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30 years of the Green Phone

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On Monday, 14th September 1992, the Green Phone (GP) of Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia rang for the first time. Today we are celebrating 30 years since it didn't stop ringing.

We started working in an ungrateful context. The war was raging in Croatia, patriotism was being questioned, and the activism was revolutionary and did not fit into undemocratic processes.

"That Monday, from 5 to 7 p.m., GP received 14 applications from citizens and we didn't know what to do. We received the first report from Velika Gorica about a sawmill that suffocated people with sawdust particles. The next day, I called first for information in order to find out the phone numbers of the inspection services", said Gordana Klarić, Green Phone coordinator.

"When we sent a report to the responsible municipal warden from Dubrava, he asked us which radio we are. However, with the help of the media, we were able to bring environmental problems to the public, as well as what the inspection services did with the reports. It seems that the citizens liked the public presentation of the problems, as well as the calling out of those responsible", Klarić said.

From 14th September 1992 until 14th September 2022, 31.164 reports from citizens were received at GP. Most of them have been resolved, but there are some that FoE Croatia is still working on. These are barrels of fuel oil in the Savica lakes, which the oil and gas company INA has been dumping for years, digging gravel, moving waste into excavations and burying it in the forest in Ježdovac, and pollution of the Gorjak stream by Pliva and Kvasac companies. "Nevertheless, the fact that we solved over 60 percent of the reports is encouraging and pushes us to continue being 'green devils', as the first Croatian president Tuđman said", Klarić added.

 Below are just some of the messages for the 30th birthday of the Green Phone:

 "We created and established the Green Phone in FoE Croatia as a democratic, participatory institution... In the midst of war, in the midst of the growth of undemocratic processes. During all these years, from 1992 until today, i.e. in three decades, GP encountered a great response from citizens, participation, communication that always encourages new effort, meaningful, humane and profoundly pro-ecological." - Vladimir Lay, one of the initiator of GP and the first president of FoE Croatia

 "Congratulations! You started a lot of things, helped citizens and survived despite all efforts to silence you. The municipal warden said it are like the radio, you are our voice. I wish you at least that many more years, and by then I guess we will learn how to protect the world around us. Good luck and continue!" – Neda Janovski

 "I used it (GP) successfully. Saved city tree rows. Congratulations." – Saša Šimpraga

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