Capacity Building and Knowledge

Key capacity building and
knowledge sharing needs:
REC’s experience
Kenty Richardson
Director for International Relations & Strategic Development
Incheon SDTF, 10 April 2014
Outline of the presentation
• REC presentation and role in capacity building, and
governance for SD, preliminary thoughts
• Capacity building and knowledge sharing needs
Implement effective and efficient multi-stakeholder bodies
• Collaborate more directly across levels of government for
planning and scaling up implementation
• Scale up implementation through the design and
implementation of cross-cutting policies and programmes
• Prepare monitoring, reporting and accountability
• Final thoughts
Regional Environmental Center (REC)
An international organisation with a mission to assist
different interest groups in addressing
environmental issues and promote sustainable
development in CEE and beyond
Legally based on a charter signed by 31 countries
and the European Commission
Offices in 17 countries, approx. 160 staff members
100% project-financed organisation
• over 200 running projects
• annual turnover 10-12 MEUR
Operations in:
• EU Member States in CEE
• EU enlargement countries, candidate and potential
candidate countries
• Eastern Partnership Countries
• EU27
• beyond the REC Country Office network
Potential REC services – REC
• Coordination and management of
complex environmental related
projects (including international
• Neutral platform
• Mission driven approach
• Transparent, flexible
• Specific support in the drafting of
national strategies and
programmes for the implementation
of the Europe 2020 Strategy
• Research
• National and regional
• Civil society support
• grants
• capacity building
• Policy briefs; good practices;
integrated policy guideline
• Stakeholder involvement
• cross-sectoral governmental
bodies and agencies,
• e.g. ministries like
environment, energy,
housing, transport,
agriculture, health, water,
climate change, forestry
innovation & employment
• the business sector, the finance
• civil society
• academia
• media
• Capacity building
• organisation of complex and
comprehensive seminars and
workshops at the national and
regional level
Capacity building and knowledge sharing
needs in mainstreaming SD into planning
Philosophy of the REC: series of practical steps that make difference
• Not a substitute to SD councils that are top down but work on
deliverables bottom up. How we can better articulate this top down with
bottom up approaches?
• Inter-institutional cooperation very important; vital role of competent
• Achieving sectoral integration in practice, vertical and horizontal
• Participation and contribution of the environmental stakeholders in all
bodies at all levels
• Capacity building of environmental stakeholders at all levels to be
supported – central and local governments, NGOs, businesses, media,
Examples of REC activities
Implement effective and efficient multi-stakeholder bodies
Key examples — Rivers in focus
• NGO Participation in the Danube
River Basin Management Plans
• Building Environmental
Citizenship to Support
Transboundary Pollution
Reduction /Pilot Project in
Hungary and Slovenia
• Danube National & Regional
• Enhancing Access to Information
and Public participation in
Environmental Decision Making,
Danube Regional Project
• Tisza River Basin Integrated
Sustainable Dev. Programme Planning and Initiation Phase
• Tisza follow up grants - NGO
workshop: response in crisis situation
Sava / Drina
• Support to the International Sava
Basin Commission Initiative
• Enhancing cross border cooperation
in the Drina River Basin
Implement effective and efficient multistakeholder bodies: lessons learned
REC as neutral platform secretariat of national
round tables in nuclear energy and nuclear waste
management (voluntary basis with difficulties)
Now emerging community of practise around on
public participation (PP) in nuclear energy policy
and nuclear waste management at EU level
promoting PP as a component of transparency and
Collaborate more directly across levels of government for
planning and scaling up implementation
• SECTOR, SENSE and SENIOR programes supporting
CSO’s to become active and powerful actors in the local
and national SD context.
• GREEN PACK introducing SD in the curricula as a tool
for the overall educational reform
Key example: STREAM
• Strengthening Local Environmental Planning
and Environmental Civil Society in Belarus and
Moldova during 2012-2014
Financial support from SIDA, with budget of 5.3 MEUR; 2014
final year of implementation
Two clusters under implementation:
• Supporting Sustainability and Environmental Action Planning in
Communities in Belarus and Moldova (LEAP)
• Supporting Environmental Civil Society Organisations in Belarus
and Moldova (SECTOR)
Key example: Green Pack
2001 with the support of Toyota Motor
Corporation, the REC developed a
comprehensive environmental education
programme in Central and Eastern Europe
(Green Pack)
The REC and respective local partners
developed a comprehensive environmental
education programme special for each country.
A multi-media environmental education
curriculum kit
• Primarily intended for secondary school
teachers and their students
• Focus on particular aspects of environmental
protection and sustainable development
40.000+ teachers
4.500.000+ students
In 18 countries…. 20 languages
Current Project – RBF support for Kosovo*,
Montenegro and Serbia
Scale up implementation through the design and
implementation of cross-cutting policies and programmes
• Environment and security: nexus water, food and energy
• Resilience and climate adaptation
• Climate change mitigation
• Health and environment
• Transport and environment
A unique combination of skills,
experiences and networks
ENVSEC process
Confidence building and action
Stage 1: Regional
Stage 2: National and
regional consultations
Stage 3: Regional work
Stage 4: Project
implementation and
lessons learned
Key examples: The Impacts of Climate Change
on Food Production in the Western Balkans
The publication summarise the knowledge, experience
and results acquired in the course of research into the
impacts of climate change on crop yields in five
• The reports from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia provide
examples of efforts to identify risks related to climate change
and the main effects on the production of important crops.
The publication highlight the gaps and barriers that
central and local governments need to address.
• It provides recommendations for decision makers as to the most
urgent actions needed to pave the way to incorporating climate
change aspects into agricultural development plans and shaping
appropriate strategies and policies.
Key example: SINPHONIE
• School Indoor Pollution and
Health Observatory Network in
Europe (
A complex research project covering the
areas of health, environment, transport,
climate change
It aims at improving air quality in schools
and kindergartens
The project is implemented under service
contract of DG Sanco
36 environment & health institutions from
25 countries
Key examples: CRESSIDA
• Building Local Community Resilience for
Sustainable Development in International
Watersheds, such as the Drini/Drina river
• local governments of those countries that
share the watersheds-namely, Albania,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*,
Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
• main goal is to create a flexible and easily
replicable 'living laboratory' for pilot
sustainability tools and practices
• capacity-building activities will combine
theoretical and hands-on approaches, and
also encourage participants engage actively
in decision-making processes
• Starting in 2014
Prepare monitoring, reporting and accountability
processes and institutions for a set of global sustainable
development goals that can be translated into national,
sub-national and local contexts
Final thoughts
• Many more cross-cutting policies than before
• Combine top down and bottom up and learn and connect
with grassroots living labs experiences including a
clearing house of lessons learned
• Step by step approach to move fast on low hanging fruits
and upscale them
• SD public policies should integrate all available tools from
legislation, budget, spatial planning and public awareness
• SD transition should mainly focus “on connecting people”
using the famous ad of this Finnish company and include
much more new information technologies and more social
Thank you for your attention &
Welcome to the REC!

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