Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

On June 24-25, 2011 the Expert workshop “Eastern Partnership CSF Working Group 3 assessment of environmental policy reform in 6 partner countries” was conducted in Kyiv.

On June 24-25, 2011 the Expert workshop “Eastern Partnership CSF Working Group 3 assessment of environmental policy reform in 6 partner countries” was conducted in Kyiv.

On June 24-25, 2011 the Expert workshop “Eastern Partnership CSF Working Group 3 assessment of environmental policy reform in 6 partner countries” was conducted in Kyiv.

The expert workshop was financed by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation and co-funded by the European Commission, the European Programme of the International Renaissance Foundation and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Kyiv.

Participants from 6 EaP Partner countries together with the representatives from International NGOs discussed the key issues on the Environmental Policy Reform for sustainable development in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the cooperation framework with the European Union.

Participants expressed a special interest to the reviews of independent experts from 6 countries on general situation with the environmental policy development taking into consideration both the EU priorities cooperation and the priorities of EaP Flagship initiative on Good Environmental Governance.

In the EU, the environmental policy integration is legally binding and is provided by horizontal instruments such as environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, public participation in the decision-making process, access to information and environmental reporting in corresponding Directives.

Following recommendations of EaP CSF II, WG3 is demanding proper implementation of these horizontal policy instruments within EaP countries, which should serve the cross-cutting consideration of environmental requirements into economic sectors’ policies, regional and local development policies, and in the future – would lead to transition towards “green economy”.

Separate expert panels were devoted to the exchange of information on the implementation status of Aarhus Convention in the countries (UNECE Convention on Access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters) and also of the Espoo Convention (UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context) and their protocols.

Also, experts have prepared and presented reports on one of the most complicated topics of environmental Flagship initiative - on the development of Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) in Eastern partner countries – compatible with the EU system. Transposition of separate data into the information for decision-making – this is an obligatory capacity of modern system of Environmental Governance, that provides an opportunity to measure an impact and determine an effectiveness of various policy instruments for reducing environmental damage. Only having a complete measuring system, which is based on indicators, it is possible to take effective actions on “greening” the economy.

Expert panel, devoted to the subject of “Green economy”, has allowed the participants to learn more about the global context of reforms for sustainable development, in particular, the preparation for the World Summit “Rio+20”, where this topic is expected to be one of main two in the context of poverty reduction. Currently, on the European Commission request, a group of experts has prepared a special report “Opportunities and options for promoting a Green Economy in the Eastern Partnership countries” which will be presented July, 7, 2011 at a special workshop in Brussels.

“The main purpose of our workshop was to agree by the experts from relevant WGs of EaP national platforms, on joint assessment of environmental pillar of the Eastern Partnership via the implementation of environmental policy reform and governance in 6 EU partner countries, - said Anna Golubovskaya-Onisimova, EaP CSF WG3 co-ordinator. She also informed that the methodology, taken as a basis for this work, was developed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) in 2009 for assessment of the environmental component of Action plans in the partner-countries in the framework of EU cooperation. The report should be presented at the Third Civil Society Forum in Poznan end of November 2011.

Also, the important output of the workshop discussion was mutual understanding and acceptance by the participants the need in permanent experience exchange between NGOs within EaP CSF, in particular, on the environmental component, on the format and content of public participation in shaping provisions of the Association Agreements of partner countries with the EU, the priorities of Agenda for Association, as well as monitoring and evaluating their performance.

For contacts:

Anna Golubovska-Onisimova,
the President of UNENGO “MAMA-86”, EaP CSF WG3 co-ordinator (Environment),

Project funded by the European UnionEU