Between June 10 and 17, 2017, representatives of 23 Ukrainian civil society organizations traveled to Estonia to take part in the study tour organized by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe in the framework of “LINK - Local Initiatives for Sustainable Ukraine” project. The tour was aimed at improving understanding of local environmental actions and cooperation between stakeholders at local level, environmental decision making and the role of CSOs in Estonia as an EU member state.
During the week, Ukrainian delegation met key environmental initiatives and institutions of Estonia, such as “Let’s do it!”, Estonian Fund for Nature, network of nature educational centers, energy and resource efficiency campaign Negavatt and many other project teams known for their trend-setting campaigns and innovative approach when dealing with environmental issues. Ukrainian CSOs were also welcomed at the Ministry of the Environment and municipality of Tartu where the discussions centered around environmental management system, participatory budgeting and smart city solutions.
It is worth noting that during the week participants seized many opportunities to meet not only representatives of environmental organizations, but they also visited institutions of other profiles to learn about the peculiarities of their functioning and the ways in which they influence decision-making, engage in dialogue with state authorities and carry out their activities and campaigns.
For instance, representatives of Ukrainian CSOs were introduced to the Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations, learned about Festival of Opinion Culture and got comprehensive overview of Estonian e-democracy solutions. Waste management, environmental education and establishment of energy cooperatives were also among the topics thoroughly covered during many site visits of the study tour.
As the result of one week spent in Estonia, participants managed to see an innovative culture of Estonian environmental management, meet a vibrant community of civil society activists and establish connections with Estonian organizations for future cooperation.
More information about the program of the tour, participants and the institutions visited can be found in the download materials.