Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community
Kamil Vilinovic, Milan Chrenko, Vladimir Hudek, Pavel Toma and Laszlo Miklos
for Discussion Roundtables 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 23, 26, 28, 35, and 40
Table of Contents|
Start Date: December 1998
End Date: December 2000
Executing Agency: Ministry of Environment
Implementing Agency: Regional Environmental Centre, Country Office Slovakia
The overall aim of the project is to contribute to creating an understanding of sustainable development as an ongoing, cumulative process owned by the society as a whole. It consists from the following components:
Component 1 (period January 1999 - December 2000)
formulation and the implementation of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD) as a governmental policy document with the broad participation of the civil society. Important elements of the NSSD are an examination of:
- environmental issues: governmental policies and action plans approved by the Parliament
- sectoral economic issues: developmental policies for the productive and service sectors, e.g. industry, agriculture, forestry, tourism and their compatibility with environmental policies
- cross-sectoral issues: e.g. energy, waste, trade, sustainable production and consumption, sustainable development indicators
- social issues: population, education, employment
- institutional framework: institutions, legislation, regulations, tax-system required for sustainable development
- role and responsibilities of government, communities, interests groups and civil society
- a funding and investment strategy
Component 2/ (period September 1999 - December 2000)
formulation of a pilot Regional Agenda 21
Under this component the project will develop and support a model regional Agenda 21 to be implemented in a region selected by the Government. In this connection the Government will consider socio-economic and environmental characteristics of a particular area to ensure that regional co-operation will actually add value to local initiatives. It will include establishment of a Regional Council for Sustainable Development composed of main stakeholders in the region, i.e. representatives of the regional and district administrations, business representatives, scientific bodies and NGO´s. The Regional Agenda 21 will establish the developmental priorities of the region considering environmental, economic and social dimensions. A major value will be to establish the most efficient pattern of required investments in order to optimize the resources of the communities and the state budget allocated for the region. This will also include screening of existing investment proposals, adaptation with the requirements of financing institutions, the preparation of investment projects and the organization of an investment forum.
Component 3/ (period September 1999 - October 2000)
support to demonstration projects financed through a Small grants programme This component will assist the Slovak Republic in enhancing public participation in activities promoting sustainable development at the national, regional and local level. The segment will provide small grants and technical assistance for NGO´s and local communities in order to strengthen their capacity and to assist them in the implementation of small projects related to sustainable development with a particular focus on environmental protection and management, social and community development and building partnership between municipalities, NGO´s, the private sector and other stakeholders of the society. The projects should be linked to the sectors and issues recognised by Agenda 21, for example air, soil and water pollution problems, biodiversity issues, energy issues, environmental law related issues, education and awareness raising, rural development or sustainable development (both on national and local level).
Project "Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in the Slovak Republic" (SLO/98/002/A/01/99)
Major achievements in 1999 and further steps to be taken
The project "Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in the Slovak Republic" (SLO/98/002), that has been signed between the minister of environment of the Slovak Republic, Mr. László Miklós and Ms. Josyanne Chapelier, director RBEC/division 1, United Nations Development Programme, will be implemented in the period 1999-2000, through financial support of UNDP in total 356 000 USD. Additional sources are to be allocated from the Ministry of Environment (1,2 mil. SK). The MoE is functioning as an executing agency for project and the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, REC Slovakia has been appointed as implementing agency, responsible for its management.
Following project documentation, the project consists of three main components:
1/ elaboration of National Sustainable Development Strategy
2/ pilot implementation of Regional Agenda 21
3/ Small Grants Programme for local communities and non-governmental organizations
1/ National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS)
At present, after undertaking rather difficult and at the same time very important process aimed at involvement of all interest groups, as defined by the Agenda 21, including both specialists and general public into the participatory „bottom-up" approach, initial results have become apparent. As regard the supervisory and advisory function, the Strategy Steering Committee, having 29 members, representatives of major groups (ministries, organizations of municipalities, universities, parliament and non-governmental organizations) has been established. Starting from identifications of main stakeholders, the database more than 200 experts, the groups of specialists have been formed using different communication means (e.g. thematic seminars, project presentations, involving media and published materials). Following different aspects of sustainable development, the framework structure (table of content) of the NSDS has been developed, reflecting them accordingly.
The framework structure of the NSDS has been elaborated and approved by the minister of environment. Along with the mentioned, the cross-sectoral group of experts, consisting of scientists, representatives of state and municipal authorities, non-governmental organizations, business and academic sphere have been composed. Out of this group, the main responsible authors were consensually selected and appointed by the minister of environment. Responsible authors have built-up working teams, numbering at present more than 80 members. By the end of 1999, they elaborated detail table of content of the NSDS along with analytical part, which form the 1. phase of this document. NSDS analysis comprises assessment of present state of natural, human, culture-historical resources, as well as economic and institutional conditions for implementation of sustainable development principles in Slovakia.
The preliminary outcomes were presented and discussed at the 1. National Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Bratislava. All plans and activities related to this component were presented and discussed with the Strategy Steering Committee, which has approved by its resolutions the progress of works at its 3 meetings during 1999. According to agreed work plan, the first phase (analysis) will be finished in February 2000. The first version of the NSDS is planned to be elaborated by June 2000. This will be submitted for public negotiation process, strategic environmental assessment and intersectoral annotating procedure, after it will be revised by working teams and finally, in beginning of 2001 submitted to the Government and National Council of the Slovak Republic.
2/ Pilot implementation of Regional Agenda 21
Along with the lessons learned from the process of elaboration of the NSDS and, as a parallel component of the project is planned the pilot Regional Agenda 21. Based upon the set of criteria prepared by experts and negotiated with major stakeholders, as well as by Strategy Steering Committee, following the project documentation the region Central Pohronie was selected and appointed by minister of environment for this purpose. The procurement for selection of implementing agency has been taking place in December 1999 in under official procurement rules (Phare).
The demarcation of borders of Central Pohronie has become also the subject of selection procedure. After receiving two proposals, the procurement committee has assessed them and recommended to the minister of environment the final selection of implementing agency, whose proposal successfully fulfilled given criteria and obtained higher score in procurement. At present, after having minister’s agreement, the Regional Environmental Center will directly address the chosen agency for contract regarding the elaboration of pilot Regional Agenda 21 for Central Pohronie.
Similarly to the NSDS, implementation of this component will start with establishment of the Steering Committee for Regional Agenda 21, that will composed from representatives of major groups as defined by the Agenda 21. The Regional Agenda 21, in other words Regional Sustainable Development Strategy for Central Pohronie will analyze the present situation of natural and human resources from the perspective of sustainable development principles. At the same time it will assess possibilities for their implementation in the region, as well as in other regions through model „pilot" example. The mentioned activities will result into recommendations for regional and spatial planning towards sustainable development of the region, which along with proposed projects will be presented at the investment forum organized in cooperation with UNIDO in the beginning of 2001.
3/ Small Grants Programme for local communities and non-governmental organizations
In initial phase of the project the Guidelines for Applications (following the REC guidelines) for Small Grants Programme have been elaborated and announced through media. The deadline for 1. round was 31 August 1999. The REC Office obtained applications totally requesting more than 1 million USD (app. 40 million Slovak crowns). Grants Committee meeting has been taking place during 14-15 October 1999. Grants Committee evaluated in the 1. round 150 applications of different character and quality. Having taken into consideration main objectives and fulfillment of conceptual, formal and financial requirements, the Committee awarded grants to 17 projects, in total 70 000 USD. Additionally, 2 projects have been (after negotiations) awarded by the British Know How Fund and 1 project by the Dutch Embassy, other 3 projects are under evaluation of the BKHF. Accordingly, the contracts have been realized with subjects responsible for projects and practical implementation of projects started. Some of projects are oriented at implementation of Local Agenda 21 in communities, waste management, biodiversity and nature protection and environmental education. The deadline for 2. round applications was 31 December 1999. REC Office has received over 70 applications totally requesting for 320 000 USD, while 30 000 USD remains available. All applications are registered in special files, evaluation of them will take place at the 2. round Grants Committee, which will take place on 3 February 2000.
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