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Social Ecological Institute

Social Ecological Institute (SIE)

address: ul. Raszyńska 32/44, lok. 140
02-026 Warsaw, Poland
phone +48 22 668 97 92
fax: + 48 22 668 97 92
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registration number KRS: 0000083415

SIE has the “public utility status” (OPP) according to the Polish law.

International cooperation:

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Our staff can speak English, French, German and Russian. We have led or participated in many international or binational projects, with organisations from Norway, Austria, Germany, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, Danemark.

General profile:

The Social Ecological Institute is a not for profit organization, registered in 1990, which leads and supports ecological initiatives in Poland. We provide professional help to a diverse range of ecological programs and activities, and strive to strengthen the development of the civil society in Poland. One of our main goals is the sustainable development of the Polish countryside and the conservation and dissemination of agricultural biodiversity.

We are members of:
- the Polish network of environmental organizations Polska Zielona Sieć - www.zielonasiec.pl ››
- the Climatic Coalition ngo’s network - www.koalicjaklimatyczna.hostit.pl ››
- the international network WECF (Women in Europe for Common Future)
- The International Ecotourism Society (www.ecotourism.org)

We cooperate with:
- the media: television (programs TVP 1, WOT, Polsat); Radio, PAI, newspapers and local papers
- local governments and communities
- farmers and agrotourism owners
- local action groups
- local cultural associations
- Polish and foreign environmental ngos
- scientific institutes (Intitute of Zootechnics, Warsaw Botanic Institute, Skierniewice Institute of acclimatization and plants breeding and others)

The beneficients of our projects are mainly: inhabitants of rural areas, small farmers, rural women, organic farmers, schools and agriculture schools, youth, local ngos and cultural associations from rural areas. We have also supported ngos from in Ukraine (MAMA86), Belarus (Doctor’s for the environment) and Georgia (SEMA). We also organize and contribute in events like organic fairs, press conferences, environmental education in Warsaw city.

We participate in the work of Parliamentary commissions, particularly on organic farming and GMOs.

Our association is mainly financed by grants (from EU funds, Norway Grants, NFOSiGW, GEF and others), we do not lead commercial activities and do not receive support from the government.

Statute :

SIE’s statute - PDF for download ››

Projects:

During last 5 years, our work included:

1 - Projects related to agricultural biodiversity:

The Social Ecological Institute has lead several projects related to biodiversity conservation in rural areas in central Poland. As a result, the organisation has established many contacts with local self-governements, rural womans’ and farmers. Many workshops about biodiversity, organic farming and sustainable developement were organised in the country side. We have also initiated a network of ngos and people interested in conserving agricultural biodiversity, closely with the association “Old Breeds and Varieties” - www.ddoir.org.pl ›› and the AgriNatura Foundation - www.agrinatura.pl ››

  • Project Farm biodiversity model for Kurpie region, as an element of protection of genetic resources of farm animals and local species of plants, and support of local community. The project mainly consisted in spreading old breeds of animals among local farmers and motivate them to become organic. As a result, over 110 farmers received animals (red cows, zlotnicka pig, Polish horses and others) and started organic or sustainable breeding. This project is ongoing.
  • Support for local food processing. We financed 4 local food processing facilities for farmers working with organic and agricultural biodiversity products.
  • Monastery gardens – centers of biodiversity project, aimed at conserving the orchards diversity in places they were traditionnaly kept for centuries.
  • New Polish orchards of old varieties . This project received the 2006 Yves Rocher award for best ecological action led by woman in Poland. As a continuation over 100 orchards of old varieties were planted (over 20.000 trees).
  • Traditional rural flowers gardens.
  • Variety Means Life, an international project focused on conserving orchards of old varieties, with partners from 6 EU countries (HYPERLINK "http://www.varietymeanslife.eu" www.varietymeanslife.eu)
  • We organize each year the “stand of traditional food products” at the big annual “Day of the Earth” public event in Warsaw (attended by 10 000 people each year).
  • We have created of a label for products from agricultural biodiversity

2 - Projects focused on international exchange and cooperation:

Included beyond others:

  • Poland - Germany - Belarus: Common ways of Sustainable development (2 projects 2008 and 2010, with the Belarussian organization Doctor’s League and German CSB Saxony)
  • Creating producers groups using the nature and organic potential as a way to increase revenues of farmers in Georgia (together with the Georgian ngo SEMA, 2010)
  • Promoting civil society involvement and participation over monitoring nuclear energy developments and energy policies decisions, by exchanging experiences between Poland and Belarus (2009 and 2010)

3 - Projects for building civil society and sustainable development

  • Building a partnership for sustainable development “Green Bridges of Narew” between 3 rural communes in Mazovia region (Winnica, Pokrzywnica, Zatory). The project resulted in founding a local association “Green Bridges of Narew” in 2007 and managing to get a grant for its development in the first year. The association is currently working independently as a Local Action Group benefiting from Leader EU funds and working in 9 rural communes, inhabitated by a total of 80 000 people - www.zielonemostynarwi.pl ››
  • Between Bug and Narew- a partnership for sustainable development. A 2 years (2008-2009) project run in 15 rural communes located between the Bug and Narew rivers, aimed at developing organic farming, agro and ecotourism and local food processing, using foreign experience from Germany, Norway and Austria
  • A model ecotourism network between Bug and Narew- a project run in 2009- 2010, in 13 rural communes, aiming at writing an ecotourism development strategy for the region, creating a Polish Ecotourism Certification system, and creating a regional tourism product - www.bugnarew.pl ›› a network consisting currently of 25 different places offering bed, breakfast, activities and run according to world ecotourist standards

4 - Campaigns

  • Campaigns REACH and PESTICIDES STOP
  • GMO monitoring and information campaign
  • The Responsible Consumers campaign with the Polish Green Network

All projects included many education and information publications, brochures and two documentary and DVD films (about agricultural biodiversity and about monastery gardens).

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