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ENVSEC Management Board meeting

Vienna, Austria - 14 April 2016

On 14 April 2016, ENVSEC partners will meet in Vienna to discuss the developments over the past 6 months, plan new projects and determine a way forward for ENVSEC in terms of programmatic activities, partnerships, and focus areas.

ENVSEC Briefing for OSCE delegations

14 April 2016

Using the opportunity of OSCE's Chairmanship in ENVSEC in 2016 and the Management Board meeting scheduled for 14 April, on the same day an ENVSEC briefing for OSCE delegations will be organized, focusing on ENVSEC highlights and success stories such as: disaster risk reduction and climate change; sustainable mining; transboundary water co-operation; and environmental good governance.

ENVSEC Management Board teleconference

- 09 December 2015

Final Management Board teleconference of 2015. The Chair will update partners on the current state of affairs in ENVSEC. A more detailed update to follow.

Launch of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform for Environment and Security

17 November 2015

Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of countries accredited at the UN in Geneva, as well as distinguished members of the international academia, attended the launch event of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security, hosted jointly by the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) represented by the UN Environment Programme and the University of Geneva. The launch event provided an opportunity for the policy-making and academic community to discuss the implications of climate change on European and global security. The newly established platform will serve as a network supplying knowledge and technical expertise for new approaches to confront existing and emerging challenges in the field of environment and security. It will establish continuous dialogue between scientists and policymakers to generate new ideas and methodologies to implement new solutions that facilitate environmental cooperation. The Platform will meet on an annual basis to address existing and emerging environmental risks and tensions in the overall context of global issues. For more information see link below
GSPP Launch

Management Board teleconference

- 01 April 2015

The first Management Board teleconference of 2015 was held in April 2015. The Chair presented the draft Chair's objectives and called for partners' inputs on the substance. It was also decided to launch a calendar of events for ENVSEC in 2015-2016, finalize the 2014 Annual report of ENVSEC, and hold physical meetings of the Secretariat and Management Board back-to-back in June 2015.

ENVSEC Management Board and Partners’ meetings

Belgrade, Serbia - 25 November 2014 - 26 November 2014

The ENVSEC inter-agency Management Board meeting and annual ENVSEC Partners meeting took place on 25-26 November in Belgrade, Serbia. The partners of the ENVSEC Initiative reviewed the progress made within the regional and cross-regional context, engaged in in-depth discussions with the donors on how to improve results delivery and inter-agency project implementation, and planned the way forward for the Initiative. With a view to its upcoming Chairmanship of the Initiative, UNEP presented an outline of strategic objectives for 2015. The thematic focus areas of ENVSEC in 2015 will include water, disaster risk reduction and climate change and security.

Fire Management training in Antalya

Antalya, Turkey - 15 October 2014 - 17 October 2014

From 15 to 17 October 2014, the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in Antalya, Turkey, held a regional training course on fire management to build the capacity of national authorities, fire brigades and unit leaders from the South Caucasus and Western Balkans. The course was held within the framework of ENVSEC with funding from the Governments of Austria, Finland and Switzerland. It was organized in co-operation with the Global Fire Monitoring Center and hosted by the International Fire Management Training Centre in Antalya under the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs.

Participants learned about the concepts, good practices and standards of wildfire management. This included handling fires burning on areas contaminated by radioactivity, unexploded ordinances and land mines. The training was provided by experts from Germany, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

Halil Yurdakul Yigitguden, the co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities was quoted saying “natural disasters can have a direct impact on security, addressing common disaster challenges, on the other hand offer an opportunity for co-operation within and among countries.”

Cross-boundary co-operation, community fire management and advanced technologies for fire prevention and preparedness were also focus areas of the training course. Participants shared their experiences, good practices and lessons learned. The final day was devoted to a practical exercise in the field where the participants studied fire behaviour and fire suppression techniques as well as tools and equipment.

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ENVSEC Eastern European Regional consultation meeting

Minsk, Belarus - 08 September 2014 - 09 September 2014

The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Eastern European Regional consultation meeting took place from 8 to 9 September 2014. The meeting saw broad participation from representatives of governments of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, academic and non-governmental institutions, and ENVSEC’s international partners.

The meeting was convened by UNEP as the Eastern European regional desk of the ENVSEC Initiative, and generously hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

The high-level participants deliberated for two days in plenary and group discussions, analysing the future outlook for ENVSEC in Eastern Europe in a joint effort to work out priority areas where immediate attention and action is needed on the part of the Eastern European countries and their ENVSEC partners, especially in the context of the current tense situation in the region.

As a result of the two-day negotiations, which necessitated an intense closed-door session moderated by UNEP, an Outcome Statement was produced, elaborating the main challenges in the area of environment and security and giving the region a new vision of cooperation.

The priority areas identified are as follows: Water issues and transboundary water basins; Climate change: an ecosystem approach; Management of chemicals and hazardous wastes; Transboundary environmental security; Environmental cooperation in conflict situations; and Industrial activity and environmental security.

The Outcome Statement is posted on the ENVSEC website under Meetings .

Transboundary Cooperation and Climate Change Adaptation in the Neman River Basin

Lithuania - 19 June 2014 - 20 June 2014

The draft strategic framework for basin adaptation and a possible way forward to strengthen transboundary cooperation in the Neman River watershed in Eastern Europe was discussed in a meeting on river basin management and climate change adaptation held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The recommendations include expanding the scope of technical cooperation, improving cross-border exchange of information, for instance to support river basin management planning in Lithuania with Belarusian inputs, and to continue exploring opportunities for a basin-level policy instrument for the Neman River basin.

The meeting on 19 and 20 June 2014 convened experts and representatives from environmental authorities in Belarus, Lithuania and the Kaliningrad oblast of the Russian Federation. It was hosted by the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment in the framework of an international process on river basin management and climate change adaptation led by UNECE and UNDP Belarus.

The Neman Basin conference was organized as part of the project “River basin management and climate change adaptation in the Neman River Basin”, which is carried out by UNECE and UNDP Belarus in the ENVSEC framework.

The project aims to improve integrated river basin management and transboundary cooperation in times of a changing climate in the Neman River basin, to strengthen the capacity of the riparian countries to adapt to climate change by supporting dialogue and cooperation on the necessary steps to design an adaptation strategy in the transboundary context. The project has, for the first time, enabled modelling and forecasting of climatic and hydrological characteristics for the entire transboundary Neman River basin. It has also resulted in a strategic framework for basin adaptation, similar to a transboundary adaptation strategy. It has reached a common understanding on future water availability and water use, taking into account possible climate change impacts.

The project was launched in 2011 and is funded by Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. It is one of the pilot projects on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins under the UNECE Water Convention.

Integrated Water Management for the Lepenec River

29 May 2014

REC has ensured cooperation between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (Territory under UN Resolution 1244) concerning the management of shared transboundary water resources of the Lepenec river in South Eastern Europe (SEE). In a project aiming to introduce integrated water management, a joint expert group was set up to assess water supply and wastewater management. Based on the technical documentation and results of the assessment, the expert group have also analysed the legal and institutional set-up concerning the management of the Lepenec river and created a stakeholder map for introducing integrated water management.

On 29 May 2014 in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a bilateral meeting between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (Territory under UN Resolution 1244) was organized. In the meeting high-level officials from the Macedonian and Kosovan ministries, responsible for environment, physical planning, agriculture, transportation and economy, and representatives from hydrometeorology and health-care institutes, the business sector and non-governmental organisations met and jointly reviewed the project activities and next steps. The project is funded by the Government of Finland.

ENVSEC Embarks on a New Decade in South Eastern Europe

31 March 2014 - 01 April 2014

The annual ENVSEC Regional Coordination meeting for South Eastern Europe (SEE) convened on March 31 - April 1, 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro. Through the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), ENVSEC partner organizations, OSCE, REC, UNDP, UNECE, UNEP and associated partner NATO, have ushered in a new decade of work in the region through a multi-annual regional programme. Continuing work in the region for 2012-2015 is currently funded by ADA, with additional financial resources available for selected activities by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Swiss Development Cooperation.

Mr. Branimir Gvozdenovic, Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, in the opening session called for stronger support from the donor community to the countries of SEE and praised ENVSEC for their significant support to resolving environmental concerns in the region.

Over 100 participants attended the meeting including high level officials from Montenegro, national focal points from the SEE region, international organizations, academia, civil society organizations, corporate leaders and other partners. The meeting was an opportunity to acknowledge the relevance and progress made in addressing environment and security risks in the SEE region. Participants in the meeting stressed that regional cooperation is a key generator of political stability and economic process in the region, and that in this regard ENVSEC activities in the region contribute solid support to the Western Balkan countries in meeting the demanding requirements of EU membership.

The meeting consisted of a high-level opening panel which discussed the added value of ENVSEC, a working meeting of the ENVSEC National Focal Points representing Ministries of Environment and Ministries of Foreign Affairs from each country in the SEE region, a world café, and a roundtable discussion. Through the working meeting and subsequent discussions, participants were exposed to the priority areas for ENVSEC actions in the SEE region for increased regional cooperation. Additionally participants were given tools to gain new opportunities for ENVSEC to synergise with partners for greater efficiency; to expand upon recognised tools and methods that are applied in other regions; to mainstream disaster risk reduction, management and preparedness; and to support political instruments and processes, such as the SEE 2020 Strategy, with ENVSEC expertise for orchestrated activities that can catalyse resources and strengthen the region.

Addressing Cross-Border Transport of Hazardous Waste and Environmental Crimes in Moldova

27 March 2014 - 28 March 2014

On 27-28 March 2014 in Chisinau, Moldova, OSCE hosted a training workshop entitled “Detection and Prevention of Trafficking of Environmentally Sensitive Commodities” under the ENVSEC project “Prevention of Illegal Cross-border Transport of Hazardous Waste and Other Cross-border Environmental Crimes”.

Given the severity of the illegal border crossing of environmentally sensitive commodities, this workshop aimed to spread awareness of the need for customs capacity building and training of border guards and environmental officers to detect and prevent illegal trafficking of environmental goods, as governed by the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the Convention on International Trade in the Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Strengthening Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in South Eastern Europe

24 February 2014 - 25 February 2014

With reference to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention), the ENVSEC Initiative is carrying out country studies and a regional study on the key issues of access to environmental justice in South Eastern Europe (SEE).

The project has identified challenges and good practices in the implementation of the access to justice pillar of the Aarhus Convention by analyzing relevant legislation and practice in six countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99), Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. In addition, the draft regional study provides targeted recommendations on the way forward aiming at removing barriers in access to justice on the basis of inclusive participation of all stakeholders.

The report suggest, given continued support to the project, to address these recommendations through multi-stakeholder dialogues and targeted capacity building efforts to stakeholder groups like civil society, state institutions, judiciary, environmental lawyers and legal practitioners. This would assist the regional cooperation on environmental governance through participatory and informed decision-making.

A summary of the preliminary findings and conclusions of the regional study were presented at the seventh meeting of the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Access to Justice, serviced by UNECE (Geneva, 24-25 February 2014), and will be finalized for the Aarhus Convention Meeting of the Parties (30 June-2 July 2014). This project is implemented by three of the ENVSEC partners, the OSCE, REC and UNECE.

Multi-stakeholders workshop discussing implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Belarus

29 January 2014 - 31 January 2014

Good environmental governance is key for tackling environmental challenges. In January 2014, OSCE and UNECE organized 3 days multi-stakeholder workshop on “Advancing Implementation of the UNECE Aarhus Convention in Belarus”. The workshop was organised in close cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus and in partnership with the RUE Belarusian SRC ‘Ecology’, with support from the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative.

The diverse participation of practitioners from the central and local level demonstrated the strong commitment of Belarus to the implementation of the Aarhus Convention. Over 50 representatives of central and local governments, academia, governmental institutions, representatives of environmental civil society organizations, as well as Minsk and Hrodno Aarhus Centers, highlighted the challenges and solutions for advancing the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and its amendment on genetically-modified organisms (GMO) in Belarus. Participants familiarized themselves with the current implementation of the Aarhus Convention; they explored different measures to enhance the implementation of the Convention and its GMO amendment at the national and local levels, including with support of the Aarhus Centres.

At the opening of the workshop the First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Vitaly Kulik, stated that significant progress has been made in integrating the Aarhus Convention’s provisions into national legislation and in strengthening the capacities of state institutions in Belarus. He noted that "the National Workshop Advancing Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Belarus will further promote implementation of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention".

ENVSEC report: Transboundary Cooperation and Sustainable Management of the Dniester River Basin

22 January 2014

A publication presents the achievements of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) project “Transboundary Co-operation and Sustainable Management in the Dniester River Basin: Phase III – Implementation of the Action Programme”. The project was led and implemented by three of the ENVSEC partners, UNECE, OSCE and UNEP.

Project activities, transboundary water monitoring, fish fauna conservation, information sharing on the basin level, public awareness, and reducing vulnerability to extreme floods and climate change, and development and signing of the Moldovan-Ukrainian Dniester River basin Treaty, are described in the publication.

The signing ceremony took place at the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) in Rome in November 2012 (see Treaty text in Russian and English as well as the related press release).

The publication provides recommendations for further activities in the Dniester basin and is a valuable reference for the further development of the transboundary integrated water resources management.
Dniester without Borders Summary (English)
Dniester without Borders Summary (Russian)
Dniester without Borders (Russian)

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