Municipality of Zoersel (BE) - Coordinator
The Municipality of Zoersel is a municipality in Belgium, with just over 22.000 citizens, consisting of three sub-municipalities: Halle, Zoersel and Sint-Antonius. It locates 20 km from the provincial capital Antwerp. The proximity of this port city ensures that there is a commute traffic from Zoersel (residential area) to Antwerp (employment).
The attractiveness of Zoersel to live is partly due to the fact that Zoersel is part of the green belt around Antwerp. For example, Zoersel's territory includes Zoerselsbos, the Halse bossen, and part of the Schijnvallei. In these areas, the focus is on soft recreation such as walking and cycling.
Challenges for sustainability are mainly in the area of mobility: how do we ensure that the car is overthrown and replaced by environmentally friendly alternatives? Much is also being done to upgrade the old houses that no longer meet the new building standards, in order to make them energy neutral.
ASPEA - Portuguese Association for Environmental Education (PT)
ASPEA, the Portuguese Association for Environmental Education, is a nationwide NGO with 1.200 associated members, including teachers, professors, researchers, biologists, sociologists, technicians and students from various fields related to the environment and sustainability. ASPEA has its head office in Lisbon and is represented nationwide through 6 regional delegations. Paid and unpaid full time staff include ca. 30 persons. ASPEA has 30 years of experience in the fields of campaigning for environmental issues and in the operationalization of environmental awareness raising. The core activities of ASPEA are linked to the training of youth, teachers and adults in key Environmental Education (EE) topics such as the protection of resources (water, soil, habitats and biodiversity, agriculture, forests and forestry and sustainable modes of production), pollution, climate change, analysis and valuing of the territory, environmental economy and sociology as well as in environmental policies in different contexts, including formal, non-formal and informal educational settings. ASPEA aims its activity at all publics, educating children, youth and adults, from all provenances and occupations striving to form professionals, advocates and elucidated citizens on the concerns pertaining to all contemporary environmental issues and challenges. In order to carry out its mission of ensuring the appropriate educational strategies, activities and resources convey the proper message of reconciling the human development needs with environmental preservation, ASPEA establishes partnerships with all sorts of relevant organizations, in Portugal, in Europe and worldwide.
Municipality of Lousada (PT)
The Municipality of Lousada is an institution of local public administration that manages an area of 96 km2 with about 50.000 inhabitants in Northern Portugal. This highly populated area, in a periurban region, faces many challenges regarding its sustainable development, life quality and populations' literacy and citizenship. Thus, the Municipality’s mission is to define guiding strategies and execute the resulting local policies through measures and programs in various areas of our competence, promoting the quality of life of all citizens and ensuring high standards of quality services.
Since 2015, the Municipality has implemented an innovative and pioneer sustainability agenda, integrating all types of stakeholders in active citizenship: private companies, parishes, schools, NGOs, etc. The whole educative system was shifted towards environmental actions, with local projects of nature conservation and public mobilization for the environment. Also, the territory has been intervened in order to protect priority areas for biodiversity, control invasive species and restore degraded areas. Also, the owners of private land are being involved in sustainable programmes supporting biodiversity, agriculture and forestry under eco-friendly, profitable, management options that directly contribute to a circular multi-stakeholder economy at a local level. Green governance is a key priority for Lousada, and hopefully this project will contribute to a more conscious and effective environmental decision-making.
Municipality of Soto del Real (ES)
Soto del Real is a Spanish municipality in the Autonomous Region of Madrid. It has a population of 9.091 inhabitants and is located within 3 nature reserves with the Sierra del Guadarrama National Park as the most important of them. It locates 42 kilometers from the city of Madrid, at an altitude of 921 meters above sea level. It is a tourist town mainly due to the beautiful environment that surrounds it, with many different natural landscapes such as pastures and forests adapted to the different bioclimatic areas with altitudes ranging from 900m in the lowest area to over 2.000 m in the mountains.
Apart from the striking setting of Soto del Real, it is also highly visited due to its incessant rhythm of activities of various kinds, such as sports, culture, sustainability, youth, equality, gastronomic offer, among others. On the subject of sustainability, Soto del Real is a pioneering municipality where different actions are carried out, such as: community and domestic composting, tree planting with neighbors and schools, promotion of recycling at the collection point in schools, promotion of public transport and the use of bicycles with multiple cycle lanes and a social bike-workshop, proximity and ecological consumption group, self-management of water resources, investment in renewable energies, among others.
Leave No Trace (IE)
Leave No Trace Ireland is an outdoor ethics education programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. As increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor travel and recreation, our collective mark on the environment and its natural processes increases. Litter, water pollution, disturbance of vegetation, wildlife, livestock and other people are all indicators of the need to develop a national country code that protects both natural and cultural heritage.
Leave No Trace Ireland works across all 32 counties in Ireland and in countries across the world. Our office is based in Westport Co. Mayo and we have a registered address with the Irish Sports Council in Dublin. The Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics has a rich history of work with the international community, engaging with NGOs, land agencies, governments, companies, and youth-serving organisations in over 90 countries.
SYNTHESIS Center for Research and Education (CY)
SYNTHESIS Center for Research and Education is a pioneering organisation which initiates and implements projects of positive social change in the fields of entrepreneurship, civic engagement, digital literacy and migrant integration. SYNTHESIS is perhaps the leading institution in the field of social entrepreneurship in the island. One of its success stories is the establishment of “Hub Nicosia,” a co-working centre for organisations with cultural, environmental and social aims. SYNTHESIS provides non-formal education to diverse and vulnerable groups with the aim to help them acquire the skills they need to lead a fulfilling and productive live. A VET provider, SYNTHESIS is also delivering entrepreneurial and soft skills training programmes, particularly to people at risk of social exclusion, including children, women, migrants and refugees, individuals with learning and emotional disabilities, youth and long-term unemployed individuals.