more activities funded. To do this properly, theyneed a computer, communication tools and people with differentqualities in the fields of proposal writing, project management,communication and of course expertise in various environmentalsubjects. A personal experience of one of the authors of this bookwas in the early nineties in Poland. In Cracow there was a veryactive group of young people who managed to mobilize a group of50 bikers for an environmental action within two days. They usedto meet each other in the evenings in the cellar bars in the centreof Cracow. It was a lively and very motivated movement. After 4years of support, the author visited the office that was establishedin Cracow and found his Polish partners working on projectproposals, sitting behind computers, having meetings on thestructure of their organization and formulating goals and activities.The movement had become professional and although people werestill very motivated, along the way something of the happy earlytimes had been lost.Stage 3When these organizations have an office, run projects and gainvisibility in their country, they often start to connect with others,first with similar organizations, at least if they can get along.Sometimes the environmental movement is not connecting at alland all organizations fight with each other or have found a way toignore each other. But when networking takes place theorganizations can be effective in lobbying the national government.Again, in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and recently inAlbania, there are some excellent examples of this kind ofdevelopment. Lobbying on the national level also means connecting (19
  • with other parties outside the movement, like authorities, unions,agriculture, industries and many others affecting the environment.Thus the organizations really start to become a part of thestructures controlling or exerting power; this is the stage ofnetworking and participation.Stage 4The final stage can be categorized as a sustainable and visible civilsociety that has strong financial independence. The currentsituation in The Netherlands shows that for a long time we thoughtthe movement was sustainable and strong, an example for others.In 2010 almost all the organizations had to downsize their staff bybetween 30 and 60 % because of severe budget cuts fromgovernment. Some, like De Kleine Aarde, even had to close theirdoors. It shows their strong dependence on government fundingand their vulnerability in this respect.In Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, organizations will alsosuffer a huge financial loss as a result of budget cuts in allcountries in Western Europe. This is another example of the risk ofdependency on one source of financial support. Unfortunately,organizations do not always have a choice. Greenpeace is one ofthe few organizations that has always refused work withgovernment funding and has successfully managed to do so. If you would make a graphic picture of environmental movement networks, it would very much look like this: (20
  • Different umbrella organizations connecting different local groups,organizations connecting on issues (Climate Change Network) or onregional cooperation (Milieufederaties in The Netherlands) or withina structure (Mama 86 in Ukraine, Ekolevizja Albania and Friends ofthe Earth Europe) and still there are some organizations or evenindividuals operating on their own in their own country butconnecting with partners in other countries. There are grass rootscommunity based organizations, regional support structures andnational committees, platforms, umbrellas, and internationalorganizations with partners in many countries (EEB, Transport andEnvironment, Bankwatch etc.). To make it even easier, there aremany different topics like gender and environment (WECF),development and environment (Both Ends), climate change,energy, sustainable living and maybe hundreds of other themes.Some people joke that in The Netherlands every animal has hisown organization. At least this is true for birds, mammals, badgers,hedgehogs, butterflies, amphibians, seals, bears, elephants......andmonkeys!What is a similar experience in all countries is that one dayquestions come up about membership, representation, organizationand communication in the network. These questions often give riseto emotional discussion on the level of organization of the networkneeded, procedures for voting and representation and membership.If you want to turn down organizations that want to be part of thenetwork, you will need criteria, and if you want representation youwill need procedures and protocols. Establishing such policiesrequires tactful leadership because you are dealing with deeply feltvalues of democracy, trust and consensus on the one hand and thestriving for, and maintenance of, power on the other. Discussionstend to get very personal, falling back on long lasting conflicts andbad experiences.On the other hand, it is an asset if a network can speak with onevoice and be visible and understandable to the authorities, thepublic, media and other stakeholders. Some ways to avoid theabove mentioned conflicts are:1. You can try to develop a clear mission for the network, like: We are organizations and individuals that work together on a sustainable society respecting nature, environment and social (21
  • justice without the use of violence and with respect for democracy. All members should subscribe this mission and their own mission must not be contradictory.2. Stick to representation on content: If you develop common positions on transport, energy, waste or other subjects, it will be the people who have a lot of knowledge on these subjects who will naturally develop as spokespersons for these issues. Their responsibility is to make others proud of being part of a network with such excellent spokespersons.3. Have a serving network secretariat: Let people who are good at organizing and who have excellent communication skills serve the network with information, meetings and communication tools. Their responsibility is to make it attractive to be part of the network.4. When there is a national strategy meeting or forum, take care to have a neutral facilitator. The role of the facilitator is to give all participants an equal chance to present their opinions. If they are representing an organization or more than one organization, let them speak on their behalf.5. If voting or decision making is planned, be very clear and explicit about the procedures and ask participants before the meeting if they agree with the procedures, and follow those procedures exactly during the meeting.6. Criteria for membership should be very short to avoid complicated procedures. Non-violent, non-commercial, non- governmental non-religious organizations with sustainability, nature or environment in their mission rules out most of the organizations you do not want in your network.7. Develop levels of membership, like subscribers to the network magazine, financial supporters of the network, civil society organizations, members with a right to vote and non- voting members. There are many ways to attract members to an organized network without losing sight of the mission.8. The main challenge, however, is to make and keep the network attractive to the members. This is, by the way, a responsibility for all members of the network, but a network also needs champions, people who put energy into communication and mobilization of members and supporters.9. Do not be afraid of differences of opinion on strategy, methods or activities. Diversity may be one of the strengths of a network. Try to build consensus in case of dispute, but if this (22
  • can not be achieved, you can agree to disagree and respect each others intentions. One thing you should avoid is having contradictory actions. It is always bad if one member is negotiating while the other is using a destructive confrontational strategy. This could be a reason for a very tough discussion and maybe exclusion of one of the members, which by the way also requires a procedure.10. Develop supporting instruments like national strategy meetings, a portal or a website, a platform for discussion.Ekolevizja, the Albanian NetworkFrom the beginning of civil society development in Albania, therewere a few attempts to establish forums of environmental NGOs.The first attempt was in 1994 and the second in 1999. They havenot been successful because the establishment of the network hadno real objective or issue to work on. From the other side, NGOswere not ready and open to such initiatives. The Ekolevizja networkwas a successful case accepted not only by organizations but alsoby government institutions and the wider public in general. Itbegan as a means to access and disseminate information.According to the Albanian Constitution of 1998, Albania recognizeseveryones rights "to be informed on the environmental situationand its protection" and "to participate in decision makingprocesses", but environmental information was lacking.In May 2000 the Regional Environmental Center (REC) started toscan a number of daily newspapers in order to collect all newsabout nature conservation and environmental problems. Theynamed their newsletter Mjedisi Sot (Environment Today) andevery day the newsletter was sent via e-mail to 300 subscribersand biweekly in hard copy to an additional 250 subscribers who didnot have access to e-mail. Gradually the idea developed to turn thenewsletter into a more interactive news and discussion forum. Thefirst step to put this into practice was to involve reporters fromdifferent regions of Albania with an NGO background, asking themto contribute news to both versions.In 2003 a group of six environmental NGOs decided to take overthe initiative from REC and to change the focus of this publication.Instead of a simple newsletter, the publication would focus on (23
  • addressing the most pressing environmental issues and would tryto involve a more general public. This initiative broadened and bythe end of 2003 a group of 11 NGOs took over the newsletter. Thegroup was named "Ekolevizja" (Eco-movement) and began operatingin January 2004 with the support of Milieukontakt Oost Europa andlater with funding from other donors, such as Regional EnvironmentCentre, World Bank and Organic Agriculture Association.In the National Meeting of the Environmental Associations held onApril 25, 2003 in Durrës, a working group discussed the need totransfer the newspaper "Environment Today" to the direction ofEnvironmental Associations. The ideas the working group discussedwere as follows:NGOs must have their voice, and having their own written mediawill help to advance their institutionalization. A single associationis neither able nor suited to do this. Therefore, it can be suggestedthat a group of associations take this initiative, together. Thiswould be an organization like a forum. The capacity among NGOslinked with the logistics, experience and human resources, doesexist and guarantees a qualitative environmental movementthrough formulation and implementation of the right policies.On October 22, 2003, 11 environmental associations expresseddirect interest in contributing to the creation of the group"Ekolevizja" with the same name as the newspaper. The aim was tostrengthen the joint voice and willingness to build up the synergyand undertake concrete actions by civil society to exert demandingpressure on the decision makers at this stage of the developmentof the country, to prevent negative impact on the environment andto sustain environmentally friendly development.In September 2005 the "Ekolevizja" (Eco-Movement) Group waslegally registered. Registration was necessary for the followingreasons:Ÿ A considerable and growing number of organizations joined the network;Ÿ There was knowledge available on organizing activities and generating funds that could be shared with (other) members;Ÿ Specialists and capacities within the network could also be shared;Ÿ There was the willingness and interest of the members to become a network; (24
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  • Ÿ There was an increased need for coordination and information exchange.In recent years, the number of members of Ekolevizja has grownfrom 11 ENGO members in 2003, to 24 in 2006, 32 in 2008 and in2009, 39 members.Through the years, "Ekolevizja" became known to the publicthrough the biweekly newspaper, which published professionalenvironmental information and powerful investigative articles onenvironmental issues. Now the "Ekolevizja" newspaper is widelydistributed and the number of its subscribers has risen from 150 to600. The newspaper has been a reference point for differentindependent daily newspapers whenever they are investigating, orpublishing articles about, environmental problems.Public awareness of the network has been increased by organizingjoint actions like national campaigns on diverse issues: Ÿ The import of urban waste from Italy to be incinerated in our country. The campaign succeeded in making the government reverse its decision. Ÿ GMOs in Albania demanded improvement of the GMO law. The law was suspended and a new revised law was resent to the parliament for approval. Ÿ Protection of natural amenities, such as the Black Lake, where there was a plan to build a hydropower station in a protected area. "Ekolevizja" newspaper published the news and then went on to investigate the problem and confront the responsible persons with the actual law that does not permit constructions of any kind in protected areas, and a TV debate was organized with the specialists and the representatives of the project to be implemented in the protected area of the lake. Ÿ The protection of inhabitants from industrial pollution in Elbasan. The main purpose of the campaign was to create communication channels with the local government and support from the civil society. (26
  • Ÿ Greening local elections and Ekolevizja together with its members was active in raising the importance of environmental issues such as water and sewage, urban planning and protection, and improvement of the environment, in the local political agenda. Ÿ Against the construction of a Thermo Electrical Power Plant in Vlora Energetic Park. Ÿ Illegal dumping in Sharra and support to local communities for improvement of the actual landfill. Ÿ Porto Romano which blocked approval of the EIA for the Thermo Electrical Power Plant in Porto Romano.Ekolevizja also developed alternatives for dealing withenvironmental problems in cooperation with other actors.Ÿ Study on the problems of Tirana Lake and its management plan.Ÿ Study on the problems of hills around Tirana and proclaiming them to have special protected landscape status.Ÿ Best experiences - wetlands in Tirana River for the cleaning of sewerage water from local population living nearby.Ÿ Training of journalists on investigative journalism and their involvement in publishing many articles on environmental issues.What all of these aforementioned topics have in common is theexplicit or implicit involvement of government officials. Mostnational newspapers are closely linked to political parties andtherefore will not report on environmental issues whenrepresentatives of that party are involved. Even so, EkolevizjaGroup has advocated economic development based on sustainableuse of natural resources.The effort of the EkoLevizja group to press for more democraticand transparent procedures in environmental decision-making isclearly striking a chord. On the occasion of Urban World Day, EkoLevizja received the 2004 Albanian Leadership for Civil Societyaward. And in winter 2010 Ekolevizja was recognized by Bellsmovement as Environment Ambassador. (27
  • III. StrategiesExamples of different strategies used by environmentalorganizationsEnvironmental organizations and networks are not very wealthyand in most cases are non-violent. Their strategies are mostlybased on communication, mobilization, influencing lawdevelopment, stimulating law-enforcement, and policy making.Within these four areas, one can distinguish a range of possiblesub-strategies, from cooperative to confrontational. Oneenvironmentalist organization can be a partner in a project withgovernment and business, while members from anotherorganization can chain themselves to a fence or have a sit-downstrike in front of a train containing nuclear waste. Sometimes thiscreates conflicts within the movement because in the perception ofthe public, it is the environmental movement, and not a networkof very different organizations.It should be noted that there is no such thing as one goodstrategy. Every cause needs its own mix of strategies and in everysociety cultural differences will determine whether a strategy isuseful or not. What is important to say is that building trust andgood relations with stakeholders can take many years, but theycan be destroyed in a day. This should be taken into account whenchoosing the right strategy for a cause.There are some historic examples of strategies that weresuccessful in certain cases.Agenda settingThe best example of environmental agenda setting is Al Gores filmand book, An inconvenient truth. Gore was already famous for notbecoming president of the United States. He managed to put theclimate change issue at the top of the international agenda, mainlyby showing the hockey stick graphic showing the rapid rise of CO2emissions causing Global warming. Later many attacks were madeon his credibility and that of the IPCC, and even the hockey stickgraphic was put up for discussion by so-called climate sceptics, butthe issue was definitely on the agenda.The tools Gore used were celebrity, strong communication (28
  • techniques, scientific support and focus on a serious global issueMobilizing the public against a multinationalWhile some specialists say it might have been the least harmfulfor the environment if they had just dropped the Brent Spar oildrilling platform into the sea at the time of the actions ofGreenpeace, this was a lost cause for Shell. Shell UK wanted tosink the platform, still containing an amount of oil, into the deepsea. Greenpeace decided in 1995 to oppose this and occupied theplatform for three weeks. The occupation made for excitingtelevision, and daily reports were broadcast by news stations allover the world. Finally, Shell, convinced by the risk to itsreputation, and not because of environmental concerns, decidednot to dump the construction. Currently, parts of it are used in theharbour of Stavanger in Norway. During the action, consumersboycotted Shell, and Greenpeace gained an enormous amount ofpositive publicity. The strategy can be characterized as aconfrontational mobilization campaign. The tools used were mediacoverage, occupation and consumer mobilization.Watchdog role:Preventing road development by legal forceThe Dutch government adopted Road 19 in the national highwayplan of 1957. It was a road between Delft and Schiedamconnecting The Hague with Rotterdam. Because of proceduresfrom local citizens and environmental organizations, the actualdevelopment of the highway was blocked until 2006, when thegovernment decided to build the highway partly as a tunnel,costing 700 million euros for 7 kilometers. Work is expected tobegin in 2011. The highway has opposition but also its own fanclub, Friends of the A4, (with about 12,000 members!) with theirown website accusing Milieudefensie of false information andgiving artists impressions of the new road and counting the daysuntil the work will start. In this legal confrontational strategy,Milieudefensie, in cooperation with local organizations, mainlyused media attention, and support to local organizations and theirlegal rights to oppose to the highway. (29
  • Supporting citizens initiativesA very positive but also difficult strategy is the mobilization ofcitizens. Many methodologies have been developed to encouragecitizenparticipation. Partners of Milieukontakt have developed theGreen Agenda methodology. Green Agenda has two goals: on theone hand, it is a participatory process through which commonagreement, communication and cooperation of various local actorscan be achieved;on the other hand, the outcome of the process isequally important: an action plan to improve the quality of life bymeans of sustainable development.The method consists of 17 steps divided into 5 phases. Thecoordinator and initiator of the process is a local civil societyorganization (CSO). The main work is carried out by workinggroups involving all the different sectors in a local community. Theworking groups involve local stakeholders representatives: localauthorities, companies, CSOs and individuals. Because it involvesa large number of participants, the process takes time. Dependingon the size of the community, number and size of working groups,and motivation of the participants, results may be achieved within10 to 18 months. It is a cyclical process: the ending of oneprocess does not necessarily mean the ending of Green Agenda.It can also mean the beginning of the new cycle based onprevious experience and results. In that case, phase one is theevaluation of the previous cycle. New citizens and participants canbe invited to the start-up meeting of a new cycle, and existingworking groups can elaborate their values, or new working groupscan be established. In this way, Green Agenda can continue toinclude citizens in the definition and implementation of a policy ofsustainable development in their community. It is important tonote that a Green Agenda document is an agreement among thecitizens and only bound by their limits of time and budget. It isnot a contract with an external party, with a deadline and financialobligations.In Albania, Green Agenda has been implemented in 3 communes:Preza, Dajç and Voskopoja. Local stakeholders worked in thematicworking groups on, for instance, touristic potential, biodiversityand cultural heritage, and formulated strategic plans as well asshort term pilot projects. PPNE of Shkodra, AlbanianPermaculture Association, Transborder Wildlife, EDEN trainers and (30
  • Milieukontakt supported them during this process. It was trulyinspirational to see how local communes were able to use a projectto build a bridge to the future: in Dajci, a new position was createdwithin the commune for preserving natural and cultural heritage,in Preza tourists will be welcomed by trained guides andinformation panels on the main sites of interest, and in Voskopojaa new recreational area was created in the center of thecommune. All of these things, and many more, will remain and willserve as stepping stones for future sustainable development ofthese beautiful communes.Showing examples of good practiceSometimes, when there seem to be many real or virtual barriers tosolutions of environmental problems, setting an example may be agood idea. In 1996, Greenpeace developed the SmILE, todemonstrate how fuel efficient a car can be. The name stands for"Small, Intelligent, Light, Efficient. De Kleine Aarde in theNetherlands is an example of the previously described exemplaryorganizations whose mission is to demonstrate solutions topolicymakers and public. Milieukontakt applied this strategy inworking on obsolete pesticides. After many years of debate on theissue of obsolete pesticides in former Soviet countries, thereseemed to be a deadlock, in the sense that many talked aboutsolutions but no-one really acted. Together with two experts,Milieukontakt initiated a program to inventory, collect and repackobsolete pesticides, with model projects in Moldova, Georgia andKyrgyzstan. These examples showed that although it was not easy,repackaging was possible without the input of more than two orthree western experts.Being in chargeNature organizations often buy pieces of land to add them to theirnetwork of natural areas. This puts them in charge of protection ofthe area and less dependent on government decisions or thecooperation of private owners.Awareness raisingAlmost all organizations have some kind of awareness raising (31
  • strategy. Sometimes it is just awareness raising on the problemsthe organization is working on, which could even be called agendasetting. In other cases organizations really try to make peopleconscious of the effects of their behaviour on the environment.Most times it is best to organize awareness raising on veryconcrete solutions, like prevention of the use of too much water,waste or energy. Awareness raising for the longer term, likeadoption of a sustainable life style, has to do more withenvironmental education, which also is a widely applied strategy.The effects of awareness raising are often hard to measure,especially when it is a long term goal.When they were first established, the main scope of the activitiesof Albanian civil society organizations on environment was toincrease awareness of the need for environmental protection.Organizations have increased in numbers, specialized anddiversified their scopemore towards lobbying, protection of naturalresources and development of strategic plans. Although there is atendency to cooperate with (eco-friendly) businesses, the mainrole and support continues to be on environmental education andawareness raising.Blaming and shamingThrough advertisements, articles, and radio commercials,environmental organizations sometimes draw the attention of thepublic to a company that is behaving badly for the environment.Supermarkets that sell very cheap meat from industrial farms andenergy companies building coal fueled installations are examples.It is best to practice this strategy only after a long process ofnegotiation in which you impress the opposite party with thepossibility of negative publicity, or even legal action, if it is notwilling to change its policy.Combining lobbying and campaigningBoth lobbying and campaigning are employed by manyorganizations. WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth all haveorganized famous campaigns for or against a certain subject. Agood campaign needs a clear marketing strategy that definesgoals and target groups, and includes professional use of media.Sometimes a scandal or disaster helps to put a campaign at the (32
  • centre of attention.It is wise to combine campaigning with lobbying, because ifattention is high, politicians will move. Lobbying is a form oforganized and conscious influencing of decision makers by givingthem good arguments at the right time. This requires knowledgeof the playing field and being present when necessary. This meansthat you have to be there almost all the time because you cannever pick the right moment. A good Albanian example is theProject Strengthening Albanian Civil Society for an ImprovedEnvironment. For the first time in Albania, environmental sectorNGOs and specialists came together and developed a positionpaper on specific issues (water, waste, air pollution and publicparticipation). In the paper, they stated conclusions and gavespecific recommendations to address problems and offeredalternatives. These position papers have been developed by amulti stakeholders group and have been consulted and agreedupon by many organizations. Finally, the position papers wereendorsed by government institutions as the result of a nationalcampaign. "Act Now - For an improved environment" was a sloganthat brought together 15 NGOs in direct awareness raisingactivities. In addition, many other individuals were approached,ranging from LGUs and ministries to companies and citizens. Dueto very good internal coordination of the campaign team andcooperation with other initiatives, the campaign reached outsuccessfully to a large audience of different target groups andmanaged to achieve much in terms of awareness raising,involvement in decision making and concrete actions.Clever organizations apply a mixture of strategies. This meansyou need different kinds of people with different skills. It is alwaysgood to know a lobbyist or to have one of your own. Someenthusiastic practical people are always needed for organizationand support. A clever campaigner is often needed, and legalexperts are always good to have around. Also, you have to knowthe experts on all the topics you work on because if you aresuccessful, journalists and decision makers will test yourcredibility on the subject at hand. (33
  • IV. Capacity building for the environmentBeing an environmentalist working for a civil societyorganization requires many skills. Management,communication, environment, urban planning, energy,water, and law are only some of the issues you encounterin daily CSO life. Often people with love for nature get lostin projects, reports, meetings and finances, spending muchmore time behind the computer than in the field. Capacitiesneed to be maintained and developed. This also goes forthe organization as a whole.There are, roughly speaking, three ways to develop capacitieswithin civil society organizations.The first is to attract them from outside. If you do not have goodfinancial skills, get a professional involved, either paid or as avolunteer. Many educated people are willing to spend some timefor civil society organizations as long as they are respected forwhat they do and have a certain freedom in the way they do it.The second way to improve skills is through the maintenance of aneducation budget for volunteers and professionals to give themthe opportunity to develop their skills in an external course or anin- house training.The third possibility is to develop a supporting structure within theCSO network that facilitates training and learning. In manycountries, Milieukontakt supported the development of such astructure in the form of trainers teams providing different trainingevents.MethodologyMembers and employees of civil society organizations are oftenhighly educated professionals in their field. They bring a lot ofknowledge and experience to each meeting. Another importantaspect is a kind of eagerness to be practical and to work towardsresults. Thirdly, there is a strong tradition of equality and informalrelations within the CSO movement for the environment.These three elements impose certain requirements formethodologies used in training sessions. (34
  • Participative learningIn the development of capacities within CSO networks,Milieukontakt uses a strong participatory approach based on theadult learning cycle of Kolb and introduced to us by Simon vanKoolwijk from Facilicom Consult. (www.facili.nl)The cycle: 1. Direct Experience 4. Application 2. Reflecting on Experience 3. Generalization about ExperienceIn the vision of Kolb, learning is the transformation of informationinto useful knowledge. The learning cycle requires the learner toprogress through four different phases of the learning process.Effective learning requires the ability to apply the things you learnin phase 3, where you form principles based on your analysis inphase 2 of an experience you had at phase 1. This does not comeeasily for everyone, especially those who are used to learning fromlectures. Adult learning requires the active participation of thelearner in the learning process. The role of the trainer, then, is tohelp the learner through this process of learning. A good trainermust have the competence to understand what goes on at eachphase and to facilitate the learning process.Another important aspect of the participative learning methodologyis that participants in training learn from each other, most timesmore than they learn from the trainer, who has more of afacilitating role and who analyzes and summarizes in thegeneralization phase what happened within the group. In eachsession, each phase has its own specific goals and workingmethods.ExperienceParticipants have an experience or remember experiences (35
  • connected to the subject at hand. Sometimes the experience iscreated, for example, in a role play, or when the trainer asksparticipants to remember an experience they had. The experiencesare communicated within the group.ReflectionParticipants reflect on what happened in the exercise and discussthe subject. The trainer asks question like, "What did you observein the role play, how was it like when you had this experience, whatreactions did you get?".GeneralizationThe subject is taken to a higher level. Participants share theirvision on the subject and the trainer provides a broader context.Sometimes the trainer or an experienced participant gives a lecturewith theoretic background referring to literature on the subject.ApplicationIn an exercise, participants apply the acquired knowledge.Since 2005, several trainingmodules have been The Milieukontakt International Trainers’ Team is a network ofdeveloped within the trainers specialized in participatoryMilieukontakt methods that seeks to achieve aInternational trainers team sustainable world throughMITT. All modules are based empowering civil society. Its vision ison a number (6 to 10) of a proactive and responsible civilsessions going through the society with a noticeable impact inlearning cycle. the achievement of a sustainable world. Members of the trainers’ teamGreen Agenda are trained and selected on the basis of a shared level of trainers’ qualities,Milieukontakt developed the methodology and approach. Based onGreen Agenda method as a shared skills and values, the new curricula are developed within theway to guide the process of network and offered as trainings toinvolvement of citizens in interested partners. The trainers ofshaping a sustainable future the network come from more than 6for their community. The countries in Europe and Central Asia.method is laid down in an (36
  • extensive handbook, first developed in Croatia, which gives astep-by-step introduction to the whole process. Since 2000,Green Agenda projects have been initiated with success in about25 communities in 4 countries. In the period 2007-2010, 18communities in the Western Balkans went through a Green Agendaprocess with support from Milieukontakt and the MITT.Public ParticipationThis training course is designed to give CSOs on local and sub-national levels the tools to participate in decision making processesconcerning the environment. It is based on the pillars of the ArhusConvention, without focusing primarily on the jargon or the legalinstruments. The training is organized around a central role-play ofan (imaginary) environmental conflict.Result Based ProgrammingWhen you design a project or program, you usually have a lot ofdreams of what should be achieved. In the process of translatingyour dreams for a sustainable future into concrete results, it isimportant to plan well and to already plan for monitoring momentsin which you can assess whether the project/program is still ontrack. This is often forgotten, or seen as yet another donorobligation. However, quality monitoring will provide you withexcellent input to improve your performance and, better yet,afterwards prove this to your target groups and donors.In this two-day training course, participants learn how to developa result based program, based on the 10-steps Result BasedMonitoring and Evaluation model used by the World Bank.Participants learn how to design a basic result based monitoringand evaluation plan.MediationConflicts are part of daily life when working for civil society. Withinthe organization, the network and with stakeholders outside thenetwork, you run the risk of being in conflict. In the mediationpractice, methods have been developed to manage conflicts andmediate between conflicting parties. During the training,participants experience their own role in conflicts and play the role (37
  • of mediator. The training is an introduction. Becoming a mediatorwill require much more knowledge and skills that can be learned inother courses.Tailor-made FacilitationTrainers from MITT can facilitate meetings of clients, assessing thegoals and output of the meeting in close contact with the client,adding facilitation tools and participatory discussion methods toarrive at good results.Curriculum developmentThis training teaches you about your own preferential learningstyle as a trainer and how to recognize the learning styles of othergroup members. The training provides insight on how to set upcurricula that will cater to the needs of participants with variouslearning styles. The theoretical background of this training isprovided by the Learning Cycle of Kolb. It teaches participantshow to set up sessions step-by-step and develop a training withseveral sessions. This training is obligatory for all MITT members.Project Proposal WritingIn our experience it is not always easy to structure your thoughtswhen writing a project proposal at the last possible moment.However, a good proposal is not only the key to getting that well-deserved grant, but also to successful project implementation.During the training participants are guided through the differentphases of project proposal writing. Participants are trained to writea successful project proposal going through all phases of writing,starting with problem analysis, goal setting, strategydevelopment, and formulating a management and monitoringplan.Most of the training modules were applied in Albania and several,such as result based programming and mediation, were developedin close cooperation between Albanian and Dutch trainers from theMITT. (38
  • V. How to finance the movementDescription of funding strategiesFinancial sustainability has always been and will always be anissue for civil society working on environment and nature. Thisapplies to the established organizations as well as to the volunteergroups on the grass roots level. There are roughly three sourcesof financial means:1. Government support2. Private money3. Own generated incomeIt is important to note that dependency on only one source ofincome is bad for the sustainability of a civil society organization.In the case of government funding, policies may change overnightand budget lines disappear. Private funders can get tired of yourorganization once the innovativeness is gone or when you havebad publicity. Depending fully on own generated income makesyour organization a business and puts you out of the realm of civilsociety. Also, within one of the three categories it is important tospread the risk and have funding from different governments andbudget lines, support from business and many private donors, andto have several different partners you work for.Within the three main categories we can define several subcategories:1. Governments a. Project based financing b. Institutional funding c. Tenders d. Assignments2. Private money e. Private donors f. Lotteries g. Sponsoring h. Private funds3. Own generated income I. Selling services or products j. Trust Fund (39
  • Government: project based financingProject based financing is often based on government budgetlines with open calls for proposals. CSOs submit proposals forprojects according to the criteria set by the call. Often these callsare answered by many more organizations than can be granted.This means that if you want to succeed you have to follow somemore or less basic rules:1. Always follow the terms of reference exactly; do not try to be too creative or you will be kicked out of the procedure for not following the rules.2. Behind the terms of reference there is a policy. Try not only to follow the rules but also the policy behind it. For example, sometimes a budget line is presented as development cooperation towards meeting the development goals but turns out to be an export promotion tool.3. It is always good to know the people behind the budget and those who are responsible for the policy behind it. Although many times procedures are fair and transparent, sometimes it helps....4. Be careful with what you promise, both in the results and the budget. At the end, a project may have cost the organization more than it brings. Advantages Disadvantages There is a certain freedom in Selection criteria are developing your own sometimes not very clear. proposal. It keeps you innovative and It is a lot of work with limited sharp. chance of success. Projects force you to make Financial support is strategy, goals, work plan temporary, so it is hard to and budget explicit. create sustainability based on projects. Most times project results Some funders expect you to are made explicit because have impossible results in a they have to be reported one year project. and evaluated. (40
  • Projects force you to have Your financ ing is depending sound management and on government decisions. external control of your finances. Many funders do not allow The project cycle brings a lot fees much higher than the of uncertainty and makes ones you need to survive as long term strategy difficult an organization. for your organization.ExamplesProject financing is currently one of the main sources ofgovernment funding for civil society.Governments: Institutional fundingAlthough nowadays they are hard to find, sometimes organizationsare supported in a structural way by government sources. Basedon an annual work plan and report, the organization receivesinstitutional funding. This is a good basis and gives sustainability,especially if the support is guaranteed for many years. On theother hand, a civil society organization supported in this way isvery much dependent on the source and may lose itsindependence. Another risk of this kind of funding is the fact thatone can get used to being financed this way and you do not realizethe luxury of such an arrangement. One day the government maychange its policy and financial means are cut or even disappear. Advantages Disadvantages Financial sustainability of Dependence on the source of your organization. financing. Good basis for development Sometimes the government of other financial resources. applies certain rules, like not allowing the establishment of a financial reserve for your organization. Possibility to develop and implement a long-term strategy. (41
  • ExamplesThe EU DG environment has a budget line for European Networks onEnvironment. These networks can apply annually for core funding tosupport office costs and some staff. In the early years of its existence,Milieukontakt International had an annual budget per country,provided by the Ministry of Environment. But usually that means thatthose that apply can by the Ministry of Environment. But usually thatmeans that those that apply can profit from this budget line andNGOs that are part of the network will be financially supported forattending meetings or developing strategies. There is an awarenessof ENGOs from the Balkan region to decentralize this type of budgetonthe local level, which has been articulated as establishing a corefunding programme in DG Environment for environmental NGOs fromthe candidate and potential candidate countries with the aim ofsupporting implementation of the EU environmental acquisition.Governments: TendersWhen governments have projects or assignments they want to haveimplemented, they often put out a tender. This is a more or lessclearly defined assignment on which organizations or consortia canreflect. In many cases there are several rounds. First you send inyour c.v.s and organization description and portfolio. A short list ismade of five to three organizations that can apply. Then accordingto certain criteria, one organization is chosen for negotiation,mostly on the basis of price. Advantages Disadvantages Applying is often easier There is even more than with project proposals, competition than with project because of the short listing. proposals. Many businesses apply and in many cases, as with the World Bank, competition is worldwide. Reporting is in most cases Often you deal with short- much easier than with term assignments and you project funding. have little influence on the content. Sometimes you can have a Sometimes you don’t know reasonable or even high fee. the amount and limit yourself . (42
  • Often there are a lot of papers and forms to be filled in. Once you have applied, it is easier the next time.ExamplesInternational Institutions like the Word Bank and EBRD haveregular tenders. Also, Sida has a programme/policy of goingthrough tenders. Many national institutions apply this method.Governments: assignmentsWhen it is below a certain amount, governments do not have totender for an assignment but can directly give it to anorganization. This can be anything: research, stakeholder analysisor involvement, training, facilitation or just participation in aconference. Be aware that there are often possibilities within thegovernment budget for financing these kinds of arrangements.When you are asked to participate in a meeting, there may be afinancial benefit attached.Again, in doing this kind of work, be careful about yourindependence. Doing a lot of these assignments makes you aconsultant and may drive you away from the mission of yourorganization.In Albania the government budget for supporting organizations isvery low or even non-existent. The Ministry of Environment, Forestand Water Administration (MoEFWA) does not have a budget forsuch assignments for NGOs. Ekolevizja movement, in its attemptsto institutionalize communication with MoEFWA through a MoU, hasasked for a budget for (parts of) projects, (different projects thatMinistry is implementing) to be allocated to NGOs for awarenessraising, or organizing campaigns, etc. Advantages Disadvantages The content is entirely If you are successful you determined by the may lose your status as a government giving the civil society organization. assignment. Good negotiation skills can Taxes may be different for make for good payment. this kind of work. (43
  • It might be a start for new assignments.ExamplesSometimes fees are paid for joining a meeting or participating inan advisory board. You can organize a stakeholder meeting or aninformation campaign.Private money: Private DonorsAll big environmental organizations have private supporters,citizens who pay an amount each year to support theorganizations mission. During the past decade, annual supportshifted more towards specific support per campaign. This financialsource has two big advantages: First, the supporters may bring anenormous amount of money together; secondly, they give yourorganization legitimacy. The Dutch organizations for nature andenvironment have around 4,000,000 supporters altogether, whichmakes them well respected and a political force. The back side offinancial source is that you need a strong marketing department toattract all the supporters. Sometimes these kinds of organizationsdevelop into a big marketing machine, gaining lots of supportersbut putting less emphasis on the product they have to deliver.Marketing can also be outsourced to professionals who are not partof your organization. It also can limit your policy because withmore supporters you have to be more mainstream and less criticalof certain policies, for example, sensitive issues like mobility andcar use.Organizations also have to beware of scandals or a damagedreputation. If the money from donations is not spent well, orsupporters have that impression, your income and support maydrop considerably. Many countries evaluate and grade these kindsof organizations, so that supporters can rely on the fact that themoney is well spent.Organizing events, like dinners, fairs, flea markets, benefitconcerts, etc., are ways to get private money from the market.Another method is to collect money on the streets or door-to-door,a work intensive method that can bring in a huge amount of moneyIn Albania there is no culture of philanthropy in the environmentsector. There is a good example: SOS Kinderdorf village whosemain core funding is from private donations (Albanian andinternational), but this is a charity service. (44
  • Advantages Disadvantages Independence. Requires good investment in marketing of your organization and mission. Supporters mean money and Every private donor will need power. investment that is paid back after two or more years. The strategy combines You have to be even more fundraising with visibility of careful about your corporate your organization. image than you already are.ExamplesThe Live Aid concert on July 2007 is a spectacular example, charitydinners for the AIDs victims, collections for animal welfare.Private money: LotteriesLotteries are very popular and combined with charity makegambling a feel-good option. In the Netherlands, in 2011 thePostcode Lottery supported 83 organizations with 2.070 millioneuros. The lottery was established by the former marketingmanager of NOVIB, the biggest development cooperationorganization in the country. For some people, the whole marketingstrategy supporting a lottery in which you can win such prizes ascars and flight tickets to exotic places to support the poor andneedy is a bit contradictory. The lotteries reply that people gambleanyway, so they might as well be gambling for a good cause.To become a beneficiary of a lottery, certain conditions apply andgood connections may help. When you are in, it is a nicecontribution to your annual budget. This may be an area thatAlbanian NGOs can explore and should use in the future. Advantages Disadvantages It is (often a lot of) private You have to accept the rules money with not too much of the marketing department administration attached. of the lottery. (45
  • ExamplePostcode Lottery, NetherlandsPrivate money: SponsoringThere are many ways companies can sponsor a civil societyorganization. Sponsoring may be connected to a product orservice. For every SMS sent, your organization may receive0.000005 eurocent from the phone company, or for every femaleproduct, you help a mother in Uganda, an example of cause relatedmarketing. Another way is free of charge services, equipment orproducts; for example, a Dutch organization organizes an annualday for a good cause, when employees from business do somethingfor your organization. Sometimes a local company donates the useof a tractor or caterpillar for a day. Supermarkets daily give tons offood to the food banks in many countries. The bank transfers thefood to people in need. Other examples of sponsoring are (the big)companies that donate money for activities or facilities like aneducation centre or an office. Some tips: Ÿ Be specific and clear about your proposition. Ÿ Treat the sponsor well but do not exaggerate. Ÿ Give a good visual report so the sponsor can demonstrate success. Ÿ Make sure it is a success. Ÿ Do not bring in long stories, proposals or reports. Ÿ Your idea must be fresh and connected to the mission of the company. Advantages Disadvantages If you have the right It needs a lot of networking, connections, it is easy to i.e. time investment. realize. It doesn’t require a lot of You must be able to leave reporting. behind your ‘project language’ and communicate on the same level with the sponsor. You can get things done Sometimes the time that may cost a lot of investment is so high that it money. is cheaper to pay for the service. (46
  • ExampleIf you buy certain female hygiene products from Libresse, yousupport Sudanese girls school attendance through Oxfam/Novib,WWF and a huge energy producer cooperated in the promotion ofgreen energy.Private money: Private fundsMany rich people want to do something good with their money,either while they are still alive or after they die. Sometimesmillions are put in a special fund with a certain mission. Again,these funds have criteria and you must apply with projectproposals to get in. These kinds of funds are also established bybanks, companies and religious institutions. Advantages Disadvantages In many cases these funds It is often hard to get in. are less bureaucratic.ExamplesThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Soros Foundation,Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation.Own generated income: Selling services or productsCivil society organizations often have capacities or brands thatcan be capitalized on, or, in the best sense of the term, exploited.If you are good at stakeholder involvement or analysis, haveexperts on law, climate change or water, you can easily transferinformation through a national network or have a bulletin that hasa lot of exposure, other parties may be interested paying forthese products or services. The Dutch organization for theWadden Sea used to put their logo on all kinds of shirts, towels,cups, books and many other products that were at one time quitepopular and made good money. Others sell their capacity in legalaffairs or urban planning.Adoption is a fairly new product. People can adopt a tree, chicken,gorilla or any other kind of animal and pay an amount to supportits survival. (47
  • Advantages Disadvantages Profit on products and If you make too much profit services is money that is you may be regarded as a free to spend on other business, which can bring activities. certain disadvantages. Products with your logo can Products need investment. give broad visibility to your You have to buy and store organization. them. The investment may weigh heavily on your financial balance. Services can give you entry If you work on services for to, and knowledge of, other more than 50%, you may networks. consider becoming a consultancy.ExamplesThe organization for the Dutch Wadden Sea used to apply thisstrategy, WWF has a shop and fun page where you can buy books,calendars and videos, the Dutch Stichting Aarde was verysuccessful with the action trees for cows, where people couldadopt a tree to provide shade for cows in the field.Own generated income: Live on interestIf you put a huge amount of money in the bank, you can raiseinterest. If you have 10 million euros at 5% interest, you have500,000 euros to spend annually. Some organizations really arethis fortunate. Advantages Disadvantages The allocation of this money You cannot use the money is entirely up to the board. that is in the bank. Take care that the m oney is Donors will regard you as a invested in decent causes. rich organization. (48
  • V. Essential aspects of an effective civil society for the environmentLessons learned in Albania and other countriesAll that is precious is defenceless, according to a Dutch poet.Civil society concern for environment and nature is uncertain. Inthe end it depends heavily on the motivation and willingness ofcitizens to contribute to this cause. Civil society organizations aresmall and do not have huge financial reserves. And since we arenon-profit organizations, the ability to run a proper business isnot a core capacity.On the other hand, in many countries civil society has beenactive for 20 to 50 years. If there is no money coming in,volunteers take over certain functions and keep the organizationsgoing, and every now and then, new organizations and initiativesemerge, and of course organizations disappear. Sustainability ofcivil society on environment and nature is not directly related tofinancial sustainability. It is related to the sustainability ofcitizens commitment to the cause. This commitment, in turn, isrelated to awareness of the necessity of a healthy environmentand a consciousness about the intrinsic or extrinsic values ofnature.It is also apparent that governments need civil society in theirdialogue with society. In a participative democracy you needstakeholders with the capacity to represent citizens and give avoice to that which has no voice, like nature and environment.Finally, when things get out of hand because of bad policy or theirresponsible behaviour of authorities, citizens or companies, andthe quality of the environment, peoples health and livelihood arethreatened, citizens will organize themselves to defend theirenvironment.This being said, it is evident that civil society on environment andnature will always have limited resources and instruments. Thismakes the need for effective use of these resources all the moreimportant.At the end of this book we provide some recommendations. (49
  • 1. Respect the diversity and the network character of civil society and do not try to control it from one central body. All experience in this field turns out to be counterproductive because of the rise of conflicts about who is in charge and what strategy should be followed within the network.2. Develop a support structure for the organizations. This structure must be service oriented and deserve its role and status through added value for the organizations. The role of the structure can be the organization of network meetings, facilitating training and education and delivery of services on demand, like human resource management, interim management and legal advice. The service does not need many employees; resources can be taken from organizations within the network. In this case, the structure is more a broker between parties than a service centre.3. Develop a strong membership base. Members make your organization and network financially and politically stronger and form the connection with society. Feedback from members can tell you whether or not you are on the right track.4. Be very conscious of your corporate and network image. You may be critical but should always be reliable. If you are working for a (good) cause you must practice what you preach or have a very good and understandable reason if you dont. Communication is very tricky. To gain members or subsidies, you have to promise tangible results. But if you promise too much you will be confronted with your failure in the long run.5. Be sure that the basics in (financial) management are well organized so that no money of funders, members or sponsors is lost because of failing management, bad or no decision making, lengthy meetings and useless conferences.6. Keep looking for allies within and outside your own network. Civil society organizations can hardly achieve results all by themselves. A nice campaign or an educational activity is easily organized, but will make little difference if they are not part of a bigger picture including several powerful stakeholders in society. (50
  • 7. Organize your lobby in parliament on local, national and international levels if you want to influence decision making. Some civil society networks have permanent representatives on the national and international levels and are well known in their communities.8. The diversity of the movement is both its strength and its weakness. Mixed strategies in influencing policies and gaining (financial) support are in almost all cases advisable.After ten years of supporting network activities in Albania, thereare some specific recommendations for civil society on nature andenvironment in the country.1. Although international financial sources may gradually disappear, it would be of great value if the organizations manage to maintain the spirit of cooperation and the openness in discussions that has been developed.2. It cannot be stressed enough: Build up a membership base for your organizations and the network as a whole. Albania does not have a strong tradition in this sense, but in the future membership will be a necessity to sustain organizations and a network. The fact that there is no tradition can also be an opportunity; it is new and probably the market is not yet overloaded with competition. A growing middle class with the need for a healthy environment, clean river banks and beaches may also open up opportunities. Just start small and try hard!3. Diversify your financial support. Currently the international community is the main source of finances for Albanian civil society. In the coming years this source may become rather small, so other sources have to be explored.4. Find cooperation in environment monitoring, data collection, research /investigation, and share this information among each other.5. Communicate your actions to media, the public and authorities in order to be visible in society. (51
  • 6. Form the experience on position papers into a tradition in development of common positions on specific issues, thus uniting and strengthening the voice of civil society to maintain your influence on the decision making process.7. Develop and include expertise on sustainable alternatives for government policy.8. Keep including relevant stakeholders on hot issues to make these problems and their solutions common concerns that require common solutions.9. Use mechanisms and programs to actively participate in drafting and implementing environmental legislation, and join initiatives undertaken to adapt current Albanian legislation to EU directives.10. Keep on connecting the (inter)national level with local initiatives and vice versa.11. Promote community participation in environmental protection through environmental direct actions. (52
  • LiteratureŸ Blueprint for survival, Edward Goldsmith and Robert Allen Publisher Ecosystems Ltd. Publication , 1972Ÿ Limits to growth, Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III, English Publisher Universe Books Publication , 1972 Pages 205 ISBN 0- 87663-165-0 OCLC Number 307838Ÿ Toward an applied theory of experiential learning. Kolb. D. A. and Fry, R. (1975) in C. Cooper (ed.) Theories of Group Process, London: John WileyŸ Silent Spring, Rachel Carson Country United States Language English Subject(s) Environmentalism Publisher Houghton Mifflin Publication date 27 September 1962Ÿ Strategies of Dutch Environmental Organizations; Ozone Depletion, Acidification and Climate Change, Pleune, R., Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 1997, pp. 188 (NW&S No. 97055, ISBN No. 90 5727 016 1).Ÿ Environment and democracy in the Czech Republic: the environmental movement in the transition process by Adam Fagan, 2004. Elgar, vi + 195 pp. ISBN 1-85898-876-4Ÿ Money for Earth, J. Haverkamp, M. Verheije, D.Schwarz, Milieukontakt Oost Europa, 1995Ÿ Fondswerving, mogelijkheden en instrumenten, J.Donner, C.Groot, De 12 provinciale Milieufederaties 1998Ÿ Communication Networks: Toward a New Paradigm for Research. Rogers, E.M. & Kincaid, D.L. New York: Free Press (1981). (53
  • Authors and acknowledgementsJerphaas Donner (1961) is director of Milieukontakt International since 2000. In 1994 he managed his first support project in Cracow Poland while he was communication expert and fundraiser for a provincial umbrella organization on environment in the Province of Overijssel in The Netherlands. Before that he worked as a campaign andcommunications officer. He is a social scientist with aspecialization in network development. Furthermore he is activeas a trainer and advisor of networks of environmentalorganizations in more than 20 countries.Valbona Mazreku (1972) works for Milieukontakt Albania since 2000 as director of the Milieukontakt office in Albania. She is president of Ekolevizja Network in Albania. During the past decade she supported the development of the Albanian NGO network on nature and environment as a coordinator and a trainer. She was initiator, manager and motivatingforce in the projects ’’Green Agenda in Albania’’ and’’Strengthening the Albanian Civil; Society for an ImprovedEnvironment’’ (SACSIE).This book would not have been written without the support of:Jac. H. de Raat, translationSandra Molenkamp, project manager Milieukontakt internationalRrezearta Ago, project manager Milieukontakt AlbaniaValmira Kallushi, financial manager Milieukontakt AlbaniaThe Royal Netherlands Embassy in Tirana, main supporter of theSacsie project. (54