SPARE coordinators, teachers and pupils from the three Caucasian countries Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have in the end of September gathered for regional SPARE seminar in the mountain village Gudauri, Georgia. The participants have been discussing the development of SPARE in the region, the consequences of climate change and methods to teach pupils what climate change is and how it will affect the Caucasus.
Together with Bulgarian partner, Naturvernforbundet has received seed money in order to develop a project on energy saving and renewable energy use in schools. The project is EEA funded and is expected to improve conditions in schools as well as to bring up new generations of environmentally aware citizens
Last winter countries in Central Asia experienced severe energy shortages, the situation being most severe for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In temperatures down to 30 degrees below zero electricity disappeared for days and weeks, with grave consequences for households, hospitals and schools. Kyrgyzstan is now preparing for a new winter with energy shortage. Daily power cuts are now reality in the capital Bishkek, and “winter holiday” from 20th of December till February is already announced for all schools.
Last night, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), the Nigerian partner of Friends of The Earth Norway (FoEN), issued a message that a group of 25 persons were detained by the military when visiting one of Shell’s gas flaring sites at the Iwherekan Community. FoEN should have been part of this field trip, but was unable because the visa was not granted in time.
1. September is school start for more than 150 000 pupils in over 3000 schools that will learn about sustainable energy use through the SPARE project. Norges Naturvernforbund`s school project SPARE (School Project on Application of Resources and Energy) teaches pupils from 16 countries about the connection between energy consumption and environmental consequences.
Seven representatives from the Russian environmental NGO Green World have visited Oslo and Naturvernforbundet on their study trip. The main purpose of the trip was to broaden the knowledge about information and media strategy, as well as to learn from differences and similarities in facing challenges that Russia and Norway share, when it comes to environment and development.
Our dear Russian colleague, Lydia Popova, has recently passed away. Lydia has been our colleague for more than 10 years, doing invaluable work on a number of subjects connected with nuclear safety issues and other energy related issues. Our latest cooperative effort was a report about a NGO concept of a Russian decommissioning plan for the oldest nuclear power reactors. Lydia contributed very valuable knowledge to this report, chiefly regarding how to make a legislative framework for the handling of the nuclear waste generated by breaking up old nuclear reactors. Lydia Popova will be deeply missed by colleagues in Norges Naturvernforbund.
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev is showing increasing interest in Russian civil society, as well as in the devastated Russian environment. His points of view sound promising, but leaders of Russian NGOs and Norwegian partners are still uncertain how much of it is going to be fulfilled.
Norges Naturvernforbund co-organized a successful anti-nuclear workshop in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius last weekend. At the seminar NGO representatives from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Scandinavia discussed plans for building new nuclear power plants in the region. The NGOs agreed to cooperate and to share information about their respective countries’ plans to build new nuclear power plants and to make a common strategy to fight this.
After demonstration various improved cooking stoves(ICS), Naturvernforbundet and the Nepalese stove expert Madhave Pokheral, has received request for more trainings from Pamir villages. The letters are followed by hundreds of signatures from the villagers. The Pamir mountain area faces an energy crisis. Fire wood is the main energy source for cooking, baking and heating. This has led to un-sustainable harvesting of the valuable mountain forest. The first presentation of ICS in Pamir was conducted in cooperation with the Tajik environmental organization Little Earth, the Norwegian exchange program Fredskorpset and the German technical assistance organization GTZ.
In a letter from Rostechnadzor to Naturvernforbundet’s partner organization Green World, the Russian authority for radiation protection and nuclear security speaks very positively about the concept of a decommission plan for old nuclear power reactors, which was published earlier this year by Norges Naturvernforbund and Russian partner organizations.
Naturvernforbundet and Russian partners Gaia and Green World met with deputy governor of Murmansk oblast, Sergey Sobbotin, to present the concept of decommission plan that the NGOs have written together.