TREES – TRansparency, Efficiency, Education on Sustainable Green Spaces

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

www.activecitizensfund.ro www.eeagrants.org

The proposed project aims to increase the capacity of direct and active involvement of civil society in decision-making on the management of green space in Miercurea Ciuc, by making available to the public an interactive tool that will promote transparency in decision-making, improve public services and contribute. educating the younger generation on environmental protection in the context of environmental issues and climate change.
Over 56% of Romania’s population lives in urban areas with a very large ecological footprint on the environment, and efficient management of green spaces is essential for maintaining a balanced nature and socio-economic development, especially in the context of climate change. And based on the analysis of national and local legislation and strategies, as well as on the basis of consultations with civil society, we concluded that there is a lack of a transparent, interactive and effective channel for interactive communication between green space beneficiaries and decision makers.

The project proposes solutions through the following specific objectives:
– Launch and make available to the public an interactive mobile application as a tool that contributes to a more active civic involvement in monitoring and decision-making on green space management. Achieving the goal contributes to the environmental education of citizens with a focus on the younger generation and gives a role of civil society overseer.
– Implementation of indoor and outdoor extracurricular educational activities and awareness of the use, educational and surveillance role of the interactive mobile application as a tool for civic involvement in public interest decisions and the importance of green spaces in the context of climate change and environmental protection.
– Promoting the involvement of organizations and civil society in public policies by developing a proposal for a Decision of the Miercurea Ciuc Local Council, based on an Interactive Sustainability Strategy on the importance of involvement and education of young and local citizens. population. The strategy will be developed following 10 public advocacy workshops / debates organized with the participation of civil society, interested local / regional organizations, educational institutions and local public authority.
– At the same time, the project aims at an organizational development objective by increasing the organizational capacity of the Project Bag Association.

Activities:

It is going to be carried out between months 1-24 of the project, ensuring the monitorization of all activities according to the activity plan and related reports, the aim of the activity is to ensure the fulfilment of the objectives proposed. The project manager, together with the partners, will set up the project team and in month-1 the internal detailing of the implementation of activities is going to take place.

Monitoring of workflows will occur through the provision of project progress reports. As part of this activity will take place the monitorization of direct results (“outputs”) and indirect result (“outcomes”).

Those involved will meet at least once a month in face-to-face or virtual sessions. In cases where shortcomings are identified, the necessary corrections will be made in good time so as not to affect the final results of the project.

Financial management of the project includes keeping close track of overall project expenditure periodically and breaking it down by cost center. Financial management will also monitor procurement. Purchases will be made in accordance with the standard procedures laid down in the legislation. Best practices in financial management include:

  • use of analyses proactively for monitoring;
  • standardisation of processes and data to ensure traceability;
  • providing real-time information through mobile budgeting and project management applications to facilitate decision making.

The activity of collecting the necessary data by horticultural engineers to evaluate the state of conservation and health of trees in designated areas of the Municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc will contribute to raising community awareness of the ecological value of trees, of environmental issues and the risks of climate change. The data also helps to increase citizen engagement, promoting transparency in the management of public green spaces based on clear and quality information. The designation of parcels, trees for evaluation will be done following an advocacy campaign with local NGOs.

The team specialized in tree assessment will fill in a standard form for each tree with data in addition to those retained in the existing register: photo, trunk circumference, crown diameter, trunk height, root condition, crown condition, health and viability condition, static condition, detailed risk analysis, tomography, treatment measures/proposals. The implementation of the activity will take place in the spring-autumn period of the first year of the project.

The tree evaluation results can be accessed via the TREES application:

A bilingual (RO, HU) interactive application will be developed and made available to civil society and decision-makers. The application is going to use the database of the green areas register of the Municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc (project partner) This database will allow the user to view green areas and the location of the 537 hedges and 19437 trees in the current register. Each tree will have an identification code visible on the map, and by accessing that code/tree one can view the assigned data, based on those inventoried in 2013 and 2017.

The application will allow filtering according to existing data, and it will allow selecting categories of trees or hedges. Existing data will be improved within A3, through detailed assessment of selected green area plots by civil society together with local NGOs and decision makers as part of A7. Detailed evaluation sheets will be added to the database in the application during the first year when testing and optimization is done. The app will have a messaging function, through which users can send messages to the local administration, or request information related to a specific tree or parcel. The local administration will respond to these messages publicly, or in cases it can send messages to the locals involved about planned interventions in green areas, involving society to the actions and taking into account their observations.

The app can be downloaded by visiting the following links:

Google Play

App Store

Education and awareness-raising activities for young people (14-35 years old) will involve the process of familiarising them with the educational application-tool in order to increase their involvement in public decision-making and to provide them with information about the importance of the maintenance and protection of green areas in the context of climate change.

Indoor extracurricular activities will consist of delivering interactive presentations in middle school, high school/vocational school and higher educational institutions (minimum 12 units) on:

  1. interactive application;
  2. active involvement of civil society, youth involvement in social-political life;
  3. management of green spaces in the context of urban environmental sustainability;
  4. transparency of decision-making in public administration.

Outdoor extracurricular activities will promote the practical use of the app and will take place primarily during the alternative education week called A different school, through:

  1. outdoor sessions on the ecological and socio-cultural value of trees and their key role in urban biodiversity, moderated by specialists and involving biology teachers;
  2. quizzes about the evaluated trees and an orientation contest for which reference points will be given within the mobile app.

Thematic events will involve young people between ages 23 and 35.

A Working Group will be formed from the applicants, project partners and NGOs with similar missions and relevant expertise as those addressed by the project (e.g. Trecătorii de limită (Boundary Crossers) Association, Leaders for All Association). This Working Group will have 10 offline or online meetings, where the importance of the interactive mobile application will be addressed, as an educational and watchdog tool to strengthen civic engagement in public interest decision making. Views and opinions will be developed on the importance of landscaping and maintaining green spaces, especially in the context of climate change. The agenda of the meetings will focus on the real need of the local society for proper management of green spaces, and on the importance of education in this respect health and on economy (e.g. real estate market). The end result of these advocacy meetings will be an action plan.

The campaign will run for the first year and the input gathered will be centralised to improve the Internal Communication Strategy of this Working Group.

The activity will promote the involvement of organizations and civil society in public policies by documenting, preparing and elaborating a Local Council Decision.

This resolution will provide for the interaction between the Town Hall and the citizens, for the mode of communication regarding the management of trees on green spaces with the help of the interactive application

In order to elaborate the City Council Decision, 10 offline or online public debates/workshops will be organized in the second year of the project with the involvement of citizens, NGOs, representatives of educational institutions, and environmental decision makers.

The objective of the meetings will be to develop an Interactive Mobile App Sustainability Strategy and a draft of a City Council Decision.

The strategy and the draft of the Decision will be submitted to the Municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc after which it will be presented for adoption to the Local Council.

The activity will develop methodologies necessary for a correct policy of:

  • recruitment;
  • development
  • evaluation of the human resources (members, employees, volunteers) involved in the life of the association and a person assigned as responsible for the implementation of the policies and methodologies developed.

Based on the feedback received from the matrixes, key areas were identified where members of the organisation feel the need for professional development. Within the framework of the activity it is proposed to attend formal/informal courses in areas such as Social Marketing, Project Management, Human Resources, Financial Management, GDPR, Public Procurement, Social Entrepreneurship. The activity will seek to identify and link each member’s expertise and desired direction of development.

The work will be carried out in the first year of implementation so as to provide the prerequisites for implementing the lessons learned as soon as possible. The lessons learned and the documents developed will also be offered to the Project Partner who will be able to adapt these methodologies according to their needs.

Volunteer and job opportunities:

HERE

As part of the work we propose to develop a process of regular evaluation of activities, achieved results and impact measurement. Standard monitoring and evaluation practices will be developed in key areas of the organization (those according to the law), support areas (communication, finances, administration) and specific activities (trainings, workshops, etc.).

Quantitative and qualitative indicators will be developed resulting in a continuous organizational learning process. The organization, internal stakeholders and external stakeholders and the way the three components interrelate will be analyzed during the process.

The objectives pursued will be:

  • boosting the performance of the organization, and at individual level;
  • offering a real-time overview of the activities carried out;
  • providing regular feedback to facilitate decision-making;
  • identifying progress or regression;
  • determining whether members were actively involved and understood their role;
  • strengthening stakeholder confidence in the decisions taken;

You can download photos taken during the City Days by clicking on the following link: PHOTOS

You can download the “Heroic Bears” photos taken during Tusnad Eco Bear Fest by clicking on the following link: PHOTOS

Project implemented by:

The project is implemented by Association Project Bag in partnership with Association Ținutul Secuiesc Verde and the Municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc and benefits from a 148.881 euros grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this website does not necessarily represent the official position of the EEA and Norwegian grants for 2014-2021; visit www.eeagrants.org for more information. More information about Active Citizens Fund Romania at www.activecitizensfund.ro.