Project: Educational trail for citizens to explore and contribute to Climate Conscious Solutions in urban environments
Project is funded by: Estonian EU external border programme 2014-2020. Project ER213 COOLspot is implemented under the European Neighbourhood Instrument and co-financed by the European Union.
Project budget: 103 010 € (programme 92 709 €, Tartu Nature House 10 301 €)
The COOLspot draws attention of the citizens to environmental issues arising as a result of climate change and biodiversity loss, and introduces them to climate and environmentally conscious solutions already available, taking as an example the city of Tartu. According to the Estonian Environmental Awareness study 2022, a large portion of the country’s population still lacks a systematic understanding of how their everyday activities affect the environment; they also don’t consider a global ecological crisis as something that affects them directly. Only 11% of the population of the city of Tartu is aware of the city’s goals to achieve climate neutrality. Tartu’s carbon footprint has been increasing in recent years, especially due to the rise in private transportation use and electricity consumption in private businesses. The municipality sees reaching a community agreement about the urgent nature of climate change and readiness of the citizens to change their lifestyles as a key in achieving climate goals. Thus it is important not only to spread knowledge and the solutions to mitigate climate change amongst the citizens, but also to support the citizens’ motivation and skills to help achieve climate neutrality through their own actions.
The aim of the project is to bring climate change and biodiversity loss related issues to the public space – the park of Tartu Nature House in the city center. The park provides an important recreational function, but also it is maintained in an environmentally friendly and climate conscious way together with the building of Tartu Nature House. The solutions already adapted by Tartu Environmental Education Centre (TEEC) and efforts of the municipality, including climate goals, will be made more visible and understandable through the educational trail with information and activity displays. The park is a perfect location for such a trail: it has been found by environmental awareness studies in Estonia that people who frequently experience positive emotions from being in nature are also more motivated to protect nature and make environmentally friendly choices in their everyday lives. The trail will help visitors of the park to see the “invisible” – how each person’s and community’s everyday actions impact in a positive or negative way our living environment and our planet as a whole. The trail and the park as a safe and attractive place will be promoted in the city and introduced through public events and guided tours to the general public and through study activities to students of different ages.
As a result of the investments made into park’s infrastructure (repairment and small construction works) together with installing educational display boards, the park will become a safer, more accessible to different groups of people, attractive and suitable place for both educational activities and recreation.
- The trail will highlight infrastructure elements added as a result of the COOLspot project such as separate waste collection bins, a playground with vegetable garden boxes, drainage system for leading heavy rain water to the pond and garden beds, as well as existing solutions in the park (i.e. compost bins) and in the building as seen from outside (i.e. solar panels). The displays around the trail will be designed to make visitors interact with these infrastructure elements, understand issues and explore solutions that these elements exemplify.
- The renovations in the park and the trail will be announced in main Tartu communication channels, including newspapers.
- Two public events will be organized for 250 citizens, with families as the main target group. The public events will focus on introducing the trail through guided activities, as well as provide workshops teaching green skills.
- In addition, training will be organized for 10 Tartu Nature School teachers, who will learn how to use the trail as a study resource and will then conduct classes with their students, involving 250 students of different ages in total.
- Finally the trail will be introduced to 75 visitors of the Visitor Centre during guided tours.
585 people in total will be involved during the project into awareness raising activities, and later the trail will be available to explore to at least 30 000 visitors of the centre annually.
One part of the investments contribute to making the TEEC’s park more safe and accessible, like repairing low ballard lights’ foundations and lamp posts, introducing drainage system to prevent pavements from being washed away by heavy rain water, maintaining terraces, repairing benches and furniture (sitting stumps) in outdoor learning spaces. Another part of the investments is focused on enhancing the learning environment in the park by constructing a study vegetable garden with playground elements, creating a gathering space for the visitors of public and study events, installing separate waste collection bins and manufacturing and installing climate trail display boards developed in WP T1.
Additional information about the programme: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/
This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of Foundation Tartu Environmental Education Centre and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Programme or the European Union.
Allthings.bioPRO – EU project develops serious game to interact with citizens on the topic of bioeconomy
- Establish methods to foster awareness, participation and co-creation to ensure citizens’ feedback and inputs’ transfer towards the bio-based industry
- Apply a smart combination of gamification, serious gaming, a mobile app and communication campaign to gather information and data derived by citizens on their ideas and priorities related to specific bioeconomy topics and of direct use for the bio-based industry and the Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy
- Exploit and further develop the Allthings.bio Platform for bio-based economy communication to the broader public by linking it with the serious game, the smart phone app and a European Bioeconomy Citizen Action Network
- Ensure engagement and uptake of results developed through an early and regular involvement of regional partners and citizens as well as of key bio-based economy stakeholders, policy makers and the Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy
Duration: September 2020 – August 2023
- Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR e.V.) | DE (coordination)
- BTG Biomass Technology Group BV | NL
- Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V. | DE
- Foundazione iCons | IT
- nurogames GmbH | DE
- Prospex Institute | BE
- Institute of Baltic Studies | EE
- Fashion for Good BV | NL
- Stichting De Natuur – en Milieufederaties | NL
- Tartu Environmental Education Centre | EE
- Vetenskap & Allmänhet | SE
- Laboratorio Interculturale di Ricerca e di Promozione della Condizione (H)umana | IT
More about the project:
Europe’s economy depends on oil and gas for energy and chemistry for all kinds of daily life products but the use of fossil-resources harms the environment and our climate. The bioeconomy offers a way out by providing industrial and consumer products made of biomass and waste. It will make Europe’s economy more sustainable, boost growth and create new jobs. We are at the eve of the transition from the fossil-based to a sustainable and circular bioeconomy.
This is a crucial moment for involving society in this societal and economic transition. Since all individuals, whether as citizens or consumers, will be affected, they should be able to play a role when shaping it. Citizens need to have a say in political decisions and agenda-setting processes in the bioeconomy. On the other hand, it goes without saying that the bio-based industry needs the input of citizens and consumers, to make sure that the products developed are in tune with consumers’ requirements and expectations.
Previous and ongoing projects and initiatives on national and European level have maintained focus on the raising of awareness of the broad public about bio-based products and the bioeconomy. However less has been done to steer the debate and to foster in-depth public dialogue. When introducing new production and consumption models, a debate needs to take shape, with an open space to raise concerns and fears related to it. Citizens have many questions about bio-based products. They are unfamiliar with the terminology which is often quite scientific, they have concerns about quality and functionality compared with traditional products and they demand answers about the sustainability of bio-based products.2 Information about all of this is available and efforts need to be continued and strengthened to have a sustainable and long-term impact on the general understanding and awareness among the general public. This is a precondition to enable citizens to become active contributors to the future development of the bioeconomy in Europe.
More information on the background of the project and about bio-based economy: www.allthings.bio
Project: Empowering youth and teacher network of the Eco-Schools programme for the Sustainable Baltic Sea region.
Duration: 01.10.2020 – 31.12.2021
Project is funded by: Nordic Council of Ministers
Project budget: 78 229.79 eur
Nature House budget: 15 243.82 eur
Project coordinators: Getrin Laanesoo
Partners: Lead partner Foundation for Environmental Education Latvia (FEE Latvia), copartner Tartu Nature House
Our goal is to promote the exchange of experience and cooperation among Nordic&Baltic NGO`s (non-governmental organization) working with Education
for Sustainable Development (ESD) by highlighting environmental topics and develop methods for empowerment of youth. To have a more youthful way to call this new cooperation project our team came up with a more vibrant name of “Baltic Youth Eco Hub”. This name is also used on social media to ensure that our activities are easy to find and follow along with.
Eco-Schools provides a great basis for young people to form peer groups with similar interests and values and being ready to advocate for their ideas and beliefs. It is important to provide space and time for young people to get inspiration, develop and carry out their ideas. Also, is important to strengthen the competences of educators and support volunteers to be able address and engage young people in the best way possible, and keep their motivation and involvement high. Therefore the methodological material will be entirely developed in a participatory way, combining non-formal and experiential learning methods and approaches for implementation of youth initiatives and mentoring this process along the way while fostering such competences of young people like
citizenship, leadership, entrepreneurship and mentorship. Final product – new Baltic Sea region cooperation of organisations and educators, young people, new experiences and resources, and organised local and international missions and its impact on local communities. We expect new future cooperation among Eco-School program representatives, methodological material could be translated and spread across region and globally.
- Capacity building and experience exchange between partners – activities for partner organisations to develop
new network of Baltic Sea region, exchange an experience and best practice on implementation of Eco-Schools
program and working with different audiences benefiting from the program, as well as developing new
methodological material for youth empowerment and sustainability.
- Youth participation and empowerment activities – addressing and engaging young people to be active citizens
by exploring different environmental topics and implementing activities as well as providing support to their
actions with the help of a mentors
- Competence development of teachers and volunteers – to develop necessary competences for empowerment of
young people to be active citizens and in providing appropriate help and support.
Expected results are networking, gaining new experiences, competences and best practices, methodological
material as a new tool for Eco-Schools, both for young people and educators, broader visibility and recognition of
environmental education and sustainability.
Methodological material for schools:
Additional information about Eco-schools global
More about the project
GreenMind: Raising Environmental Awareness in Estonian-Russian Border Area
Duration: August 2019 – January 2022
Lake Peipsi Project – lead partner (RUS)
Псковский областной центр развития одаренных детей и юношества (RUS)
Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation (EST)
Tartu Environmentl Education Center (EST)
The project aims to contribute to increasing of public green minding for creation of environmentally-oriented, energy-efficient and attractive living conditions and recreation in the transboundary Peipsi/ Chudskoye region. The project capitalizes environmental knowledge and environmental awareness practices in the Programme area develops practical methodological tool-kits for the long-run, educates a substantial number of existing and future environmental education practitioners to work with the project products, and facilitates the establishment of a wider societal context that will secure the sustainability of the project results.
The GreenMind addresses issues of environment protection and sustainable use of natural resources in the transboundary Peipsi/Chudskoye Lake area, through the introduction of intensive environmental awareness and educational measures covering such topics as eutrophication, waste management, and energy efficiency.
Project activities are:
- Public events and environmental campaigns will be held.
- Educators, children will be trained for multiplying knowledge.
- Students and families will be involved in green minding process within 2 project contests of social eco-advertisements and “Eco-family”.
- Outdoor public events’ organizers will be trained to organize eco-friendly activities.
- Program area residents will take a personal and active part in the campaigns.
- Residents will be informed about the environmental issues raised by the project.
- Organizations (cafés, supermarkets, petrol stations) will join eco-campaigns and start introducing eco-friendly initiatives.
- Partner meeting in Tartu 30.08.2019
- Pihkva region educational officials and teachers field trip to Estonia November 2019
- … /list will be updated/
Tartu Nature House, Lille 10, Tartu 51010
Project “Energy Saving Advice Across Borders” (Energy Advice) is based on a goal to create cross-border awareness raising campaigns on Energy saving benefits to promote in-depth understanding of energy saving and energy efficiency issues. The project objective will be achieved by organising technically creative workshops for Latvian and Estonian primary school pupils (6th-9th grade) and a cross-border educational competition on energy saving. All information materials, workshops and exhibits developed within the project are very valuable outputs and will be used after the project ends. The activities can be replicated on next year primary school pupils. Wider and deeper understanding of resource efficiency is also the key target result of the project.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
1) Activate and motivate pupils (6th-9th grade) of Estonia-Latvia region, receiving at least 50 applications (from both countries in total) for the Energy Advice educational competition.
2) Increase awareness of people in terms of resource efficiency
The main planned activities:
1) Project management;
2) Joint cross-border marketing campaign for spreading project messages, attracting participants to the Energy Advice competition and raising overall awareness about the cooperation project;
3) Organisation of educational competition Energy Advice for pupils (grade 6th-9th grade) and selection of participants, organisation of technically creative workshops on energy saving to educate and promote intended educational campaign, development of 2 mobile, interactive exhibits and a mascot/character for the cross-border informative and educational campaign.
The main results:
1) At least 50 applications from Estonia – Latvia pupils’ teams (2-3 participants);
2) Technically creative workshops on energy saving at least to 3500 pupils (6th-9th grade) in Estonia-Latvia area;
3) Development of 2 interactive and mobile exhibits to help increase pupils’ awareness of energy saving;
4) 2 Energy Advice mascots for local and cross-border informative and educational campaign activities;
5) 3 motivational awards for the competition finalists’ schools.
Total budget of the project:
24 months, 1.03.2018 – 29.02.2020
Latvia: Ventspils High Technology Park
Estonia: Tartu Environmental Education Centre
Raising awareness on saving resources and reducing waste at public events in Latvia and Estonia
Total budget: 457 942.94 EUR
ERDF contribution: 389 251.49 EUR
The objective of this project was to raise awareness focusing on waste reduction and energy saving issues among active adults and youngsters, who attend public events by organization of interactive activities at those events, involving the organizers and service providers, and showing that there is also another way how to organize public events.
To facilitate the change in behavior of participants of public events the awareness raising campaign was organized contributing to the greener and environmentally friendlier events at:
Viljandi Folk Music Festival in July 2017 and 2018
Young Scientists’ Festival in Tartu in April 2018
Business Conference in Valmiera in June 2018
Positivus Music Festival in Salacgriva in July 2018
The digital tool and interactive exhibition (creative installations) “Save our paradise” were presented in the Business conference and both music festivals in 2018. During the Young Scientists’ Festival and Viljandi Folk Music festival the energy and waste areas were opened for visitors and they had the opportunity to take part in educative workshops. In total more than 7700 persons took part in the activities offered in the framework of the project “Green Public Events”.
The green guidelines were developed and disseminated among the organizers of the public events in both countries. Guidelines in Estonian, Latvian and English for download are available down in this page.
To support the actions at the events the overall media campaign in Latvia and Estonia was organized, including the outdoors posters – tips for the picnic season in Estonia in summer 2017, posters about avoiding single use dishes in Latvia summer 2017 and in Estonia summer 2018, different posts in social media and video competition for youth (age limit:30).
In total more than 1 000 000 persons were reached by different communication channels of the Estonian-Latvia cooperation project.
Green Guidelines – a practical guide to organizing events