Place a stone in a river


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Baltic PR Awards 2012
Category: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Organization: Repute
Client: Cido GRUPA
Country: Latvia
Project name: Place a stone in a river

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Place a stone in a river

  1. 1. Category: CSR Repute (Latvia) “Place a stone in a river”: An innovative idea to keep the eco-system alive Cido GRUPA Situation Latvia has over 12 000 rivers and streams, but 70% of them are at risk of overgrowing. Did you know that by placing a stone in a shallow river or a stream, it improves its stream flow? It was this straightforward, yet scientifically proven method that Andris Urtāns, an environmental scientist and hydrologist, implemented in cooperation with Mangaļi Nature Foundation. Campaign is based on strategically locating stones in rivers, therefore adding oxygen to the water and improving its overall quality. The method has been recognized by established world’s aquatic ecology and environmental specialists as an excellent and innovative project. Objectives The campaign’s goal was to involve local government authorities in this project by showing them demonstrations of how strategically located stones in the river can help to save them. The main goal was for government authorities to learn the method from field expert demonstrations, in order for them to later on independently organize joint efforts within their community. It was an essential to address local government authorities directly, because without their permit rivers cannot be altered by individuals. The campaign was based on “River quality map” that was mapped out by environmental scientists showing target locations with low quality water. Strategy The genius idea is such a simple way to save a local river or a stream, because all it requires is knowledge of placing stones and participation of local communities and active environmentally conscious volunteers. In order to teach the method Mangaļi Nature Foundation together with Andris Urtāns organized several sets of demonstrations and events in different regions of Latvia, training messengers to use the new method of saving rivers. The campaign gained such interest and popularity from local government municipalities and parishes, that afterwards many of them organized their own river cleaning activities and “Place a stone in a river” campaigns. The idea was implemented by Mangaļi Nature Foundation, whose main mission and goal is to educate and inform Latvians about their water resources, while explaining the most efficient ways to maintain and sustain these resources as clean and accessible as possible. ExecutionThe first stone-laying event took place not far from Riga in Ķivuļurga. In the presence of environmental activists, government and municipality authorities, students and locals, A.Urtāns placed more than 100 medium-sized stones’. The procedure was carried out with great accuracy in order to create a stream flow. The entire campaign received wide mass media coverage from TV, radio, national and regional press; furthermore it served as an example of how a simple idea, without any special technical requirements can aid the environment.Similar campaigns were organized in four more rivers across all regions. In all locations (Rauza, Venta, Balga, Virza) government representatives, environmental activists, and locals with a passion for ecology took part in placing stones.An informative website dedicated to the campaign was created: every “Mangaļi” water bottle purchased, a penny was donated towards the campaign thus involving every member of the society. Baltic PR Awards 2012
  2. 2. Category: CSR Documented ResultsThe campaign received wide mass media coverage from TV, radio, national and regional press; furthermore it served as an example of how a simple idea, without any special technical requirements can aid the environment.Five major cleanup campaigns took place all across Latvia involving more than 500 official government representatives, environmental activists and students.More than 48 hours spent increasing the stream flow in over 3000 meters of river bed, and in the process more than 600 stones were placed in the river;More than 150 newspaper articles and stories in magazines, TV and radio, covering the campaign to more than 2.5 millions of people all across Latvia;Regarding the additional interest of the demonstrations, the project was presented in Brussels, Belgium and ten more municipalities, and also schools. The bases of the unique idea are under consideration for implementation by other countries. Baltic PR Awards 2012