Umanotera, The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development has been the leading NGO in the field of sustainable development in Slovenia since it’s beginning 25 years ago. During this time, it has systematically, cohesively and continuously promoted the themes of sustainable development and has independently and in cooperation worked on more than 130 projects. Since 2010 Umanotera has also the status of a non-governmental organization (NGO) acting in the public interest in the field of environmental protection (granted by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning) and in 2017, it has been registered in the records of research organizations.
We perceive sustainable development as a dynamic balance between humans and nature, which enables social justice and intergenerational solidarity. Sustainable development also means that instead of focusing on limited natural resources, we take advantage of the unlimited potential of our minds. Only in this way our environment, nature and natural resources can remain in the best possible condition for the future generations.
Our way of work, including Umanotera’s environmental policy, is a proof that the principles we stand for are also being implemented in our work. Umanotera is aware of the importance and power of networking and cooperation of various stakeholders when addressing important challenges in the field of sustainable development and we see our role in connecting a wide range of target groups – NGOs, municipalities and local communities, companies, professional associations and educational institutions, young people, media and decision-makers at local, national and EU level. Umanotera is also o coordinator of a national network of NGOs working in the field of sustainable development – Plan B for Slovenia. In recent years, we have placed great emphasis on communicating climate change, the consequences of which are increasingly present all around us.
You can help us create a more sustainable future by donation:
Address: Umanotera, Trubarjeva 50, 1000 Ljubljana,
IBAN: SI56 1910 0001 0023 937,
BIC of the bank: SZKBSI2X, Deželna banka Slovenije
More about Umanotera and our projects:
In 2030, Slovenia will be an example of a sustainable society.
Slovenia will fulfill its responsibility for global environmental balance, especially in the field of climate change and biodiversity. It will actively strive for a society of lasting prosperity for all, locally and globally. In 2030, Slovenia’s basic needs, especially the supply of food, water and energy, will be covered by local resources within their carrying capacity. Participatory democracy will be established in Slovenia. Decision-making processes will be open, and they will be based on the equal involvement of civil society.
We turn sustainable development from a vision into a reality by proposing transformative solutions, raising awareness and education, influencing key decision-making processes and cultivating strategic partnerships.
We approach topics and activities holistically and act in a connecting manner; we put the common good and justice in the foreground.
We base our work on professional competence, propose well-founded solutions and articulate them well.
Leading by example
We do what we say: we expect independence, integrity and sincerity from ourselves and others.
Umanotera collaborates as a partner at the project Care4Climate, which is addressing implementation of the operational programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (Operativni program za zmanjševanje toplogrednih plinov – OP TGP) that sets out measures to achieve Slovenia’s goals of GHG emissions reduction by 2020 (and by 2030 for sectors not included in the GHG emissions trading scheme such as transport, agriculture, energy consumption in the service sector and households, emissions from the waste disposal). The aim of this project is to promote the implementation of the measures, set out in the OP TGP, by raising awareness, educating and training the key stakeholders.
Within the project we aim to carry out or participate in the following activities:
(1) raising awareness about climate change and its effect on Slovenia and promoting good practices for climate change mitigation;
(2) community management of living resources;
(3) training for the transition to low-carbon society;
(4) training for public administration.
Climate menu – Encouraging Low-carbon Food Production and Climate Action to the Table
The aim of the Climate menu project was to strengthen awareness and public discourse on problematic climate impacts of consuming animal-based food and to increase the awareness and knowledge base among individuals and organisations on how to change their lifestyles and modes of operation respectively, in order to decrease the food-based GHG emissions. During the course of the project we produced the report Climate Menu – guide on how and why we should eat in a climate friendly way, Grandma’s Climate Cookbook, which featured 16 climate-friendly recipes and collaborated with a well-known Slovenian chef/influencer Ana Žontar Kristanc, who prepared two video logs and one online recipe on the preparation of climate-friendly dishes.
Climate Action to the Table will draw from the work that was done within the Climate Menu project. The aim of this project is changing food consumption patterns of target groups in Catalonia (Spain), Slovenia and Central Macedonia (Greece) towards more sustainable everyday decisions. We are looking to create 4 different outputs of the project: An escape room (to encourage youth to put in practice their reflection and problem-solving skills and sense of urgency concerning food sustainability by playing in an escape room), a cycle of conferences (to increase awareness on sustainable food consumption among adults), an educational toolkit and training (to equip educators within the needed methods and skills to carry out educational activities on food sustainability for children and youth) and a creation of a communication strategy (and its further implementation. It includes the promotion of the project developments and messages, its outcomes and messages).
Towards a climate neutral EU: Efficient allocation of EU funds
After Towards a climate-neutral EU: funding and incentives for a transformative European Green Deal and Recovery Plan we joined a further project – Towards a climate neutral EU: Efficient allocation of EU funds. The aim of the project is to contribute to support the efficient use of EU money in the participating countries, highlight best practices and lessons learnt, and widely disseminate these observations both nationally and internationally. Thus, the project will help to improve the level and quality of EU funding and fiscal policy for EU climate action and EGD delivery by focusing on the game-changing actions at the national level.
At the same time, it will provide valuable inputs for efficient use of EU funds regarding climate protection also on the EU level.
The general objective of the project is aimed at youth workers in order to provide knowledge and information aimed at acquiring and strengthening competencies and a critical understanding of climate migration. The projects aims to promote and strengthen the connection and solidarity between youth workers and young people and to spread understanding, solidarity, and encourage activation for a climate and socially just society through educational-awareness. An important project goal is also the implementation of a communication plan, through which the general public will be informed about the project contents and encourage public discourse on climate migration, which is currently an overlooked topic. Last but not least, the goal is to increase the organizational capacity of the NGO sector in partner countries through the dissemination of acquired organizational knowledge through the networks of partner organizations. Through project activities, the new EU initiative “Climate Education Coalition” in the fight against climate change is going to be supported and promoted.
Umanotera is a partner in the project ClimACT – Climate action by European citizens delivers for development (CSO-LA/2020/415-561), financed by the EU. Under the leadership of the partner organizations Focus and PIC we tackle the interrelated issues of climate, development and gender in Slovenia. The project aims to increase the awareness about these issues and to engage especially the Slovenian youth. The project includes several awareness raising and communication activities, training and capacity building events, and mobilisation and political engagement. These activities will run from September 2021 to August 2022.
Campaign on Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)
We are working on creating awareness and educating about the harmful Energy Charter Treaty. The treaty, signed by many countries, including Slovenia, as well as the EU, protects fossil fuel investments and enables energy companies to sue countries in corporate courts for passing necessary climate action. As part of our work on ECT we have answered frequently asked questions regarding this topic in written and video form and we have collaborated with Corporate Europe Observatory on preparing a video on the problematic fracking case in Petišovci, Slovenia. We have also prepared two PR messages for the media, created a website, dedicated to creating pressure on the Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure for Slovenia to exit the ECT. We also handed over a petition supporting exiting the ECT, signed by more than a million people across the EU, to the European Commissioner for energy and to the Slovenian secretary of state. In the weeks leading up to COP26 we created an online Facebook and Twitter campaign aimed at the minister for infrastructure with aims of Slovenia starting the process of exiting the harmful treaty.
Voice of the people – Glas ljudstva
Glas ljudstva is a civil society initiative in Slovenia, connecting more that 100 civil society organisations, including Umanotera. The initiative formed as a response to the upcoming election year – there are four elections planned in Slovenia in 2022. The state of democracy severely worsened in Slovenia in 2021 with the media, environment, constitutional rights and social dialog constantly under attack. The member organisations share the view that is it time to call on politicians to act more responsibly and improve the social, political, economic and environmental situation in the country. For this purpose we have prepared 138 demands from the aforementioned scopes that we handed to political parties, hoping that they take a stance.
2021 Slovenian Waters Act referendum
In 2020 the Slovenian government proposed an amendment to the Waters Act. Among others, some consequences of the newly proposed act would include: a threat to surface and groundwater; new construction on water and offshore land; building of objects that are neither to the public’s benefit, nor are they public good; increased opportunities for the privatisation of water access; deterioration of flood safety.
The government refused to hear the opposing arguments of experts, environmental organisations and civil society. Many civil society organisations and NGOs (including Umanotera), scientists and individuals from different fields mobilised and helped collect enough signatures for a referendum. On July 11 2021, after a succesful campaign, 682.760 voters (almost 87 % of those who voted) voted against the suggested problematic waters act and won the referendum.
Towards a climate-neutral EU: funding and incentives for a transformative European Green Deal and Recovery Plan
In October 2020 European Environmental Bureau and Clean Air Action Group (Levegő Munkacsoport) started a new project with the participation of 8 partners from different EU states, among which is also Umanotera representing Slovenia. This project aimed to have an impact on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), i.e. the EU budget for the period 2021–27) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility by providing inputs to policy process work, exchanging views, increasing awareness on the necessity of making this EU budget climate-proof and developing targeted recommendations for improving the use of EU funds. Together with partnering organisations we prepared suggestions of projects and reforms that should be carried out in the next multiannual financial perspective if we wish to ensure a transition to a climate-neutral EU.
Climate for the climate (Klima za podnebje)
Project “Climate for the climate” aims to contribute to the creation of supportive societal climate for the design, adoption and implementation of ambitious, cost-effective and equitable measures to achieve national greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2020 and 2030.
In order to do so, the following activities are being carried out: (1) Campaign “Youth for their climate future” which encompasses informing and raising awareness about climate change among educators and youth (secondary school and young adults) and parallel training activities for them. Along with that, a leaflet “What can I do?” will be prepared; together with messages (written and recorded by youth) directed at decision makers, which will be disseminated via media and will be further used in our communication activities.
(2) Campaign for low-carbon economy- where a short report about energy consumption in Slovenian economy will be prepared. Good practices to enlarge EEU in companies and systemic incentives will be identified, described and promoted; guidelines and recommendations derived from the former will be later on communicated to the companies and to the relevant departments. General public will be informed via media; messages from the campaign “Youth for their climate future” will be used when communicating guidelines.
(3) In order to support the implementation of previously mentioned campaigns, information activities will be carried out and an infographic will be prepared.
Community management of living resources
Slovenia is richly endowed with low-carbon and sustainable natural resources (forest, water, fertile soil, RES), and at the same time highly vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, contribution to the protection of the global climate and adaptation to climate change are key factors in the long-term welfare of Slovenian citizens. In addition to government measures, effective transition to a low-carbon society demand a high level of participation of individual and communities. Activities at the (local) community level are recognized as particularly important in this respect, because in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they produce a number of synergy effects (exploit local natural resources to build social capital, create new local jobs, generate revenue for the development needs of the community). Through awareness-raising campaign at the national level and pilot project at the local level, the project aims to empower local communities to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon society through sustainable management of living resources in local environments.
Plan B – Initiative for a Sustainable Development
Project Plan B is a network of Slovenian environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and experts, forming a broad civil society platform for sustainable development in Slovenia, along with other interested stakeholders. The primary objective of the NGO network within Plan B is to support long-term sustainable operation of environmental NGOs and to strengthen the qualification of environmental NGOs in Slovenia in two ways: by encouraging their active role in the democratic processes of policy formulation and in monitoring implementation of policies, and also by encouraging their participation and partnership. A secondary objective of the project is to improve the awareness of citizens and to encourage their engagement in environmentally-oriented public matters.
Umanotera has been conducting workshops for young people, companies, municipalities, NGOs and supervisors for many years, where we highlight the challenges of the modern world and together look for their solutions. Participants in the workshops are actively involved, encouraged to critically think and are, through the interactive process, presented with the tools for further research of the discussed topic. Few of the basic workshops (they can be adapted for your group’s needs eg. time constraints, number of participants, content…): “Green jobs”, “Climate connects us all”, “Get to know your lifestyle with a case study: your mobile phone’s life cycle/textiles/water as a common good”, “What tourism do we want in our local community?”, “Sustainable events”, “Green office- consultation when implementing green offices in the companies and organizations”.
For more information contact us on email@example.com or on 01 439 7100.
Greening the municipal budget (Ozelenjevanje občinskega proračuna)
The Green Budget Reform (Zelena proračunska reforma- ZPR) can be defined as a reform that encompasses the adjustment of all public finance items, either on the revenue or expenditure side, taking into account the sustainability criterion. It includes the elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies, the incentives for green investment and green public procurement, and the tax reform – raising environmental taxes and shifting taxation from good (work) to poor (resource use and emissions). It is a horizontal measure that brings the most comprehensive solution to unsustainable patterns in the society and supports a holistic focus towards green, resource-efficient and competitive low-carbon economy and a sustainable society. Project’s main aim was to empower local communities to contribute to the transition to green, resource-efficient and competitive low-carbon economy and to a sustainable society through the green reform of municipal budgets. With the promotion of the economic, environmental and social impacts of the latter and through cooperation with the relevant governmental authorities and stakeholders, the project was designed to enable faster progression of the green budget reform at the state level as well. Consequently, more sustainable structural reforms were enabled, contributing to prosperity for all.
Environmental migration and environmental refugees
The aim of the project was to draw attention to the terms environmental refugee and environmental migration, explain the context and projections for the future (current predictions expect between 200 and 250 million environmental refugees by 2050). With the project we wanted to encourage young people to engage in critical thinking and in active intercultural dialogue, respecting the refugee rights. The project aimed to draw attention of political representatives as well and to encourage them to start taking measures and policies, which could eliminate causes or at least mitigate consequences that force environmental refugees to move. We prepared two documents in order to do so: “Environmental migration – Question of safety or justice?” and “Call on the government of Slovenia”.
GPP 2020 aimed to mainstream low-carbon procurement across Europe in support of the EU’s goals to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020.To this end, GPP 2020 implemented more than 100 low-carbon tenders, which are directly resulting in substantial CO2 savings. Moreover, GPP 2020 was running a capacity building programme that included trainings and exchange.
Krilca, Gifts with Magic Powers
Umanotera obtained the inspiration for the project Wings (Krilca) from a UK charity organisation The Charities Advisory Trust, which in 2003 introduced the innovative concept of giving Good Gifts. A special, thoughtful gift is given to one of the many good deeds by individual’s choice from a catalogue. Since 2007, ethical, socially responsible and sustainable gifts are also available in Slovenia. Umanotera named the gifts Krilca, darila s čarobno močjo (Wings, Gifts with Magic Powers). The purpose of the project was to provide a permanent income to selected socially responsible projects in Slovenia, former Yugoslavian countries and developing countries. The gift recipient is presented with a personally dedicated illustrated gift card, informing him of the gift cause and the donor. All gift money goes to partner charity organisations, which are committed to employ it exclusively for the chosen gift purpose.
In 2013 and 2014, Umanotera was implementing the Supporting Green Jobs project within the framework of the management partnership in EU affairs communication between the European Commission, the Slovenian Government and the European Parliament. The aim of the project was:
(1) to improve the understanding and knowledge of green jobs and to raise awareness of what green jobs are and what opportunities they bring;
(2) to provide a comprehensive presentation of green jobs in connection with the green economy;
(3) to promote the linking of different actors in the field of green jobs with the aim of promoting the creation of conditions for green jobs.
Slovenia reduces CO2 – good practices
The aim of the project was to bring promotion of good practices, dissemination of knowledge and encouragement to change. Successful stories inspire and assure us that radical changes on the way to a low-carbon society are not only possible but also beneficial in many ways.
Within the project in the years 2011/2012 Umanotera selected and presented to the public 15 Slovenian and 5 foreign best practices. They were presented in the Catalogue of 2012, on the website www.slovenija-co2.si and in short animated films. On the basis of conducted presentation the recommendations to decision makers were developed for further dissemination and application of good practices.
The project continued in 2013 with representation of best practices in the following priority areas: (1) energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy renovation of buildings, (2) sustainable management of forests, timber processing and the craft industry, wood as a construction material and the supply of wood as a fuel, (3) organic farming, supply networks with sustainable food, (4) sustainable rural development, (5) sustainable mobility, (6) sustainable production and consumption, (7) climate change adaptation.
From May to October 2014 Umanotera carried out a project »Trading the future« in which we were researching the background and framework of free trade agreements in the EU (TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, CETA – Comprehensive economic and trade agreement, TISA – Trade in Services Agreement). Our work on the topic continues despite the end of the project. In September 2014 a Europe-wide collection of signatures against the agreement TTIP and CETA was launched. Participating organizations in the petition chosen to proceed with the petition despite the European Commission’s decision to refuse registration of the citizens’ initiative (ECI) against TTIP and CETA. Additional information about negotiations and agreements can be found here.
Policy coherence – a way for achieving the objectives of official development cooperation
The project was implemented from May to October 2015. The aim of the project was to:
(1) Inform the general public on topics related to the European Year for Development 2015 by introducing to them sustainable community practices in our local environment acting on the principle “think globally – act locally” and following the lead of »good for all – for me, for the community and for the planet«. These practices are often social innovations and demonstrate how to act in order to achieve sustainable development at local and global levels. This will draw attention to global interdependence and the need for responsible and solidarity-based development in accordance within the means of the planet, since the countries of the global south are those most affected by unsustainable ways of developed countries.
(2) Encourage the public in critical thinking about the ineffectiveness of development cooperation due to incoherence of EU policies with SDG (Sustainable development goals) presented with the case of EU trade policy.
(3) Encourage active citizenship organizations and individuals to reduce the deficit in coherence.
In December 2013 Umanotera completed a three years long international EGO – European Green Office project, which has contributed to the transformation of offices in companies and other organizations in the environment and human friendly.
Umanotera, in cooperation with other project partners from six countries, developed a variety of tools for training in companies and organizations, for example Green Office Handbook, Virtual Learning System, Green Office Checklist, Office Ecological Footprint calculator.
In 2014 Umanotera cooperated with Planet GV in implementing the programme.
Introducing principles of Green Office provides businesses and organizations, their employees and society as a whole a whole range of benefits. A company or an organization that operates under these principles promotes the efficient use of energy and resources and thereby reduces costs, encourages innovation and creates awareness of environmental issues among employees. Green office, by improving the environmental aspects of the activities, represents one of the cornerstones of socially responsible business image.
The project of sustainable sport events was implemented by Umanotera in 2012-2013. The aim of the project was achieving changes in the impact of individuals and organizations with organizing sporting events and thus contribute to achieving sustainable development.
Sustainable practices in the organization of sporting events contribute to reducing climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable mobility, local production and consumption, energy efficiency, protection of natural resources and protected areas, efficient water use, conservation of natural and cultural heritage, waste reduction, better health, integration and support of local communities and increasing the competitiveness of enterprises.
An important part of the project was also working on policies and influence the decision makers. With systemic change and sustainable organization of sporting events in practice we can significantly contribute to the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable society that would place Slovenia amongst advanced countries that are innovative and responsive to the demands of our time.
The shop 3MUHE (3FLIES) is the first store in Slovenia, where products using the principles of fair trade are on sale. It is a trading partnership which seeks greater equity in international trade. An increase of income and choices for poor producers from less developed regions and the return of their dignity are just some of the goals of fair trade. The shop 3MUHE in Stari trg 30, Ljubljana gives individuals real opportunities to change the world for the better. 3MUHE are the evidence that a fair purchase is possible.
Mirror to the Government – Green Non-Governmental Monitor was designed to monitor and evaluate implementation of the commitments and legislation of the principles of sustainable development in various sectors. The project aims to measure the gap between pre-election promises and commitments in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development, and their post-election implementation. It also aims to reduce the implementation gap by government authorities and to promote civil society as an equal partner. The purpose of Mirror to the Government is also to promote interest in sustainable development among decision-makers and in the broader public.
Umanotera, The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development
Address: Trubarjeva 50, Ljubljana, Slovenia
tel: 00 386 1 439 71 00