In 2016 CO-SEED held an open call for proposals. Following a competitive and transparent process in which each applicant was evaluated nationally and internationally with their counterparts in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, CO-SEED awarded grants to organizations in each of the five countries that participate in the project.
The aim of the CO-SEED Grant Program is to build capacities, increase knowledge, and strenghen the technical competency of civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide sound comments during public consultations for the Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Furthermore, the aim is to strengthen lobbying capacities of CSOs, which will enable them to constructively participate in public discussions related to EIAs and SEAs and contribute to reaching project objectives.
In addition to designing their own activities, beneficiary CSOs will also attend two technical trainings and two networking events. The beneficiary CSOs will form a regional network, together with project partners, and actively participate in main project activities. Grantees are also strongly encouraged to follow and attend public consultations of EIAs and SEAs (where applicable). Below is brief information about each CO-SEED Grantee, organized by country.
EDEN Center - Project name: Society participates in decision making!
Main project outcomes: 1) Stakeholders understand and are interested in EIA/SEA documents and participation during public consultations is increased; 2) CSOs engage in public consultations of EIA/SEAs, and written comments for at least one case study per project location are submitted; 3) Better coordination and cooperation among local CSOs is created to strengthen their arguments during public consultations; 4) Communication practices between local institutions and civil society, to ensure proper coordination of EIA/SEA public consultation process, are improved.
Milieukontakt Albania - Project name: CSOs participating in all phases of EIAs
Main project outcomes: 1) Strengthening and institutionalizing cooperation between environmental CSOs and the National Environment Agency to increase the effectiveness of EIA processes in selected environmentally sensitive projects; 2) Building capacities of environmental CSOs to influence legislation, EIAs, and prepare sound technical reports; 3) Strengthening a mechanism for public participation in EIA processes; 4) providing legal and policy recommendations to improve the EIA process; and 5) Strengthening a regional EIA lobbying and advocacy network
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Center for the Environment - Project name: CSO accountibility and relevance in SEA and EIA consultations
Main project outcomes: 1) build capacity of at least 10 CSOs to track and comment on SEAs and EIAs; 2) develop a SEA and EIA public participation toolkit for CSOs; 3) conduct a public campaign to improve SEA and EIA procedures on entity/district level; and 4) raise awareness among media, public, and government about the importance of public participation in decisions affecting the environment.
LIR Evolution, Partnership for Healthy Life, and LAG Savus - Project name: Empowering CSOs capacities for advocacy and lobbying of EIAs and SEAs directives
Main project outcomes: 1) increase active engagement between CSOs and media with government authorities during public consultations for EIA and SEAs; 2) advocate for the implementation of existing legislation, and for the adoption of new legislation in accordance with the European Union acquis; 3) raise public awareness and establish active dialogue with stakeholders about EIAs and SEAs processes; 4) compare the regulatory framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union’s environmental acquis in rural development, renewable energy, and waste management.
North Land, the Association of Young Ecologists of Niksic, and the Center for Protection and Research of Birds of Montenegro - Project name: Environmental Networking towards Sustainable Development
Main project outcomes: 1) Build capacities of environmental NGOs to advocate for environmentally friendly policies, and 2) Improve the regulatory framework for EIA/SEAs. It is expected that the small grass root organizations will obtain skills necessary for effectively participating in EIA/SEA public consultations, and for increasing media attention to related issues.
Belgrade Open School - Project name: Community Power – Improving Capacities of Civil Society Organizations in Protection of Environment and Natural Resources
This project tackles the problem of low quality of environmental impact assessment and insufficient capacities of stakeholders to participate in environmental decision making. It follows the Serbian European Union integration agenda, as a main instrument of change and democratic transformation, and supports the adoption of European Union standards for the protection of environment and natural resources.
Center for Ecology and Sustainable Development - Project name: Towards more sustainable development by acting in EIAs and SEAs in Serbia
In Serbia, civil society organizations, local communities, and the scientific community are stressing the importance of improving the EIA procedures. At the moment EIAs are only acting as a justification for projects that are resulting in environmental degradation and the transfer of natural resources to private investors. To address this issue, the project will undertake awareness raising measures to promote public participation (e.g. brochures outlining the rights of the public), and organize professionally facilitated public debates in the case of controversial projects.
ÇMO - Chamber of Environmental Engineers - Project name: “EIA and Participation”
Main project outcomes: 1) participating at least two public consultation meetings from different sectors and transforming the meetings to become more efficient and effective; 2) organising an EIA workshop for preparing new draft EIA legislation and advocating for this draft legislation to be accepted; 3) preparing and publishing a guide for public consultation meetings; 4) attending a public consultation meeting in an EU member country where EIA processes are implemented properly.
DOÇEV- Nature and Environment Foundation - Project name: “Active Civil Society for Sustainable Development”
Main project outcomes: 1) participating in two public consultation meetings and preparing three reports that compile the data obtained from face to face meetings, public surveys and field research; 2) organizing a conference at Pamukkale University for at least 50 students and lecturers; and 3) organizing a workshop at Denizli and sharing experiences with at least five CSOs from the region.
Association for Protecting the Natural and Cultural Elements of the İda Mountains - Project name: “Raising the Advocacy Capacity of Organisations at İDA Mountains”
Main project outcomes: 1) identifying the needs of the local CSOs, providing them information on EIA and SEA processes, national, and international methods of litigation; 2) establishing a platform for communication and coordination amoung the stakeholders; and 3) preparing an advocacy report, organising a workshop, establishing a network, and preparing a handbook guide on EIA and SEA processes.
KARBİLDER: Karşıyaka Social Responsibility and Science Association - Project name: “Sharing Experience on EIAs”
Main project outcomes: 1) raising the awareness of the public and CSOs in North West Anatolia; 2) encouraging participation at public consultation meetings; 3) lobbying for the implementation of SEA mechanisms in problematic industrial regions; 4) establishing networks with other organisations to increase the power of civil society at round tables and public consultation meetings.
TEMA: The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and Protection of Natural Habitats - Project name: “A Comprehensive Approach to Improving the EIA Processes
Main project outcomes: 1) raising the capacity of local organisations to participate in EIA and SEA processes; 2) affecting the decision makers about environmental and public health; 3) organising a seminar on local campaigning and case studies; 4) preparing a road map for tracking the EIA and SEA processes; 5) advocating against three selected projects, organising three local workshops; 6) litigation against two problematic EIA decisions; 7) sharing recommendations with the Ministries of Environment and Health about legislation and procedures; mainly related to health issues.