Sub-Regional Consultation Meeting on the Establishment of the South East European Platform to Beat Pollution – SEEPP was held on June 24-25, 2019, at the premises of Vienna International Center. The meeting was organised by UN Environment – Vienna Programme Office in the framework of the project “Regional Cooperation in South Eastern Europe to Beat Pollution”, funded by the Directorate for Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage, European Union and International Affairs of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea. This meeting is continuation of the process started in December 2019, during the Ministerial conference held in Belgrade, and side event, organized in margins of UNEA4, in March 2019, at the premises of UN Headquarter in Nairobi.
The countries of South East Europe and specifically countries from the Western Balkans, should stronger address crucial reforms and complete political, economic and social transformation, in order to fulfill requirements on their respective European paths. This is strong connected with complying with the EU Environmental acquis, what means opening of negotiations on Chapter 27 on Environment and Climate Change, which has not realized yet for some countries. At the global level, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is going to shape national development plans over the next more than 10 years. Progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals targets can be obtained by tackling pollution through existing agreements and synergies with different international initiatives.
Taking into account need for urgent action to beat pollution at all levels, supported by all sectors and involving all relevant stakeholders, South East European Platform to Beat Pollution – SEEPP should be established, with participation not only respective SEE countries, but also with all other actors having interest in this region.
During the Sub-Regional Consultation Meeting, civil society role in the future Platform was discussed among representatives of governments, CSOs and UN bodies. Possible roles of CSOs might be following:
Civil society contribution to the thematic clusters
Preparation of an assessment of possible civil society partners
Platform membership (including Taskforces when relevant)
Using CSOs Networks to communicate the work of the platform and to reach out to citizens
Regarding the last mentioned, Env.net network was presented as good and stable regional network, that can have high impact in future Platform. Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development, together with Env.net partners from EEB and Co-plan, presented current state of the progress during seven years of existing of the Env.net. The main discussion, which is still opened, is regarding the self-designation of civil society organisations and a role within the Taskforce of the Platform. In the next period, it is expected that this and other crucial issues will be clarified, with active participation and contribution of CSOs representatives from the SEE region.
“Advancing environmental sustainability action” is a new theme in the frame of the project: “ENV.Net Factoring the Environmental Portfolio for WB and Turkey in The EU Policy Agenda” (IPA 2017/ 394-372), connected to financial support to third party for monitoring and evidence-based advocacy. Awarded organizations and projects are following:
1. “Education Development Centre “Planet” from Sombor, project “The Hive- circular economy as a model of entrepreneurship for the youth”
2. Association of citizens „Zlatiborski krug“ from Čajetina, project „Model of circular economy in the service of environmental protection in the municipality of Cajetina“
3. Non-smoking Educational Center„EKO-Nec“ from Kragujevac, project „The contribution to media reporting on Chapter 27 and a circular economy”“.
During 2019 and partly in 2020, organizations will work to promote the concept of circular economy through entrepreneurial activities of young people at the local level, with customized trainings for different target groups, from children of school age, teachers, parents, representatives of local government, to reporting on the undertaken activities and results achieved, aimed to improve the state of the environment in terms of local sustainable development.
The projects will start with implementation on February 1, 2019 and will include over 200 participants from participating local communities and organizations of sub-grantees. We expect the first results in April and we believe that the concept of “circular economy” will not remain as a good idea that is being talked about, but will become an integral part of future entrepreneurial initiatives, from youth and educational level to business and economic, in order to improve initiatives and raise awareness on need to protect the environment and to safe resources as much as possible.
After 5 years of activity, the ENV-net today, counts for a member in each Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance country, this includes two newly joined organisations from Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina which co-operate with the network since 2016. The network is supported by partners in Italy – punto.sud and Belgium – European Environmental Bureau – EEB, both bringing to the network experience and best practices from two EU member states, as well as the possibility to align with similar ongoing initiatives within the EU.
Why ENV-net factoring the environmental portfolio for Western Balkans and Turkey in the EU Policy Agenda?
Recent natural occurrences such as repeated massive floods, and the EU accession obligations the Western Balkans and Turkey region must fulfil, highlight the immediacy of action required in the field of climate change and environmental protection.
For it to be effective, such action requires a solid pan-regional commitment in monitoring, advocating and awareness raising in home countries and engagement in policy- discussions at EU level. It also requires well-established and qualified civil society and media actors to generate positive pressure on the relevant institutions, and keep the citizens informed in a way that is accessible and actionable.
Studies show that, despite efforts made in this regard, the Western Balkan and Turkey region faces a number of challenges impeding progress, such as: limited local buy-in of the reforms, conflicting legislation, lack of a critical mass that can monitor developments and exert pressure on policy-makers, weak dialogue with institutions, poor understanding and coverage of climate change and environmental news, and very sparse resonance with current EU environment-related discussions such as circular economy aspects.
In response to these needs, ENV-net, as a proven regional network and advocacy actor, in the forthcoming three years will work on improving evidence-based policy-making and policy-influencing on climate change and environmental legislation in each of the ENV.net partner countries.
The network focus will be to generate region-representative evidence-supported input to contribute to EU discussions on matters of climate change and environment, and to explore and introduce to the region new inter-related aspects such as circular economy.
In the process, the network foresees to also technically and financially support civil society organisations and media in each of the network partner countries, to better understand and work on these issues.
The action is supported by the European Commission through the programme for Consolidating Regional Thematic Networks of Civil Society Organisations
ENV.net team is inviting you to follow and join efforts. Stay tuned!
The platform is an initiative of Cooperation and Development Institute and is supported by Hanns Seidel Foundation. The main aim of the platform is to offer organisations – youth organizations, CSO-s, informal movements, groups, or young individuals – targeting youngsters, initially from Albania and Serbia and then from all the Western Balkans, a resource center where to find partners for joint activities, exchange initiatives, youth projects, discuss cooperation ideas, build up joint activities, get advice, and implement those projects together.
WB YCP also offers a wide array of existing initiatives, national, regional and EU-supported that aim youth and cover the Western Balkans.
The platform will initially provide the functions of:
- Youth Organizations Repository: Youth organizations, movements, informal groups, young researchers, etc. can register their profile and promote their activities;
- Partner Search: all beneficiaries of the platform that need to find contacts in one of the countries for their next project, can use the filters to search the appropriate partner for their idea.
- Information resource centre regarding the RYCO upcoming activities.
Infrastructure is a pre-requisite for advances across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including for reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, addressing inequality and ensuring environmental sustainability. Infrastructure is addressed directly through SDG 9, which commits the international community to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Moreover, “investments in sustainable infrastructure are recognized as a major cross-cutting driver that can contribute to achieving all the SDGs”, as stated by Under-Secretary-General for UN DESA, Wu Hongbo, at the 2015 Global Forum on Development. Resilient infrastructure is essential for ensuring sustainable development for all. “If we are to achieve our goals, and leave no one behind, we must address large infrastructure gaps in developing countries,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the inaugural Global Infrastructure Forum in April 2016.
“Developing countries, particularly the most vulnerable, need international support to bridge existing infrastructure gaps,” emphasized Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the Global Infrastructure Forum. Infrastructure gaps pose major challenges to the implementation of the SDGs. The financing gap for infrastructure in developing countries, for example, is estimated to be 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars annually. Through the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the international community has committed to support resilient, sustainable infrastructure and to provide a comprehensive framework for mobilising the means to finance it.
Infrastructure that enables countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change is needed to support the Paris Climate Change Agreement. New and resilient infrastructure is also needed to support sustainable urbanization, as the number of people living in cities in emerging economies is expected to double by 2030. Resilient infrastructure is needed, moreover, to cope with the increasing incidence and magnitude of natural disasters.
In recent years there have been several new global, regional and national initiatives aimed at increasing investment in infrastructure. In Africa, for example, infrastructure is a priority element for realizing the vision of Africa’s Agenda 2063. At the global level, the international community committed to support the realisation of resilient, sustainable infrastructure through the AAAA, and created a new Global Infrastructure Forum—which held its inaugural meeting in April—to facilitate access to financing and technical expertise.
The global discussion on infrastructure will continue on 21 July 2016 at UN Headquarters as part of ECOSOC’s 2016 thematic discussion on “Infrastructure for sustainable development for all”. The thematic discussion, part of ECOSOC’s High-level Segment, will engage a broad range of voices in a global dialogue on infrastructure for sustainable development that is inclusive and leaves no one behind. It will offer policy recommendations and inform the Inter-agency Task Force report on Financing for Development, as well as the 2017 Global Infrastructure Forum. For more information: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Among the various initiatives on education for sustainable development throughout the world, our (EASD) activity on Collect, investigate and find solutions for waste management in schools is given as the good example.
InWASTEgate is previously published in FEE publication Blue Flag Program: Environmental Education Activities Handbook 2013.
Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development (at that time) President (Prof Andjelka Mihajlov) develop this course as the part of her lecture at the Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES) held in Braunwald, Switzerland and Bratislava, Slovakia.
As a part of the ENV.net project, “Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development” organized the training session: “CSO Participation in Accession Process”. The course was attended by over 20 participants. On the subject of strengthening the role of CSOs invited speakers were: Andjelka Mihajlov, representative of the Negotiating Team 27, Jelena Pajovic van Reenen, representative of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, Natasa Djereg, CEKOR, National Convention on the EU, Mirko Popovic, Belgrade Open School: Coalition 27, and Hristina Stevanovic-Carapina, Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development. The main conclusions of the meeting were that the environment is not a priority for the Republic of Serbia and therefore the environmental civil society organizations face a problem of providing funds for their activities, and that stronger civil society can be achieved through more intense sharing of opinions and initiatives ( for example, initiatives related Post-screening document implementation).
01.04.2016: Climate change and environment – Crucial issues for SEE
Sarajevo/Podgorica – The First High Level Ministerial Panel on Responding to Climate and Environmental Challenges in South East Europe (SEE) took place today in Podgorica. The meeting was opened by the Montenegrin Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Branimir Gvozdenovic; the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Goran Svilanovic; the Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Center (REC), Marta Bonifert; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Director, Jan Dusik and the German Ambassador to Montenegro, Gudrun Elisabeth Steinacker.
Speaking for the RCC, Secretary General Goran Svilanovic warned that SEE is vulnerable to climate change and that its water, energy, food and security of critical infrastructure is threatened by an increase in extreme events such as the catastrophic floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia in 2014. Svilanovic said that “the RCC is focused on providing a concerted regional approach towards climate resilient growth that ensures greater security and economic gains, than isolated unilateral interventions at the national level”. He emphasized that “one of the most important global events last year was the Paris Climate Conference and our task in the region is to make sure we implement the decisions from Paris and the RCC is fully committed to that goal.
The ministers, together with other international partners and representatives of the civil society organisations (with EASD representative participated at event) discussed the state of climate and environment in SEE and reviewed the state of ongoing regional cooperation in this field. The focus was on the advantages and shortcomings of the current initiatives. In a joint declaration titled “The Podgorica Initiative”, adopted at the meeting, the ministers supported a regional approach to environmental and climate change issues and commended the cooperation with the RCC which has supported the establishment of the Regional Working Group on Environment. The chairing of the Working group was passed on from Montenegro to Serbia today. The Ministers also asked the host country of this meeting to convey the declaration to the Paris Western Balkans Summit in the summer of this year.
29 June 2015, UN Headquarters, New York, HLPF Stakeholder Consultation: This event present the results of an international stakeholder consultation on the mandate and means of stakeholder engagement in the HLPF.The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is proposed as the institutional “home” for follow-up and review of the post-2015 development agenda; and therefore presents a critical entry-point to ensure delivery of the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development more broadly.
26 June - 8 July 2015, UN Headquarters, New York, High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (The 2015 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)): The theme of the meeting is “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015.” The first part of the meeting consist of moderated dialogues on a variety of issues, including how to move from vision to transformative action, the role of the private sector in implementation, how the HLPF can support national action, involvement of scientific communities in implementation, regional support for national implementation, small island developing states (SIDS) and investment in sustainable development. The second part of the meeting comprise a ministerial segment, which is expected to include dialogues on developing a transformative integrated agenda, emerging issues for the future, communicating and implementing a universal agenda, shaping the HLPF for the next 15 years, reviewing and monitoring progress, realizing the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs.
EASD is pleased to share with you document: Towards an Integrated and Inclusive Follow-up and Review of Natural Resources. Two recommendations aim to ensure that the effective follow-up and review of natural resources in the post-2015 development agenda is aligned with the principles of integration, participation and inclusion: 1) Thematic reviews of natural resources as a crosscutting issue, from tenure to their use, should be carried out under the HLPF; 2) National multi-stakeholder and rights-holder initiatives for follow-up and review, within the context of a renewed global partnership for development, should be established or strengthened.
20-22 July 2015, Economic and Social Council Meeting: Will consider and take action on the Committee’s recommendation at its Coordination and Management Meeting. The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations at its 2015 Resumed Session, held from 26 May to 3 June 2015, decided to recommend Special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council to our organization EASD – Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development.
- -The highly anticipated Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda is available for Stakeholder feedback . EASD teams carefully read document. The programme for the sixth session of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, to be held from 22-25 June, has been posted online .
- - In preparing the MTS 2018-21 and Programme of Work (PoW) for 2018-19, UNEP wishes to consult with Major Groups and Stakeholders to solicit views and ideas on what is expected from UNEP in the future, where UNEP should direct its efforts to serve best interests of all stakeholders and the environment, and which challenges UNEP should be well prepared to meet. EASD is preparing respond.
- - EASD acknowledge Initiatives by Non-State Actors to Curb Emissions Can Help Win the Fight against Climate Change – New UN Report The full report may be downloaded here.
- - The 2015 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs took place from 26 May to 3 June (and will adopt its report on 12 June), reviewing a total of 388 applications (including 176 applications that had been deferred from previous sessions), 7 reclassifications and 215 quadrennial reports. A total of 160 applications were recommended for consultative status with ECOSOC. The Committee closed, without prejudice, the consideration of 27 applications. Pending receipt of answers to questions posed by the members, the Committee deferred a total of 200 applications to its next session. EASD is looking forward to the decision related our application – expected to be taken up by ECOSOC at its next Coordination and Management Meeting, between 20-22 July 2015.
The ESDW is a European-wide initiative aiming at stimulating and increasing the visibility of activities, projects and events that promote sustainable development.
The European Sustainable Development Week ensures that European citizens can take an active part in shaping the concept of sustainability in a bottom up approach. I am delighted that so many projects can be regarded as Best-Practice models and contribute to our common, sustainable future.’
The ESDW builds upon existing national sustainable development weeks and acts as an umbrella for new European wide projects. Public authorities, individual citizens, businesses, educational institutions, museums, foundations, civil society organizations, etc. can register their projects. All the activities and events will be displayed on the ESDW website (www.esdw.eu), in order to give organizers of innovative activities the opportunity to promote their initiatives.
Currently, more than 1500 initiatives in 18 countries have been registered as part of the ESDW (THE ELEVENTH REGIONAL CONFERENCE ENVIRONMENT TO EUROPE – ENE15 – ENV.NET is one of the registered events).
EASD will be in Brussels for ESDW events!
An interested for Blue Flag should contact the national for Serbia firstname.lastname@example.org. EASD Activity circles represent the scope of our activities. EASD was approved as the FEE FULL MEMBER ORGANISATION at FEE GA in June 2014.
Related documents for application , as well as activities, are posted in Serbian , and on separate FEE Serbia web page.
October 2016: Blue Flag NOM 2016: EASD participate
June 2016: Blue Flag for Ada Ciganlija beach
January 2016: National jury and Committee for FEE programs in Serbia
October 2015 EASD at 2015 Blue Flag NOM
Blue Flag 2015 National Jury Meeting, January 2015
In 2013 Ada Ciganlija-Sava Lake Beach in Belgrade deserved the second time this important international certification.
Activity on Blue Flag Beach in Serbia among the five continental winners of the 3rd IOC Sport and Environment Awards. This is recognition for outstanding initiatives in the field of environment and sustainable sport, in particular cleaning the bottom of the lake. See also FEE site.
2013 Blue Flag National Jury meeting held in February 2013.
In 2012 only Ada Ciganlija-Sava Lake Beach in Belgrade deserved this important international certification. Nominated by National Jury to be awarded with Blue Flag in 2013 (noted in media )
Program Initiative: to measure progress in ensuring a safe and healthy work environment through reducing spending for paper, batteries, toners, cleaning products, etc.
Program Initiative: Chemicals – harmful substances, Hazardous Waste and Environmental Health
In developing SAICM activities, EASD is promoting activities related to the sound management of chemicals, including activities on related environmental health consequences.
Program Initiative: Women Participation Assessment
EASD is organisation lead by women, and presence of women experts within the team should be noted. Organisation is piloting assessment of women participation within activities.
Programming initiatives are in particular focused to multisectoral and intersectoral cooperation to fullfill goals:
- Development of mutual cooperation and cooperation with relevant international organisations of the same and similar professions;
- Development of all forms of successful cooperation with other professional organisations and associations in the interest of its members;
- Initiating and support of those activities and initiatives aimed at preserving the environment and spatial planning, savings and rationalisation of consumption of all types of energy, eco-system services and inclusion of environmental protection in the other sector’s policies;
- Cooperation with relevant scientific, profesional, economic and other organisations and bodies on the implementation of tasks of common interest;
- Affirmation and protection of fundamental values, interes and positions of sustainable development and environment in the society through the promotion of human, professional, scientific and artistic aspects on environmental protection in all areas of profession.