EU4Environment: helping Eastern Partnership become greener
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine: these six Eastern Partnership countries are working for increasing people’s environmental well-being while stimulating economic growth thanks to the EU4Environment Action, funded by the European Union.
EU4Environment aims at preserving and better using the natural capital “by supporting environment-related action, demonstrating and unlocking opportunities for greener growth, and setting mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts”, as flagged on the eu4environment.org website.
EU4Environment benefits from the involvement of five implementing organisations: OECD, UNECE, UN Environment, UNIDO, and the World Bank. By bringing together environmental and economic actors, the program contributes to delivering policy and legislative changes, making planning and investment greener, stimulating the uptake of innovative technologies, adopting new business models, and creating green jobs. Also, it promotes better environmental governance, improved management of protected areas and forests, and sustainable trade.
Making change real
Partnerships among partners allow for producing tangible and achievable results in line with the goals, priorities and overall cooperation targets defined by countries. All activities are focusing on five areas of work: Greener decision-making; Circular economy and new growth opportunities; An environmental level playing field; Ecosystem services and livelihoods; Regional knowledge sharing and coordination.
Among the concrete results achieved through the initiative:
- the launch of a new course on circular economy in Belarus;
- the set up a new coordination body for Sustainable Public Procurement in Ukraine;
- the support to Azerbaijan in achieving its “green” priorities for 2030;
- the contribution to Deposit Refund System for the packaging waste in Armenia;
- and the launch of an e-learning course “Introduction to the Green Economy” in Moldova.
Background (source: here)
EU4Environment was launched in the context of an important political momentum of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, which showed good progress towards the “2020 Deliverables for 2020” and reinforced EU support towards environmental goals following the European elections. Its launch was also related to the politically dynamic environment in the EaP countries. This included the important political and institutional changes in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine as a result of government restructuring and/or Parliamentary elections. The Mobilisation and Inception Phase of EU4Environment (January-October 2019) showed that the Action was very timely, relevant and critically needed.
The Action builds on important achievements of past cooperation programmes, such as Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood (EaP GREEN), the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG), and the Emerald Network, which were completed in 2017-18. It will ensure synergies with other EU-funded initiatives (EU4Climate, EU4Business, EU4Energy, SIGMA), coordination with European Union Delegations and engagement of the civil society.