Ukraine must develop as an open, equitable and eco-friendly society

Incubator for Green Communities is an undertaking by representatives of the civil society to jointly create and implement a strategic vis...

27 July 2016

Ecovillages and Dimensions of Sustainability


The Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine “Incubator for Green Communities” continues publishing materials of the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN), to promote in Ukraine the concept of ecovillages and the activities of GEN. 

The Global Ecovillage Network embraces a holistic approach to sustainability encompassing the Social, Cultural, Ecological and Economic dimensions of human existence.

The Social Dimension

Ecovillages are communities in which people feel supported by and responsible to those around them. They provide a deep sense of belonging to a group. They are small enough that everyone feels safe, empowered, seen and heard. People are then able to participate in making decisions that affect their own lives and that of the community on a transparent basis. Community means:
  • Recognizing and relating to others
  • Sharing common resources and providing mutual aid
  • Emphasizing holistic and preventive health practices
  • Providing meaningful work and sustenance to all members
  • Integrating marginal groups
  • Promoting unending education
  • Encouraging unity through respect for differences
  • Fostering cultural expression

The Cultural/Spiritual Dimension

Most ecovillages do not place an emphasis on particular spiritual practices as such, but in their own ways ecovillages respect and support - the Earth and all living beings on it; cultural and artistic enrichment and expression; and spiritual diversity. Cultural and spiritual vitality means:
  • Shared creativity, artistic expression, cultural activities, rituals and celebrations
  • Sense of community unity and mutual support
  • Respect and support for spirituality manifesting in many ways
  • Shared vision and agreements that express commitments, cultural heritage and the uniqueness of each community
  • Flexibility and successful responsiveness to difficulties that arise
  • Understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all the elements of life on Earth and the community's place in and relation to the whole
  • Creation of a peaceful, loving, sustainable world

The Ecologic Dimension

Ecovillages allow people to experience their personal connection to the living earth. People enjoy daily interaction with the soil, water, wind, plants and animals. They provide for their daily needs - food, clothing, shelter - while respecting the cycles of nature. Ecology means:
  • Growing food as much as possible within the community bio-region supporting organic food production there
  • Creating homes out of locally adapted materials
  • Using village-based integrated renewable energy systems
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Fostering ecological business principles
  • Assessing the lifecycle of all products used in the ecovillage from a social and spiritual as well as an ecological point of view
  • Preserving clean soil, water and air through proper energy and waste management
  • Protecting nature and safeguarding wilderness areas

The Economic Dimension
As local groups and communities create their own local scrip currencies and exchange systems, they learn about economist’s deepest secret: money and information are equivalent --- and neither is scarce! 
- Hazel Henderson 

The Ecovillage economy is quite robust and full of vitality compared to other local economies. Economic Vitality means:
  • Keeping the money in the community,
  • Circulating it through as many hands as possible,
  • Earning it, spending it, and investing it in member-owned retail and service businesses,
  • Saving it in home-grown financial institutions.
Source: gen.ecovillage.org/en/article/dimensions-sustainability-0

25 July 2016

Ecovillages are Living Models of Sustainability


The Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine “Incubator for Green Communities” commences publishing materials of the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN), to promote in Ukraine the concept of ecovillages and the activities of GEN. 

An ecovillage is an intentional or traditional community using local participatory processes to holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability in order to regenerate social and natural environments.

Background

The motivation for ecovillages is the choice and commitment to reverse the gradual disintegration of supportive social/cultural structures and the upsurge of destructive environmental practices on our planet. For millennia, people have lived in communities close to nature, and with supportive social structures. Many of these communities, or "ecovillages", exist to this day and are struggling for survival. Ecovillages are now being created intentionally, so people can once more live in communities that are connected to the Earth in a way that ensures the wellbeing of all life-forms into the indefinite future.

Ecovillages are one solution to the major problems of our time - the planet is experiencing the limits to growth, and our lives are often lacking meaningful content. According to increasing numbers of scientists, we have to learn to live sustainably if we are to survive as a species. The United Nations launched its Global Environment Outlook 2000 report, based on reports from UN agencies, 850 individuals and over 30 environmental institutes, concluding that "the present course is unsustainable and postponing action is no longer an option."

Ecovillages, by endeavoring for lifestyles which are "successfully continuable into the indefinite future", are living models of sustainability, and examples of how action can be taken immediately. They represent an effective, accessible way to combat the degradation of our social, ecological and spiritual environments. They show us how we can move toward sustainability in the 21st century. In 1998, ecovillages were first officially named among the United Nations' top 100 listing of Best Practices, as excellent models of sustainable living.

Source: gen.ecovillage.org/en/article/what-ecovillage

20 July 2016

Finalists of #SDGquest Contest will receive Micro-grants to Celebrate World Youth Day


Ahead of the International Youth Day, which was designated by the United Nations to be celebrated annually on 12 August, the Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ukraine “Incubator for Green Communities” invites winners and laureates of the contest for the best quest on SDGs to apply their experience to hold similar / improved quests.

The partnership will provide micro-grants (up to UAH 500, average - UAH 300) for partial coverage of the costs of new quests. Along with the traditional hashtag of quests on SDGs (#SDGquest), you can follow Youth Day events around the world using hashtags #Youth2030 and #YouthDay.

The Partnership also encourages other organizations and community groups to conduct similar quests (toolkits are available here: goo.gl/a2vHde), engage community resources to increase the prize fund, compensate certain costs and find volunteers for quest stations.

If you are looking for partners to organize quests on SDGs, please contact us by e-mail: ukraine@greenqb.org

Forum for those interested in quests on SDGs is available at: spaces.google.com/space/217080622

12 July 2016

Toolkit to Celebrate International Youth Day


Since 2000, on 12 August the world celebrates International Youth Day as designated by the United Nations! Share your commemoration with the world! Send in a description of your planned activities to youth@un.org and we’ll put it in the World Map of Events!

Be Active! Social activism through theatre and games with social messages or role playing exercises. You can also volunteer at the local level or involve with civic groups or activities.

Spread the Word: Develop communication platforms to create or strengthen networks. You can use various channels to get the word out and connect with people interested in youth issues such as social networks: Facebook, Twitter, as well as University Newsletter and Local Newspaper, etc.

Use Social Media: Celebrate International Youth Day connecting with other young people on social media. Use #Youth2030 and #YouthDay and share your plans.

Engage your community: Create an “info point” about youth leading sustainability in the centre of town/village, at high schools, or at university centres.

Advocate: Lobby your Government to hold a National Youth Day of Action and to celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August. Reach out to your school, group, organization or faith community to strengthen programmes encouraging youth to make sustainable consumption choices.

Be creative: Come up with new ideas to celebrate!

Contribute towards responsible consumption and production: Advocate for your government to enforce policies for healthier and sustainable food systems.

Organize a forum to exchange ideas and discuss the leading role of young people in achieving sustainable development through sustainable production and consumption.

Advocate and Engage Media: Contact popular local/national radio or TV stations to request a slot to have a discussion with distinguished individuals working on responsible consumption and production. Speak out and take action to influence positive change.

Use art: Get permission to use a public space for an arts exhibit, which showcases the challenges of young people today. Try to involve young people in the domains of culture, arts and music, to raise awareness on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Make it fun: Organize a concert or festivals to promote International Youth Day. Invite your local musicians and combine it with a panel discussion or invite a politician or policy maker to hold the key note speech.

Source: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/documents/Toolkit-IYD-2016.pdf