FER works in environmental education, advocating sustainable development and practical nature conservation. Activities of the Foundation focus in the Lower Silesia (dolnośląskie) region. Through participation in the Polish Green Federation and cooperation with partners from abroad, part of the Foundation’s activities have national or even international range. FER cooperates with other NGOs, local, regional and national administration, universities and other participants of the broad environmental education sector.
Programmes and activities:
The Barycz Valley Model
Among model activities of the Foundation is the Programme for sustainable development of the Barycz Valley and Milicz Ponds area – one of the more precious natural areas in Poland, and a partner area in the Living Lakes network. In The Barycz Valley the Foundation (with cooperation with other NGOs) supports development of the ecotourism and local products, and protects and promotes natural richness, animates countryside inhabitants through the programme Villages with ideas, and makes grants to local leaders and organisations. Experiences in living in harmony with Nature which were developed in the Barycz Valley are also successfully used in other areas with valuable Nature.
Protection of nature and landscape
To prevent destruction of Nature, the FER runs monitoring of nature, and promotes the good practices friendly to Nature. In this field FER concentrates on protection of the river valleys, species and habitats of the European Natura 2000 network (among them project „Natura 2000 Wardens – monitoring of species and habitats disturbance” within the framework of the EEA Financial Mechanisms and the Norway Financial Mechanisms). Programmes for conservation of nature and cultural landscapes implemented by the Foundation are innovative, both on a regional and national scale. FER runs a campaign for the protection and restoration of trees such as Sadzimy dęby w Dolinie Baryczy, Aleje dla Natury (We plant oaks in the Barycz Valley, Pathways for Nature), programmes for active protection of meadows and protection of agricultural biodiversity and traditional breeds of animals and varieties of the fruit trees.
Educational activities of the FER aim at increasing knowledge and social skills in the field of sustainable development. Programmes addressed to school students comprise: Nasz Krajobraz (Our landscape), Edukacja z polotem (Education with flair), Szkoły dla ekorozwoju (Schools for sustainable development) connecting education with activities for the environment and stimulation of local communities. A feature of these programmes is the involvement of the local administration and businesses.
In parallel to the educational programmes, the Foundation provides informational and media services. The Foundation provides the Zielona Brama (Green Gate) – the largest in Poland portal for the environmental NGOs. In addition to internet services, there are TV and radio programmes, ecological journal Kropla (Drop) and other publications.
Market for sustainable products and services benefits from the Ekojarmark – the ecological fair organized by the Foundation since 2001 and being the largest of its kind in Poland. They are complemented by the support of distribution system for ecological products and campaigns for responsible and ecological consumption. Foundation supports also development of the ecotourism services and creation of the supporting these services infrastructure for bike and nature tours.
Ambassadors of sustainable development
Transfer of knowledge and experience in sustainable development in areas of natural value is achieved by FER’s international programmes. Foundation specialized in particular in the transfer of knowledge and experience in the fields of the development of rural areas, ecotourism and market for local products and initiating and functioning of the inter-sectoral partnerships. Because of its location The Foundation has for many years cooperated with partners in Germany and Czech Republic. Important international cooperation directions are also Eastern European countries, including Belarus, Moldova and Georgia.