The Danish Outdoor Council is an umbrella organisation with focus on outdoor recreation, nature and environmental issues. The council seeks to influence decision-making and to raise public awareness and enjoyment of nature through campaigns and projects. The Danish Outdoor Council comprises about 90 non-governmental organizations and groups, all of which have a stake in how the nature of Denmark is used and managed.
The Danish Outdoor Council is governed by a General Assembly of member organizations. The General Assembly elects a Board of 11 members, chosen from the member organizations. A secretariat with a staff of 25 services the Council. In addition, the Council has some 1100 volunteers, members of the organizations of the Council, who are active at the local community level. Fifteen regional Council representations bring these volunteers together in county-based groups.
Campaigns and Projects
Campaigns and projects are significant means for the Danish Outdoor Council. The Council rarely undertakes a project alone. Instead, collaborative efforts are preferred and the Council often co-ordinates campaigns. Current campaigns and projects include:
Eco-Schools targets students, teachers and administrations of primary and secondary schools. Not only the students but the whole school become involved in reducing resource consumption as the school develops and implements an environmental plan of action. Eco-Schools is a FEEE-project and the European Co-ordinator is Tidy Britain Group, United Kingdom.
The Blue Flag Campaign awards the Blue Flag as an environmental prize to European beaches and marinas that are managed with careful consideration for the local environment. The Campaign has four cornerstones: Environmental education, Environmental management, Water quality, and lastly, Safety and facilities. The Campaign celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1997. It is also a FEEE project and the European co-ordinator is the Danish Outdoor Council, Denmark.
Green Places - Green Pleasures was launched in the autumn of 1996. It is a 10 year campaign, aiming to encourage Denmark's 275 municipalities, housing administrations and individuals to enhance public green places in our cities and urban areas. In order to become a recognized "green place" an area must have or develop qualities to enhance the experience of the place and its ecology.
A Policy for Outdoor Recreation
The Board has begun to formulate an extensive policy for outdoor recreation as well as an action plan for the Council. In April 1997 a comprehensive policy covering all issues of concern for the Council was presented.
Local Agenda 21
Local Agenda 21 is a new dimension in the work of the Danish Outdoor Council. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure sustainable development. The role of the Danish Outdoor Council is to promote and support networking and initiatives concerning local Agenda 21 among member organizations, other relevant NGOs etc.
The Danish Outdoor Council also maintains international relations. The Council is part of organizations and networks such as FEEE (Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe), EEB (European Environmental Bureau) and FICC (Federation Internationale de Camping and de Caravanning). FEEE is an environmental education organisation.
The aim of FEEE is to promote environmental education not only in the forum of primary school education, but also in the training of professionals and general awareness raising. FEEE's activities include: the Blue Flag Campaign, taking place in 18 countries, Eco-Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment. In the latter project, high school and college students research and report on global environmental issues. The students communicate via Internet and produce an international "Student Magazine".
Naturally, the Danish Outdoor Council has close relations with the other Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland). The council works to develop a Nordic network of outdoor recreation organizations. The Council would also like to develop similar contacts in the Baltic area and elsewhere in Europe.
Prepared by ...
Mrs Ida S. Bonnevie
Head of Information, The Danish Outdoor Council / Friluftsraadet
Scandeagade 13, DK 2450 Copenhagen SV, Denmark
Telephone +45 33 79 0079 Facsimile +45 33 79 0179
E-Mail [email protected]