Abstract: This article aims at presenting European readers with the history of Polish environmental protection movements; it is an attempt at showing their originality and uniqueness within Europe and the world. Despite the formal non-existence of Polish statehood (until 1918), and the Iron Curtain after World War II (until 1989), Polish environmental protection movements were resilient and energetic. World-class environmental acts have been passed, national parks and nature reserves have been created, and international initiatives for the protection of Earth have had their local response and participation. The discussion focuses less on modern times, as the nature of environmental actions nowadays does not differ significantly from actions taken up in other countries. One of the conclusions that can be drawn from the history of Polish environmental protection movements is that suppressing civil rights has the opposite effects, i.e. condensation and strengthening of such drives (the Solidarity period in Poland under the Communist regime).
Keywords: polish environmental protection movements, national parks, nature reserves, natural monuments, environmental movement, social movement, protest moveme