With the approaching of Christmas and New Year holidays in 2023, partners of ‘Young Eco Inspectors’ project organized a public debate event in the three pilot regions, Pazardzhik-Bulgaria, Larissa-Greece, and Kochani-North Macedonia, on the 20th of December, 2023.
The event was organized in a hybrid form with physical participation of stakeholders from the three pilot regions and a connection between the three regions by using an online platform. The event was opened by representatives of the three municipal administrations (Pazardzhik, Larissa, and Kochani), who made speeches on the environmental challenges and climate change issues that the three regions are facing and the need to be addressed.
Then the event continued with presentations of the project to the local stakeholders. Mr. Martin Ivanov, an expert in REAP (Regional Energy Agency of Pazardzhik), presented the main activities which will be implemented, as well as the main project products (intellectual outputs) which will be developed during the project and could be used by various stakeholders.
In Bulgaria, partners addressed also the heat waves and the troubles coming from extremely hot weather during the hottest period in the year – summer time, and how these could be tackled by households. Cooltorise project, presented by Mrs. Petya Tsarkova from Association CSEG (the Centre for Sustainability and Economic Growth), provided interesting ideas to fight energy poverty with measures which could be implemented inside and outside residential buildings, as well as behaviour change measures. Later on, a discussion was initiated among participating stakeholders on how to improve local policy by-laws which tackle climate changes, protection of environment, and how the topic of summer energy poverty could be integrated into these strategic documents in order to address this problem in future activities of our three communities at local and regional level.
A short presentation of Eco-Kids project was done by Mrs. Ilka Encheva from kindergarten ‘Radost’, Pazardzhik in order to demonstrate a good practice on how environmental challenges could be addressed at an early age of our youngsters – kids from kindergartens. The projects provides some interesting ideas on environmental education by implementing ‘learning-by-doing’ approach, where kids from several kindergartens were producing compost from their food waste, and later on they were using this compost in order to produce environmentally friendly vegetables and flowers in the so called “Eco gardens”.
In each one of the three countries, Bulgaria, Greece, and North Macedonia, there were more than 30 stakeholders, mainly representatives of local and regional administrations, educational authorities, environmental organizations, NGOs, and civil organizations.