Chairman’s letter

Andrzej KassenbergA dynamic year for the REC, 2013 saw the continuation of many key projects, the negotiation of new contracts, the opening up of new areas of expertise, and the launching of new partnerships.

The Budapest Water Summit Civil Society Forum was organised by the REC, providing a channel for civil society contributions to the preoperational phase of the sustainable development goals.

Activities under the project Strengthening Local Environmental Planning and Environmental Civil Society in Belarus and Moldova continued successfully.

Intensive granting, capacity-building, networking and media-related tasks began in the framework of two projects supporting environmental civil society organisations in Serbia and Albania.

The project Setting up the Environmental Management Center (EMC) in Serbia mobilised funds of EUR 2.6 million to increase the capacities of the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency, industries, public utilities and government authorities.

Within the framework of the European Economic Area (EEA) Norway Grants mechanism, the REC started to implement comprehensive activities under the programme area Adaptation to Climate Change, part of a five-year financial programme in Hungary with a total budget of EUR 7 million.

The complex task of establishing a country office in Ukraine is ongoing, and includes the forthcoming ratification of the international agreement of the REC and the negotiation of the bilateral agreement. Project activities in the fields of water management, biodiversity and local governance for the Ivano-Frankivsk region are in a preparatory phase.

The REC is working in close cooperation with the European Institute of Technology through a project to support the Knowledge and Innovation Community on sustainable energy (KIC InnoEnergy) in its outreach and take-up activities in the “new” EU and beyond.

Training for almost 600 volunteers from civil society was organised in Istanbul, Turkey, on climate issues and solutions in cooperation with The Climate Reality Project founded by former vice president Al Gore.

During the year the REC also launched a new initiative in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on green growth.

All these activities illustrate the continued efforts of the REC to bring about positive change towards environmental protection in Europe and beyond. I wish the REC further success, and many new and inspiring projects and initiatives in the year ahead.

Andrzej Kassenberg
Chairman of the Board

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.

Georges Bernanos