The Human Dynamic’s led Environmental Protection of International River Basins Project (EPIRB) were invited to participate a side event at the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (EfE) held in Batumi, Georgia, from 8 – 10 June 2016 hosted by the Environmental Agency Austria.
The side event took place at Radisson Blu Batumi Hotel and involved delegates from the international organisations and four of the project’s beneficiary countries. The event focused on reporting on the relevant results of the Astana Water Action and EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogues from 2006 to 2016. Achievement and challenges of the EPIRB project from 2012-2016 were also presented.
The conference drew together over 800 official delegates from the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s 56 member states.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) served as the secretariat to the Conference. The EfE process is a political framework that presents a unique partnership format of member States within the ECE region, organisations of the United Nations system represented in the region, other intergovernmental organisations, Regional Environment Centres, non-governmental organisations, the business sector and other representatives of civil society.
The EfE process and the Ministerial meetings in this framework, take place every three -five years, provide a high-level platform for the stakeholders to discuss, decide and join in efforts addressing environmental priorities across the 56 countries of the ECE region, and serve as a regional pillar of sustainable development. At the same time, the mentioned process takes steps focused on helping countries to get a real benefit in terms of strengthening environmental cooperation and increasing the capacity building, which will bring concrete activities in environmental sector of the Pan-European region.
The first Ministerial conference Environment for Europe, initiated by the Ministry of Environment Protection of Czechoslovakia, was held in 1991 in Dobris.
Since then, six ministerial conferences have been held in Lucerne (Switzerland, 1993), Sofia (Bulgaria, 1995), Aarhus (Denmark, 1998), Kiev (Ukraine, 2003), Belgrade (Serbia, 2007) and Astana (Kazakhstan, 2011).
Greening the economy and improving air quality topped the Conference’s agenda. Greening the economy, an approach to foster a healthy economy while ensuring environmental sustainability and social equity, is considered as one of the most promising ways to achieve sustainable development. Human Dynamics has a number of projects directly focussed on supporting environmental outcomes, including in Belarus, Malawi, Lebanon and multi-country projects across North Africa and the Levant.