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News from the

March 2016


An Integrated Environmental Approach to the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted unanimously by UN member states in September 2015, have given the international community and national governments a number of targets and principles – chief among them, to advance an “integrated approach".  “Ecosystems provide the foundation for delivering a multitude of SDGs,” said Hagelberg. Investing in smart management of ecosystems can have an impact on areas beyond the clear environmental targets concerning oceans and biodiversity. There is an environmental underpinning to the entire 2030 Agenda, from sanitation to poverty reduction, job creation to health, and energy to inequality.
In the context, the EU supports the Poverty Environment Initiative, which supports country-led efforts to incorporate pro-poor, pro-environment objectives into government policy, national development and sub-national development planning. The EU collaborates also on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, an initiative focused on "making nature's values visible".
Spring in Skadarsko Jezero, Albania

News from partners


All countries: training programme

Distance learning courses:
a) "CSOs activism and participation", the new course on how to develop an advocacy and lobbying strategy and to influence the decision making process: Next e-trainings: 4th - 18th April 2016
b) “Social media, Activism and participation”, The course on social media (read more):  Next e-trainings: 12th - 26th March 2016.
c) “Get funding from the European Union”: the course developed by regards the EU as resource partner (read more).  Next e-trainings: 14th - 28th April 2016
To take part, interested participants should first register to the e-learning platform here and then choose the course to attend from the "course catalogue". Further inquiries about the course may be sent to (or click here).

In-country news: in action

Albania: Co-PLAN, Institute for Habitat Development during the month of March opened the restricted call for proposal for small grants for Environmental Organizations operating in Albania. The call under the title "Green Initiatives towards complying with EU environmental standards" will be awarded to organizations applying for advocacy awareness campaigns, monitoring platforms/tools, small innovative interventions and research studies on the following environmental aspects:
  • Water management
  • Nature protection
  • Climate change, and especially energy efficiency
  • Status of environmental legislation framework transposition, especially on the above mentioned environmental aspects
The deadline of the call is 13th of April 2016. For more info, visit the website.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Active Citizens for Greener Future: Official Signing with the Sub-grantees in Macedonia - Skopje, 4th March, 2016
On March 4, 2016, team from Macedonia organised a meeting to officially sign the contracts with Vila Zora from Veles and Planetum from Strumica, the two awarded applicants from the restricted call for proposals for the local CSOs, titled “Active Citizens for Greener Future”. The two awarded projects (Think globally, act locally submitted by Vila Zora, Veles and Local campaign against climate change submitted by Planetum, Strumica) in this call were evaluated by the partners and external assessors, as the most successful and in line with the project overall aim.
Social event “Tour de Veles” - 21st March, 2016
Vila Zora, in cooperation with the team from Macedonia, organised a social event, titled “Tour de Veles”. Over 200 hundred citizens, young and adults, with a bicycle procession on the city streets of Veles marked March 21, the first day of spring and ecology. The aim was to send a message to their co-citizens for a more frequent use of this means of transport, which is health-friendly and is the most acceptable for the environment (read more). The event obtained a very significant media coverage.

Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99): On 04th March ATRC participated in the Conference organized by Urban Research Institute (URI) in Kukes (Albania). Conference was part of the project Environmental Protection and Waste Management implemented jointly by ATRC and URI and supported by European Commission Delegation in Albania. In this final conference results of the project activities were presented and recommendations for future needs (read more).
During March, ATRC, as part of the project activities, selected three sub-grantee organizations that will implement three projects during the spring period (read more). The projects to be implemented are:
  1. Protecting rivers from pollution and degradation (Main objective of the Project aims to raise the awareness of institutions but also of citizen for environmental protection in general with specific focus on rivers in Gjakova, Peja and Rahovec (rivers Lumbardhi i Pejës, Drini e bardhë dhe  Lumit Erenik);
  2. Germia Yesterday and Today  (Through the activities, the project will identify properties built in occupied areas, identification of environmental degradation, waste management and generally park by the responsible authorities. Activities will be implemented in cooperation with NGOs and citizen sympathetic to the park, but also with other institutions).
  3. Environment protection from unused medicines (Specific objective of the project is to raise the awareness of population about the health and environment risks of the disposal of unused medicines as normal waste.
Serbia: World Water Day Celebration in Serbia - 22nd March 2016
In order to highlight the importance of preserving natural floodplains and forests, the Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development, together with the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature, and Public Communal Enterprise "Greenery Belgrade" organised eco-workshop "Great War island and white-tailed eagle - symbols of preserved forests and waters of Belgrade" on 25 March 2016, at Kalemegdan, Belgrade.
At the workshop, participants learned about the values of green oasis in urban areas, the importance of protection area of ​​exceptional importance such as "Great War Island", the importance of water in shaping and forming the present Great War Island and Kalemegdan, the richness of the natural world in the Great War Island, diversity of birds that can be seen in this oasis of Belgrade. Visit the blog to know more.

Turkey: On 22nd March, World Water Day, TEMA Foundation’s volunteers have organized “Awareness for Water” events in all 81 cities of Turkey. 40.000 people in 81 cities and 124 different areas were reached through 44 water chain awareness walks, 66 stands/booths and information points, 87 education workshops (197 events in total) (read more).
As a part of World Water Day events, TEMA has also published “The Map of Threats to Water Resources in Turkey” that has been prepared with the contributions of the volunteer representatives. Have a look to the report.
Turkish Partner TEMA Foundation attended the “River Basin Management Commission Workshop” organized by General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works on March, 15. All of the 130 participants were distributed the book “Liquid Assets: The Critical Need to Safeguard Freshwater Ecosystems” along with the TEMA Foundation Proposal of Law on Water, which were both printed with valuable contributions of The participants were informed about the current water-related issues through the distributed print material (read more).

News from the EU

I. European Commission increasingly isolated over lack of post-Paris ambition
The EU’s assessment of what it needs to do on CO2 emissions between now and 2030 is far removed from the targets in the Paris Agreement
The EU executive’s assessment of the global climate deal published in March 2016 failed to make any mention of the need to revise the EU’s 2030 targets to keep global warming below 2 Degrees C, let alone below the 1.5 Degrees C advised by Europe in Paris. Instead, the Commission seems to be happy to float along and leave the world on track to experience at least 3 Degrees C or more of warming. NGOs, citizens, local authorities, trade unions, businesses, the electricity sector and faith groups increasingly call for the EU to bring its climate and energy policies in line with the Paris agreement.
II. 107 NGOs call for major review of EU food & farming policy
CAP needs root-and-branch change - 107 leading environmental, health, and social NGOs are calling on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to initiate an in-depth review of food production and consumption in Europe by conducting a Fitness Check of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). For more info, click here.
III. Analysis: Over 100 000 EU citizens could die because of member states' push for weaker air quality laws
Research by the European Environmental Bureau shows that approximately 130 000 EU citizens could die prematurely in the coming years because of a push by EU member states to  weaken air quality laws.
Denmark, Romania, Poland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Bulgaria have been particularly vociferous in calling for lower emissions reduction targets, despite the clear impact of air pollution on human health and the environment. France and Germany, for example, seem preoccupied with protecting large-scale industrial farming, which produces high ammonia emissions and is responsible for around 30,000 of these deaths, rather than their citizens (read more). A summary briefing and methodology is available here

Latest from the region

The 2016 calls for nominations within regional scheme of EU awards for investigative journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey are being announced during March 2016 aiming at rewarding the best investigative stories published in 2015. The overall goal is to celebrate and promote outstanding achievements of investigative journalists and to improve the visibility of quality investigative journalism in the region.
The EU award regional scheme has been established by the European Commission, DG NEAR, following the EU Enlargement strategy which recognizes strong need for ensuring freedom of expression in the media, and for support to investigative journalism to monitor the reform processes and to keep the historical momentum toward the EU accession.
Within the regional scheme, seven separate award contests are being organised for the second time in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (read more).

Funding opportunities

A new Call for proposal is released by EU Delegation in FYROM.
Call title: Support to Civil Society Organisations under the Civil Society Facility 2015 Civil Society Facility and Media, Multi-Beneficiary Programme 2015 under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

The call includes three priority areas:
  • Priority 1:  Support to civil society horizontal measures;
  • Priority 2:  Support to civil society in watchdog & monitoring to public institutions;
  • Priority 3:  Supporting fundamental rights. 
Deadline for submission of the application: 26th April 2016
For more information, click here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What about a unilateral modification of the Grant?
A: A unilateral modification consists of a written communication from the Coordinator informing the Contracting Authority of changes that the Grant Beneficiary has introduced. The communication must be provided at the latest in the next report. The written communication commits the Grant beneficiary to apply the change. Acceptance by the Contracting Authority is not requested in this case, and should not be expected; nevertheless it is important to duly justify the changes and archive the related correspondence. Further explanation on the changes should be provided with the interim/final narrative reports.
It can be used in the following cases:
  • if the amendment does not affect the basic purpose(objectives,results,indicators,area of intervention and sustainability) of the Action;
  • if the financial impact is limited to a transfer between items within the same main budget heading including cancellation or introduction of an item;
  • if a transfer between main budget headings involves a variation of 25% or less of the amount originally budgeted (or as modified by addendum).
This method may not be used to amend the budget headings for indirect costs, the contingency reserve, for in-kind contribution or rates of simplified costs, or for changes between budget headings that exceed the 25% threshold.

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


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