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close this bookTaking Action - An Environmental Guide for You and Your Community (UNEP, 1995, 244 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsPart I - The Foundation For Sustainable Action
Open this folder and view contentsPart II - Challenges and Opportunities
View the documentAppendix 1. Glossary of Environmental Terms
View the documentAppendix 2. Getting More Information
View the documentAppendix 3. Organizations to Contact
View the documentBack Cover



The idea for producing this manual came from UNEP Governing Council decision GC16/7 of 1992. That decision called for the establishment of ‘Green Brigades’, subsequently referred to as ‘Volunteers for the Environment’. Rather than creating a big and formal organization, it was decided as time went by that the best way to effect the spirit of that decision was to assist individuals, community groups and existing non-governmental organizations to undertake environmental activities. Hence this ‘how-to-do’ manual.

Mr. William Mansfield III, who was then Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, played a key role in developing the idea of the manual. Following the process earlier used in developing handbooks with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS) and the Boy Scouts, Bill Mansfield explored the idea with the International Association of Lions Clubs, Rotary International, the Young Women’s Christian Association and the Young Men’s Christian Association, among others. The project was then taken further by Tore J. Brevik, Chief of UNEP’s Information and Public Affairs Branch, and Strike Mkandla, who coordinated the project and liaised with contributors within and outside UNEP. A significant role in refining the original idea was also played by Richard Lumbe and Honorine Kiplagat.

While it is not possible to identify everyone who contributed in one way or another to this work - the list would run to several pages - some of the following individuals and organizations stand out for their tireless efforts and encouragement in this initiative: Christine Hogan of Environment Canada who over a period of several weeks at UNEP developed a writing scheme for the manual in 1994, Robert Cywinski of the International Association of Lions Clubs, Karla Hershey and others at Rotary International, Ruth E. Lechte of World YWCA, Kevin Cook of Consumers International (IOCU), Rob Sinclair and other members of the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI), Tony Hill and Leyla Alyanak of the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service, Felix Dodds of the United Nations Environmment and Development Committee (UNED-UK), Brenda Gael McSweeny of UN Volunteers, Chang Soh Koon of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Julian Spradley Jr. of the USA-based Integrated Waste Services Association, UNICEF’s Water and Sanitation Division, UNESCO’s Division of Water Science, Danny Elder of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Dr. Ole Malmberg of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, Jo Smet of the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), Taparendaba Maveneke of the Zimbabwe Trust/Campfire Association, Prof. Felix Ryan of the Ryan Foundation (India) and his colleague Debendranalt Sarangi, Dr. Michael Gerber and Dr. Nancy Balfour of the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), John Lumsden of the Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), John Wanjau Njoroge of the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming, David Gray of the Leicester Ecology Trust, Barbara J. Bryant of Intermediate Technology, the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Dr. Steven Commins of World Vision International, Prof. Edward Rugumayo and Mrs. Mildred Mkandla of EarthCare Africa, Prof. Victor Middleton of the World Travel and Tourism Environment Research Centre, the Senegal-based Environmental Development in the Third World (ENDA), and Dr. Martin Abraham of WWF Malaysia.

Many UNEP staff members gave their time and advice to the project. In addition to the numerous contributions from departments and units at UNEP, special thanks go to some individuals, among them: Franklin Cardy, Michael Atchia, Takahiko Hiraishi, Elizabeth Migongo-Bake, David Lazarus and John Hare.

The editor wishes to acknowledge the consistent support of Noel Brown, former Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America, who gave much-needed assistance during the writing of the manuscript. Pragati Pascale of the United Nations Department of Public Information lent her copy-editing and fact-finding skills, while Nancy Dryden-Lorieau of Edmonton, Canada, pitched in with copy-editing and substantive input. In addition to the backup of many General Service staff at UNEP, the project benefited from the selfless service of interns with the Information and Public Affairs Branch, namely: Angelica Mkok, Lucy Weru, Esther Gaya, Prudence Nkinda, and Benjamin Staahl. These interns did background research, annotated incoming materials and helped in liaising with contributors.