Dedicated, Inspiring & Networker
When I first met CEC members at the 2000 World Conservation Congress in Amman, I immediately felt at home. Meeting new people, exchanging ideas and experiences, learning from each other and having similar aims and visions made me keep contact with them; and later I became a full member. It was and still is a great opportunity for me to participate in meetings, learning new things in workshops, contributing to publications and strategic statements.
I find it inspiring to share thoughts with dedicated fellows from different backgrounds on how to motivate people to live, produce and consume in a more nature-friendly way, and how to change their habitual behaviours and decision making patterns.
People make decisions and choose to take action. Therefore, we are working with people to keep and (re) create a healthy nature on the planet. For successful conservation work, it is important to learn and understand how people make decisions, what the motivations of the different sectors and stakeholders are, and how they change with time. Based on this knowledge, we should create opportunities for honest dialogues, co-create a shared vision about our future, analyse the consequences of the trends from a systemic point of view and find common solutions. I know that in CEC, there are experts who are passionate about supporting these processes.
During my entire professional and volunteer life, I have been working on – and for –environmental and sustainability education, communication, and capacity building both on the local, regional and the global level.
I began my environmental education career in a nomadic camp, spending ten days with kids in the forest. Those ten days were an important starting point for me and inspired my further work. Even later on, working on the strategic level, I have always kept in direct contact with nature.
While focusing on environmental education, I was learning about nature conservation, awareness raising, lobbying, capacity building, trainings and international networking; and became a active leader of a network of dedicated, passionate conservationists and environmentalists in Hungary. Among others, we initiated bicycle roads, led the participatory drafting process of the environmental law of Hungary, set up and used an effective computer communication system before the ‘Internet’ and coordinated a land-use planning process in a wide-ranged stakeholder dialogue. To extend this work to a larger scale, I was deeply involved in establishing a strong Hungarian “green” NGO network and its transparent governmental support system.
Later I worked for the government, catalyzing and coordinating five ministries’ co-operation for supporting environmental education. I also worked with various decision-makers of the education system to develop a comprehensive environmental education program that was supported by legal aspects as well. During this period, I led the forest school program that was planned and delivered with active participation of all stakeholder groups. I was also invited to the team of the worldwide unique Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations, where, as Deputy Head of the Strategic Department, I worked on strategic and educational issues, and initiated and co-chaired the Social Consciousness Subcommittee of the National Committee of Sustainable Development.
Almost from the beginning, I have been running international projects and have always been active in extending, sharing and using my experiences on international levels. Among others, I have contributed to the development of the UNECE Strategy of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and as an invited member of the UNECE Expert Group, contributed to the development of UNECE Competences in Education for ESD environmental education strategy.
As a steering committee member (2007-2012) and the vice chair of Europe of IUCN CEC, I was running several trainings and workshops, as well as contributed to strategy and programme development on different levels. Recently, I have participated in the Regional Conservation Forum, and the Programme Planning Week of IUCN in Gland.
My passion and CEC’s work on education, communication and connecting new audiences with nature has led me to become a candidate for CEC Chair.
Nowadays, I am coordinating the ELENA project (Experiential Learning and Education for Nature Awareness), which is a good example on how different constituencies can work together. Following advice of the European Director of IUCN – as the regional chair of CEC - I met the new IUCN member, ANL and together we organised a CEC regional meeting, which was followed by a successful proposal. This transnational project (in Germany, Romania, Hungary and Georgia) is about educating and learning with the help of living animals for arising positive emotions, responsibility and thus, it connects the learners to nature in many different ways.
From several years, I have been running trainings for public officers on sustainable development at the Institute of Executive Training and Continuing Education of the National University of Public Service.
Recently, I am also working on the communication of the Budapest Water Summit 2016, which aims to consult the world leaders on finding and supporting practical solutions for reaching the 6th Sustainable Development Goal.
I serve as a European representative of CEC and I try to do my best to promote the importance of communication and education and the role of CEC in it, supporting the CEC members to share their experiences, engaging them into projects, and I also support strategic planning processes and projects of IUCN.
There are several new ideas and project initiatives circulating in the networks that I am part of, which awaits for evolution and realisation in the close or long-term future.
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