Launched in 2021, the program supports local leaders who want to gain knowledge and competencies in conducting actions aimed at protecting the environment in their local communities and dealing with climate change, as well as effectively obtaining EU funds for implementation of their initiatives.
Natural environment degradation and climate change harm all our lives. The challenge is to mitigate them and introduce new, more sustainable ways of developing local communities. These are the assumptions of the new program launched by the Foundation and successfully tested in a 2021 pilot version. The “Green Leader” program also exploits experiences gained in the implementation of many local pro-ecological projects within PAFF’s and other NGOs’ activities in the past.
The initiative is addressed to local leaders in villages and towns of up to 50,000 residents (towns with populations of up to 100,000 in justified cases), particularly PAFF program participants, as well as other civic and local government leaders who believe it is important to protect the natural environment and address climate change. From 2021 to 2022, more than 80 participants from 30 communes across Poland joined the program.
The main part of the program involves training and consulting. Its participants – leaders and their teams – can follow one of the three thematic paths: waste management, local water retention and counteracting droughts, or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They can also apply for a study tour grant – abroad or within Poland – that would enable them to establish cooperation with partners, acquire innovative solutions and, potentially, prepare ideas for joint projects. Through the program leaders will learn how to solve an environmental problem important for their local community, and/or climate change mitigation and adaptation. They will use the methods and tools to introduce change within the local community and apply for grants from the European Green Deal and other funds for their own pro-ecological initiatives.
The objective of the “Green Leader” program is to contribute to the creation of a nationwide system of information and consultation on the rules and mechanisms of EU and other funds serving environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, addressed mainly to leaders of NGOs in villages and small towns.
The Foundation has disbursed $325,660, including $220,062 for the current edition.