Transnational Ecovillages for Societal Transition to Sustainability (TESTS) is a project under the Nordic Council of Ministers NGO programme for cooperation with Northwest Russia and the Baltic States. The project is indirectly a result of the Ecovillages project and the common situation and needs realized by the partners and an effort for further cooperation.
An objective of the project is to create an umbrella organisation of the national ecovillage networks in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The national networks have started to grow and become formalized in most countries in the region. The idea of a transnational network has emerged from the recognition of the cultural, geographical and climatological similarities of the Baltic countries. With such an outlook its easy to see how increased networking and cooperation would be beneficial for the parties involved and in the end for the ecovillage development in the region.
Through creating such a network, the following are likely to be achieved:
-Increased sharing of knowledge and expertise specific to the region, boosting development and helping to prevent the repetition of mistakes
-Creating of a sense of unity and progress through the sharing of information
-The ecovillage movement of the region would have a unified voice and thereofore a greater chance to participate in international decision-making, especially in environmental issues regarding the Baltic Sea
-Increased possibilities for future joint-projects between partner countries
Suderbyn believes that the TESTS project has a great potential for ecovillage development in the Baltic Sea Region. The network could provide an infrastructure that increases exchange and mobility for information and knowledge between ecovillages. The Baltic Sea Region Ecovillage Network should be seen as laying the foundation to help the ecovillage movement expand and thrive.
Suderbyn is partnering in the project Ecovillages for Sustainable Rural Development, an initiative stemming from the EU’s Baltic Sea Strategy, particularly its Action Plan for environmentally sustainable ways of living. The Ecovillages project is part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fun and European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument).
The project aims at helping 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 the climate crisis and resource shortages that we face. The ecovillage concept is an innovation offering solutions to many resource, climate and social life problems societies of the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) face.
Ecovillages are an alternative to the individualistic, consumerist and commodified systems that many urban areas represent.
The overall objective of this project is to develop more sustainable ways of living in the rural areas of the BSR by offering a toolkit for initiators and developers of ecovillages. An effective model for planning and implementation of ecovillages is also in development. The purpose is to disseminate knowledge between different communities living within the Baltic Sea Region.
The project results foster environmental sustainability simultaneously at local, national and EU levels. Through creating examples of organisations and intentional communities that are working and living in an environmentally friendly way, information and knowledge can be transferred to other locations and implemented by other organisations.
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