The Green Knowledge Centre was established by GRID-Arendal in 2013 as a meeting place for environmental information and knowledge with the goal of increasing awareness and local knowledge about the relationship between the environment, sustainable development and local action. Through educational programmes and other activities, and by providing a common forum for the coordination and dissemination of knowledge, the centre aims to:
raise awareness of environmental issues within all sections of the community;
encourage active participation by individuals and organisations in environmental projects; and,
promote change towards a more sustainable future.
The focus of the centre is on environmental information, education and activity. Its goals reflect the goals of of GRID-Arendal: raise awareness, create knowledge and inspire people to action.
The Centre does not work alone, but as part of a wide range of partnerships and forums. Since it opened, the Centre has hosted a number of activities including: an exhibition on the proposed Raet National Park funded by the Aust-Agder County Government; two seminars during Arendalsuka 2013 that were jointly organized with the various UN-related organization in Norway; a seminar organized by Redd Barna in August 2013; an exhibition on the Nordic Built Challenge by the Nordic Information Centre in August 2013; two seminars on water cooperation during Internasjonale Dager 2013 in collaboration with the Norwegian Red Cross; a film screening in collaboration with Ubuntu; and various meetings and events organized by GRID-Arendal and by offices based in the building.
Since February 2014, the Centre hosts FN-Sambandet Sør’s Byvandring, an educational programme for 6th grade classes in Arendal. This programme includes a lecture/presentation held in the centre, and a walk in the area around Tyholmen to highlight the work of the UN through local institutions, like the City Hall, the Police Department, Kilden and others.
The Centre will continue to offer a variety of activities for schools and community groups, training and resources for teaching staff, and participation in local festivals. The activities of the Centre will be focussed on the following three main areas:
Support of environmental groups & projects: provision of low cost meeting rooms and exhibition areas; support and management of partnership projects; music, art and poetry forum
Information provision: an up-to-date information area with leaflets, posters, newsletters, information sheets and journals; a regularly updated Green Knowledge Centre website; and a programme of exhibitions on environmental themes throughout the year.
Educational activity: providing a first point of contact for teachers, students and members of the public interested in finding out about environmental issues or becoming involved in practical projects; a varied programme of activities for schools and community groups, plus training and resources for teaching staff; support for school managers in developing curriculum ideas and environmental policies; a year-full of exhibitions, special events and training, holiday activities and participation in local festivals.