Citizens Support Centre is one of the three association Arnika’s programs.
Our mission is to assist people participating in public decision-making processes influencing the environment they live in.
We provide free support to individuals, civil organizations, and municipalities. We focus, in particular, on the issues of green areas and environment in cities, protection of water and watercourses, and toxic substances and waste. We promote civil right to information and participation of the public in decision-making.
Citizens Support Centre was established in 1996 as a separate section of the non-governmental organization Children of the Earth (Děti Země). Dozens of people contacted Children of the Earth every year asking for consultancy and help. As the organization did not want to refuse to help these people, and the extent of consultations gradually began to exceed common consultancy, it established a specialized section for support of individuals, civil associations, and municipalities.
In 2001, the Centre became one of the founding branches of the environmental association Arnika, which was being formed at that time.
Since the beginning of its activity, consultancy of the Citizens Support Centre exceeded standard legal advices. Our service includes also expert assistance, publicizing of the issues in media, help with establishing and managing civil associations, negotiations, and public events organization. We help to prepare plans for long-term campaigns and establish necessary contacts. The Centre participates actively in resolving especially serious problems.
In addition to consultations and solving of selected cases, we organize workshops on the use of legal and other tools in environmental protection, issue methodical handbooks, leaflets, and other publications; we organize exhibitions, and information booths.
The Centre has already helped to establish dozens of new civil associations. In a many cases, local citizens succeeded with our support in defending the environment against devastation. The cases concerned felling of trees, construction of landfills and waste incinerators, factories, transport constructions, and quarries. We promote sustainable development of our cities and municipalities that does not endanger human health and the environment.
Our organization cannot do without financial support from individuals, associations, and municipalities. You might want to be interested in supporting the activities of the Centre for Citizens’ Support. You will find the support options on our website.
"If we dream of a return to our childhood, if we are tempted to rely on others and so be happy, if we shrink from the task of carrying our cross, the cross of humaneness, of reason, of responsibility, if we lose courage and flinch from the strain, then we must try to fortify ourselves with a clear understanding of the simple decision before us. We can return to the beasts. But if we wish to remain human, then there is only one way, the way into the open society. We must go on into the unknown, the uncertain and insecure, using what reason we may have to plan as well as we can for both security and freedom."
Karl R. Popper, Open Society and its Enemies