Full project description
Project Objectives and Purpose
The project will improve the capacity of CEE leaders and experts (local/regional authorities and managers, public enterprise and utility managers, and others) to improve environmental management in their regions, cities, towns, communities, institutions, and organisations by preparing them to effect partnerships with outside experts.
This process will improve the capacity of CEE countries to absorb funding available from the EU and other sources, which will assist them in making the investments required to comply with terms and requirements of the EU environmental acquis, as transposed to national legislation. The project will also facilitate contacts and effective partnerships in CEE countries for Italian public and private institutions and experts that have an interest in working in the region, but would otherwise have difficulty doing so.
The specific purpose of this project is to encourage and facilitate partnerships between Italian experts and CEE partners for development of joint environmental investment projects that can be supported by the European Union and other eligible financing programs. This will be achieved through assessment and identification of project options and partners, and capacity-building activities to prepare selected CEE partners who can best contribute to the process.
This project proposal will serve not only as a preliminary work plan for the project, but also as a request for funding for the REC from the Italian Trust Fund (ITF) within the Italian MoET. Primarily, it will describe the roles and responsibilities of the REC in project management and implementation to achieve the established goals. The project will be implemented in Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovenia. Since Poland and Slovenia are slated to become European Union Member States in 2004, the programme in those countries will be designed to develop partnerships and projects that can be funded by funds available to EU countries – most probably INTERREG, Structural Funds, and the Cohesion Fund, and any others identified during the research. Although separate programs must be developed for Poland and Slovenia, based on national priorities and opportunities, they will be similar, and the capacity-building activities will be similar in structure and most likely developed together. Bulgaria will not join the EU in 2004, and the conditions for developing environmental investment projects there will be different than in Poland and Slovenia. The program in Bulgaria will build upon work within the water sector, which is currently underway with the support of the ITF and Italian experts. It is noted below where it is necessary to identify the significant differences in the Bulgarian program.
Task 1: Project Inception
Task 1, including meetings, identification and commitment of both local partners and Italian experts, and preparation of the Inception Report, will last approximately two months from the start of the project.
Task Result: Inception Report, with strategy for project identification and implementation.
Task 2: Capacity-Building Activities
Capacity-building activities will be designed to prepare the teams of local partners in each country to better identify and prepare quality environmental investment projects that will improve environmental management and compliance with EU legislation in their area, region, municipality, community, etc. These activities will focus on preparing participants to develop and carry out effective partnerships with teams of outside experts during all stages of the project cycle. Based on available time and resources, it is expected that the capacity-building activities will consist of two three-day, workshop-style training sessions, each for the same group of approximately 10-20 local partners in each country. (The exact number of local partners will be decided during Task 1.)
The exact content of the workshops will be determined by the project team during the development stage and will be based upon the particular strategic focus of each country. For Poland and Slovenia it is expected that the following topics will be addressed:
For one or both workshop sessions, participants will be requested to bring project concepts from their local areas. Interactive sessions will enable the participants to apply lessons learned to the actual situations and begin the project-identification process.
In Bulgaria, it is possible that the capacity-building activities will be a continuation of the water-sector training currently being implemented by REC Bulgaria in partnership with Italian and local experts. Alternatively, the project team may decide that the best way to achieve objectives is to conduct workshops focused on overall project cycle management and preparation, similar to what is planned for Poland and Slovenia. In both cases, the capacity-building activities will be linked to ongoing joint environmental activities implemented by the Italian MoET, the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water, and the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. This will be determined in Bulgaria during the course of Task 1.
At the end of Task 2, local partners will have received an introduction to the process they must go through in order to identify investment project opportunities in priority environmental sectors, and to assist outside experts in developing opportunities into bankable feasibility studies. Development and implementation of the capacity-building activities will take place immediately after the Inception Report is finalised (some development activities can begin earlier). Task 2 will take place in all three countries simultaneously and last approximately five months.
Task Result: Local partners in each country have attended a series of two workshops to improve skills to identify and prepare environmental investment projects in their regions, and to cooperate with outside experts in the process. The process of project identification is underway.
Task 3: Identify Project Opportunities
A project team will be set up for each project identified. The project team members will be the project manager and project officer from REC headquarters, the appropriate REC Country Office, project co-managers -- the MoET and the Italian experts together with REC external experts and local partners.
At the conclusion of Task 3, the REC and MoET will agree upon specific projects to be developed. Depending upon the circumstances identified during the previous tasks, project development may involve development of a full feasibility study and financing application, or may be limited to identification of larger investment opportunities. At the same time, the REC and MoET will assess each proposed project and the adequacy of the resources available to implement Task 4. If it appears that the allocated amount is inadequate for coverage of remaining project activities, the budget can be adjusted, based upon prior agreement between the REC and MoET.
Task 3 will begin as soon as possible after the capacity-building activities, taking into account summer holiday schedules. It will take approximately two months to prepare and implement in all three countries.
Task Result: Project opportunities identified and specific projects selected for further development.
Task 4: Project Formulation and Preparation
At this stage it is not possible or advisable to state when the feasibility study/project preparation phase of the project will be completed. This will depend entirely upon the size, complexity and readiness of the projects selected for preparation; the scope of the project preparation activities; strategic considerations such as financing availability and deadlines; and the ability of project partners to adhere to schedules. If the first three tasks can be implemented according to the Project Schedule contained in Annex 1, project preparation activities can begin during August-November 2003, and will continue into 2004.
Task Result: Complete a set of development environmental projects
that can be used to solicit funding, for either project implementation
or full feasibility-study development.
Assistance to NGOs
Technical Support to CEE Countries
Development of Joint Environmental Investment Projects
• Identification Of Municipal Investments
Capacity for Climate Protection