Civic initiatives in 10 CEE countries supported within Local Climate Justice Activism call for proposals


19 civic initiatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were supported within the Local Climate Justice Activism in Central and Eastern Europe call for proposals of the Open Society Institute – Sofia.

A total of 109 proposals were submitted in response to the call for proposals in 2020. An international Selection Committee evaluated and recommended supporting 19 projects in the CEE region. The projects, with duration of up to one year, will be implemented in the period 2021-2022.

The Open Society Institute – Sofia Foundation (OSIS) with the support of Open Society Foundations (OSFs) and in cooperation with the Open Society European Network (OSEN), consisting of civil society organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, launched the call for proposals for civil society organizations seeking to support the inclusion of so far marginalized and excluded groups and communities to address climate justice issues in the countries of Central Eastern Europe. The climate justice perspective links human rights, social justice, and general principles of equality with the transformation of our economies to ensure environmental sustainability.

The project “CLIFF – the CLImate is aFFecting us”, Slovakia, of the Rural Parliament in Slovakia as a lead organization is focused on vulnerable groups of citizens living in rural areas of the central part of the country, who are less able to take advantage of the opportunities related to climate change mitigation.

The project “COAL-OUT – Enabling climate justice for local citizens in the coal phase-out process of Heves county, Hungary”, of Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute and Applied Communications Association aims at enhancing the participation of local citizens in the coal-phase out process that will enhance climate justice in the local energy transition.

The project “Green Brigade”, Romania, of the Traditional Hutsul Association aims at creating a “Green Brigade” of local activists and volunteers to address the problem of illegal deforestation in areas, which are the most affected by it.

The project “Climate Justice Activism in Municipalities Sadovo and Kuklen and Chernatica Mountain, Bulgaria” of the Social Foundation Indi Roma 97 as a lead organization aims at developing programs for climate adaptation and will include options for providing of suitable municipal lands for agriculture to poor Roma families and young people who want to settle and work in the villages.

The project “Boosting up Climate Justice Activism in Estonian eastern partnership and local native Russian speaking communities” of the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKU), Estonia as a lead organization is focusing on the local communities, which will be heavily affected by the transition from the oil shale industry towards renewable energy.

The project “Climate and Gender Justice Community Program”, Bulgaria, of the Bulgarian Fund for Women as a lead organization, tackles the intersectionality between climate justice and gender issues to builds capacity of community leaders from vulnerable groups in developing awareness, monitoring and participation strategies within their communities and in decision-making processes locally.

The project “Climate action network of small agricultural farms for monitoring local water and drought management in Bulgaria”, Bulgaria, of the Society for Investigation Practices as a lead organization, aims at building capacity of an action network in selected target communities to monitor local water management and introduce good practices for adaptation to drought.

The project “Climate justice for Anhovo”, Slovenia, of PIC – Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs aims at empowering vulnerable individuals and communities to gather and act, to voice their requests and to work towards securing the right of living in a safe environment in one the most polluted areas in Slovenia, affected by asbestos production.

The project “Support your local rebellion”, Poland, of the Climate Activism Foundation (Fundacja Aktywizmu Klimatycznego) and its partner Extinction Rebellion addresses a considerable obstacle to effective organizing at the local level – the lack of skills needed to mobilize and organize with people and aims at developing and sharing those skills through trainings, workshops, planning and executing nonviolent direct action.

The project “Socially inclusive post-industrial brownfield rehabilitation – as a tool of just green transition in urban climate change adaptation process”, Hungary, of the PAD Foundation for Environmental Justice aims at creating a framework to rehabilitate brownfields and adjoining neighborhoods by developing socially just and sustainable socio-ecological systems as well as a pilot project in a post-industrial town with quite extreme socio spatial polarization.

The project “Community-based participatory air quality monitoring in Timișoara, Romania”, Romania, of CRIES – Resource Center for Ethical and Solidarity based Initiatives as a lead organization will focus on the development of capabilities for self-advocacy regarding air quality within the impacted communities within an inclusive discourse centered on sustainability.

The project “Just Transition in Silesia through model public consultation and community organizing”, Poland, of Common Thing Foundation as a lead organization, puts socially just transition in the spotlight of public debate as one of the biggest climate justice issue in the country and engages people whose jobs depend on the coal industry in a public consultation process, with a focus on networking them to start a platform for debate around the issue, using community organizing methodology.

The project “Building Financial Literacy & Resilience in Communities Impacted by Just Transition”, the Czech Republic, of the International Sustainable Finance Centre aims at developing financial literacy and resilience in communities impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy in order to ensure that just transition funding mechanisms are understood and utilized by marginalized and excluded communities where the main lignite coal mines are located.

The project “Localizing the global: empowering students to challenge local climate injustices”, Lithuania, of the Diversity Development Group as a lead organization is addressing the lack of bottom-up discussion about climate change as well as limited engagement with questions of climate mitigation and adaptation at the EU level and beyond, especially across rural regions of Lithuania, with a series of participatory discussions about sustainable development and climate justice with students around the country and encouraging local communities to speak up and engage in the dialogue.

The project “Mapping local perspectives for the Just Transition citizens’ assembly in North-Eastern Estonia” of Green Tiger of Estonia as a lead organization will map perspectives of local inhabitants and actors in the North East of Estonia, a region strongly affected by the transition from oil shale industry towards renewable energy, helping build a common understanding of community perspectives, fears and hopes of people living in the region as well as support their involvement in future activities initiated for just transition.

The project “Local communities as a part of the Citizens’ assembly”, Slovakia, of Human for Climate organization addresses aspects of exclusion of minority social groups in communicating views and positions in terms of climate change and the respective decisions taking place, aiming to help their entry into public discussions in a more constructive way.

The project “Participatory design for positive impact in rural areas”, the Czech Republic, of Foundation Veronica as a lead organization, aims at designing a participatory process for a small community that will enable the community to identify its critical climate change challenges and come up with a solution in a form of a local environmental project rooted in the community.

The project “Children of Neptun” project, Croatia, of Udruga Pomalo as a lead organization aims at empowering citizens of a small community, in particular fishermen as the most vulnerable group, in the face of climate emergency through empowering local action group, advocating for local fishery policies that strive toward socially fair and ecologically sustainable fishery and initiating public debate and broader deliberative processes around climate change challenges for fishery.