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News from the ENV.net
 

July 2015

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Public Consultation on Nature Directives:
A Strong Voice for a Greener Europe


Record breaking number of EU citizens call to protect nature. Over half a million people have called on the European Commission to save Europe’s nature laws in a public consultation – by far the highest number of responses ever reached in the history of the EU. The public consultation formally closed at midnight on Sunday 26 July. Commenting on the success of the campaign, Leonardo Mazza, EEB Senior Policy Officer for  Biodiversity, Water & Soil Protection, said: "A record-breaking 520,325 people have joined the fight to protect crucial nature laws, telling the EU not to open the directives for revision. All scientific evidence indicates that, to protect the nature Europeans love, it’s the laws’ implementation and enforcement that needs improving and not the laws themselves. Even much of the business community is supportive of the legislation and doesn’t see a need for rewriting it. Now the EU must draw up a plan for improved nature protection based on more funding for nature conservation and restoration and stronger enforcement of the laws.” Read more.
Ionic sea, Western Balkan
 
 

News from ENV.net partners

 

All countries: ENV.net training programme

Distance learning courses:
a) “Social media, Activism and participation”, The ENV.net course on social media (read more):  Next e-trainings: 28th July - 11th August 2015.
b) “Get funding from the European Union”, the course developed by ENV.net regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 27th July - 10th August and 27th August - 10th September 2015.
To take part, interested participants should first register to the ENV.net e-learning platform here and then choose the course to attend from the "course catalogue". Further inquiries about the course may be sent to env.net-helpdesk@puntosud.org (or click here).

In-country news: ENV.net in action

 
Albania: EU Delegation in Albania organized during the month of July a meeting on “Consultation on the 2015 round of programming of EU pre-accession financial assistance”. This was the first round that EUD in Albania opened for discussions with the CSOs, and the two main topics of the meeting were: public administration reform and the employment reform in the country. In the meeting apart from the EUD representatives there were invited representatives from the respected ministries to present the progress made by the government on these two main issues and how EU will contribute with the funding program to support the country. Basically EUD will provide funding for sectors and deliver them to the respective Ministry, who will be then in charge for the next procedure of grant giving. EUD explicitly declared that if the Albanian Government will not fulfill decided targets, funding will not proceed any further.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Round table with representatives of media and civil society Platform "Green Macedonia". ENV.net Macedonia and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia – (AJM), on 30th July 2015, at the Hotel Continental in Skopje organized a round table on the situation in the field of the environment, as a result of (non) implementation of legal regulations in the direction of promotion and improvement of living conditions for all citizens, and (un) consciences of the citizens and institutions about the problems we are facing in the country. More information here.

Serbia: In July, 2015, Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development (the ENV.net partner organisation from Serbia), was granted a special consultative status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (recommendation was given by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)).  Consultative status for an organization enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of ways.

Kosovo: On 20th of July a Conference “Public-Private partnership in the sector of recycled waste and local development” was organized in Vushtrri Municipality“ . Present in this conference was the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, EC, ATRC, ENV.net partner, and other stakeholders. This conference was organized as part of the project financed by EC office in Kosovo and is implemented by Vushtrri Municipality and “Prishtina REA” NGO. This type of projects influence on improving waste management in country, but it also has an impact on economic development, said the Minister. He also added that that the Ministry lead by him will continue supporting such initiatives in the future.  In the conference beside this also was discussed the need for establishing local Action Plans for Waste Management al Municipal level, this being a legal obligation of Municipalities.

Turkey: Report of Public Consultation on Climate Change is out! On July 24th, TEMA Foundation representatives together with other environmental NGOs and representatives of local organizations visited the Embassy of France in Ankara. The visit was organized to present the results of the public consultation regarding climate change initiated by the government of France and  was organized by TEMA Foundation within Env.net project on June 6th in Istanbul in cooperation with BoÄŸaziçi University and World Wide Views. The presentation of the event and results were followed by a brief discussion on energy investments by French companies in Turkey, local effects of climate change in Turkey and organization of the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris in December. Read more.

News from the EU


I: European Parliament votes for a breath of fresh air. On 15 July, the European Parliament Environment Committee has agreed to improve a Commission proposal which caps pollutant emissions for the EU to 2030. The committee vote is part of a major revision to EU air quality legislation which looks to reduce the disastrous effects air pollution has on human health and the environment. In the text adopted by the Environment Committee, the pollution targets are more stringent than in the Commission’s original proposal. The targets for 2025 have also become binding when they were only indicative originally, and mercury has been added as one of the pollutants covered by the directive. Read more.
 
II: Air pollutant emissions declining, but still above limits.  Emissions of most air pollutants decreased in 2013, confirming the long-term downward trend in Europe since 1990. But many countries are still exceeding internationally-agreed pollutant limits, set to protect human health and the environment, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The annual European Union emission inventory report 1990-2013 under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) confirms a long-term downward trend for most air pollutants. For the first time, this year’s report also documents black carbon (BC) emissions, an air pollutant which is also an important short lived climate forcer. Read more.
 
III. ETS reform: EU tightens screw on 'carbon leakage' handouts for polluting industries. Energy intensive industries will continue to receive free carbon emissions allowances, as compensation for the EU’s stricter climate rules, under planned reforms to the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), but fewer will be granted. The European Commission plans to reduce the number of free allowances and the number of industries that qualify for them, it said today (15 July). It is also speeding up the annual rate at which it reduces allowances, compared to the current ETS trading period. But the plans include safeguards for the international competitiveness of EU energy intensive industries, the executive said. About 50 sectors, including all the major industrial ones, will continue to receive free allowances from 2021, the next ETS trading period, because of the risk of carbon leakage. Carbon leakage is when businesses transfer production to countries with weaker restraints on greenhouse gas emissions because of lower costs. Industries that are likely to still qualify for the free allowances are expected to include sectors such as steel, aluminium, chemicals, paper, fertilisers, lime and glass. Read more.
 
IV. Circular economy – production, consumption and waste in a virtuous cycle. Following the European Commission’s withdrawal of its legislative proposal on the circular economy, MEPs called on the Commission to come up with a truly more ambitious proposal before the end of the year. The report demands binding targets on waste reduction, including food waste and marine litter, separate collection of biowaste and an end to the incineration of recyclable and biodegradable waste. MEPs also called for tangible measures against planned obsolescence and improving consumer protection with regard to defect products. Products’ durability, reusability and recyclability should also be improved and toxic chemicals banned from the production line. A study by the Commission concludes that measures like these could create over two million new jobs in the EU and around €600bn savings per year. Further information: Axel Singhofen - Advisor on Health and Environment Policy. Text as adopted here.
 
V. Compost and climate change: a novel mitigation strategy? Native soils are thought to take up more of the greenhouse gas methane than land used for farming. This study shows that, while agriculture can exert an adverse impact on soil methane uptake, the application of soil conditioners like compost may compensate for loss of the methane sink function. The researchers propose new land management strategies based on this finding. Read more.
 
VI. Banned contaminants can persist in environment for decades. The contamination of hazardous substances in estuaries can have negative effects on biodiversity. Using experimentally supported indicators, this study analysed the environmental risks posed by 22 different contaminants in UK estuaries and coastal waters, finding that substances banned over 20 years ago continue to persist in the marine environment. Read more.  

VII. Has financing for development woken up to the mounting costs of climate change? Climate action needs to be enshrined in the global fight against poverty and inequality. but the Financing for Development (FfD) Conference in Addis Ababa failed to build strong momentum towards fossil fuel-free economies and climate resilience, argues Maeve McLynn from Climate Action Network Europe. Read more
 Commenting on the FfD Conference outcomes, Leida Rijnhout, EEB Director Global Policies and Sustainability, said: “The outcome of this FfD conference goes beyond earlier agreements, as it includes much better non-financial means of implementation to achieve sustainability, including policy coherence. But concerning tax policies it has only few concrete references to environmental taxes and unfortunately no real commitments.” Read more.
 
VIII. World Bank rejects energy industry notion that coal can cure poverty. The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries. In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health impacts as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world. Read more.
 
IX. European Parliament urges donation of supermarket leftovers. The European Parliament urged EU countries to cut down on waste by getting supermarkets to give their unsold food to charities, rather than destroy it. Under a resolution regarding the "circular economy", lawmakers in Strasbourg adopted an amendment whereby they "invite the European Commission to encourage the creation, in member-states, of conventions enabling the food retail sector to distribute unsold products to charitable organisations". "This is a first step in the fight against food waste in Europe," said Angelique Delahaye, the French member of European Parliament who proposed the amendment. Read more.

Latest from the region

The Directorate General (DG) for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programmes Unit developed the ‘EU Guidelines for the Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Countries, 2014-2020’ (EU Guidelines), which includes a Results Framework that sets out the objectives, results and indicators for the European Union’s (EU) support to civil society with the purpose of measuring progress at the country level as well as across the enlargement region over the next seven years. Read more.
C20 Summit 2015: Register now! Registrations are now open for the C20 Summit 2015, which will be taking place at Bosphorus University, Istanbul on 15th and 16th September. Click here to register, & find out more.

Funding opportunities


Three Calls for project proposals in Albania from EUD in Albania.
Themes: Human Rights (EIDHR),   Civil Society development and local public social services for vulnerable groups in the peri-urban areas of Tirana. Dead lines: 24th of August 2015, 31th  of August 2015 and 7th  of September 2015 respectively. More info on the EUD webpage here.
The European Union is seeking project proposals for strengthening policy formulation and drafting legislation and their effective implementation in Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99).
The overall objective is to strengthen the rule of law and the judiciary system through policy formulation and drafting legislation and their effective implementation. Read more. Deadline: 08th September 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions of the month

 
Q: "Is visibility compulsory in EU funded action?"
 
A: "Visibility represent an important activity in any project financed by the EU.  For this reason, any organisation receiving EU funds  shall make sure to publicise the fact that the EU has funded the Action.
The use of the EU’s logo is encouraged as often as possible. The EU’s contribution should also be mentioned in internal reports, annual reports, and to the media, where appropriate.
The EU has also published a Visibility Manual (download the document here) which contains requirements and templates for briefings, written materials, press conferences, EU logos, display panels, promotional items and other tools that should be used to highlight the EU funding.
The visibility and communication plan shall also be submitted for the approval of the project manager during the inception phase. Guidelines and the template can be found in the section 2.3 of the Communication and Visibility Manual.
The communication plan has to contain a budget for the visibility, even for small projects and a report on the visibility and communication activities has to be included in all interim and final reports."

See what's going on in ENV.net partners' countries




This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of ENV.net consortium and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union
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