INTERREGIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING AND DISSEMINATION EVENT in VARNA, BULGARIA - 1-2.06.2022
The first day of the event started with an opening speech from Nikolay Tanchev - one of the most recognizable green activists in Varna. The host, Silvia Stumpf, from “Business Agency” Varna talked about the green future for the city of the oldest gold in Europe.
In the hybrid event, a round table discussion “On the way to sustainable change – policy improvements through CECI project for citizen involvement in circular economy”, all the partners shared their input and validation of the elaborated action plan.
After the break, in a life stream, Lia-Filipa shared a presentation on the topic of how to accelerate pilots and new projects related to the involvement of citizens in circular economy implementation. The connected workshop was personally attended by representatives of several universities, NGOs, environmental experts, citizens and those interested in the topic. All the participants were divided into groups and worked looking for solutions for challenges in the digitization of the circular economy in 3 different sectors -: consumer goods, construction material and the project partners and their stakeholders were involved in a zoom meeting online. They shared the constraints and challenges that those initiatives encounter and solutions that can be found for legal issues, logistical issues and consumer behaviour issues. In the end, all of them shared their conclusions.
The Wrap-up session ended the event with a discussion on PHASE 2 implementation.
The day was devoted to several good practices, implemented in Varna.
- Organic educational garden in kindergarten - educational corner in the yard of the kindergarten “Detska radost”, where children, educators and parents grow herbs, vegetables and fruits together. The kindergarten won a competition for the creation of an interactive educational garden of a new type: "Delicious educational organic garden", funded by the Swiss Confederation through the Fund for Reforms related to the participation of civil society. The project started in 2013 with the financial support of BGN 500.
The idea was to build a "Green classroom with an educational organic garden" with the establishment of flower beds with herbs, spices and vegetables, around the trunk of a 50-year-old walnut in our yard. One of the beds is adapted for children with special educational needs. Along with the project, the kindergarten has created a green classroom, where children get acquainted with the basic principles of permaculture - sustainable living. "Look at the world with new eyes", "Learn through experiences", and "Save the Earth, because it has everything you need".
During the meeting, the children welcomed the guests according to an old Bulgarian tradition - with a delicious loaf of bread and salt, sang a song, danced and showed how to care for the already sprouted tomatoes, beans, zucchini and other vegetables.
- 3C program of Humana People to People for the promotion and protection of the environment and sustainable agriculture in urban conditions. A place for urban agriculture. The initiative offers a small area for growing vegetables outdoors within the city.
City gardeners, some of whom are picking up a hoe for the first time, do not have to pay for anything - everything, such as water, watering cans, tools, seeds, natural fertilizers and preparations is provided by Humana. The condition that the organizers insist on is to have "togetherness". Everyone must come on Saturdays and spend some time working side by side and share their thoughts and enthusiasm. Also, seminars on a certain topic are held, thus creating an independent and sustainable team.
- “I believe and help” is a unique charity initiative, set up in 2015 in Varna, in which citizens collect plastic bottle caps in support of children's medical equipment causes. In 8 years, they have collected 219 tons of caps and donated more than 30 different medical devices.
- “Leaf by Leaf”- a campaign for separate collection and recycling of paper, implemented by the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development in 2000. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, volunteers of the organization take the paper collected from offices, institutions, schools and homes, upon prior request. It is transported to a recycling point, where it is handed over for a fee. After covering the costs of the activity, the rest of the funds are paid into the List Fund. The funds raised are spent on civic and educational campaigns for environmental protection.
The head of the non-governmental organization Ilian Iliev explained other initiatives of the association.