Sustainable Sweden Association has had the opportunity to participate in many international projects since its creation. Here is an overview of some of our past projects:
SSDE is a sister organization to the Sustainable Sweden Association (SSA). The aim of this organization, which head is in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), is to coordinate and help the 14 eco-municipalities in Ethiopia in their actions.
In 2017, a project for these pilot eco-municipalities was developed, and in 2019, after securing funding the project could start. The local priorities selected by the municipalities were: capacity building, urban greening, waste management and eco-tourism. In addition, this project was also expected to have many results at a regional and national level such as the implementation of sustainable cities and communities, poverty reduction, gender equality/empowerment of women, youth empowerment, quality of services/transparency, participatory processes.
Between 2015 and 2019, many activities were carried out: 2 national conferences, 3 regional conferences, 5 workshops in the municipalities, 3 SSA tours to Sweden, continuous coordination with 14 municipalities, and more.. However, only one year after the start of the project, the pandemic, and then the civil war led to its cancellation. We stand in support of our friends and colleagues in Ethiopia, and will welcome chance in the future for reconnecting in our work together when conditions will allow.
Read more about our project in Ethiopia
The town of Machakos in Kenya was introduced to the Swedish eco-municipality movement in 2007 when it was twinned with the Swedish eco-municipality project at Robertfors.
The issues at stake in this project included education and capacity building. Also, with the growing problems resulting from climate change, Kenya now has to tackle major challenges for its future, starting with the issue of water.
Machakos has brought forward an impressive number of optimistic fire souls, eager to make their community a model of sustainable development. And indeed, this pilot municipality has become a blueprint for other communities in Kenya to follow.
Read more about our project in Kenya
After several years of interaction between Torbjörn Lahti, the founder of Sustainable Sweden Association, and the Americas, in 2005 the town of Washburn, located along Chequamegon Bay, Wisconsin, became the first eco-municipality in the United States.
In 2006, a number of aspiring US eco-municipalities came together to form a network (along with some Canadian eco-municipalities): the North American Eco-municipality Network.
In a few years, the number of cities that had adopted an eco-municipality resolution had grown to about 30, mostly in Wisconsin and some on the East Coast. Many of these eco-municipalities were created by citizen activists who wanted to make their communities more sustainable.
A twinning project between US and Swedish eco-municipalities has been proposed. This would be an excellent opportunity to strengthen and develop the communities involved and their work towards sustainability, as well as the concept of eco-municipality.
Read more about our project in North America (US and Canada)
From 2014 to 2016, a 2-year project took place in the province of Arauco in Chile: Arauco Sustentable.
The aim of the project is to develop an eco-municipality model based on the experience of Swedish eco-municipalities and the Ecomunicipality 5.0 concept, but which would be adapted to the institutional and social conditions of Chile. The main objective is to develop ecotourism and sustainable destinations in the province of Arauco by adapting, transferring and implementing a public-private management model.
Read more about our project in Chile
The concept of eco-municipality was first introduced in Italy in 2007, in Morbegno. The town adopted the principles of sustainable development and launched a project to become a leader in this field: “Morbegno 2020”.
With the help of The Natural Step organization and Sustainable Sweden Association, a vision of what the people of Morbegno wanted to create in the long term was developed and a strategic path was chosen to move towards this vision from the present reality.
All these initiatives in Morbegno and in the province of Sondrio have been achieved thanks to a great mobilization of the community, as well as effective partnerships between various public and private organisations.
Read more about our project in Italy
Since the foundation of the first Eco-municipality in Övertorneå in 1983, more than 100 municipalities in Sweden have transitioned to the eco-municipality model. Today they have formed into a national Association, the Association for Swedish Eco-municipalities, or SEKOM.
Read more about our project in Sweden