CArpathian SustAinable LEarning Network: CASALEN

The possibilities of Carpathian Co-operation in the field of ESD

General Prescription of the Project


The Carpathian Convention is a framework type convention pursuing a comprehensive policy and cooperating in the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians through the promotion of joint policies for sustainable development among the seven countries of the region (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic and Ukraine). The Convention states: The Parties shall pursue policies aiming at increasing environmental awareness and improving access of the public to information on the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians, and promoting related education curricula and programmes.

Main goals of CASALEN

Target group: schools

To establish a support system in order to encourage the school based co-operations in the Carpathian region within the existing financial frameworks (EU – LLL program, Visegrad Found). The core element of this support system could be a regular summer school as in-service training for multiplication of the collected and structured materials, knowledge and know-how for ESD teachers.

It is necessary to help the schools in Carpathian region to deal with all three pillars of SD, should especially emphasise the links between economy and sustainability, as the presence of economical aspects in ESD activities is generally weak in all Carpathian countries. The support systems should focus on developing competencies for sustainability within and by the schools such as system thinking, organizational learning, cooperation and community learning, approach. Most of the development based on the shared values and practises of participating countries.

Other fields of activities of the support system should encourage the schools of the Carpathian region to join to ESD initiatives available, such the eco-schools initiatives and the PET bottle recycling campaign in Poland (organised by an Austrian expert) , or the SUPPORT network which will offer possibilities in the field of school-community and school- research institution co-operation through ICT tools for Carpathian schools too.

Target group: Field centres

A learning network of field study centres in the Carpathians should facilitate and promote ESD inside their own country and beyond, meantime assisting in the public education area. The network shall use the full scale of capacities of the field centres, i.e. infrastructure, technical assistance, expertise, etc.The Göncöl Foundation offered to be the initiator of this network of centres.

Target group: Higher education, research

Specific aim for higher education is to find or establish a scientific journal for researches in order to develop a scientific basis for ESD activities in Carpathian region. The promoted researches should include research on environmental perception, attitude of teachers and teacher students education for SD, life log learning and ESD and also theoretical aspects of ESD.

Internal project partners

External project partners

Partners to be found during 2008 - in Serbia and Romania

Report from the project leader

As the result of the former co-operation of UNEP and ENSI the Romanian and English version of the Carpathian ESD Training Tool Kit is available on-line. Activities of last year intended the further dissemination of the Tool Kit. There were two main lines of the dissemination activities: dissemination and exploitation of the Romanian version and fundraising and lobby activity in order to develop further national versions of the Tool Kit.

Dissemination and exploitation of the Romanian version of the Tool Kit:
HERO organization, the Romanian co-ordinator of the project continuously runs its website with opportunity to the schools using the Tool Kit in Romania to upload their portfolios, or their trails as a communication tool between participants. In the Tool Kit, was included the address where they can upload in Romanian details of their work. 

On 21 – 23 October 2010, in Poiana Brasov, Romania, HERO and other Romanian environmental NGO-s that were involved from the beginning in the M4N project initiative connected to the Carpathian Project of ENSI participated at the Move4Nature Final Teachers Presentations, organized by UNEP and the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport of Romania.

In Poiana Brasov, 30 Romanian schools, trained in 2009 during the Move4Nature Training Tour, presented their Move4Nature Study Trail, and some parts of their school portfolios reflecting their ESD work in 2009-2010. The meeting offered exchange of experiences with their counterparts in other schools and counties. An evaluation committee, composed of the trainers and the inspectors, selected the best trail in each county, and the best 3 Move4Nature Study Trails. The winners received prizes offered by the OMV Austria the main sponsor of the project.

At the meeting was discussed opportunities for the future use of this Carpathian Schools’ Educational Tool Kit . Resulted it will continue to support the Romanian educational system changes and offers perspectives for the involved schools for promoting the local sustainable development.

Fundraising and lobby activity in order to develop further national versions of the Tool Kit: ENSI and UNEP seek continuously the possibilities for financial support for development of further national versions of the Tool Kit by informing decision makers and expert in the Carpathian Region about the Tool Kit, by monitoring the available calls for tenders and preparing applications, but unfortunately still without significant result.

In May 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. the third Conference of the Parties of the Carpathian Convention will be held. The issue of the Tool Kit is intended to take on the agenda of this conference in order to gain political support from the governments of the Carpathian countries for the further work.

CASALEN-Publications A Database with CASALEN publications - available for downloading read more Carpathian Convention Framework convention on the protection and sustainable development of the carpathians carpathian_conv.pdf