|THE PROJECT PHOENIX|
During the summer of 1997, the Czech Republic suffered the greatest floods in its history. More than one third of the country was affected by the floods. During the catastrophe, 50 people lost their lives. More than 26,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and almost 3,500 people were rescued at the last moment with the help of helicopters. During the most difficult moments of the crisis a team of Czech Greenpeace activists joined in the rescue and evacuation efforts.
Immediately after the floods, the Czech Greenpeace office started to work on the so called Phoenix Project. Its aim was to help with the rebuilding of damaged towns and to reconstruct them in a way which will be more in keeping with the style of the third millennium. This is to do mainly with energy conservation and the move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
The first concrete result of the Phoenix Project was the refurbished kindergarten in the town Karlovice. Since Febuary 1998, the children of this town have been using the sun to warm up their water. This is the first building in Central Europe to be reconstructed after the floods in such a way that solar energy can be used. The next step was to open a "solar" nursing home for elderly people in Karlovice. Greenpeace studies in Karlovice and other small villages have shown the potential of sun, wind and biomas to cover their energy needs. The aim of the Phoenix Project was to start a trend in renewable sources of energy. The Phoenix project was officially supported by the Office of the President of the Czech Republic.
to the United Kingdom's Meteorological Office, it is likely that the 97´
floods in the Czech Republic were due to the impact of global warming.
Greenpeace wanted to show in the most affected areas that energy conservation
and the development of more renewable sources is a contribution to saving
the climate on the most basic level. The Phoenix Project could become
an inspiration for reconstructing areas which were affected by the impact
of global warming anywhere in the world. Governments which committed themselves
to the fight against climate changes could support these projects instead
of providing subsidies for fossil fuels. It is important to use humanitarian
funds in redevelopment to benefit renewable sources and not fossil fuels.