Green Spaces

Green Spaces: -

The whole country, RomaniaThe whole country
Project Stage:
Established
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The first component of the program is involving large number of volunteers and communities in the creation/rehabilitation of green spaces throughout Romania, while it's second component is focusing on the promotion of the protected areas of Romania through local communities' involvement. Both components have demonstrated so far their community mobilizing capacity, fact proven by the over 134.000 people involved in the funded projects.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The program through it's two main components, is trying to solve two important aspects. 1. Urban Green Spaces - It is well-known, that the situation of green spaces in Romanian urban areas is quiteconcerning. While the EU legislation is requiring 26m2 of green spaces/inhabitant, the Romanian average is much below this figure. The most clear example is the capital, where are only 2,5m2 of green spaces/inhabitant. Therefore urban environmental conditions are far from being adequate. 2. Protected Areas -Despite the fact that RO is one of the richest counties in Europe from biodiversity point of view, the more than 1000 existing protected areas are not known and appreciated at their real value and subsequently are not protected properly.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through the Urban Green Spaces component the goal is to create/rehabilitate urban green spaces throughout the cities of Romania, through community involvement. This is done by involving NGOs, schools, local authorities and volunteers in the design and later in the concrete creation/rehabilitation works of public green spaces. For the last nine years, each year (in average), 25 local communities improved their urban environmental conditions, by creating or rehabilitating public green spaces. The Protected Areas component is involving the communities in creative, educative and practical activities that are leading to the recognition of the importance of protected areas and to the understanding of the multiple benefits provided by these.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

One of the most impressive projects was under the Protected Areas component, back in 2009, when the Retezat Tourism Associationreceived a grant for a project which had as goal to improve the recognition of the Retezat National Park and to improve its conservation. The Park was nominated thank to this project, to the 7 New Wonders of the World competition. Thanks to the successful campaign it reached the semifinals, by obtaining over 3 million votes. Beside this promotion campaign, several visitor infrastructure improvements were made, plus tourism attractions from the surrounding areas were brought into focus. As a direct result the visitors' caused negative effects on the northern side of the National Park were significantly reduced.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Thanks to the program, in the field of protected areas management, beside the large number of practical, community based projects and activities mentioned, several trend setting and extremely useful manuals and guides were developed that are now used by most of the conservancy practitioners in Romania. In this sense worth to be mentioned the Manual of designing thematic paths in protected areas, the guide about how to organize successful Junior Ranger activities, etc. Regarding the Urban Green Spaces component, it is important to mention that it was the first of its kind in Romania, and thanks to it, the message about the chronic insufficiency of such areas was successfully brought into media attention and to the agenda of decision makers. Few years later the government allocated also funds for this topic, funds that were disbursed through the State Environmental Fund.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

As mentioned earlier, at one point the Romanian Environmental State Fund launched a funding program related to the urban green spaces revitalization. Although the allocated funds were bigger, the approach was totally different, it wasn't community based, it didn't involved any stakeholders as our program does, and it was active for a short period of time (2-3 years). Basically it was a different approach, namely local authorities were eligible to apply for funds that had to be spent on green spaces development.
Team

Team

From the beginning of the cooperation it was decided that both partners will play an active role in the program implementation. Although the day by day management and the implementation of the program is assured by the foundation, the representatives of the corporation are actively participating in most of the phases of the program. For example the yearly adjustments of the program are done based on a joint brainstorming session. The communication plan, the press releases, the promotional materials are designed and developed by a joint team. The CSR manager of the company is permanent member of the Evaluation Committee, which is taking the decision related to the submitted projects that will receive funding from the program. Beside that each year a large number of the company's employees are participating as volunteers in the implementation of one or two of the supported projects.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Organization:
MOL Romania Petroleum Products SRL
Visit website
LEAD SOCIAL-MISSION ORGANIZATION
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Foundation

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

8

Lead Contact First Name

Laszlo

Lead Contact Last Name

Potozky

Title

Director

Country

Romania

Twitter URL

-

Website
LEAD CORPORATE PARTNER
Organization Name

MOL Romania Petroleum Products SRL

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

211

Lead Contact First Name

Erzsébet

Lead Contact Last Name

Felméri

Title

CSR & Social media Coordinator

Country

Romania

Twitter URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year

2006

Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, XX, The whole country

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

The Urban Green Spaces part of the program is implemented in Hungary and Slovakia as well.

Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

Other: If you feel that your entry does not fit any of the above categories, please suggest another category name..

What awards or honors has the project received?

People for People Gala Romania, 2010: Best Community Program Award, Civil Society Gala, 2008: WINNER - Environmental Pro

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Fundatia pentru Prteneriat (Environmnetal Partnership Foundation)
-Type of partner [social]
-Short description sentence : The Foundation supports environmental protection and community development through a wide range of programs and tools including grants, technical assistance, training and specific operational programs.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project : We believe that in order to protect and improve both urban and natural environment, and in order to assure better life for communities there is a clear need for cooperation between the different segments, sectors of the society. Civil society - business sector partnership can be quite successful in this sense.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project : Design and management of the program which includes grants management, technical assistance to applicants, communication and promotion of the program, continuous support to program beneficiaries, etc.

-Partner 2: MOL Romania Petroleum Products SRL
-Type of partners [business]
-Short description sentence: MOL Romania, as part of MOL Group, has approximately 200 employees, and operates 147 filling stations, and has efficient CSR and corporate giving activities in Romania.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project : The CSR and corporate giving activities of MOL Romania are part of the company’s sustainable development credo, and they represent the company’s way to give back value to the communities in which it operates.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [0ver 1 million Euro financial contribution for the program during the last nine and half years, contribution to program design, involvement in program promotion and evaluation, participation with employees as volunteers in few of the funded projects, etc.

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Cumulative results of the program, demonstrate that that even with relatively small amounts (grants of 2000-6000 Euros) great results can be achieved if community based proactive approaches are used:

Nr. of funded and implemented projects (grants): 326
Total value of grants : 849.034 Euro
Average grant size: 2.604 Euro/project
Nr.of participants in the funded projects: 134.078
Total size of created/ rehabilitated urban green spaces: 363.724 m2
Nr. of trees and bushes planted: 63.054
Nr. of flowers and ornamental plants planted: 43.446
Reforested area: 3.953 m2
Nr. of protected areas targeted by the projects: 124
Nr. of created thematic paths in protected areas: 56
Nr. of Junior Ranger camps organized in protected areas: 44
Nr. of visitor centers and permanent exhibitions created in protected areas: 29
Nr. of Biodiversity days and Protected Areas' days organized: 39

Sustainability
Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Foundations, NGOs, Businesses.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The fact that the program has a nine and half year history (the 10th edition, is currently under implementation) demonstrates the long term commitment of the two partners. At the same time is envisaged to continue the program for many years from now on. Beside that it is important to mention that each project is co-financed by the applicant organizations, and there are many cases when the co- financing is exceeding the grant amount, thanks to the contribution of different local stakeholders (such as local companies, local authorities or local charities).

Team
Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The most important "Aha" moment of the program was back in 2009, when based on a strategy and a proposal formulated by the foundation, MOL Romania accepted to increase its financial support, in order to start the Protected Areas component of the program as well. Despite the fact that 2008 represented one of the most difficult years for companies because of the global financial and economic crisis, (and when most of the companies were cutting seriously their CSR budgets), MOL Romania, tripled the yearly budget of the program, increasing their yearly contribution, from 60.000 Euro to 175.000 Euro This was a very clear signal related to the serious commitment for the two causes of the program and helped the foundation as well to advance with its conservancy strategy.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

We cannot speak about significant barriers. Maybe the only fact that worth to be mentioned here as a relative barrier which existed in the very beginning of the cooperation, was the harmonization of the non-profit organizational culture with the for-profit organizational culture, namely to develop a shared "language" and approach, which made possible to treat each other as equal partners. Once we got to know each other, this challenge was overcame very fast, and since then we can speak about a very smooth cooperation based on mutual understanding.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

Officially it is a contractual relationship, but as demonstrated in the earlier chapters we can speak about a proactive, constructive, long lasting and sustainable cooperation between partners. All decisions are taken with 100% consensus.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The almost 10 years of cooperation between the two partners were quite beneficial for both parties. From the foundation perspective, it can be stated that this long lasting cooperative relationship helped improving the management system and improved the strategic thinking of the organization. At the same time in the case of the corporation it can be noticed a significant increase regarding social empathy, a sincere opening towards society problems. In other words the company is practicing genuine corporate social responsibility.

How did you find out about this competition?

through e-mail

randomness