Submitted by: Green Action (FoE Croatia)
Implemented country: Croatia
Title: A Military Installation Turned into a Solar Academy
The Croatian environmental organization Zelena akcija/Green Action – Friends of the Earth Croatia was founded in Zagreb in 1990 and has as its goal to find solutions for pressing environmental problems. Green Action is active on a local, national, and global level and supports environmental protection activities. Sustainable development is a very important issue in many Croatian communities. Toni Vidan is coordinator of the energy and climate programs by Green Action and would like to establish an educational and inspiring place for those members of the region’s population interested in sustainable development, activism, and advocacy.
Together with Green Action, Toni has already built an education and technology training center focusing on renewable energy sustainable development. The center is located in former barracks on the Croatian island of Šolta, an hour’s drive from Split. The new Solar Academy is sponsored by the Croatian government for a 10-year period and is a unique example of how a former military installation was turned into an education center for environmental issues. It has become an attractive place for young people to learn more about environmental protection and green technologies.
Currently, the facility consists of seven buildings offering accommodations for up to 80 people. It also has conference rooms and workshops where young people can learn more about different energy systems. There is a technology park where you can get hands-on experience working on energy systems such as windmills, solar cell systems for heating service-water, mechanical water treatment systems, etc. There are auditoriums, classrooms, a library, an Internet center and distance learning facilities. Seminars and workshops on different topics are offered on a weekly basis. Toni Vidan is convinced that the Croatian government is planning on extending the contract with Zelena akcija, which would also offer an incentive to increase the spectrum of services being offered to young people, to increase capacities, and to provide new educational opportunities.
“We need an urgent shift towards a just and sustainable world!”