This organization was founded in 1991 thanks to an active group of the DATE Agricultural College in Szarvas. This became the College Nature Conservation Circle, which was officially established as Nimfea Nature Conservation Association in 1993.
Management and funding: The organisation is an NGO.
The word „Nimfea” in the name of the organization is the Hungarian version of the name of genus Nymphaea, evoking the atmosphere and self-sustaining society of the Great Hungarian Plain once ruled by waters and floods. At that time it was not clear what a well-chosen name it is; since then most typical activities of the organization are wetlands, rehabilitation of marsh habitats, social impacts and changes of the catchment area of the river Tisza, with activities in other regions as well.
The registered organisation started its membership building activities in 1994, and as a result, in 1995 the central office was established in Túrkeve supported by a membership of about 300 persons and by two joined member group. This had an essential role in keeping the team of graduating college students together, and thanks to this, the central office undertook the fundraising and coordination activities with a full-time employee.
Our successful applications enabled the office to increase the number of colleagues to two in 1997, to three in 1998, to five in 1999, then as a result of continuous growth, currently more than 10 full-time employees carry out the professional tasks of the region, which have significantly increased since foundation.
At the time of foundation, the organization was characterized primarily by nature conservation and environmental education, then the scope of activities gradually expanded. First, expansion was made necessary by the implementation of certain environment protection programs, then the democracy development framework program was created as a consequence of our civil advocacy work, with the aim of strengthening the local civil society.
The association is basically nature conservation oriented, but undertakes objectives also in the field of environment protection, formulating its goal and mission as follows:
The extermination and mitigation, possibly the prevention of the impacts of harmful processes on the entire Globe (primarily on the biosphere, stratosphere, lytoshpere), accompanying the growth of human population; the termination of the overexploitation of natural resources, their sustainable management, and consequently the prevention of species extinction, the maintenance and conservation of the biodiversity of the ecosystem, and through this, ensuring a long term opportunity of human society and the improvement of the quality of life.
The mission of the association is formulated by István Fekete, the famous Hungarian fiction writer: “Benefiting good, flaring flame and light in those who are questing and awaiting Beauty, to flare light, joy and love in themselves and in others as well…”
This is how our present program structure came into being (further information is available on our website at www.nimfea.hu): with almost fifty independent programs under five thematic framework programs, with almost equal importance.
These are as follows:
1) biodiversity conservation framework program: habitat and species protection, such as Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and Ferruginous duck (Aythya niroca), habitat reconstruction and other activities, ecological and biological researches
2) environment protection framework program: activities dealing with waste treatment, energy, renewable energy resources etc.
3) sustainable development framework program: landscape protection, natural resources management, exploration of social impacts, agricultural activities, such as the complex Tisza Program, the Landscape Rehabilitation and Regional Development Program of Túrkeve including preservation of traditional knowledge, the preservation of cultural and agri-biological diversity by keeping local native animal breeds and plant varieties, providing employment and alternative income sources with a view to revitalize rural areas
4) democracy development framework program: EU communication activities, strengthening the civil society, providing services to smaller organizations, participation in local government, legal advocacy, promoting public participation and access to environmental information and most of the policy-related programs.
And at last but not at least the
5.) awareness raising framework program: all of the environmental education activities: camps, forest schools, organizing events related to environmental days, the preparation of our publications, the maintenance of our on-line magazine, etc. The headquarters for all these activities are located in Hungary, Turkeve in the István Fekete Educational Centre.
Related to the professional activities of the association, the Hungarian Ministry of Environment has given several awards to our organization, including the Award, Pro Natura”, but our achievements have been honored by the Sasakawa Award and the Ford certificate as well.
The most important result is that at present our work is known and recognized throughout the Carpathian Basin by nearly 1100 members, of which about 70 active volunteers.
Maintains www.ramsar.hu website which overviews the Convention and describes Hungarian Ramsar sites. Has published a book on Hungarian fish.
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