Kohalike keskkonnaorganisatsioonide hinnang kodanikualgatusele
In the current research work I studied in which condition is local communities’ environmental civil action in Estonia by analyzing the interviews which were made with activists of local environmental organizations. I studied how far is nowadays’ Estonia from the attitude towards environment which characterized and was typical to this country in the era of Soviet Union. I studied as well what do the activists of local environmental organizations think of possibilities and impediments of environmental movements and local communities’ will to protect their own space from business interests, and what do they think of attitudes of local government’s personal and businessmen towards environmental actions. In the theory I described how the civil society has reached to current situation in Estonia and which factors have mostly influenced current situation of civil society, especially how has the Soviet Union influenced Estonian civil society and the activity in political engagement of Estonian people. I referred to many theorists who have insisted upon the backwardness of Estonia’s civil society if to compare Estonia with many Western democracies. I referred to some current documents and strategies of civil society which have been passed by the state of Estonia. In the second part of theory block I moved closer to local civil action as the main topic of current research by introducing to links between civil society organizations and global sustainable development definitions. I introduced to the global conception of sustainable development and some more important ways of interpretations. It appeared that the environmental protection of someone’s private sphere is directly linked to global sustainable development conception: the question is how does different people see the connection between three parts of sustainable development – economy, society and environment. It appeared as well that there is a deep gap between different interpretations of sustainable development and that there is a critical point of view towards sustainable development by many theorists. But we have to recognize that there is a Sustainable Development Strategy of Estonia’s state as well which was passed few years ago. The third part of theory concentrated on the local communities’ movements in the world and environmental organizations in Estonia. In this part I referred to global tendencies of people to protect environment and local community’s own space (NIMBY-movement) and I see connections between global action and environmental organizations in Estonia. In the analyses I used the method of qualitative content analysis to investigate the interviews with some most known local environmental organizations’ members. I studied the point of view of local environmental organizations’ members’ attitude towards situation of civil society and civil action in Estonia. The interviews where made in 2006 with ten local environmental organizations. I did this analyses part of research work in three different blocks as I had three different research questions. My first research question asked what are the main reasons and motives of those people standing for their own environmental space or for their community. It appeared that the main reason and motive is usually the feeling of belonging to a place and community and a good will to be active in environmental questions. In the second part of analyses I studied which is the legitimacy of local civil action in Estonia. I concluded that there are still big problems in legitimacy of civil society and voluntary action and there are many laws missing to protect local community from invasion of economic action. In the third part of analyses I studied which are the main helping factors and impediments for the local environmental movements. I concluded that there are many communicative and attitude problems in relations between local communities and economic interests and local governments. In the end of each part of the analysis there are main conclusions of the part as well. The main conclusions of my research are the following: local environmental movement in Estonia depends on the activists and informed local citizens who have the will and ability to stand for their interests. There are serious impediments in the work of these local civil actions and environmental movement. The local environmental civil action in Estonia depends on the legitimacy of civil organizations in the society and it depends also on the existence of laws and directives concerning local community’s actions’ rights. The evaluation of local environmental organizations on the civic activity in Estonia is not negative nor are they seeing only problems. But still there is strong need to improve the relations between local politics and local people. Only the effective relations between the decision makers and the communities would make environmental action effective.
bakalaureusetööd, kodanikuühiskond, organisatsioonid, keskkond, säästev areng, keskkonnakaitse, kodanikualgatus, vabatahtlikud, Eesti