Several students from the International Rural Development Class at CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences in Dronten visited Milieukontakt over the years for an internship at the Amsterdam office. Milieukontakt in turn, was invited by CAH Vilentum for short trainings on lobbying and advocacy.
This year CAH Vilentum and Milieukontakt decided to intensify the cooperation with and Introductory Course on Green Agenda Sustainable Development Planning for the International Rural Development Class at the new CAH Vilentum establishment in Almere.
Since 1998 Milieukontakt has been working on the development of an approach for sustainable development planning in rural areas and smaller municipal entities of cities. Contrary to many planning approaches, the Milieukontakt Green Agenda Approach starts out by identifying local values rather than problems. Participation in the process is not limited to experts or certain stakeholder groups, but is wide open to all. Thanks to the process, its results are genuinely owned by the citizens. If well implemented, the Green Agenda development planning brings about opportunities for development without disruption of local traditions and culture, and destruction of nature and environment.
The first steps in developing this approach were initiated by Milieukontakt and its Romanian partner Focus Eco Centre. Over the years the method has been further developed in more than ten countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and between 2007 and 2010 a large Green Agenda project was implemented on the Balkans.
This year’s CAH’s International Rural Development Class comprises of students from Latvia, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. Milieukontakt will introduce the Green Agenda approach and present examples of successfully implemented Green Agenda pilot projects. Next to other assignments, the students will have to choose a small village in their native country, analyse the community based on the Green Agenda approach, talk to community representatives and design a Green Agenda development plan.