Eko Unia is an environmental NGO run by Radek Gawlik, former vice minister of the Environment. In the past, Eko Unia mainly worked with agricultural issues but has recently started working with issues concerning the Baltic Sea environment. Eko Unia often takes a broad, cooperative approach.
In 2007, Eko Unia started up a project called “The Baltic is in Poland”, highlighting environmental issues in the Baltic Sea. The campaign sought to strengthen the Baltic Sea identity among Polish citizens. The aims of the campaign were to achieve a cleaner Baltic Sea environment, to reduce industrial fishing and create more environmentally friendly fishing practices, as well as to create an environmentally improved maritime tradition.
The campaign toured all over Poland to gather stakeholders who depend on and/or care for the Baltic Sea. The stakeholders ranged from environmental activists and fishermen to local public authorities. Together, the stakeholders formed a “Partnership for the Baltic Sea” based on the LEADER structure. During the year, a series of meetings on different issues such as the use of fisheries subsidies in Poland were arranged and included all relevant stakeholders. The partnership and the meetings resulted in a “Plan for the Baltic”, which was adopted in October 2007. The production of a film about the Baltic Sea aimed at the general public was also part of the project.
Eko Unia is now running a new project – a continuation of the “The Baltic is in Poland” campaign. It is called “The Baltic is in Poland. The Baltic is in Europe” and aims at creating public awareness about the Baltic Sea and its environment all over Poland.
Activities in 2009 and 2010 within “The Baltic is in Poland. The Baltic is in Europe” campaign, have been multifaceted. About five one-day workshops have been organized to address the national processes around the Natura 2000 protected areas development in Poland, as initiatives to engage stakeholders in learning how ensure sustainable economic development in combination with the protection of nature. In addition, the project has produced a broad campaign on the protection the Baltic Sea water environment aimed at farmers, policy makers, scientists, non-governmental organisations, and the general public, and included distribution of brochures, radio and TV adverts, internet activism, and a production of short films on various Baltic Sea fish species.
Eko Unia is now a member of Ocean2012, a coalition dedicated to ensuring that the 2012 reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) puts an end to overfishing, ends destructive fishing practices, and delivers fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks. Eko Unia is also a member of the Shark Alliance since 2010, and supports actions related to restoring and conserving shark populations by improving shark conservation policies.