ZAGREB, 16 February 2021 – The Croatian Scouts Association has won the “European Citizen” award for 2020 for its Boranka campaign.
The Boranka campaign was launched in 2018 by the Croatian Scouts Association in cooperation with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, Croatian Forests and the Split Scout Association and with the support of numerous other partners, sponsors and patrons, in response to the catastrophic fires that ravaged Dalmatia in 2017.
The campaign soon became extremely popular and involved thousands of citizens who planted tens of thousands of new trees in areas in Dalmatian devastated by fires.
The Croatian Scouts Association presented the campaign in many other countries, and Boranka became one of the most positive European examples of how citizens and institutions can personally get involved in nature restoration.
“Boranka is an extremely successful example of how love for nature and the homeland, with some enthusiasm and good will, can unite the entire nation. We are really proud of this award because we have shown that a small country like Croatia can have great projects, which is not surprising because when great people come together and do things from the heart, everything is really possible, including creating new forests from ashes,” said Dan Špicer, business director of the Croatian Scouts Association and the main coordinator of the Boranka campaign, noting that the Croatian Scouts Association is the first scout organisation from Europe to win this valuable award.
In total, so far, in the three years of the campaign, more than 7,000 volunteers have participated in afforestation actions, planting more than 85,000 new trees in fires around Split, Solin, Makarska and Zadar.
Thus, Boranka became the largest volunteer action of afforestation of fires in all of Europe, and due to its originality and efficiency it has already won numerous awards – Grand Prix EFFIE Croatia at the Days of Communications, Golden EURO EFFIE – the most prestigious European award for marketing efficiency, Pride of Croatia and many others domestic and international awards.
In less than three years, Boranka has become the most awarded non-profit campaign in the history of Croatia.
The main creative tool of the campaign, the popular Boralice – pastel crayons made of burnt pine ash, were distributed free of charge in 150,000 copies throughout Croatia to encourage citizens to draw their trees and thus get involved in the campaign.
For each tree drawn by the tree, scouts and other volunteers would plant a real seedling on the fires. The Imago agency created a creative and visual identity for the campaign free of charge, the Bornfight agency created a free web application at www.boranka.hr where citizens could virtually plant their drawn trees, and the Karbon company produced perennials free of charge.
The campaign was officially supported by numerous embassies and domestic and foreign institutions, received the high patronage of the President of the European Parliament, and the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović personally planted their seedlings on the fires above Split and Solin.
Boranka, although in difficult conditions due to epidemiological measures, successfully held last year, and will certainly continue this year.
The European Citizen Award has been awarded since 2008 to individuals and organizations for initiatives that strengthen the European spirit of solidarity, creativity and motivation and encourage activities that specifically express the values contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Citizens and associations can apply for this award independently, and candidates can also be nominated by members of the European Parliament. In each Member State, the national jury selects the finalists, and the final winners are decided by an Award Committee chaired by the President of the European Parliament.