No new dams, protect the rivers!

No new dams, protect the rivers!

The Institute for Environmental Policy participated in the meeting of environmental NGOs of the region (and this year also participants from other areas of Europe and Asia), at the Solar Academy educational center of Zelena akcija in the island of Šolta, Croatia.

No new dams, protect the rivers, said activists from 14 countries (Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Austria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine), and 24 organisations that gathered at the island of Šolta, Croatia, in the Solar Academy educational centre of Zelena akcija – Friends of the Earth Croatia, from 8th to 13th July. Thirty one environmental activists from 24 organisations from the region and Europe gathered to discuss the hydropower development in the Balkans and Europe, river and biodiversity protection, influence of climate change on the rivers and electricity production from the hydropower.
The CSOs demanded that the plans for new hydropower plants in the protected areas are cancelled. While energy production from hydropower is important element in each country energy mix and transition towards the post-carbon societies, there is underdevelopment of solar and wind projects in the region, lack of policies on energy efficiency and lack of national and regional strategies that are developed in participatory and open manner. The group discussed the recently published position paper of the regional environmental network SEENET on Hydropower and river protection in the Western Balkans and Turkey and exchanged experiences on their advocacy work in the different countries.
We want to continue our good cooperation in the region through SEENET, a regional network of environmental CSOs that work on energy, climate change, transport and natural resources issues from the perspective of environmental protection and sustainability. The network has been operational for seven years now, and here at Šolta we have accepted three new members to the network: Balkani Wildlife Society – Bulgaria, Association for sustainable development – Serbia and Green Art Center – Kosovo. The network supported the demands to protect rivers in Georgia and Albania.
With these new members SEENET now has in total 32 members from all around the South East Europe. In the next year the coordination board of the network will be: CEKOR (Serbia), Center for Environment (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Green Home (Montenegro), EDEN (Albania) and Zelena akcija – Friends of the Earth Croatia (Croatia).
The meeting has been supported by Pro Natura / Friends of the Earth Switzerland.

Training – Water is Life – Education on Water & Sustainability: Berlin

Training – Water is Life – Education on Water & Sustainability
We’d like to invite you to apply for a 10-day training course on “Education on Water & Sustainability”, which will take place in Berlin from 22/09/2017 to 1/10/2017. Call for participants with an residence address in Germany, Italy, Tunesia, Albania, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania or Finland. -> We’ll be hosting a 10-day training course on “Education on Water & Sustainability” in late September. Registration:

The training is aimed at full-time and voluntary youth workers (32 participants) from Germany, Romania, Albania, Slovakia, Serbia, Tunisia, Finland and Italy, especially those who are invested in environmental education. It is imperative for us to strongly involve youth workers who are dealing with economic and social disadvantages. We also aim to win persons with an immigration background and fugitives as participants for the training, as well as the pedagogical professionals who are working with this specific target group.

Following the title “Water is Life – Educational Approaches on Water and Sustainability”, we will try out educational approaches and methods for 10 days. We will discover and exchange methods which will enable the participants to cover the various dimensions (ecological, economic, social and political, human rights) of the topic “water & sustainability” in their educational day-to-day work. The training strongly focuses on getting to know different pedagogical approaches in a direct manner. Thus, the participants will have the opportunity to try out, evaluate and discuss a variety of methods: a simulation game, excursions and guided tours, nutrition based on a sustainability index, as well as other interactive & non-formal methods which are tied to intercultural, environmental and outdoor education. In addition, participants will be taught background and basic knowledge about water and sustainability.

The pedagogical methods will enable the participants to incorporate the topic “water and sustainability” into the context of youth work. This includes the ability to motivate young people to change their mindset towards a more sustainable use of water and to engage themselves for the human right to water and sanitation. Furthermore, the participants will learn that the water crisis requires international efforts and global solutions; the training will offer them a variety of tools to incorporate this knowledge in their daily pedagogical work.

If you like to be a part of the training, please register online via

Travel policy
OBUK e.V. supports a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of travelling. That means that it’s obligatory to stick to the following travelling guidelines:

Destinations < 1000km: bus or train connections ONLY Destinations > 1000km: ONLY direct flights with eco-friendly airlines, bus or train connections
Please note that not accepting or disrespecting these guidelines is an exclusion criterion for us regarding the selection of candidates.

Organisational matters
The training will take place in Berlin from 22/09/2017 to 1/10/2017.
The training’s main place is going to be the seminar house “Tagungswerk”, which is part of the socio-cultural center Kubiz in Berlin-Weißensee.
The training is aimed at youth workers / pedagogical professionals from Germany, Romania, Albania, Slovakia, Serbia, Tunisia, Finland and Italy.
Registration for the training is to be made exclusively online.
Deadline for registration is 27/08/2017.
The participation fee will be 100 EUR / reduced 50 EUR covering participation and accommodation cost.
Travelling costs will be refunded up to a maximum of 275 Euros per person.
The training will be held in English.
If there are any questions regarding the registration or other matters, please contact the organizers at (

Youth Exchange “Energy of Nature”

The youth exchange “Energy of Nature” took place in Duga Resa, Karlovac, Croatia, on 30.06.2017-07.07.2017.
42 young people from 7 states: Albania, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia, Spain, and Poland participated in the youth exchange (6 participants + 1 group leader per country), which was organized by Udruga za lokalni razvoj “Turbina promjena”.
During the youth exchange, participants expanded their knowledge on renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable development, European strategies for sustainable development, and about technologies and ways on how to reduce our impact on the environment and on the climate.
Besides environmental topics, participants also exchanged their cultures and increased their skills in communication in European languages, organizing of non-formal activities, learning in a non-formal way and got to know about the hosting country, Croatia.

Partner organizations of this youth exchange were:
Udruga za lokalni razvoj “Turbina promjena” – Croatia
Instituti i Politikave Mjedisore – Albania
La Vibria Intercultural – Spain
Eko-Zhivot – Macedonia
Fundacja Kreatywnej przestrzeń and Rozwoju CampoSfera – Poland
Istituto Pace Sviluppo Innovazione Acli IPSIA – Italy

Call for participants and application form-Youth Exchange “Energy of nature”

Project summary – Energy of nature
Project „Energy of Nature“ will be carried out in Croatia in Karlovac County in the city of Karlovac with partners from Croatia, Poland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Spain, Albania and Italy. There will be 42 participants in the exchange, 36 young people (young people with disadvantages included), 6 group leaders and volunteers from the Association for Local Development “Turbine of Changes”. As part of the program “Erasmus +” project contributes to achieving the overall objective which is: Inspiring young participants in the project to its innovative activities contribute to protecting the environment through the use of renewable energy and encourage energy efficiency by encouraging the citizens of their countries to participate more actively .

More about the project can be read here.

Timetable can be read here.

Criteria for participation: resident of the Republic of Albania, age 18-30.
Travel expenses: Reimbursement up to 170 Euro.
Accommodation, meals and other expenses related to the exchange in Karlovac, are covered by the Erasmus+ program.

Application deadline: 15 May

Download application form here.


Field trip on biodiversity, with pupils from Albanian College Tirana

On the 20th of April 2017, IEP volunteers organized a field trip at Tirana Lake Park with the pupils of Albanian College Tirana. The activity was aimed at raising awareness on the biodiversity of the Park, to show children what species of trees, plants and animals live there, and what they need to do to save the different ecosystems of the park.

The activity was opened with an energizer in the park, “cowboy energizer”, where children were split in two groups, and then they played a game which was aimed to showing them the differences between species and diversity of different species in the park, and to show differences and what we humans have in common with other animals.

The activity went on with the topic of adaption of species, where kids were shown the different animals they can find in the park, what they need, to adapt to the ecosystem they live in, and then kids were divided in groups and went on a walk to the lake and forest, to find and see themselves different animals that live there. Kids were asked to describe the animals they found, where they live and how do they live in different ecosystems.

Then, they were told the “Story of the Frog”, where kids learned about the life of frogs. After that, the whole group did a cleanup of the area, collecting trash that was thrown in the ecosystems by irresponsible persons. The last topic of the activity was the collection of different flowers and leaves from the park, put them in an envelope, where they also wrote about what they learned during this field trip, and promises and how they will protect the environment.

Event on Climate Change at Albanian College in Durrës

On 18 January, approximately 50 students attended the viewing of an environmental documentary and subsequent interactive discussion with experts from the Institute for Environmental Policy. Students committed to practising various ways to reduce their carbon footprints and at the end of two weeks, will reflect on how making small changes to their consumption habits can ensure a sustainable future.