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Doing Good: The Best Practices List3

Experimental and Innovative Practices


83. Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC), Alexandra, South Africa: CIRC provides access to information at the grassroots level through the establishment of a system for communicating and sharing information among and between communities. Alexandra is a low income community with basic survival concerns and limited access to information about the community itself, and other communities and information held in government which might prove useful in dealing with the problems of different people in the community. Within the framework of the Freedom for Information Act, the CIRC organized a database of community information based on household surveys, community surveys with community leaders and local government. Contact: Ms. Lynette Oxley, Box 838, Melville 2109, South Africa, Tel: 27 11 888 4037, Fax: 27 11 888 1041, Internet: circ@aztec.co.za.

84. The Traditional Energy and Environment Conservation Project (TATEDO), Tanzania: TATEDO is a coalition of volunteer and development agencies (ie. artisans, farmers, individuals, institutions, NGOs and CBOs) involved in the development and promotion of renewable energy systems for enhancing sustainable environment and social-economic improvement of communities in Tanzania. TATEDO has embraced adaptive research development, production, utilization and diffusion of mature appropriate technologies through research and development in wood energy, agroforestry and environmental conservation systems for community development at the grassroots level for human settlements in both urban and peri- urban villages. TATEDO creates awareness, facilitates provision of education and training in appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to communities and individuals. Contact: Joshua S. Meena, TATEDO, P.O. Box 32794, Dar-es- Salaam, Tanzania, Tel: 255-52-74400/74687, Fax: 255-52- 74400/46106.

Arab States

85. The Small and Micro Enterprises Project, Alexandria Businessmen's Association in Association with Environment Quality International (EQI), Egypt: After a study by an international donor agency, it was realized that the productivity of the SME was hampered by lack of access to formal credit and excessive collateral requirements. A SME project was designed to leverage funds and increase productivity of SMEs nation-wide. The Alexandria Businessmen's Association (ABA) developed the SME project to provide credit and remove regulatory constraints inhibiting growth in the SME sector. In 1993, the ABA realized they were missing half of their potential market - women. Statistics related to the SME project were disaggregated by sex and training and technical courses were offered based on the different gender roles of men and women. The availability of ABA loans to women marked a dramatic difference in the lives of men and women involved in the project. Loans were offered to women on the same terms as men. This led to an increase in female entrepreneurs and also to increases in employment, overall production and wages for both men and women in Alexandria City. Contact: Mr. Mounir Neamatalla, UMP, 3B Bahgat Ali St., Zamalek, Cairo. Tel: 202 341879. Fax: 202 3413331.


86. Spittelau Waste Incineration Plant, Vienna, Austria: The Spittelau waste incineration and heat generation plant is part of the eco-aware Viennese waste management system, which was adopted in 1985 and based on the principles of waste prevention, waste recycling and eco-friendly waste disposal. After refurbishment, Spittelau is the first plant in the world to use a catalytic dioxin remover. Only waste that cannot be recycled is incinerated, and the energy generated by the plant is fed into a heating network. Spittelau burns 240,000 tonnes of waste per year, 50% of which is turned into heat. In conjunction with other heat generation facilities, Spittelau serves a heating network over 380 km long and supplies heat to 110,000 flats and 2,300 large consumers. As a result of the Viennese Waste Management system, the total volume of waste deposited between 1988 and 1993 at the central dump was reduced by 60%. Contact: Fernwarme Wien GesmbH, 1090 Vienna, Spittelauer Lande 45. Tel: 43-1-313260. Fax: 43-1-313-262884.

87. Citizens' Climate Initiative Tampere 21, Finland: Since 1992 the NGO coalition Tampere 21 has maintained a dialogue between citizens and decision makers in local action to prevent climate change. This work has resulted in a new environmental policy of Tampere, which aims at a comprehensive ecological restructuring. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the civic groups proposed bicycle routes, rail transport, improvement of waste management and renewable fuels in power supply. The coalition also demanded environmentally considerate town planning, and contrary to usual practice, the decision makers had to react to the citizen's objectives. The coalition has also addressed global responsibility by financing tree planting in Tanzania, Kenya, and India. Contact: Outi Bergh„ll, Finnish National Committee for Habitat II, Ministry of the Environment, P.O. Box 399, SF- 00121 Helsinki. Tel: 358 0 1991 9609. Fax: 358 0 1991 9631.

88. Solar Village 3 - Social Housing Estate, Greece: The Solar Village in Pefki is a unique project in the sector of Urban Practice for townships environmentally sustainable, with a healthy and safe environment. The solar energy systems installed in the village have offered important information for the comparison between different designs and products as well as for the optimum design of such plants. The long term operation of these systems in a very large scale as in the Solar Village with approximately 1700 users, supports through its demonstration the penetration of technologies for the exploitation of solar energy. For these reasons, the Pefki Solar Village has supported and supports the use of technologies saving energy, which in turn protects the environment and improves the quality of life. Contact: The Ministry of Environment and Public Works, Director for Ekistic Policy & Housing, National Committee Habitat II, Trikalon 36, 116 26 Athens.

89. Green Games of Lillehammer 1994, Norway: Lillehammer, a Norwegian town of 25,000 people,was chosen in 1988 to host the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. Traditionally, when Olympic Games are held, the pressure to set new records and the strenuous training requirements lead to a high consumption of natural resources and encroachment on the countryside to a degree that is incompatible with sustainable development. By incorporating environmental concerns into all stages of the planning for the Games and by encouraging formal and informal co-operation between the Municipality of Lillehammer, the Ministry of the Environment, the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee and environmental organizations, positive results were achieved in minimizing the negative environmental impact of the Games. Contact: Audun Tron, Mayor Municipality of Lillehammer, P O Box 955, 2601 Lillehammer.

90. The Big Issue, London, United Kingdom: The Big Issue is a newspaper sold by homeless people on the streets several British cities. Its aim is to create income for homeless people while providing a combination of arts, news, international issues, and social comment to over 250,000 readers each week. Since the first issue was distributed in September 1993, over 6000 homeless people have been able to help themselves and move off the street through selling the newspaper. The Big Issue also keeps the issue of homeless in the paper and has given homeless people a voice. The paper has challenged media perceptions of homelessness as well as creating a forum where issues of the homeless can be discussed. The Big Issue has paved the way for street papers in eleven Western European countries, one paper in Eastern Europe (St. Petersburg) as well as Homeless Talk in Johannesburg, S.A.. Approximately fifty street papers now operate in Canada and the United States. Contact: The Big Issue, Fleet House, 57 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5NP. Tel: 44 171 418 0418. Fax: 44 171 418 0428.

Latin America and Caribbean

91. Integration Council in the Favelas Rehabilitation Process, Fortaleza, Brazil: Fortaleza has 2.5 million inhabitants and the poverty level is very high. The first action was focused on education and capacity building to enable people to assume responsibility for improving their own living conditions. An educational program was established which led to the creation of micro-enterprises and the construction of housing. The problems of rehabilitation were treated in a holistic manner, focusing on the human as well as the material aspects of rehabilitation, and integrating the population into the process. For this purpose, it was fundamental to take into consideration the dignity of the people, combining capacity building, civic engagement and democratization by ensuring participation and transparency in the management of community resources. Contact: Yves Cabannes, Coordinator, Latin American Urban Initiatives, Groupe de Recherche et d'Echanges Technologiques (GRET), Rua Idelfonso Albano, 935, Aldeota, Fortaliza, Ceara, Brazil 60 115 180, Tel\Fax: 55 85 2524991.

92. The Community as Drinking Water Provider, Cali, Colombia: Most Large cities in Latin America have to cope with high immigration of peasants who leave rural areas to escape violence, economic depression and lack of educational opportunities for their children. They settle on marginalized land that is inadequate for housing and infrastructure. The community of La Sirena asked the Inter-regional Centre for Water Supply and Drainage (CINARA) to assist in designing an improved water system. The objective was to develop a system to filter and treat water for human consumption as well as a distribution network that would provide water to the homes. Financial resources were raised and controlled by the community which also manages the project. Contact: Ms. Mariela Garcia, CINARA, Cali, Colombia, Tel: 57-23- 3392345/3136, Fax: 57-23-3393289, E-mail: cegomez@cinara.univalle.edu.co.

93. Bamboo Housing National Project, Costa Rica: The National Bamboo Project was started in l986 as a new technological approach to prevent deforestation in Costa Rica. The idea was to replace the use of wood with an alternative cost-efficient and seismically sound building material. The preparatory phase saw the pilot-project being transferred from experiences in Colombia and Ecuador. During the First and Second Phases an intensive construction scheme in the rural areas was developed including technical training, massive bamboo cultivation, community and labour organization, environmental assessment of the technology and production of furniture and handicrafts for export. The project has fostered the sustainable use of bamboo as raw material for an indigenous housing programme and for the industrialization and marketing of by-products. Up to now 700 low-cost houses have been built and 200 hectares of bamboo have been cultivated. Contact: Arq. Ana Cecilia Soto, Proyecto Nacional de Bambu, Apartado 21-1350, San Sebastian, San Jose, Costa Rica.

94. Tree Nursery and Orchard/Vegetable Garden School - Libre de Agroquimicos: "An approach to Sustainable Development", Costa Rica: The Tree Nursery and Orchard/Vegetable Garden School Program, has been implemented since June 1995 in nine schools of Naranjo, Alajuela, Costa Rica. The programme focuses on children's participation in the production, maintenance and management of an orchard/vegetable garden or a nursery, with the objective of: 1) promoting the use of organic agricultural products instead of harmful chemical ones by producing their own natural pest control agents and fertilizers using fruit and animal disposes and herbs, 2) making the children conscience of the need of rational and efficient use of natural resources, and respecting their environment and 3) teaching them to be enterprising. Contact: Carlos Arce Zamora, Engineer, Director, INA Naranjo, Cruce de Cirri, Naranjo Apdo. 27, San Jos‚, Costa Rica Tel: 506 4500433/4633765 (direct), Fax: 506 4500433.

95. Conventional Solid Waste Management in Lima, Peru: In 1990 the Municipality of El-Agustino District asked the German Volunteer Service (DED) for technical assistance to ameliorate the problems of waste management within the district boundaries. The accumulation of garbage, shortcomings in transport and storage facilities due to budget constraints, as well as the proliferation of environmental diseases and the presence of informal pig breeders led to an unbearable situation. An ingenious recycling system for organic waste was initiated whereby through a series of processes using cost effective, intermediate technology, organic material was turned into a highly digestive diet for livestock, and lower grade organic materials were used in making fertilizer. Other visible results include the reduction in health expenditures, improvement of the ecological environment, the improvement of business environment and implications for the political environment. Contact: Mr. Fritz Rembold c/o SEGEPLAN VII Programa PROSELVA, Sta. Elena, Pet‚n, Guatemala, Tel: 502-9-500-196, Fax: 502-9500-197.

North America

96. Alternative Energy, Quebec, Canada: The Cree Aboriginal community of Ouje-Bougoumou has constructed a new village within its traditional territory in northern Quebec which is based on the dual concepts of self-determination and suitable development. One of the innovative initiatives in this new village is the installation of a "district heating system", an alternative energy technology whereby wood waste is burned in a central plant where water is heated and then transported via underground pipes to all of the buildings in the village. Essentially, while providing important heating energy to the houses and buildings, the community is converting industrial waste into energy with a great many long term socio-economic benefits to the community. Contact: Abel Bosum, Chief, Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation, Headquarters Office, 207 Opemiska St., Ouje-Bougoumou, Quebec. G0W 3C0.

97. New Community Pathmark, Newark, New Jersey, USA: The New Community Pathmark Supermarket is a unique partnership of the non-profit New Community Corporation (NCC), a minority- based community development corporation and the for-profit Pathmark Stores, Inc. which operates 146 supermarkets. NCC developed a 3.3 acre site at South Orange Avenue and Bergen Street and became the landlord for the $16 million, 55,000 square foot Neighbourhood Shopping Centre, housing a 48,000 square foot Pathmark and four satellite stores. The profits of the store go back to the community. Additionally, NCC Pathmark offers special public programmes ranging from healthy food fairs and energy conservation demonstrations to health screening and ethnic pride festivals. Contact: Ray Codey, Director of Development, New Community Corporation, 233 West Market Street, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA, Tel: 1 201 6397805; Fax: 1 201 6233612.

98. The Loading Dock, Baltimore, Maryland, USA: The Loading Dock, a grassroots organization that provides resources for low-income housing rehabilitation and development, is the first successful, self- sufficient, non- profit recycler of reusable building materials in the United States. By recycling building material headed to landfills, the program helps increase the supply of affordable housing while preserving the urban environment. It works in partnership with non-profit housing groups, environmental organizations, local government, building contractors, manufacturers and distributors. The organization has been contacted by 350 communities in North America and 10 in other parts of the world. The Loading Dock is committed to hiring from within the community, and training staff to become greater assets to their neighbourhoods. Contact: Leslie Kirkland and Aaron Miripol, Executive Directors, The Loading Dock, 2523 Gwynns Falls Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21216, Tel: 1 410 7283625, Fax: 7283633.

99. West Harlem Environmental Action, New York City, USA: The West Harlem Environmental Action (WHE ACT) was founded by two women in 1988 to fight the environmental harm that the North River Sewage Treatment Plant was causing to West Harlem. West Harlem endures two types of environmental stress: noxious odours from the North River Treatment Plant and heavy air pollution from the highways, commuter rail lines, and bus depots which converge at West Harlem. The EBP was successful in correcting numerous violations related to the running of the plant, including running the plant over capacity and unsafe emissions. An Advisory Committee was set up to run the EBP; the Committee developed a series of programs including environmental impact and risk assessments, community-based environmental education, development of 'green' businesses, and increases in green space. Contact: Mr. Akhtar Badshah. Mega-Cities, Inc., 915 Broadway, Ste. 1601, NY, NY 10010. Tel: 1 212 979 7644. Fax: 1 212 979 7624.

Istanbul, Turkey 3-14 June 1996 ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


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