Michal Kravčík

Ľudia a Voda, Košice

In the 1990s, Michal Kravčík recognized that his nation of Slovakia was advancing an ecologically questionable and economically inefficient water policy. With his organization People and Water, founded in 1993, and with support of the Slovak River Network and Slovak Union of Conservationists, he developed  Water for the  Third Millennium, an  alternative,  integrated water management plan. The program reforms water management institutions by the principle of subsidiarity  for decentralized economic power and ownership; thus People and Water is part of a larger effort for sustainable village and regional development. In the Upper Torysa region, for example, the organization has implemented projects such as a family farm, a biological wastewater treatment plant, small hydropower installations, and a small fish farm. With the money from his Goldman Environmental Prize (1999), Kravčík endowed the Blue Torysa Foundation in the 25 villages of a region in Eastern Slovakia. With its  six basic grant programs ,the foundation encourages local action to improve the quality of life of communities, save cultural heritage, and make health and environmental improvements. The foundation also supports the development of civic democracy and broadens ethnic tolerance.

Michal Kravčík 's work is recognized internationally through grants and fellowships, and has attracted media interest in Japan, the USA, Austria, the Czech Republic,  Germany,  Canada, the UK, Sweden, Bulgaria,  Macedonia,  Kazakhstan,  Estonia, France, and Poland, As he points out, in both global North and South, industry and agriculture each benefit as forests and wetlands are restored, as cities are ringed with green, and as ecologically  sound local employment  is created.