Paint it Back

Nominated 2020

Country: Croatia

Region: throughout Croatia, Split-Dalmatia County, Zadar County

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Awareness raising, Environmental protection

Project owner: Savez izviđača Hrvatske – The Scout and Guide Association of Croatia

Responsible person: Dan Špicer



With the loss of forests, we are losing our largest natural allies in the fight against climate change. The global rise in temperatures and droughts caused by climate change create devastating losses with catastrophic consequences.


Boranka (“Paint It Back”) is the largest volunteer-led wildlife reforestation initiative in Croatia. We aim to restore areas and forests destroyed by wildfires. We also lead public awareness programmes for the public and children in schools about the importance of forests, fire prevention, nature conservation, and the effects of global warming.


Boranka has partnered with the Scouts Association of Croatia, as well as the mountain rescue service, firefighting association, and forestries in Croatia. These partners help organise restorative planting, prepare equipment, organise volunteers and educational initiatives. The project also works together with diverse stakeholders, such as ministries, embassies, companies, and public institutions.


Boranka has become the largest volunteer reforestation campaign in Europe and the most awarded non-profit campaign in Croatia. More than 6,200 volunteers participated in 18 Boranka reforestation events. In addition, Boranka has planted 65,000 trees, and over 10,000 children have attended its educational programmes.


The entire Boranka project concept, such as planting and educational activities, can be implemented in other regions or countries. The concept to expand Boranka is currently being developed. The Scouts Association of Croatia is working with scouts associations from EU countries who are interested in organising similar initiatives.