Continuing around Europe

According to the World Health Organization, environmental factors trigger a quarter of chronic and non-communicable diseases. EU Green Week partner events, which continued today, underlined the link between health and the environment. Prominent amongst these were meetings in Poland’s Małopolskie region aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of regional anti-smog legislation.

Other continuing activities focused on pollution in the river Timiș in Romania and environmental issues in Rijeka, Croatia, while an environment and art festival in Thessaloniki, Greece also entered its second day.

According to the World Health Organization, environmental factors trigger a quarter of chronic and non-communicable diseases. EU Green Week partner events, which continued today, underlined the link between health and the environment. Prominent amongst these were meetings in Poland’s Małopolskie region aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of regional anti-smog legislation.

Other continuing activities focused on pollution in the river Timiș in Romania and environmental issues in Rijeka, Croatia, while an environment and art festival in Thessaloniki, Greece also entered its second day.

According to the World Health Organization, environmental factors trigger a quarter of chronic and non-communicable diseases. EU Green Week partner events, which continued today, underlined the link between health and the environment. Prominent amongst these were meetings in Poland’s Małopolskie region aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of regional anti-smog legislation.

Other continuing activities focused on pollution in the river Timiș in Romania and environmental issues in Rijeka, Croatia, while an environment and art festival in Thessaloniki, Greece also entered its second day.

Quote of the day

Quote of the day

98% of Małopolska residents are exposed to poor air quality exceeding the WHO standards. Smog contributes to shortening life, exposure to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This is why we have adopted regulations - anti-smog resolutions. In Kraków, from 1 September 2019, a resolution prohibiting the use of solid fuels will come into force. From 2023, high-emission solid fuel boilers will be eliminated throughout Malopolska Region. As part of Green Week, we care about the citizens awareness. We explain why these regulations have been adopted and how they will translate into improving the quality of the air that they breathe and their quality of life.

Tomasz Urynowicz, Deputy Marshal of the Malopolska Region

13-17 May – Cleaner air in Małopolskie

Research shows that most residents of Poland’s Małopolskie region are aware of its anti-smog resolution – which bans the burning of solid fuels in the regional capital, Kraków and requires all stoves used in the region to meet the Ecodesign standard – but do not know its provisions in detail.

Meetings are being held under the ‘Małopolska in a healthy atmosphere’ project to enable residents of Małopolskie’s 55 municipalities to learn more about the resolution and so improve its implementation. Discussion covers such topics as the benefits of the resolution, how it should be implemented and how to convince people of the need for it.

13-17 May – Promoting green issues through art

Hosted by Thessaloniki-based NGO Fix in Art, the In Art Green Week Festival aims to sensitise people to environmental issues through actions and discussions that promote a more balanced relationship between humans and nature. The programme includes three thematic workshops in which participants learn about recycling paper, plastic and aluminium by playing specially designed games. The workshops take place within school visits in the mornings and are open to the public in the afternoons. During today’s school visits, children looked at how to make paper from scrap, produce works of art from aluminium cans and turn plastic bottles into boats.

Afternoons and evenings at the festival feature recycling info kiosks, organic product and craft bazaars, a swap shop, alternative therapy workshops and a social kitchen aimed at promoting healthy diets and preventing food waste. Workshops held today focused on remodelling clothes and changing their texture and design, and beekeeping.

Environment-themed artistic events such as a circus, kids’ theatre and performances by street artists take place alongside the festival, which is organised on a zero-waste basis.

Through the school visits, the organisers expect to reach 450 children over the course of the week, while for the festival itself, they hope to attract up to 4 000 visitors in total.

14-15 May – Towards greener business models

Hosted by the CETENMA research and technological centre in Murcia, Spain, GREEN SMART-UP – which began today and runs all week – trains entrepreneurs in the adoption of green business models. Participants design circular economy-based businesses and have the chance to exchange experience with potential partners in France.

The event concludes with a ‘Green weekend’, at which coaches specialising in group dynamisation techniques work with participants in order to get the best out of each individual.

13-27 May – Green Week hits Rijeka

Authorities in the Croatian city of Rijeka have planned a series of events to mark Green Week 2019 in cooperation with local NGOs and civil society associations. The events, which include the cleaning up and landscaping of a local park by a group of volunteers, are aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues and encouraging citizens to change their habits.

The city is also presenting some of the EU projects in which it is involved in order to further the development of its environmental policy.

On the agenda today were lectures at Rijeka city hall on spatial planning and green infrastructure, an air and ozone layer protection and climate change adaptation programme, a noise map of Rijeka, public health aspects of waste management and green driving. The day’s other event was a series of green workshops for preschool and primary school children at Rijeka natural history museum.

All day – Zero-emission delivery of goods and services

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network of local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development, today held an event in Brussels to mark the end of the BuyZET project. BuyZET has tested smart procurement approaches in Copenhagen, Rotterdam and Oslo with a view to reducing transport emissions related to provision of goods and services and achieving CO2-free urban logistics by 2030.

Participants discussed the tools, practices and recommendations developed under the project and future rules for public procurement of clean vehicles in light of the review of the EU Clean Vehicles Directive.

ICLEI is also occupying stand 13 at the EU Green Week exhibition, which it is using to encourage citizens to vote in the European elections. Anyone attending the exhibition can visit the stand, choose the message they want to put across for the elections and place themselves in a specially created frame holding up a speech bubble with that message. A picture is then taken and shared on Twitter.

It is not just about procuring zero emission vehicles but also about the efficiency of transport. In other words, how can suppliers be rewarded who reduce the usage of their vehicles?” BuyZET

13-15 May – Tackling pollution in the Timiș

Starting yesterday with a press conference in Lugoj, Romania, ‘Raul Timis in #EuGreenWeek’ aims to raise awareness among citizens, the media and local authorities about pollution in and around the river Timiș – which rises in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and flows into the Danube in Serbia – and the damage it has done to flora and fauna.

The event also gives local people the chance to make their voices heard and learn about EU laws and how they can be applied to the problems facing the Timiș. Today in Lugoj, a door-to-door campaign took place from 10.00, passers-by on the streets took part in a 10-question survey and informative leaflets were handed out. The campaign continues tomorrow in villages affected by the pollution, with a report on the findings of the survey to be compiled at the end of the activity.

In case you missed the 'Pay As You Throw Workshop' yesterday, you can watch the web seminar here

Coming up tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow

Tomorrow morning sees the annual awards ceremony for the European Week for Waste Reduction take place in Brussels, followed in the afternoon by the start of the EU Green Week conference.