Journalists and environmental activists against toxic waste

On the 11-14th of February, BlueLink, in partnership with the Russian Ecological Rights Center BELLONA, held a workshop for environmental journalists and activists from Russia and the EU. It took place in St.Petersburg, Russia and was attended by 15 participants: eco-activists from the Republic of Komi, the Altai, Perm, Volgograd, and Chelyabinsk regions and Italy; as well as journalists from Moscow, Bashkortostan, Rostov, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and France. The event was part of the project "Quality Journalism for Environmental Activists in Russia and the EU", which is being implemented with the support of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The aim of the project is to develop professional skills and stimulate the exchange of experience between environmental activists and journalists from Russia and the European Union countries, using the example of investigating toxic waste management problems.

On the first day of the workshop the participants discussed standards of environmental journalism, ways of searching, analyzing and presenting information to a wide range of readers. On the second day, experts on toxic and household waste talked about the practice of collecting, processing and disposing waste in Russia and Italy; Russian activists shared their experience in dealing with waste problems in their regions. On the third day of the workshop the participants visited the facility for sorting of municipal waste owned by the Autopark №1 Spetstrans company.

During the next three months journalists will prepare articles on disposal problems of various types of toxic waste in their regions. Articles will be published in English and Russian in national media as well as on the BlueLink Stories e-magazine. Articles relevant for Bulgaria will be translated into Bulgarian for

Also, an overview of the toxic waste management systems in Russia and the EU was prepared under the project. It might help journalists and activists to understand the legal framework of the hazardous waste management.

The project is financially supported by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum under it's "Partnership Projects" program and is implemented from September 2018 till June 2019. The Forum is registered in Germany and aims to support exchanges between civil socity organizations in Russia and the EU. BlueLink is a member of the Forum since 2015.