Bridging the Gap Between Intellectual Excellence and Civic Initiatives
Event: EYFA Regional Staff Presentation
In a lunchtime presentation on Wednesday, October 7, 1998, members of the Environmental Youth
For(est) Action, or EYFA, presented an overview of their organization to about 45 CEU students and
staff. The goal of the presentation was to introduce students to opportunities to take part in training
workshops, sustainable living summer camp, bike tours, and environmental actions throughout europe.
EYFA is a "Europe-wide network of environmental youth organizations and individuals who aim to
challenge current ecologically and socially unsustainable systems by exploring sustainable ways of
working, living, and fighting environmental destruction and injustice using non-violent means. EYFA
cooperates with many NGOs throughout Europe and brings its resources to bear to respond to local
environmental issues identified by regional partners." [EYFA brochure 9.98] Members' talents, experience, and skills are some of the most valuable resources that EYFA has to offer.
A delegation of EYFA members were present in Budapest for their annual meeting. Four
supplemented a poster session with question and answer session for students on the overall structure of
the organization and its major programs. Unique to EYFA are:
- decision-making by consensus
- a non-heirarchical structure
- the "eco"-system, its own system of currency called ecos, built on a sliding scale to equalize
participation among all members
- volunteer-run coordinating and fundraising offices
- Ecotopia, an environmentalist's summer camp.
EYFA's major programs for 1998-1999, introduced in the session were:
For more information, contact EYFA
- Ecotopia: Participants are attend and present workshops, live sustainably, and discuss and make
actions regarding broad environmental issues that have tangible impacts at the local level, including:
traffic, energy, and globalization of economic markets.
- EYFA's Bank of Experience and Directory of Active Groups: This directory is designed to help
NGOs to find partners and support for their actions.
- Traffic Conference in Lyon: [Taken from the EYFA brochure] 70 traffic activists from over 12
countries met for 7 days in Lyon for learn new skills, including drafting budgets and press releases, and
making environmental actions, such as holding discussions with city policy-makers and planning
- Permaculture Conference in Bucharest: Permanent agriculture in permanent cultures explored
effective use of agricultural land and products, including delaplanting and strawbale houses.
- Let's Exchange: Alternative Economy: [Taken from the EYFA brochure] Local Exchange and
Trading Systems (Let's) is a program which establishes trading systems focusing on trading native
resources for services and goods, as an alternative to money-based systems.
Or visit their WWW site at: www.antenna.nl/eyfa/