The Socio-Ecological Union was envisioned on August 6, 1987 in the Kavkaz Biosphere National Park.
At the beginning of the Socio-Ecological Union there was the desire to gather under one roof people for whom it was «not all the same». Not all the same as to what will be with the country, with its nature and culture, with its people, with our children and grandchildren. People who are ready to work for our common future. There is a tendency to forget how important for the cell of the newly born civil ecological movement at the eve of perestroika was the large amount of organizations accepted by the big power.
Fortunately the founders of the SEU stood on a foundation that had been checked over time, since most of them had been or were actively participating in the Druzhina (people’s patrol) Movement for environmental protection - the only many-membered informal ecological organization in the USSR with almost a 30 year experience. The first official Conference of the Druzhina Movement, by the way, took place almost on the same days as the first Conference of the UN on the environment. The Druzhiniki gathered in September 1972 in Moscow while the leaders of world governments met in October in Stockholm.
The organizational principles of the Druzhina Movement, under the system in which, by 1987, more than 100 student associations took part, were not complicated:
1. The ruling organs do not rule over the members of the associations but by all means help them do that which the members of the association believe to be necessary and important.
2. The main task of the ruling organs is to facilitate the fullest possible information for members of the association.
3. The common capital of the association is experience and knowledge which the members of the association actively share with one another and with like-minded persons from other associations.
These were the very principles proposed to the delegates of the Founding Conference of the Socio-Ecological Union, which took place on 24-26 December 1988 in Moscow, to which came, for the creation of the first public all-Union ecological organization, people from 89 cities of 11 Republics of the USSR.