Final partner meeting on the project

In the period January 20-22, 2023, the Final meeting of the EcoMap project was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The meeting was attended by representatives of the three partner organizations – Institute for Cultural Heritage, Bulgaria, Regional Center for Advocacy, North Macedonia and Aquellitas, Portugal.
The following issues were discussed at the meeting – the achieved results of the project; analysis of the events held to popularize the project results; preparation of a final report to the national agency. The project coordinator presented the main tasks in connection with the preparation of the final report and the deadlines for this. In addition, future ideas for working together and creating a sustainable partnership were discussed.

Eco Map national event in Portugal

On the 12th of January 2023, Aequalitas organized an event under the EcoMap project, which was created from an international collaboration, being an Erasmus+ project funded by the European Commission. The event „Workshop on Sustainable Practices“ took place in Escola Básica e Secundária de Guia, in Pombal, which is part of the Eco-Escolas network since 2010.

In this workshop project results and knowledge was shared on how to preserve the environment through young people, particularly those living in rural areas. Four different activities were streamlined with four 9th grade classes, all related to the theme of ecological habits to implement in our daily lives for a positive impact on the planet. At the end of the session there was also a book exchange among the students, in order to promote the values of the circular economy.

Eco Map national event in Nort Macedonia

Eco Map national event was held on December 26 in the presence of around 50 young people from Delchevo in Metodi Mitevski Brico High School. Some of the attendees were young people who were already involved in the activities of the Eco Map project, they were part of the workshops that we organized in Macedonia, and some of them were young activists, volunteers, youth workers, NGO members etc. Some of the stakeholders that we detected with the project were also invited and they attended the event.The project team prepared a presentation with all information, organized events, prepared documents, conducted research, conclusions and recommendations from the project. We also shared photos and videos of all activities organized by RAC as a partner in the project. The attendees showed interest in the project itself, and their questions to the project team were about the practical application of the eco practices and skills established by the project. How do we plan to achieve the sustainability of the project and whether perhaps the same and similar activities will take place in the future. RAC explained to them that in the future he will fully advocate for the implementation of everything that was brought with this project and that he will try to constantly share it with all his associates and entire groups.

EcoMap project Final conference

On January 6, an event (final conference) was held in Pirdop to distribute the project results under the EcoMap project with number 2021-1-BG01-KA210-YOU-000033872.

The event was attended by representatives from youth organizations, schools, local authorities, young people, eco-activists and citizens.

The achieved results of the project were presented. The results focus on the implementation of eco-practices in youth work, as well as the possibilities of moving towards greener youth work and turning youth organizations into „green“ youth organizations.

During the event, the challenges facing youth organizations in rural areas were outlined, as well as the opportunities to expand the scope of their work and create new partnerships through Erasmus+.

Capacity building event – „Sustainability and „green“ capacity of youth organizations“

On 25.11, the three-day seminar „Sustainability and „green“ capacity of youth organizations“ was launched at PGT „Pencho Semov“, Gabrovo, Bulgaria. The first day of the workshop was focused on presenting eco-policies at the European, regional and local level and sharing experiences. At the regional level, eco-policies and „green“ initiatives were presented by Mrs. K. Sidorova, regional governor of Gabrovo Region and by Mr. N. Kusov, deputy. reg. Governor of Razgrad District. At the local level, „green“ projects and eco-policies were presented by Mrs. Zh. Bastreva and Mrs. M. Radojcheva from the „Infrastructure and Ecology“ Directorate of the Municipality of Gabrovo and by Mr. Marinov, Deputy. mayor of Tryavna municipality. The municipality of Gabrovo has set itself the ambitious goal of making Gabrovo a climate-neutral city by 2030. The municipality’s pilot projects related to autonomous containers for separate garbage collection and the country’s first deposit system for returning plastic bottles and aluminum cans also attracted interest.

The European Green Pact, its related goals and priority areas were presented by Mrs. S. Savova, expert in Europe Directno Stara Zagora. In addition to European policies in the field of ecology, a representative from Europe Direct Gabrovo shared the eco-initiatives they support, as well as opportunities to participate in future projects.
The second part of the seminar was devoted to sharing eco-practices, ideas and experience in working with students and youth. Good practices were presented by PGT „Pencho Semov“, OU „Neofit Rilski“, National Aprilivska High School, Chitalishte „Hristo Botev“, Garvan village, Society 528, Street Hearts, Glushka village, AVS Language Center, NSORB Gergini village.

Among the participants were representatives from Gabrovo Labor Bureau Directorate, Dryanovo Historical Museum, Dryanovo Municipality, REMO Etara.
At the end of the first day of the workshop, main recommendations were formulated addressed to NGOs in the youth sector, stakeholders and local authorities in rural and suburban areas on how to support youth work to implement eco-practices.

Paper recycling demonstrations were presented during the second day of the workshop. All participants had the opportunity to recycle waste paper and make new paper to be used again – for making cards, invitations, letters, packaging, letter envelopes, etc. Another demonstration drew the attention of the attendees to ornaments made from recycled textiles and the casting of scented eco-candles.

The last day of the seminar took the participants to Tryavna and REMO „Etara“ in Gabrovo, where cultural and eco sights were visited.

3rd Transnational meeting

In the period 15-17.10.2022, the third partner meeting on the project was held in Lisbon, Portugal. Representatives of all partners participated in the meeting. Important issues regarding the progress of the project and the results achieved so far were discussed. Upcoming activities were also discussed – organizing a Capacity Building Event and Awareness national events.

Workshop 4 – Working Programme for implementation of eco practices and skills in youth work in rural areas and suburbs

„Creation of a work program for the implementation of environmental practices in youth work in
rural environment and urban suburbs’ was the theme of the fourth workshop. It was held in Struga, North Macedonia in the period August 26-28.
The aim of the workshop was to jointly develop a work program/plan for the implementation of environmental practices in youth work and in youth organizations, thereby facilitating access to hard-to-reach youth and marginalized groups. The process went through presentations, discussion, work in small groups, feedback on the workshop and giving recommendations. During the workshop there were also practical demonstrations on environmental protection,
eco-practices for youth work, which visually presented good eco-practices to the participants. These
the demonstrations encouraged the creativity of the participants and they created new eco practices that are relevant to their youth work.

Workshop 3 – Establishment of collaborative environment of stakeholders in environmental area

In the period 24 – 26 June 2022 in PGTHT „Nikola Dimov“ Pirdop was held a seminar on „Establishment of collaborative environment of stakeholders in environmental area“.
The event was attended by over 45 representatives of various stakeholders from the region of Srednogorie:

  • from the local administration from the municipalities of Pirdop, Zlatitsa, Koprivshtitsa, Chelopech, Mirkovo;
  • from the local business – Dundee Precious Metals Chelopech EAD,
  • eco organizations – State Forestry Pirdop;
  • teachers and young people from the Vocational School of Tourism „Nikola Dimov“, Secondary School „Sava Savov“, Pirdop, Primary School „St. St. Cyril and Methodius ”, Chelopech village;
  • representatives of local organizations – „Rotary Club“ Pirdop, Educational Center „Miletia“, Vitas Agency, Foundation „Situational Center Open Doors“; Гората.бг,
  • representatives of the local media – „Kambana“ newspaper, „Regional Press“ newspaper, Srednogorie media.
  • local citizens.
    During the seminar, good practices and experience were shared for cooperation and creation of sustainable partnerships to support youth activities and organizations for the implementation of eco-practices in their daily work and in organizing youth activities, initiatives and projects.
    The important role of all stakeholders in the development of the local youth community and support for various youth initiatives, sports and the promotion of eco-behavior was noted.
    The seminar had an open format, which allowed various forms of participation and presentation – presentation, demonstrations and sharing of experiences, informal conversation, video and more.
    Thanks to the kind assistance of the Municipality of Zlatitsa, a visit was organized to a separation plant for household waste and an installation for composting of organic waste.
    With the support of the State Forestry Pirdop was visited a nursery for shrubs and trees in the town of Pirdop, which is used for afforestation in Srednogorie.
    The seminar gave a new direction to the development of local cooperation between stakeholders in organizing youth initiatives.

Workshop 2 – Mapping of essential green skills for greener youth work in rural area and suburbs

On 16 and 17 April 2022 in Setubal, Portugal was organized the second project workshop “Mapping of essential green skills for greener youth work in rural area and suburbs“. This workshop aimed to map the basic green skills that youth workers need after previously, at the first workshop in February in Delchevo, were identified the most used eco-practicesby youth organizations. During this stay in Portugal, representatives of Regional Advocacy Center, Aequalitas and Cultural Heritage Institute shared the eco skills we learned from each country through previously conducted online research with young people. During the workshop was shared the experience of young people and organizations working intensively to develop eco-practices in the Portuguese capital suburbs. They shared with us their experiences, but also the challenges they face in environmental work.

2nd Transnational meeting

From 25 to 27 March 2022 in Delcevo, North Macedonia, the project partners had their second productive transnational meeting. The aim of this meeting was to organize our next eco-actions in each country (Portugal, North Macedonia and Bulgaria). We are working to make citizens aware of environmental problems and be sensitive to them, to promote interest in participation and improvement of environment and, develop the ability to find out about things they don’t know about the environment around them. This weekend meeting, we also used to have a short tour of the most important cultural and natural places in Eastern Macedonia.

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