Protecting the environment
Sustainable approaches for people and the environment
South East Europe captivates visitors with its breathtaking nature, fascinating cultural monuments and young, dynamic urban centres. This mix is attracting growing numbers of tourists. For the countries of South East Europe, this means an economic boost; for nature, it is a threat that must be tackled early because South East Europe has some catching up to do when it comes to sustainability.
Whether this concerns the availability of sufficient quantities of rubbish bins, a sustainable waste and recycling system, or reducing plastic packaging in supermarkets, private households and hotels. Just three per cent of waste is recycled in the Balkan countries. The majority of it ends up in illegal garbage dumps.
A further problem that threatens the nature of South East Europe is the recurring forest fires and illegal logging, which is resulting in the loss of large areas of forest, in particular species-rich forest stands. Illegal logging is a consequence of the poverty that still prevails in these countries.
Environmental protection is a complex issue that Help has consciously defined as a cross-cutting issue to ensure that sustainable environmental protection is always taken into account on our emergency aid and development projects.
Even 25 years ago, Help was already using sustainable cloth bags to distribute relief supplies instead of plastic packaging.
On our small-scale enterprise projects, we make sure that sustainable agriculture is promoted and that the products processed are packaged in environmentally friendly materials to reduce the use of plastic. We also promote recycling and legal waste collection through our income-generation projects. Organised waste collection protects the environment and simultaneously gives families a regular income.
As a starting signal for our goal of embedding environmental protection even more intensely into our programmes and in order to raise awareness among the population, we have planted around 6,000 trees in Bosnia and Herzegovina in our anniversary year – this is a communal project between forestry authorities, volunteers and Help. We have also led the way in Kosovo by planting trees in public urban spaces, with the aim being to promote awareness of environmental protection in the regions.
“Let this anniversary be an eye-opening moment for all of us so that we can change things for the better and treat our planet with more respect.”
Adem Sylejmani, Senior Field Officer Kosovo
Danijel had already been collecting plastic for five years when he applied to Help for funding in 2018. Collecting plastic provided him with just enough money to keep himself and his family afloat.
In addition to seasonal jobs, waste collection is the only source of income for many Roma in the Western Balkan states. Help therefore equips waste collectors with transport vehicles and promotes the legalisation of their work. This improves their families’ financial situation, protects the environment and stimulates the regional economy.
Help us to support people and the environment at the same time.
IBAN: DE47 3708 0040 0240 0030 00
BIC: DRES DE FF 370