This is the most critical decade to address key global environmental issues, which requires the transition of the economy and society to a sustainable future. In this context, the European Green Deal sets climate and environmental goals, but also the necessary steps, policies, and initiatives to achieve them. However, for such measures to be effectively implemented, the active participation of the citizens in the decision-making is necessary.
Citizen participation requires, in addition to awareness and knowledge of environmental issues, the capacity, as well as the confidence, to participate in environmental governance processes.
In Greece, despite the number of universities that focus on or have departments related to the environment, but also law and policy, the participation of young citizens in environmental policy-making processes is limited. At the same time, while there are volunteer groups that are active in environmental protection, they focus on local actions, without being equally active in policy interventions. Therefore, the need to empower citizens to be actively involved in environmental governance is evident.
In order to fill this gap, the project " Learn-Participate-Protect the environment" aims to promote, strengthen and shield the participation of citizens in processes related to the creation and implementation of environmental policies in Greece, with emphasis on climate crisis, biodiversity loss and plastic pollution.
The project will focus on people that already have the knowledge or interest in environmental issues, as their participation in environmental governance is estimated to have a major positive impact on preserving the environment and enhancing their long-term involvement in environmental governance However, baseline information on three selected environmental issues will be provided in order for all interested citizens to be able to participate!
The project aims to address the lack of citizen participation in the public through three central axes:
The activities of the project consist of two cycles of educational activities that will include webinars and seminars (Autumn 2021 - Spring 2022 and Autumn 2022 - Winter 2023).
- 3 Introductory Webinars (Climate Crisis, Biodiversity Loss, Plastic Pollution),
- 4 Training Seminars (in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos, Xanthi, Mytilene, Heraklion, Zakynthos),
- 2 Training Webinars (Best use of mass media, good examples of volunteering & citizen interventions).
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Anastasia is an educator, graduated from the Department of Primary School Education, with a master degree in Environmental Education, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Department of Biology in collaboration with the Department of Preschool Education). She has worked in the field of mainstream and special education for 4 years.
At iSea she was coordinating projects related to Aquatic Litter, since 2018. The projects were including the implementation of coastal and underwater cleanups, the active involvement of target groups in tackling the issue of marine litter pollution and the design and implementation of awareness raising campaigns on marine pollution from plastics and microplastics in the Greek seas.
She is now coordinating the “Human and Aquatic Ecosystem” department of iSea, as a Director, designing and implementing educational activities and projects aimed at the active involvement of the public in environmental protection with the aim to redefine our relation with the environment. She coordinated the publication of the environmental education guide for the disabled and is responsible for projects related to the promotion of active participation and the education of citizens for the sustainable management of the environment and the implementation of proper measures aiming at sustainable development.
Her main research interests are related to issues of environmental education and ethics, as well as environmental knowledge and perceptions of citizens on different environmental topics.
Εmail: [email protected]
Born in Thessaloniki, he is a graduate of the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Aegean. He continues his studies in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the Department of Biology, with postgraduate studies in aquacultures. He previously worked for Mediamatic in the Netherlands, in an aquaponics development project, a technique of simultaneously cultivation of fish and plants.
In addition, he has worked in the Fisheries Department of the Regional Unit of Lesvos in the context of his internship. His research interests concern recreational fishing and its viability in Greece, an interest that has led in the creation of the first Greek recreational fishing guide, based on the newest published scientific information, in collaboration with the University of Patras and an experienced recreational fisher. At the same time he is interested in sustainable seafood consumption with aspects such as the promotion of the consumption of edible alien species.
He speaks two languages, Greek (native) and English (C1). He has a PADI open water diving license and driving license. Nikos is working as a Project Manager, in the Human & Aquatic Ecosystems Pillar in iSea, with a significant number of scientific publications and participation in international conferences and research projects. In his everyday life and in his working environment, Nikos is trying for a #zeroplastic and a #zerowaste lifestyle.
Εmail: [email protected]
tel. +30 2313090696
Sofia was born and raised in Trikala and she’s an Agriculture graduate, that specialized in plant-based production at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has conducted internships at “ELGO Dimitra” in Thessaloniki and at CiBio in Porto, Portugal.
During her bachelor studies, she was an active member of the International Organisation of Agriculture for students. As a member in that organisation, she attended many educational seminars, conferences and events. Her concern for the environment motivated her to begin a Master’s Diploma on Ecology and Conservation Biology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has basic knowledge of R coding and qGIS. She works in iSea as an “Assistant Project Manager”.
Email: [email protected]
ACTIVE CITIZENS FUND
The project"Learn-Participate-Protect the environment" is implemented within the Active citizens fund program, by iSea and its partner The Green Tank.
Active Citizens Fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship, and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active Citizens Fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow.
About the EEA Grants
Τhe EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EEA Grants are available to the 13 EU member countries that joined the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2004, 2007 and 2013 as well as Greece and Portugal. The decision-making body of the EEA Grants is the Financial Mechanism Committee, which is composed of representatives of the Foreign Ministries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
More information: www.eeagrants.org & www.eeagrants.gr
Bodossaki Foundation came into being in 1972 and works to promote its vision for a society of equal opportunities for all, which enables people to fully realise their potential. The Foundation has intimate knowledge of the non-profit public benefit sector in Greece. From its establishment to this day, it has allocated more than €450 million to furthering its causes, focusing on reducing disparities in opportunities, educating young people, and supporting socially vulnerable groups of the population.
See more in www.bodossaki.gr .
SolidarityNow was established in 2013. Through our initiatives and the services provided to the Greek, migrant, and refugee populations, we seek to restore the vision of a strong Europe based on solidarity and open society values. Our main objective is to support the most vulnerable members of our society indiscriminately, through innovative social actions. These programs focus on: a) responding to the ongoing refugee crisis, b) providing access to basic health services and food aid, c) defending, d) human rights and freedoms, and e) supporting the integration of minorities and vulnerable groups
See more in www.solidaritynow.org.