Guide to Implementing Local Environmental Action Programs
in Central and Eastern Europe

LEAP The Guide to Implementing Local Environmental Action Programs in Central and Eastern Europe has been developed by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) in cooperation with the REC to support local governments to fulfill their environmental responsibilities.

The Guide explores how LEAPs can be launched at the community level; describes how to assess environmental issues and set environmental priorities; and explains how to implement selected actions and monitor and evaluate LEAPÕs results. It can be a useful reference document for use by environmental officials, NGOs, and other stakeholders at the community level.

February 2000

This report was financed by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency
in cooperation with the
United States Agency for International Development

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Table of Contents



Acronyms and Abbreviations

Introduction: What is a Local Environmental Action Program?

A Shift Toward the Local Level
From Environmental Action to Sustainable Communities
Elements of LEAP
Getting Started (3-6 months)
Assessing Environmental Issues and Setting Priorities (6-12 months)
Developing an Environmental Action Plan (6-12 months)
Implementing Actions (on-going)
Monitoring and Evaluating Results (on-going)
Attachment A: Elements of a Sustainable Community

Chapter 1: Getting Started

1.0 Introduction
1.0.1 Collaboration: A New Model for Community Decision-Making
1.1 Initiate LEAP Process and Define Project Goals
1.2 Seek Sponsors and Funds
1.3 Identify Stakeholders
1.4 Initiate Preliminary Public Involvement Activities
1.5 Form Stakeholder Group and Working Committees
1.5.1 Forming the Stakeholder Group
1.5.2 Establishing Ground rules for the Stakeholder Group
1.6 Create Community Vision
1.7 Hire/Appoint LEAP Coordinator
Attachment 1A: Conducting a Community Forum
Attachment 1B: Questions for Creating a Community Vision

Chapter 2: Assessing Environmental Issues and Setting Priorities

2.0 Introduction
2.0.1 What is an Environmental Issue Assessment?
2.0.2 Factors to Consider in Deciding Whether to Set Environmental Priorities
2.0.3 Who Conducts the Environmental Issue Assessments and Sets Priorities?
2.1 Assess Environmental Issues
2.1.1 Select Issue Assessment Methodology
2.1.2 Determine Scope of Issue Assessment
2.1.3 Select, Define and Characterize Environmental Issues
2.1.4 Gather Information
2.1.5 Finalize Assessments
2.2 Set Environmental Priorities
2.2.1 Distinguishing between "Ranking Environmental Problems" and "Setting Priorities for Action"
2.2.2 Preparing for the Ranking Session
2.2.3 A Proposed Procedure for Setting Priorities for Action
Attachment 2A: Summary Descriptions of Selected Problems in Radom, Poland
Attachment 2B: Alternative Decision-Making Processes for Setting Prriorities

Chapter 3: Developing an Environmental Action Plan

3.0 Introduction
3.1 Clarify Environmental Action Planning Process
3.1.1 What is an appropriate structure and content for the EAP?
3.1.2 What decision-making process will be used to set environmental targets and select actions?
3.1.3 How will the EAP be linked to official planning processes?
3.1.4 Who will be involved in preparing the EAP?
3.1.5 Which priorities will the Stakeholder Group focus on?
3.2 Review Community Vision
3.3 Set Environmental Goals and Targets and Select Indicators
3.3.1 Establish Environmental Goals
3.3.2 Establish Environmental Targets
3.3.3 Select Indicators
3.4 Review Existing Environmental Management Practices
3.4.1 Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
3.4.2 External Opportunities and Threats
3.5 Identify Potential Actions
3.6 Identify Evaluation Criteria
3.7 Collect Information and Prepare "Issue Summaries"
3.8 Analyze and Select Actions
3.8.1 Develop Preferred List of Actions
3.8.2 Select Actions Based upon Community-Specific Analyses
3.9 Prepare Draft Environmental Action Plan for Public Comment
3.10 Adopt and Institutionalize Plan
Attachment 3A: Environmental Protection Action Plan for Municipality of Elk, Poland

Chapter 4: Implementing Actions

4.0 Introduction
4.1 Identify Potential Implementing Institutions
4.2 Evaluate Opportunities for Working with Private Sector
4.2.1 What are Different Types of Public-Private Relationships?
4.2.2 What are the Advantages of Working with the Private Sector?
4.2.3 What Are the Disadvantages of Working with the Private Sector?
4.3 Evaluate Opportunities for Working with NGO Sector
4.3.1 How Can the Public and NGO Sectors Work Together?
4.3.2 What are the Advantages of Working with the NGO Sector?
4.3.3 What are the Disadvantages of Working with the NGO Sector?
4.4 Review Existing Organizational Structures
4.5 Secure Participation of Implementing Institutions
4.6 Prepare Project Implementation Plan
4.7 Prepare Implementation Budget and Establish Accounting Procedures
4.7.1 Prepare Implementation Budget
4.7.2 Establish Accounting Procedures
4.8 Secure Financing
4.8.1 Introduction
4.8.2 Evaluate Sources of Capital
4.8.3 Evaluate Potential Revenue Sources
4.8.4 Prepare Project Financing Plan
4.9 Ensure Effective Integration of EAP into Statutory Planning Processes
Attachment 4A: Process for Competitively Purchasing Equipment and Services
Attachment 4B: Developing a Financing Plan for Municipal Environmental Projects

Chapter 5: Monitoring and Evaluating Results

5.0 Introduction
5.1 Review Environmental Targets and Indicators
5.2 Establish Reporting System
5.3 Collect Data on Baseline Conditions and Project Results
5.4 Evaluate Results
5.5 Utilize Evaluation Results
5.6 Communicate Results to the Community


Appendix A: Conducting a Public Outreach Campaign
A.0 Introduction
A.0.1 What is Public Outreach?
A.0.2 Why is Public Outreach Important?
A.1 Clarify Purpose and Set Goals
A.2 Identify Target Audiences
A.3 Develop Partnerships with Key Information Sources Connected
to Target Audiences
A.4 Create Effective Message
A.4.1 Designing the message
A.4.2 Getting feedback on your message
A.5 Identify, Evaluate and Select Outreach Methods
A.6 Identify Resource Needs and Opportunities
A.7 Develop Workplan, Implement Outreach Actions and Evaluate Outreach Efforts
A.7.1 Developing the workplan
A.7.2 Evaluating your outreach efforts
Attachment A1: Holding Public Information Meetings
Attachment A2: Organizing Community Environmental Initiatives
Appendix B: Skills for LEAP Development
B.1 Team Building
B.2 Effective Communication
B.3 Conflict Resolution
B.4 Brainstorming
B.5 Negotiation and Persuasion Skills
B.6 Conducting Effective Meetings
B.7 Facilitation Skills
B.7.1 What is the role of a facilitator?
B.7.2 Tips on Effective Facilitation
B.7.3 Some Helpful Language
B.8 Group Decision-Making
Appendix C: Resources
Selected Resource Documents
Action Planning Guidebooks
Case Studies
Issue Assessment and Priority Setting
Monitoring and Evaluation
Public Participation
Skills for LEAP Development
Other Resource Documents
Selected Internet Resources
Appendix D: Glossary of Terms



The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe