Local Governance

Capacity development

The TA continued to build the capacities of local communities for planning, financing and implementing projects related to environment, biodiversity and local education. It provided assistance to improve environmental planning and its horizontal and vertical integration, to improve environmental management practices, and to support pilot environmental investments. The TA assisted in further developing the capacities of local institutions in SEE, Moldova and Belarus for sustainability planning and management by strengthening local institutions, addressing environmental degradation, addressing the effects of shifts in political structures, and enhancing the speed of institutional reforms. This is in line with the decentralisation and regionalisation requirements stipulated in the EU approximation process for SEE and other countries.

Promoting sustainable development

Projects implemented under this TA assisted over 50 communities to improve educational and social practices for sustainable development. Activities were undertaken to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to biodiversity and ecosystem services for the sustainable development of rural municipalities and their local communities in order to contribute to poverty reduction and the further democratisation of societies by improving local environmental planning and management and, in Belarus and Moldova, by providing small grants for local investments.

Local environmental action planning

In Kosovo*, over 10 seminars were organised on the implementation of local environmental action plans (LEAPs). Capacities were built in relation to the local implementation of regulations on the provision of information to municipalities about responsibilities arising from directives related to climate change, waste, wastewater, air quality and industrial pollution. Training was also provided on the financing of environmental investments in order to help municipalities access funds and to initiate possible innovative economic instruments at local level to realise activities identified in the LEAPs, including evaluations to assess the impacts of projects on targeted stakeholders and to measure the overall value of project activities. The seminars were also designed to increase awareness, capacities, and ownership on the part of local authorities for integrated environmental planning and LEAPs.

Regional workshops were also organised on LEAPs, based on the outcomes of the relevant national-level processes, as a capacity-building activity and as a needs assessment exercise. A national forum on LEAPs was established in order to monitor and supervise work in the field in relation to community involvement plans (CIPs), and a training exercise targeting fundraising opportunities was held for municipal officials. One national workshop and one donor conference were also organised in this context.

Trainings in Albania

In Albania, numerous trainings and capacity-building events were organised to improve the efficiency of water supply companies in six regions. A national conference marked the launch of the programme, attracting over 100 participants, including high officials. Practical guidelines and promotional items were produced.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Sustainable development programmes in rural municipalities and their local communities contribute to poverty reduction and further democratization
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