- Participating in developing the environmental, economic and energy agenda of the official EU-Russia relations;
- Strengthening informational exchange and horizontal links, including implementation of co-projects, between environmental civil society organisations of Russia and the EU.
WHY IS THIS WORKING GROUP IMPORTANT?
Today, many environmental problems have become economic, social and geopolitical issues. For instance, how countries succeed in the transition towards a zero carbon economy will have huge implications on the social and economic living conditions of their populations.
Many environmental problems can only be solved trans- or internationally. Due to their size and abilities, the EU and Russia have a particular responsibility to come to solutions on global environmental problems which they often have created to a high extent. In this context, the EU and Russia, as highly industrialized countries, share more similarities than for instance China and the EU.
At a time when relations between Russia and the EU are at threat of further deterioration, new environmental challenges, like climate change, present an opportunity to develop new dialogues and joint projects that encourage the overall development of relations. On the other hand, some upcoming environmental issues do also entail the danger of further worsening EU-Russia relations. This relates for instance to the exploration of resources in the Arctic. Another major issue that may seriously deteriorate future Russia-EU relations is the current Russian dependency on fossil fuel exports and the decreasing demand for fossil fuels in the European Union as the EU starts to decarbonise its economy.
THE GROUP IS INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT EUROPE-WIDE EXPERIENCES IN FOLLOWING AREAS
- System of the quality of the environmental management and ensuring environmental safety (state, municipal, sectorial level, eg, in the nuclear field), the role and place of a national body on the environment management in the activities of the government;
- System of cooperation of governments with NGOs, media, business, and the population, in particular while developing projects on nuclear energy, biodiversity conservation, big infrastructure (highways, pipelines, etc.);
- Planning and implementation of climate adaptation projects for water management systems (water reservoirs, irrigation, etc.);
- System of environmental education and awareness – responsibility of national authorities, municipalities, public associations;
- Experiences in the main pillars of the Aarhus Convention – responsible bodies, access to environmentally relevant information, participation in decision-making, protection of environmental rights;
- System for ensuring the balance of nature protection and recreational activities in protected natural areas, priorities and guarantees for the biodiversity conservation;
- Waste management system and instances for modern waste processing enterprises;
- Possible bilateral work on forests and water, permafrost and glaciers, endangered species (sturgeons, polar bear, saiga), the climate data and dynamic, the methodology for assessment of ecosystem services and others scientific researches.
POSSIBLE FORMS OF COOPERATION
- Support of bilateral meetings on environmental issues and share of experiences;
- Study of the coverage of environmental issues in the media for environmental journalists;
- Joint journalistic works to preserve the most valuable natural objects (sturgeon of the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, forests of Altai and the Far East, mountains, and others);
- Mutual internships for chairmen of environmental organisations in relevant partner institutions;
- Students’ thematic exchanges (summer environmental schools, travels to wild natural areas, joint research on climate, biodiversity conservation, etc.);
- Seminars with business on integrating the environmental policy into the business strategy.
WORKING GROUP NEWS
Civil Society Support for Democratic, Environmental, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Bulgaria and the EU