Participatory Governance

Contribution to major international processes

The REC took part in the second Eye on Earth Summit and is actively engaged in the Access for All Special initiative (A4A SI) in cooperation with UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Under this umbrella, the REC is implementing the framework programme Building Bridges between Regions on the Promotion and Implementation of Principle 10 (P10) of the Rio Declaration. Two projects were implemented, through which the REC facilitated interregional cooperation under the Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development for Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries.

The REC continued to play a key role by providing assistance and building the capacities of stakeholders in the LAC P10 process. The countries launched negotiations on the regional agreement and established a negotiating committee. The REC attended the first and second meetings of the negotiating committee during the year, providing guidance and advice to stakeholders. The REC is committed to continuing to support the LAC process and to maintaining bridges for cooperation between the UN regions. 

Supporting civil society

The topic area offers long-term strategic support to strengthen civil society organisations (CSOs) by building their viability as well as their advocacy, lobbying, watchdogging and networking capacities. Within its mandate under three multi-annual CSO support projects — Supporting Civil Society Organisations (SECTOR) in Belarus and Moldova; SENiOR-A in Albania; and SENSE in Serbia — all funded by the Government of Sweden, the REC delivered comprehensive assistance and capacity building to more than 300 environmental CSOs. Various grant schemes were offered to beneficiaries, alongside demand-driven capacity-building activities, with the enthusiastic involvement of local stakeholders. The REC extended its support to local CSOs in Ukraine through the LINK project, funded by Norway. The topic area is providing organisational support and strengthening knowledge on energy security and energy efficiency planning processes, working with 100 CSOs from five targeted municipalities in Ukraine.

The REC and the Aarhus Convention

Experts from the topic area provided substantial inputs to the session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention, reinforcing the organisation’s position as a major capacity-building provider for the implementation of the convention as well as a major agent in offering targeted support on implementation to various stakeholders. The REC team has also been actively involved in the Aarhus Convention task forces on access to information, public participation, access to justice and capacity building.

Over the years, the REC has been considerably involved in the development and implementation of the PRTR Protocol in the UNECE region. In March, the REC launched the project “Support to the Establishment and Advancement of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) in Western Balkan Countries and Moldova” (2015–2017), with funding from Germany. The project aims to strengthen the transparency of decision making on PRTR development and operation by increasing public awareness and knowledge; facilitating the development of functioning PRTRs; and building the reporting capacities of responsible authorities and operators.

Participatory Governance
The TA offers trainings on CSO leadership, organisational development and public participation in decision making.