Swamps in Poland, despite the important role they play in the environment, are often overlooked, both in the public debate, as well as in programs designed to protect the environment. Public opinion often sees them as fallow land and on a legislative level they are not recognized as an important part of the natural environment as well. All these factors lead to a lack of effective protections, rapid diminishing of swamp land and irreversible damage due to draining operations, river flow regulating, and other investments that have a degrading effect.
We would like to address these issues by recruiting communities across Poland that want to get involved in protecting their local swamps, mires, and rivers. We will select volunteers from across the country and act in their communities. Applications may relate to conflicts – investments that threaten ecosystems, or improper land use. But they can also relate to environmentally precious objects that require more protection and appreciation in the local area. We will conduct an ecology and mire protection training for communities that apply. We will also record short films about their history and publish a brochure entitled “How to Protect My Swamp.” It will be illustrated by examples of implemented initiatives from our project. We will describe the tools used and the result and the most important elements, as well as challenges of our work.