Our story

Our story

Green Network of Activist Groups (ZMAG) is an association that brings together organic gardeners, practitioners of applicable technologies and eco-building, permaculture designers, researchers of equitable social models of organization and equal interpersonal relationships, and environmental activists.

ZMAG operates as one of nine Centres of Knowledge for social development in Croatia, in the field of sustainable living and the development of permaculture. For years, ZMAG has been developing research and learning areas of practical application of knowledge and skills for sustainable living by applying permaculture design and respecting permaculture ethics (care for people, care for the Earth and equitable allocation of resources). The association has become known as an incubator for the implementation of sustainability, with its most prominent example being the construction of the Recycled Estate educational centre in Vukomerić, which is the headquarters of the association and a social-educational centre.

For twenty years, ZMAG has been working on implementation of activities in the fields of organic food production and seed preservation, sustainable waste management, learning about the use of renewable energy sources, building of ecological and natural houses, advocating and creating models of good economy, namely systems of Social and Solidarity Economy.

Our objective

ZMAG’s main objective is to develop and promote permaculture, ecological knowledge and skills, applicable models and technologies, important for sustainable living and improvement of the overall quality of life.

Our vision

ZMAG strives towards a world in which people’s living conditions are met, social and human rights respected, without endangering the environment and the sustainability of ecosystems.


  • running the Recycled Estate - an open educational centre in the village of Vukomerić, as an exemplary model of environmentally sustainable and socially aware space designed according to the principles of permaculture
  • providing knowledge, information and experience in the application of eco-technologies to various groups of users: local government and the community, environmental organizations and the rest of civil society, farmers, entrepreneurs, students and activists, and all interested parties
  • dissemination of permaculture ideas, ecological knowledge and skills, applicable models and technologies, important for sustainable development and raising the quality of life of people through networking with similar initiatives and organizations in Croatia, the region and the world


The sustainability we advocate encompasses several levels:

  1. Social sustainability lies in nurturing equal relations between members of the organization, striving for consensual decision-making, encouraging taking responsibility, interpersonal relations based on respect for diversity and mutual assistance, accepting social justice as a socially valuable category, and focusing on transferring practical environmental solutions to local communities and the wider social environment.

  2. Ecological sustainability has its most visible foothold in the Recycled Estate itself, where renewable energy sources are used, where we learn about eco-building, create permaculture gardens and preserve biodiversity, manage water responsibly, and turn waste into valuable resources.

  3. Economic sustainability of the organization in the long run strives towards bringing together a cooperative that would encompass possible production / profit activities of the organization (organic food, solar collectors, biodiesel ...). Cooperatives are nurtured in terms of joint asset management on nearly two-thirds of the Recycled Estate. ZMAG sees economic sustainability only in the context of a permanent improvement in the quality of people's lives.