In South Eastern Europe, as in most parts of the world, environmental activists and experts have been among the first to take advantage of the internet and ICT resources. More recently a new generation of green citizen movements and political parties in countries like Bulgaria and Hungary have used web-based social networks as their primary communication media. Understanding the power brought to them by ICTs, many such groups have embraced internet rights and privacy issues as part of their campaigns and political platforms.
But the sky is not cloudless above the love affair between environmental and ICT activism. The realisation that keeping up with the newest software and user features requires constant upgrades and replacement of hardware – and therefore generates more and more waste – leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for environmentalists. More alarmingly, otherwise grateful for any support, ICT activists and newly evolving social movements around the internet and communication rights do not seem to be that willing to engage with environmental protection causes. Could a lack of sensitivity spoil yet another love affair – that between environmental and internet activists?
This article from Global Information Society Watch 2010 – ICTs and Environmental Sustainability looks at the barriers and opportunities for networking between environmental and internet rights movements.