1. Who they are

Fundacja RTON – Foundation “Development YES – Open-Pit Mines NO” – was established in 2015 and has been working to prevent lignite open-pit mines and promote renewable-energy. The Foundation has 5 full-time staff which supports its members, which are a diverse coalition of local communities, local authorities, experts, NGOs, and scientists. The Foundation participates in environmental impact assessment and spatial planning procedures, and engages with banks, asset managers and asset owners in Poland and the rest of the EU in order to challenge a fossil fuel based economy and the plans of the lignite dependent utilities.

2. What they did

The FundAction 2017 Rethink grant served to prepare and organise the first ever Climate Camp in Poland 18 – 22.07.2018, which brought more than 400 people to the event, including grassroot movements and individuals in addition to NGO campaigners and green activists. The camp served to facilitate experience exchange with people engaged in climate camps all around Europe, and marked the start off of cooperation between climate activists in Poland. A group including both the more experienced activists as well as new and inexperienced activists that emerged during the camp has been formed which will take the process further. In the beginning of September 2018 the first countrywide after-camp meeting is planned for an expected 40-50 participants.

3. Learnings for the FundAction community

Fundacja RTON tells how important it was for the success of the camp that its initiation came from the Foundation with its very diverse representation of grassroot movements and communities, which helped to create trust of many informal groups. A second factor contributing to the success of the camp was that there was no earmarking of the event by any particular organizations. As such for instance also funder FundActions stamp was not visible on any of the camps material, and the possibility to be able to work like this was most appreciated by the Foundation.

More information: Climate Camp’s website

Some media coverage: 350.org