June 2015 Tour in Sweden

Study Tour 7-14 June 2015

The study tour took place between the 7th and the 14h of June 2015. The eleven participants were delegates from the Tigray Region in Ethiopia. The tour took place in Umeå Municipality (including the surroundings of Umeå), and Stockholm. It was to become the framework for the “Pilot Project for Eco-municipalities in Ethiopia”.

The delegates from Tigray are representatives from:

  • Tigray Bureau of Urban Development, Trade and Industry
  • Tigray Bureau of Health
  • Mekelle City Administration
  • University of Mekelle
  • University of Adigrat
  • University of Axum

Sunday 7th

After arriving safely to Umeå, the delegates were welcomed by Ulrik Berg, who has been Deputy Mayor from 2006 to 2010, Deputy Chairman and member of the Commité of Construction for the Municipality of Umeå. Adane Negash and Torbjörn Lahti then proceeded to make a presentation of the week’s activities.

The participants stayed at the Hotell Björken.

Monday 8th 

On this day a workshop/seminar on the theme of waste management and water supply was organized with several guest speakers :

  • Jenny Åkermark, from Umeå‘s new Green Zone presented the history and current situation, challenges and opportunities regarding Waste Management in Umeå, and in particular about solid waste.
  • Ulrika Sundin Bonnedahl from the Umeå Municipality spoke about liquid waste and waste water.
  • Simone Andersson from Umeva (now Vakin) told us about water supply in Umeå.
  • Hans Sandberg from the Umeå Municipality presented a step-by-step plan to reduce air pollution.

In the afternoon, we made a visit to Gimonäs, to see how the source sorting is done in a household. We also visited the Recycling Station and the Return Market (Returbutiken).
After a traditional and unavoidable fika, we visited the sewage plant in Ön. Finally, a seminar was held at Umeva for a question session, and general reflections and comparisons between Sweden and Ethiopia.

Tuesday 9th 

The theme of the day was Urban Greening, presented by Magnus Lingegård, Landscape architect at Umeå’s Municipality. He gave examples about :

  • How to increase the green areas of the city while the city is growing
  • How to protect the green areas while making them more accessible
  • The planning tools and strategies for urban greening
  • Beautification of the city
  • City cultivation

In the afternoon we were welcomed by Barbro Kalla, senior advisor for the Bio Fuel Region, whom gave us a guided visit of Umeå‘s new Green Zone. The Green Zone is an industrial park made of three companies : a car dealership, a fast-food restaurant and a gas station that share their resources and waste management in a very efficient and sustainable way. You can read more about it here.

We then proceeded to visit the Bio Fuel Region with Babro Kalla. It is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help organizations or companies to transition to fossil fuel-free vehicles.

Wednesday 10th 

The theme of the day was Eco-Tourism/Sustainable Tourism and Green Business.

We first went to Västerlätt to visit the company Allmiljö AB, and their state-of-the-art recycling facility ”Magneten”. Niklas Holmgren and Patrik Höber from Allmiljö AB conducted the visit. Later that morning we also visited Kaj Johansson Åkeri AB, a machine entrepreneur established in Vännäsby.

We had the opportunity to show the participants some eco-touristic activities, such as rafting/canoeing, fishing and walks in forests.  We held a workshop in the wilderness around a camp fire, before going back to the Hotell.

Thursday 11th 

This day was dedicated to visiting the Umeå University and getting to know the USBE (Umeå School for Business and Economics). We held a workshop/seminar with Dr. Karl Johan Bonnedahl, on the theme of ”Pilot Project for Eco-municipalities in Ethiopia and the role of the Swedish capacity network”. We did a presentation of the Ethiopian delegation and their Pilot project for Eco-municipalities and discussed with the swedish partners.

The afternoon was dedicated to visiting Esam AB, a “Green Business Company” to learn about Capacity Building in Green Businesses.

After final discussions about the participants’ experience in Umeå, we travelled by night train to Stockholm.

Friday 12th

After checking-in at the Hotell, the group made a study visite to Norra Djurgårdsstaden Innovation, which is developing since 2011 the Stockholm Royal Seaport, a soon to come sustainable urban district for more than 600 companies and thousands of new housing units.

Continuing in Stockholm, we had a workshop with The Association for Swedish Ecomunicipaities (SEKOM), and we met Ellinor Avsan, chairman of Sekom. We also met an official from Stockholm City, Helena Lindman, reponsible for Sustainable Development in Stockholm City

Sustainable Development in Huddinge Municipality

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th

On Saturday, we went a bit further into the Stockholm area and visited Huddinge Municipality and its natural areas.

We ended the day with a visit to the Ethiopian Embassy in Stockholm and held a workshop to decide of the next steps and the next study tour that was to be done in Stockholm.

The Ethiopian delegates then went back home on Sunday 14th after an intense week of discoveries and studies.

List of companies, facilities and organizations that were visited/took part in the June 2015 Tour

Allmiljö AB

Bio Fuel Region

Esam AB

Kaj Johansson Åkeri AB

Huddinge Municipality

Norra Djurgårdsstaden Innovation

Return Market (Returbutiken)

Umeå Green Zone

Umeå Municipality

Umeå University and Umeå University School for Business and Economics

Vakin (former UMEVA)