EECCA Environmental Strategy. Second Wind

Keynote address at the plenary session of the Sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe”
Michael Kozeltsev, Executive Director of the Russian Regional Environmental Centre

EECCA Environmental Strategy. Second Wind
(View of the EECCA Regional Environmental Centres)

Mr. Chairman
Distinguished Participants

I am pleased to present the common position of the EECCA RECs on prospects on the EECCA region development and perspectives of the EECCA Environment Strategy that we highly evaluate and support. Our position is formulated in the brochure distributed at this conference clearly and in detail.

EECCA region has undergone radical transformation during the last 15 years. It was expressed in a triple transition of each former union republic: from soviet state to democracy (at least to its certain elements); from centrally planned economy to the market one; and from one unified country to independent states.

National self-identification became the main political challenge of each new independent state. At the same time, EECCA countries did not make a choice in favor of isolation but rapidly joined the world economic system. Differentiation of countries by levels, rates and models of growth deepened. We have identified three types of sub-regional development: migration, industrial and resource one.

Each type of development produces its own environmental problems and requires individual approach for addressing them. At the same time, increased expectations of socially active population of EECCA countries and openness of post-soviet space predetermine often changes in political and economic conditions. Therefore, emerging of new environmental initiatives and changes in the compositions of environmental partnerships at the sub-regional level should be expected. It is highly probable that some national environmental programmes and projects will expand on new territories.

In this regard we believe that:

EECCA Environment Strategy should be able to adapt general provisions to sub-regional and national levels with the account of specific features of the development. Dynamism of the development of the EECCA region will increase requirements for the EECCA Strategy not only as a document, but primarily as a process of negotiations. The demand for international organizations as mediators and facilitators of negotiations will grow. In this regard the network of EECCA Regional Environmental Centres possesses unique potential.

EECCA states actively try to be included in the international political and economic system. Recognizing and sharing common values, such as Millenium Development Goals, sustainable development principles, provisions of the Earth Charter, EECCA countries face problems in making them concrete and adapting them to the rules and procedures for various sectors of the society. Necessity for creating a system of corporate environmental liability in private sector, the most active part of the civil society in EECCA at present, might serve as an example. We believe that there also is a big field of activity for the EECCA Environment Strategy in case it is adequately modified and adjusted to the new challenges.

EECCA Environment Strategy that reflects the nature and scale of changes occurring in the region itself, can not be limited only to implementing typical pilot projects without the account of increasing role of large investment projects, including projects of transboundary nature.

Protection of the rights of citizens and public participation in environmental assessment of projects get special importance at the current stage of EECCA countries development.

With regard to unification of efforts of the OECD EAP Task Force and EECCA RECs on the development of a Joint Workprogram we seriously rely on the attention and support of the countries of the region and donor community for providing a “second wind” for the EECCA Environment Strategy.

Thursday 11, October 2007
Serbia, Belgrade Sava conference centre

materials_for_report_eng.pdf (205.72 KB)


The Council discussed the Conference of Environment Ministers from the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and their Partners, that took place in Georgia in October 2004 and continued EU support for this process.

The Council adopted a Decision approving the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants.The Convention provides a framework for managing 12 named polluting substances, and for adding new chemicals to the list.

The Council adopted a Regulation on materials and articles intended to come in contact with food aiming to improve protections for health and for consumers’ interests.The Regulation requires labelling or information in order to support the safe and correct use of foodstuffs and prohibits substances that are used to mask an incipient spoilage of food

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