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Annual Report

Š Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy, 2015 MEGA Annual Report 2015

MEGA Annual Report 2015 presents the projects realized, services delivered, events organized, results achieved, and impact created by Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA) throughout the year 2015. The publication also mentions awards received by the organization, its appearances in mass media, and financial resources attracted and used. Finally, the contribution of partner organizations and companies to the MEGA success described is recognized and appreciated. For inquiries please contact the MEGA Team by e-mail:

Photos: Alexandr Iscenco and Gabriela Isac Design layout and icons: Ruxanda Vihrest


Summary Why MEGA?


MEGA Vision, Mission, and Values














Media Appearances








Dear friends, The year 2015 has been a very productive year for Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA). We have significantly progressed in the development of our main innovation, MEGA Game: The Game with Impact; received funding support for it; organized the first edition of the annual initiative on its basis, the MEGA Impact Championship; added another MEGA project to our portfolio, Operation P.E.A.C.E.; created the interactive Water Map of Moldova; delivered gamification and game development services to our MEGA Partners in Moldova and the Netherlands; presented MEGA at the UN Headquarters in Geneva; and celebrated 2 MEGA Years of activity, results, and positive impact. You will find all these achievements described in this Annual Report. Still, we could not do all of the activities and achieve such results alone. Throughout the year we were supported by our MEGA Partners and Friends, as well as members of local communities, who had been inspired by our mission, vision, and innovation, and believed in them. Altogether we have laid foundation for a community-based environmental management and governance based not on the fear of environmental disaster, but on such feelings as enjoyment, fun, and optimism for a bright and environmentally sustainable future. And therefore the Report also serves as a gratitude message to all our MEGA Partners and Friends, who has walked side by side with us throughout the year 2015. Thus, we invite you to explore the pages of our Annual Report for 2015. We hope that the projects, initiatives, and their results will inspire you to contribute to the protection of the environment as well. We also hope that you will join us next year to move further in realizing the vision of a sustainable world and

MAKING IT MEGA TOGETHER! With great respect and gratitude, The MEGA Team



Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA) was established 2 years ago, in November, 2013. Indeed, this is a very young organization, which is just a drop of dew among large environmental organizations with long history of activity on the market. However, this drop of dew has already refreshed and gave rise to seedlings of MEGA great and important projects and initiatives. And these days you can already see them blossom.

MEGA represents an innovative solution to the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues, such as inefficient natural resource management, environmental pollution with waste toxins, loss of biodiversity, climate change, etc.







governance. It has been created in order to combine psychology + technology + ecology in a unique and innovative way in order to use their combined advantages to create an environmentally sustainable world not on the basis of fear of possible environmental apocalypse, but on the basis of such positive feelings as fun, enjoyment, and optimism about the future. To achieve this we apply the concepts of gamification, open-source ecology, and citizen science that give communities the “power� to create the clean, green, and environmentally prosperous world they desire with their own hands and minds.


Our MEGA Vision is a sustainable world, where every person lives an eco-friendly life, has open access to practical learning opportunities, constructs own opensource eco-innovations, and thus contributes to sustainable development and creation of positive social and environmental impact in a collaborative, enjoyable,

MEGA Vision, Mission,

and fun way anywhere in the world.

The MEGA Mission is to make people’s green dreams* come true. *Under “green dreams” we understand sustainable solutions, eco-innovations, and environmental projects / initiatives that improve both the social well-being of communities and the quality of the environment they live in.

MEGA functions on the basis of the 7 MEGA Values: 1. We exist to serve the nature and people; 2. We believe in the power of communities; 3. We act sustainably in everything we do; 4. We strive for excellence in all our endeavours; 5. We do serious work in a fun way; 6. We lead by example; 7. We make it MEGA TOGETHER!


and Values



MEGA Game: The Game with Impact MEGA Game: The Game with Impact is the primary innovation of MEGA and in a way its “heart” that gives vital “blood” and therefore “life” to all our projects and initiatives. It is the gamified web platform and smartphone application that give young people knowledge and power to address environmental issues in a collaborative and cost-efficient way and create sustainable world by playing for impact. In such way MEGA Game represents the unique education-andcollaboration system designed as a game for community-based environmental and social education and eco-innovation development that improve resilient social well-being of communities and health of natural environment they live in. MEGA









In 2015 we managed to achieve significant progress in MEGA Game development. We have tested the basic features of the on-line platform within a number of projects and services, including UpGreat Journalism, 1000 Green Hours, MEGA Impact 2015 Championship, and other. We have also activated the rewards and experience earning mechanics, improved user statistics and leaderboard, added the feedback feature, integrated e-learning courses and video trainings, connected them to missions, and much more. All these features and additions are now being tested and will be made accessible in MEGA Game early in 2016.


MEGA Impact Championship

MEGA Impact Championship is the annual national initiative of MEGA that is based on MEGA Game and aimed at stimulating cooperation among organizations and companies around identifying and resolving social / environmental issues in different places in a specific country. Innovation of this initiative is the usage of the concepts of gamification and storytelling applied for stimulating participants (teams consisting of members of various organizations and companies) to create as much positive social / environmental impact as possible within a limited timeframe. At the end of the Championship 3 winning teams are awarded, while the rest of the participants can use their XP points for “buying” additional rewards in the virtual “shop”.

In 2015 the first edition of the MEGA Impact Championship took place in Moldova. Its focus topic was water quality and supply management in the country. 5 teams from different youth organizations collaborated and competed with each other during the 3 levels of the Championship: City Quest in Chisinau, Semi-finals in the River Bic basin, and Finals in Comrat. As a result, 8 expeditions have been made, 8 serious water-related issues have been identified, 3 plans for resolving them have been developed, 20+ bags (approximately 1 tonne) of waste have been gathered and removed from the shore of the lake in Comrat, 20+ trees have been planted in Comrat, and the Water Map of Moldova have been developed and made public at


Operation P.E.A.C.E

Operation P.E.A.C.E. (Practical and Entertaining Adventure for Conflict-resolution and English-teaching) is the „codename” of the Innovation Camp aimed at implementing gamification and developing “serious games” on the topic of teaching English through conflict resolution and peace building. Its innovation lies in the collaborative design and development of games by teachers of English from different countries and their distribution to schools and colleges that wish to incorporate gamification on conflict resolution and peace building into their curricula. The project is supervised by the American Councils for International Education, organized in cooperation with Academia Nicolae Dumitrescu, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, English Language Innovation Fund.

Operation P.E.A.C.E., like the MEGA Impact Championship, is also the “seed” of a promising project that was planted in 2015. In its first edition 30 English teachers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine came to learn about the concept of gamification and game development. As a result they created the concepts and designs of 5 unique games: “Find the Gold”, “The Inquisitive Snake”, “New World”, “Buddies”, and “Hidden Treasure”. All these games are now being prepared, play-tested, and produced to be accessible to all on an open source basis. Besides the games, Operation P.E.A.C.E. has also resulted in a new MEGA publication entitled Operation PE.A.C.E.: Gamification Handbook.













Diamond Challenge Moldova Chisinau, Moldova

The beginning of 2015 started for us with participation in the jury of the competition Diamond Challenge Moldova. Our contribution consisted in evaluating the social impact potential of the business ideas presented, awarding the idea with the greatest potential, and generally working together with the jury for selecting the most promising business ideas of young entrepreneurs in Moldova. As a result, we made several teams of competition participants very happy about their ideas, as well as gave them useful advice on how to develop their entrepreneurial initiatives further.

UpGreat Journalism, the project organized by the NGO AIESEC Chisinau in spring 2015, became the first official test of the Beta version of our MEGA Game. The online gamified platform was offered as an innovative technological mean to implement the concept of gamification within this project. Due to such fruitful cooperation, UpGreat Journalism benefitted from the on-line gamification based on the first core features of MEGA Game, while we received 50+ subscribers and

UpGreat Journalism

players, who gave us valuable feedback and suggestions on how to improve the user experience of our platform. This feedback and suggestions were then integrated into the development plan of MEGA Game that is now being implemented to prepare the next version of our on-line platform.


Chisinau, Moldova

1000 Green Hours Dalfsen, The Netherlands

1000 Green Hours, the project currently in progress by the organization Landschap Overijssel in the Netherlands, is another initiative that uses MEGA Game in its core. The project invites Dutch youth to become “Green Agents” by volunteering for various environment-related initiatives in the region Overijssel designed as “missions”. For this purpose we created a special customized version of









at Then 10 missions were designed and put on this customized platform. Nowadays Landschap Overijssel is doing active promotion of 1000 Green Hours to attract young people to register, play, and thus contribute to a better environment in the Netherlands.

Innovation Camp

The Innovation Camp on gamification and game development in English teaching and conflict resolution was organized by MEGA in October 2015 as part of the project “Operation P.E.A.C.E.”. It was supervised by the American Councils for International Education, organized in cooperation with Academia Nicolae Dumitrescu, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, English Language Innovation Fund. Within the 5-days Camp in the resort town of Vadul lui Voda we delivered a series of trainings on the basics of gamification, the gamification

Vadul lui Voda, Moldova

design framework, types of players, and practical applications of gamification and “serious games” to 30 English teachers from 6 different countries.





Besides organizing social and environmental projects and delivering gamification services to our partners, we had also been active in participating at various events in different countries throughout the year 2015. The most prominent ones with their learning and practical outputs are presented below:

Public consultations regarding water management of the river Bic and the Ghidighici reservoir, organized in Moldova by our partner, the National Health and Environment Platform. There we presented the state of water quality in Moldova and specifically in the river Bic to set the basis for further discussions among the Ministry of Environment,








Clean World conference, organized by Let’s Do It! in Riga, Latvia. At our first conference of 2015 we learnt about the initiatives to establish a zero-waste world and discussed concrete actions on how we can do it.

Ideas for Change Award, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland. This was an international competition of new groundbreaking entrepreneurial ideas with high social / environmental potential, where our MEGA Game had been chosen as a finalist among 150 other ideas from 25 countries. Although we did not win the grand prize, we still succeeded in presenting MEGA Game at the UN headquarters and obtain new contacts, subscribers, and feedback.








Environmental Center in Chisinau, Moldova. In order to celebrate the World Environment Day (WED) and contribute to cleaning of the River Bic, we launched the MEGA WED Challenge mission in MEGA Game and invited players to join us. Then together with other organizations and volunteers we removed 50+ bags of polluting municipal waste from the river and its banks.


E-waste recycling campaign, realized by e-Reciclare in Chisinau, Moldova. We contributed to this campaign by collecting and giving for recycling a box of batteries and a number of our old mobile phones.

ClimateLaunchpad competition, organized by Climate-KIC on the European level and implemented by our partner organization EcoVisio on Chisinau, Moldova. As a result of the Moldovan part of the competition our MEGA Game received the National Winner Award and was chosen to compete on the European level in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Although we did not get the grand prize, we still demonstrated our MEGA Game in Amsterdam and established a number of valuable contacts for future cooperation.

Networking and cooperation-building expedition to Bender and conference in Lalova, Moldova, done by EcoVisio. At these events we succeeded in making our first expedition to Transnistria in a climatefriendly way (on bicycles) and get to know other environmental organizations in Moldova. Since then we are also in close partnership and friendship with EcoVisio.

Seminar “Consolidation of Rural Tourism in Moldova�, realized by our partner organization INQUA-Moldova on Chisinau, Moldova. At this seminar we presented the recently tested and improved Beta version of our MEGA Game, as well as developed the concept of the MEGA Impact Championship to be implemented during the following months.

IarmarEco, an exhibition of environmental organizations and green businesses organized by EcoVisio in Chisinau, Moldova. At this event we showcased the latest version of our MEGA Game and the results of the recently realized MEGA Impact Championship. We also registered organizations and young people willing to participate in the next edition of the Championship.


Civic Fest, organized by Synergetica Eur/Est in Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei), Moldova. At this festival of civic organizations and initiatives we invited youth and environmental organizations to the MEGA Impact Championship and registered the first interested ones.

Klaus Toepfer Fellowship on biodiversity conservation, implemented by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) on the Isle of Vilm in Germany. As part of the first module of this fellowship we learnt about processes, approaches, and tools to protect ecosystems and endangered species. At the same time we elaborated the idea for the next edition of the MEGA Impact Championship with focus on the topic of biodiversity conservation in Moldova.

Regional Conference for Eastern Cooperation Countries, organized by Let’s Do It, Ukraine! In Kiev, Ukraine. At this conference we learnt about interesting environmental initiatives that also use gamification and noted several important ideas for our MEGA Game. Besides that we delivered the training “Psychology of Ecology” and presented how we plan to revive and evolve the national cleanup campaign “Hai, Moldova!” on the basis of gamification and MEGA Game.

Small Grants Programme training, implemented by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and delivered by AEGIS TRAINING. There we received valuable information on preparing the application for the Small Grants Programme (SGP) next year.

Forum of environmental NGOs in Moldova, organized by EcoContact in Chisinau, Moldova. Various topics related to the involvement of environmental organizations into nature conservation in Moldova were discussed with our contribution. At the Forum we also benefitted from the opportunity to present MEGA Game, the MEGA Impact Championship, and the first results of our initiative “MEGA Game: Strengthening Environmental Governance in Moldova through Innovative E-learning and Collaboration Platform for Environmental Action”.




MEGA is focused on practical hands-on engagement in environment protection, management, and governance. Still, we also conduct scientific research on environmental management and gamification and on its basis publish scientific reports and research articles. In 2015 we released and presented 2 articles and 1 publication, as well as updated our MEGA Game Book.


Collaborative Sustainability in Open Workshops: The Potential of Co-creation Spaces to contribute to Sustainable Development. Oekologisches Wirtschaften,


Nr 30, May 2015, pp. 35 – 40 [Online]. Available at http://www.oekologisches-


The article is written based on the results of our research project “Collaborative

Sustainability in Open Workshops: The Potential of Co-creation Spaces to Contribute to Sustainable Development in the Case of Berlin” conducted at the Institute of Ecologic Economy Research (IÖW) in Berlin, Germany in 2014. It explores and explains how open workshops (specifically hackerspaces, makerspaces, and fablabs), collaborative open-source innovation, and desktop manufacturing by using 3D printers can contribute to sustainable development of a city such as Berlin.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Animal Husbandry and Strategy for Their Reduction in Indonesian Villages. In: NATURAL RESOURCES: Sustainable Targets, Technologies, Lifestyles and Governance. October, 2015, pp. 100 - 105. [Online]. Available at The article has its foundation in another research project conducted at BINTARI Foundation in Semarang, Indonesia back in 2012. It presents the results of estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock and manure management in the village Indrokilo in Indonesia during the period of 2008 – 2012, suggests strategies on emissions reduction to be realized there, assesses the potential of such strategies to decrease emissions of methane and nitrous oxide, proposes the optimal strategy to pursue by the village community and concludes with recommendations on ensuring sustainability and success of the climate change mitigation program in the Indrokilo village, as well as other rural communities in Indonesia that are part of the “1000 Climate Villages” initiative.


Operation P.E.A.C.E.: Gamification Handbook is a handy compendium of the most important tools, guidelines, and frameworks for implementing gamification


and “serious games” in English teaching with specific focus on the topic of conflict resolution and peace building. It is aimed to be used by English teachers interested in developing games for their students, as well as for any person willing


to use the power of games in teaching and learning. The Handbook is not a book or a manual on teaching what gamification is and how to use it. It is more of a


visual support tool to recall and implement the main aspects of gamification and “serious game” development.

The Gamification Handbook was developed by American Councils for International Education in Moldova, Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA), and Academia Nicolae Dumitrescu (AND) as part of the project “Operation P.E.A.C.E.: Practical & Entertaining Adventure for Conflict-resolution and Englishteaching” implemented in Moldova in October, 2015, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, English Language Innovation Fund. It is now available on-line at

MEGA Game Book

MEGA Game Book is a compendium of educational games (on-line games, activity games, and board games) on the topics of environmental protection, management, and governance from around the world. Its purpose is to help environmental organizations, teachers of classes on ecology and environment, trainers delivering sessions on these topics at various events, and other educators to enhance their education and learning practice through play, entertainment, and fun. MEGA Game Book is also meant to support research on applying the concept of gamification and “serious games” in environmental education.

MEGA Game Book was released in 2014. This year thanks to the contributions of Huyen Do Thi Thanh from Vietnam and Valeria Svart-Gröger from Moldova, as well as due to our own inputs, it has been enriched with 10+ more games. The












at Contributions











Although the year 2015 was not so rich in recognitions and awards for MEGA as the previous year, we were still lucky enough to receive important national award and international awards. They were given for the idea and concept of our MEGA Game, as well as its potential to bring positive social / environmental change to the world.

UNECE Ideas for Change Finalist Geneva, Switzerland

UNECE Ideas for Change International Finalist was awarded to MEGA by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Climate Launchpad National Winner Chisinau, Moldova ClimateLaunchpad National Winner was the award given to MEGA by Climate-KIC and EcoVisio in Chisinau, Moldova.




In 2015 MEGA operated with several budgets for its projects and initiatives. Some of the budgets were administered at the accounts of MEGA, while others were managed through our partners and customers. The financial resources of the budgets were directed entirely towards covering the costs of the projects. In addition, our organization has received certain financial and in-kind contributions from our partners. In turn, MEGA sponsored an initiative of another partner we are closely connected with.

Grants and Sponsorships

For the initiative “MEGA Game: Strengthening Environmental Governance in Moldova through Innovative E-learning and Collaboration Platform for Environmental Action” and the MEGA Impact Championship as part of it MEGA received financial support in the value of 8,758 USD from the program “EU-NGO: Strengthening Environmental Governance by Building the Capacity Of NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs)”, funded by the European Union, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and delivered by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP). In addition to that the organization benefited from sponsorship in the value of 1,259 MDL (63 USD) from the company Spark Research Labs.

External Budget Within the project “Operation P.E.A.C.E. (Practical and Entertaining Adventure for Conflict-resolution and English-teaching)” MEGA operated with the budget of 27,000 USD. The funds were provided by the U.S. Department of State, English Language Innovation Fund, through the American Councils for International Education.


MEGA did not only receive financial resources, but also gave them for promising initiatives. Thus, a total donation of 75 USD was sent to the organization EcoVisio for its crowdfunding campaign on building an environmental training center in the eco-village Riscova, Moldova.


Media Appearances


AIESEC Alumni International. Change the World Campaign: Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA). August, 2015. Available at

American Councils. News: Operation P.E.A.C.E. November, 2015. Available at Campionatul MEGA Impact 2015: Salvează natura și distrează-te! October,





Eye on Earth. A Better World through Knowledge and Information. September, 2015.




GagauzMedia. У комратского озера волонтеры собрали 20 мешков мусора. November, 2015. Available at

Gagauzinfo. Унионисты провели в Комрате социальную акцию. October, 2015. Available at

InfoPrut. Echipa „Uniţi sub tricolor”, câștigătoare într-o competiţie încheiată la Comrat. October, 2015. Available at

Ministerul Mediului. Consultări Publice privind situaţia lacului Ghidighici. January, 2015.












Zugo. Salvează natura și distrează-te la prima ediţie a Campionatului MEGA 2015. October, 2015. Available at




The organization of all the projects and initiatives of MEGA described in this Report, the achievement of their results, the obtaining of the awards, and the creation of positive social and environmental impact in 2015 would had been impossible or extremely costly without the great support from our MEGA Partners and Friends. Therefore here we express our gratitude, respect, and appreciation to the following partner organizations, companies, and institutions:




Beta 2.0

8 Issues

Water Map

of MEGA Game is available

of water quality in Moldova documented

of water issues in Moldova created

200+ Users


learnt to protect the environment in practice

28+ NGOs connected during environmental initiatives

14 Sessions TOGETHER!

2 Articles with new research results published

on environment and gamification delivered

3 Events

1+ Tonne

related to environment & gamification organized

of waste removed from the environment 32

20+ Trees planted in Moldova during our projects

Playing For Impact

For more information please visit us at write us to and follow us at


MEGA Annual Report 2015  

MEGA Annual Report 2015 presents the projects realized, services delivered, events organized, results achieved, and impact created by Moldov...

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