Transformation through local community climate action
Launch of the 5th European Day of Sustainable Communities #EDSC21
A diverse European network of grassroots movements and organisations have launched the 5th European Day of Sustainable Communities (EDSC). They made a special call to young people, who a recent survey shows are more concerned about climate change than the threat of infectious disease(1), to join the day.
The EDSC shines a light on the irrepressible imagination and creativity of people taking action in their local communities -- from community renewable energy projects to urban permaculture gardens, community supported agriculture to solidarity economy initiatives -- and to respond to the COVID pandemic. Since it began in 2017, the EDSC has highlighted the work of thousands of communities in 27 countries across Europe.
“Recognition of the power of local communities and how vital they are in facing the great challenges of our time, has grown massively in the five years since we started celebrating community-led action for a healthier, fairer, regenerative world,” said Iva Pocock, Communications Coordinator of ECOLISE, the main organiser of the day. “For example in 2020 we saw the launch of the EU-wide European Climate Pact, which endorses the essential role of citizens and communities in a socially just and fair transition, and provides a platform for citizens to connect, learn and scale up solutions.”
The EDSC also recognises that local action in Europe is an act of solidarity with those who are most severely affected by climate change, the women and girls of the Global South. They are the most vulnerable because of social inequities - gendered social roles, discrimination, cultural practices and laws, and because of poverty - women and girls make up 70% of the world's one billion poorest people.
EDSC21 is part of Communities for Future, a broader initiative launched by ECOLISE in 2020 that aims to inspire and empower local communities across Europe to respond to the climate and ecological emergency. It is grounded in research which shows that community-led initiatives are highly effective in reducing ecological footprints, building social capital and reviving local economies.
To coincide with EDSC21 a week of Communities for Future events will bring together policy makers and representatives of community-led initiatives to continue to explore the theme: “the path to transformation is through localisation of policy and decision-making.” The events will include regional meetings across Europe organised by ECOLISE members and a final event in Brussels (which may be held online, depending on COVID). The Brussels event is being organised in partnership with the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC), the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and Rurener.
EDSC is supported by 9 EDSC National Contact Points including the Permaculure Association, as well as partners Let’s Do It World, La Fetes des Possibles and Rurener.
To join the European Day of Sustainable Communities people are invited to organise an event, no matter how small, to showcase climate action at the local community level and to register it on the EDSC website. Events should take place between 11 and 25 of September 2021.
People are invited to reach out to their National Contact Point for support. If you're in the UK, please contact Ryan, strategic communications coordinator via www.permaculture.org.uk/contact.
For countries where there is no NCP please contact [email protected]