Covasna Community Foundation (Romania)
Green thumbs up
Who could have guessed where 250 plant seedlings would lead the Covasna Community Foundation?
In 2013, as part of a pilot project to raise local citizens’ awareness around environmental protection and care, the seedlings were distributed to citizens in Magyarhermány, a small area of Covasna County. The project also sought to re-emphasize the importance of agriculture to Covasna’s rural regions, which had been less prominent in recent years due to the effects of globalization and urbanization.
The project was such a success, the foundation decided to extend it to the whole county, leading to the eventual launch of “A Tree for the Next Generation” programme in 2015. The Covasna Community Foundation, with support from local individuals as well as more than 50 local businesses, established a plant nursery that allowed for 1,500 seedlings to be distributed to 12 localities in the first year - directly benefiting more than 496 families. The nursery was set up and is run nearly entirely by volunteers, who also organize educational programmes on environmental conservation that have already been attended by more than 200 students. The ambitious “A Tree for the Next Generation” programme: generated a movement on the county level for replanting native seedlings in rural communities; built awareness around responsible environmental thinking; and, encouraged citizens (particularly younger generations) to value and cultivate tradition.
And the Covasna Community Foundation? With all of this environmental experience under its belt, in 2016 the foundation is focussing on an advocacy campaign aimed at stopping the activities of an enormous foreign-owned local timber factory that is causing environmental havoc in Covasna County - a battle they themselves describe as a “David and Goliath” type struggle.
But who says size matters?