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Ecovillages - The core project results - three manuals - are available in a project's website


Project "Ecovillages for sustainable rural development" is happy to announce that the core project results - three manuals on: eco-settlement practices and environmentally friendly technologies applied in ecovillages; socio-cultural aspects of ecovillage establishment and governance; and green business and entrepreneurship - are available in a project's website for a free download in English, Swedish, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish. Manuals have also been printed and spread in the libraries of the Baltic Sea Region countries as well as other distribution channels. By identifying and documenting many inspirational examples and case studies, the manuals aim at contributing to the further development, application and spreading of the sustainable solutions and innovations tailored in ecovillages and regaining the balance between the ecological, socio-cultural and economic dimensions of sustainable living on a broader society level.


The manual presents a selection of inspiring stories about solutions for ecological living concerning planning, construction, energy solutions, waste and waste water management, composting and recycling, food production, and transport and commuting. These stories are told by the inhabitants of ecovillages around the Baltic Sea region and aim at providing an inspiration to readers already familiar with ecovillages and anyone willing to learn more about a variety of ecological living solutions. The manual also seeks to enable the reader to form a tangible and - hopefully - inspiring view of the Baltic Sea region ecovillages' variety, particularities and creative innovativeness, on the one hand, and similarities, familiarity and respect for tradition on the other.


The manual is designed as a virtual tour of European ecovillages. Here reader finds a collection of short ‘how we did it' stories that describe different ecovillage models and the main elements of their design and governance. The stories represent the most interesting and effective best practice to be found in the ecovillage movement in Europe, particularly in the Baltic Sea region. The manual consists of four chapters, each exploring a different stage of the ecovillage life cycle, starting from the establishment stage, when the main characteristics of the ecovillage should be decided, and finishing with the stage when the community becomes stable, has its own traditions and well-functioning governance, and can become a center proliferating knowledge about the ecovillage movement, based on its own experiences.


A handbook focuses on green business and entrepreneurship, offering a practical guide on how ecovillages can create business opportunities that adhere to the principles of truly green thinking. It gives an overview of the different aspects that should be considered by the aspiring ecovillage entrepreneur, and presents examples of successful business stories from various ecovillages around Europe. The book also strives to remedy the reluctance that many ecovillagers feel toward business and demonstrates the ways in which ecovillages are ideally suited to run businesses that are compatible with the well-being of both people and planet, the businesses of the future. Hopefully the handbook, packed with information, checklists and references to other books and green concepts, can accompany every enterprising ecovillager on their path towards successfully creating their own personal green livelihood.

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Project acronym: Ecovillages

Project title: Ecovillages for sustainable rural development

Application call: 3

Priority: 4. Attractive & competitive cities and regions

Project website: www.balticecovillages.eu

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Lead Partner:

Lietuvos agrarines ekonomikos institutas
V. Kudirkos g. 18
LT-03105 Vilnius
Rasa Melnikiene
E-mail: laei@laei.lt; rameln@laei.lt
Phone: +37052614525
Fax: +37052614524

Project Manager:

Lietuvos agrarines ekonomikos institutas
V. Kudirkos g. 18
LT-03105 Vilnius
Zivile Gedminaite-Raudone
E-mail: zivile@laei.lt
Phone: +37052617978
Fax: +37052614524

Information Manager:

Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics
V. Kudirkos g. 18-2
LT-03105 Vilnius
Simona Griskute
E-mail: simona@laei.lt
Phone: +37052624156
Fax: +37052614524

Summary description of the project:

The Ecovillage Movement is an initiative looking for a more sustainable way of living in rural areas and promoting a lot of innovations which deals with climate change, environmental pollution, resource shortages and social problems people face nowadays. Project “Ecovillages for sustainable rural development” aims at fostering ecovillages development as a more sustainable way of living in rural areas of the BSR. Aim will be achieved by collecting and transferring innovative concepts and good practices of the Ecovillage Movement to the society. The knowledge transferred by project activities will help for inhabitants of BSR region to develop new nature-friendly ways of living together on the land in a genuinely more sustainable way. Sustainability in the project includes physical, environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects.

The overall objective of the project is to develop more sustainable ways of living in rural areas of the BSR by offering a toolkit for ecovillage initiators and developers of various technological and social eco-initiatives.

Project will create informal education system on eco-technologies and nature-friendly living models within BSR region based on Ecovillage Movement experiences and produce training materials with case studies of best practice examples from BSR.Recommendations for policy-makers resulting by project activities on new rural development measures will help to find innovative ways to increase sustainability of rural areas within BSR.

The partnership composition is based on integrated territorial development principles realized through the inclusion of partners from different BSR countries. Project has partners from Poland, Latvia, Sweden, Finland, Belarus. Lead partner is from Lithuania.Project also has associated partners from Germany,Belarus,Russia,Finland,Sweden.

Key messages of the project:

• Ecovillage movement suggests an alternative idea to the individualistic, materialistic and consumer-oriented lifestyle.

• Ecovillage principles aim at combining sociocultural environment with a low–impact way of living.

• Ecovillage is one of the innovative concepts, which deals with climate change, environmental pollution, resource shortages and social problems people face nowadays.

• Project aims at fostering ecovillages development as a more sustainable way of living in rural areas of the Baltic Sea Region.

• Ecovillages are important element of sustainable rural development in BSR and beyond.

• Project contributes to the EU’s Baltic Sea Strategy and its Action Plan by proposing environmentally sustainable ways of living.

Achievements of the project so far:

Over 45 ecovillages were interviewed in BSR countries, assessing demographical, social, economic and ecotechnological aspects of ecovillages. Based on the results, case studies have been prepared which serve as a background for two manuals - guide for eco-settling practices and nature-friendly technologies and guide on social aspects of ecovillage creation and development. Manuals have been released in 6 BSR languages and are available for free in a project website. The handbook for Ecovillage road aiming to inspire ecovillages to engage in green business as well as leaflet presenting Ecovillage road have also been released. Books are being distributed in PPs and APPs countries in order to spread the knowledge about sustainable ways of living and practical examples among society members.

Final transnational conference with external guests participation has been held.

Information on project implementation progress and project outputs are available in the multilingual project website.

Ecovillage sustainability self-evaluation test is available in project website in 6 languages. It is a tool to: a) form a vision of the ecovillage b) diagnose the real ecovillage situation c) assess the gap between vision and reality d) identify what aspects of the ecovillage governance should be improved. Short and long versions of the test measure ecovillage’s real and desirable situation on 6 dimensions by using 5 point scale.

The Ecovillage road website is ready to use. Ecovillages, eco-projects, consultants are constantly registering as services/activities/knowledge providers. Ecovillage road network continues working in different areas to promote, expand and develop the ecovillage movement in the BSR.

Guideline for establishing an internship programme in ecovillage has been created and is available for public in the Ecovillage road website.

3 newsletter issues were released presenting Ecovillage movement, illustrating project progress and highlighting outputs.

A proposal for a Regulation 2014 - 2020 supporting rural development was prepared and submitted to respective bodies. The proposal highlights the growing role of ecovillages in the development of rural regions in the EU as well as designates how ecovillages could contribute to the sustainable rural development by transferring knowledge to the rest of society. The online petition to support the proposal was organized and reached over 1000 signees.

Policy recommendations have been prepared identifying 6 issues (Energy, land use, planning & building regulation, Public funding & support, Alternative business & organizational models, Education, training, information dissemination & exchange, and more R&D focus on eco-living, alternative food production) and potential reforms to tackle these areas. They are addressed to national MEPs and EU institutions in order to improve the development of ecovillages and to utilize their full potential as sustainable development drivers of rural areas.

Project Duration: Sep 2010 - Dec 2013
Approximate total project budget in EUR: 1.291.800,00
ERDF co-financing: 1.054.000,00
ENPI co-financing: 0,00
Norwegian national contribution: 0,00

List of partners

Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics
LT-03105 Vilnius | LITHUANIA
V. Kudirkos g. 18
Region: Lietuva
Contact person: Rasa Melnikiene
Phone: +37052614525
E-mail: laei@laei.lt; rameln@laei.lt
Web: www.laei.lt
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:544.783,00
ERDF co-financing:463.065,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
MTT Agrifood Research Finland
31600 Jokioinen | FINLAND
Humppilantie 14
Region: Etelä-Suomi
Contact person: Hilkka Vihinen
Phone: +358 9 5608 6313
E-mail: hilkka.vihinen@mtt.fi
Web: www.mtt.fi
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:225.250,00
ERDF co-financing:168.937,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Latvian State Institute of Agrarian Economics (LSIAE)
LV-1039 Riga | LATVIA
Struktoru street 14
Region: Latvija
Contact person: Daina Saktiņa
Phone: +37167583403
E-mail: daina@lvaei.lv
Web: www.lvaei.lv
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:169.664,00
ERDF co-financing:144.214,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
The West Pomeranian Business School
71210 Szczecin | POLAND
Zolnierska 53 Street
Region: Zachodniopomorskie
Contact person: Jerzy Rozwadowski
Phone: +48 91 814 94 84
E-mail: Jrozwadowski@zpsb.szczecin.pl
Web: www.zpsb.szczecin.pl, www.business-edu.eu
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:137.100,00
ERDF co-financing:116.535,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00
Suderbyn cooperative society
621 99 Visby | SWEDEN
Västerhejde Toftavägen 211
Region: Småland med öarna
Contact person: Robert Hall
Phone: +46-498-211014
E-mail: suderbyn@ekobogotland.se
Web: www.ekobogotland.se/SuderbynEcovillage
Approximate total partner budget in EUR:215.000,00
ERDF co-financing:161.250,00
ENPI co-financing:0,00
Norwegian national contribution:0,00