Environment and ecology, Eco-tourism, pro-poor tourism, rural economic development, waste management, micro business development combined with life-long education has been part of Anke’s/EcoHouse Risans’ path from 2004 In Macedonia via the VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) to the present.
Starting as a member of 4x4x4 Balkan Bridges in Skopje, Macedonia in 2004:
The development of the first regional environmental NGO:
4x4x4 Balkan Bridges
from tentative discussions about recyling of waste oil in October 2004 :
4 initial member organisations from:-Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia-(Montenegro was then part of Serbia ), came together with Macedonia being the lead partner.
Helping with the creation of partnership and stimulation between the governments and the citizens of the four countries. Holding events to raise
‘Awareness of Green, Environmental Sustainable Development at all times.
It is easy to write and read these words, but these 4 Balkan Countries did not work easily together at that time. Committed individuals of these four countries helped the development of sustainability.
Eco tourism was then one of the fastest growing sectors of the World-Wide Tourism Industry, even in 2004. Balkan member countries of the 4x4x4 Balkan-Bridges had a great opportunity to benefit by the enhanced promotion of their unspoiled natural heritage.These countries of the Balkans faced similar or identical problems of sustainable development when harmonising EU norms related to environment and other.
Using the Pro-Poor Tourism model, 4x4x4 Balkan Bridges helped rural communities to structure themselves to take advantage of this trend.
Sustainable development was then and is the key factor in our work at EcoHouse now.
Pro Poor Tourism (PPT) is tourism that results in increased benefits for poor people. PPT is not a specific product or niche sector but an approach to tourism development and management. Links with many different types of the ‘poor and pure’ need to be considered: staff; neighbouring communities; producers of food, fuel and other suppliers; operators of micro-tourism businesses; craft makers; other users of tourism infrastructure (roads) and resources (water).
Olives, vegetables, oranges manadarines, kiwis etc. are grown by local people today and sold on markets. Not an easy life!
Living in the countryside then, with much poverty, many Balkan people left for city life, moving to America, Autralia a more glamorous new future. But is it?
Dreaming of moving back into the countryside?
This is the Montenegro Green Building Council which EcoHouse helped to create 10 years ago in 2010. A member of the World Green Building Council.