Working groups

Fostering participatory process in the development of Natura 2000 areas

The Participatory Conservation working group (PaCo) was brought to life to unite nature and humanity, conservationists and other social groups for the survival of the natural world (and humanity within it). For us, diversity is key: besides biological diversity, we marvel at social diversity as well. We believe that understanding and resolving environmental challenges brings up more and more complex questions that can not be answered by science alone or a single field on its own. To connect different fields of science, systems of knowledge, stakeholders, ”life-worlds” there is a need for boundary organisations. We wish to take this role with our scientific toolbox, civil connections and never ending commitment towards the magic of nature.

Projects

  • Swiss Fund
  • Böddi-szék
  • Körös-ér Landscape Protection Area

Publications

 

Participatory action research in Roma segregates  (Szeged)

We have been working together with volunteers and NGO-s, local Roma communities in extreme poverty and Roma representatives in Szeged since 2011 in order to help social integration processes, improve the livelihoods of local Roma with their own active participation – the empowerment of Roma families in extreme poverty.

This cooperation is based on the approach of participatory action research (PAR).

Our work is based on the PAR method: groups involved in social issues cooperate with researchers helping to achieve positive social change.  Our results include new community centers, extracurricular learning facilities for Roma children and families (living in two segregational areas of Szeged) maintained by local Roma organisations; new financial resources in Szeged available for both Roma and other NGO-s and a stronger voice of local Roma through their representatives in the Municipality of Szeged. As a result of the above the municipality started –although minimal – local improvements in the Dorozsma segregatred area. We also developed a proram to link middle class families with families living in extreme poverty. The program brings important resources to the families in need and carries the promise of empowerment. As a result, a 15-20 person strong core has formed of Roma and other activists  committed to social change.    

For further details, please read the attached document (pdf file)

Partnership in the integrated urban development of Szeged

Part of the focus of our action group is reviewing local development plans in a spirit of environmental sustainability, nature conservation and social justice, solidarity and equal opportunities. We aim at broadening the participation of local citizens in the decision making processes from the beginning with a special regard to less visible social groups. We find it highly important that the different representative bodies take part in the work of the Local Forums (Equal Opportunities, Housing, Disabilities), in (the participatory) forming and reviewing of the related documents in a meaningful and substantional way. Environmental justice is paramount: it isn’t all the same how environmental goods and services are distributed and on how wide the spectrum on which each development serves the local community. The protection of local biodiversity and quality green areas is not only an ecological issue but it’s fundamental in the quality of life and well-being of the residents of Szeged. Therefore, we combat the unjustifiable destruction of nature that is such a frequent collateral damage of local development. We popularize an inclusive, participatory, humane and nature centered city planning.   

Current projects: review of city strategy and development documents (with a special regard  to the Local Equal Opportunities Program), active participation at the development debates of the 2014-2020-as EU policy cycle (especially projects related to the ”Green City Development”), proposals to improve the critical situation related to housing.