On the 10-14th of September project "Ecovillages for sustainable rural development" had its 3rd project partners meeting in Sweden, Gotland, Visby.
Project aims at fostering ecovillages development as a more sustainable way of living in rural areas of the Baltic Sea Region. It is expected that project will help our society to get closer to nature again and to develop new ways of living together on the land in a genuinely more sustainable way. This is especially important given climate change, environmental pollution, resource shortages and social problems people face nowadays.
Hans Klintbom, representative of Gotland's region, greeted meeting's participants and explained that Gotland's government is highly interested in sustainable development and is investing a lot in education, waste management, renewable energy and water. That is the reason why they are interested in Ecovillages project and are pleased to have project meeting here.
During the meeting, project partners discussed progress of tookits, which will cover the guidelines for eco-settling practices, environmentally - friendly technologies and community development in ecovillages. Project partners have already visited ecovillages in their countries and gathered needed information for the manuals. These manuals will be presented to the society as well as to politicians and other interested parties.
Strategy and future plans of virtual ecovillages network "Ecovillage road" were presented as well. "Ecovillage road" is a tool for ecovillages not only to communicate and collaborate in between, but also to become open to society, to communicate with people and to educate them in sustainable development practices. Virtual space will be used for network's creation, where interactive map of the Baltic Sea Region with detailed information about each ecovillage participating in "Ecovillage road" will be available.
Additionally, project partners and guests gained practical knowledge in permaculture and forest gardening during seminar organized by project "EcovillagePlus". Seminar took place in "Suderbyn" ecovillage, where participants were introduced to the ecovillage and its permaculture practices. In two other ecovillages participants learned about these good practice examples: kinder garden, use of alternative energy, eco-friendly sewage management system, organic farming and sociocultural community building.
4th project partners meeting will be organized on the 12-14th of March, 2012, in Poland.