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Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia

Contract N 2006/126467 Version 1 Framework Contract Beneficiaries Lot 6

June 2007

Team composition: Dr. Gretta Goldenman Dr. Daiva Semnien

Team Leader: Dr. Gretta Goldenman

This report was prepared with financial assistance from the Commission of the European Communities. The views expressed are those of the consultants and do not necessarily represent any official view of the Commission or the Governments of the countries concerned.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary Abbreviations & Acronyms Used Lists of Figures, Tables and Boxes 1 2 3 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................ 1 OVERVIEW OF THE NEW RECS ................................................................... 4 ASSESSMENT OF THE EECCA RECS ............................................................. 8 REC Caucasus ....................................................................................................... 8 REC Moldova........................................................................................................ 24 Russian REC......................................................................................................... 39 CAREC ................................................................................................................... 54 OVERALL ASSESSMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NEXT STAGE 67

ANNEX I: LIST OF PEOPLE MET .......................................................................... 71 ANNEX II: RESOURCES CONSULTED .................................................................. 85 ANNEX III: REVENUES RECEIVED BY EECCA RECS TO DATE........................ 91 ANNEX IV: LIST OF PUBLICATIONS BY REC MOLDOVA ................................ 101 ANNEX V: TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE EVALUATION .......................... 105 ANNEX VI: PROPOSED METHODOLOGY FOR THE EVALUATION ................. 115 ANNEX VII: QUESTIONNAIRE USED DURING INTERVIEWS ........................... 123 ANNEX VIII: INCEPTION REPORT ...................................................................... 129

Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

Executive Summary
This Report has been prepared for the European Commission under the project Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia (henceforth REC Evaluation). The objective of the assignment, according to the TOR, is to evaluate whether the activities executed by the EECCA RECs from the year the EU started funding them until now are in line with the activities set forth in their respective charters. In addition to desk studies, the evaluation process included missions to each REC in late 2006 and early 2007. Background The idea of establishing regional environmental centres in the countries of the former Soviet Union emerged during the early Environment for Europe process and was formally endorsed in 1996 by European environment ministers attending the Sofia Conference. The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC CEE) based in Hungary was the initial model for the EECCA RECs, which were set up with the following mission in mind: to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation at national and regional level among NGOs, governments, businesses, local communities, and all other stakeholders, in order to develop a free exchange of information, in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention; offer assistance to all environmental NGOs and other stakeholders; and increase public participation in the decision-making process, thereby assisting the states of the NIS in the further development of a democratic civil society. The Charters of the EECCA RECs set forth common objectives and were established with similar governance structures and some common programme areas. Emphasis was placed on the development of democratic civil society in the EECCA countries, in the belief that this was important for solving environmental problems. The EC agreed to provide start-up funds and core financing for the RECs in the Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia. In 2000 the first sizable EC grants were released to the EECCA RECs ready to begin operations. From start-up on, each EECCA RECs Board of Directors has included an EC representative. Overall assessment Each REC is unique in terms of geographical area covered, political environment of the host country, the environmental problems in the countries served, and the needs of civil society in the various regions. Each REC has taken its own path v is--vis their original common objectives. It is likely that this divergence will continue, reflecting the divergence among EECCA countries and their relations with the EU. However, because of the same origin of establishment; dependence on EU money; a nd because civil societies in the countries concerned have had similar political histories until recently, the four EECCA RECs face similar problems today. These include difficulties in achieving long-term financial sustainability and in promoting the role of civil society in often unsupportive political environments. In general, the evaluation team concludes that the EECCA RECs have fulfilled their missions of promoting cooperation, free exchange of information, and public participation in environmental decision-making successfully. While each REC had the model of the REC CEE to follow, they were given little other guidance on how to proceed and in light of this, their overall track record in carrying out activities related to their missions is quite good.

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Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

The following table indicates some of the areas where the different EECCA RECs excelled, as well as where improvements are possible. The sections for each REC provide details concerning how these conclusions were reached. It should be noted that their role in supporting civil society remains a key success and the importance of this role has only grown.
CAREC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ + RECC +++ ++ ++ +++ +++ ++ ++ + RECM ++ +++ ++ +++ +++ ++ + RREC ++ + ++ +++ ++ +++ + ++

In each REC visited, however, staff members expressed concern that the EC had lost memory of the RECs. The contacts that had been built in Brussels and in the various EC delegations during the period of establishing the RECs had been lost as officials moved to other positions, taking the history of the RECs and the appreciation of why they were established and the difficulties they had faced in getting to their current situations with them. The table below summarizes the countries served by the EECCA RECs and the sources of their revenues.
REC Caucasus 2000 AR,AM,GE 4,046,884 2,111,368 52.2% 378,925 9.4% 1,556,591 38.4% REC Moldova 1998 MD only 3,350,330 1,658,009 49.5% 781,763 23.3% 910,558 27.2% Russia CAREC REC 2002 2000 RU only KZ,KY,TJ,TM,UZ 5,230,415 6,339,565 2,383,065 2,383,746 45.6% 37.6% 1,382,602 2,300,000 26.4% 36.3% 1,317,349 2,655,819 25.0% 26.1%

Date began operating Countries served Total funding received to date (EUR) EU core funding (EUR) % core funding of total EU-funded grants programs (EUR) % EU grants funding of total Funding from other donors (EUR) % total from other donors

Each REC is acutely aware that the era of EU core funding is coming to an end, but there is a lack of understanding or experience in how to go about making the changes needed to move toward a financial sustainability based on multiple donors and defined projects. While their capacities diverge, all will need assistance to improve management in areas such as finances, procedures and project pipelines. The EECCA RECs can continue to play a valuable role in promoting environmental protection in the countries they serve, and it is recommended that they continue to receive support from donors, including the EC. At the same time the EC should support the

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independence of the RECs, while recognising that in the current political situation of most EECCA countries, this implies a difficult course for REC leaders to navigate.

Overall Recommendations for the EECCA RECs 1. Continue to give importance to grants programmes to support NGOs in the regions 2. Financial management training on project-based budgeting (for all staff) 3. Develop longer-term project pipelines and support each other in efforts to attract new donors 4. Play a stronger role in conveying best practices in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development, including alignment of national legislation and practices with EU environmental standards 5. Longer term management assistance from senior EU experts to internationalise staff and serve as a bridge between the EU and EECCA

REC Caucasus The REC Caucasus was founded in 2000 by the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and by the EU. Because of the unresolved conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia is by default the host country. In addition to the Tbilisi headquarters, RECC has a branch office in Yerevan and a project office in Baku. Though the EU remains the primary funder of the RECC, it has been able to attract a higher percentage (38%) of its revenues from other donors than any other EECCA REC. The activities carried out by the RECC have been highly relevant. They can be grouped into 5 main programme areas: (1) Information; (2) Public Participation; (3) NGO support; (5) Government Initiatives, including LEAPs & environmental policy; and (5) Sustainable Development. The RECC has focussed on strengthening of civil society and on public participation. While this has been useful for building the NGO movement in the region, it may also have contributed to some of the misunderstandings described below, which have diminished its effectiveness and impact. However, under the last programme area, RECC is aiming at the development of a Mountain Convention for the Caucasus, and this will potentially have a very high and visible impact. The relationship with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Environment which maintained that Azerbaijan was not getting a fair share of benefits from the RECCs activities in the region, has however been strained. Moreover, an independent audit commissioned by the Tacis programme in 2005 identified a lack of adequate financial and human resources procedures. As a result of that, the EC delayed making certain payments until adequate procedures were set in place. Since then, the RECC has been in an extended financial and administrative crisis, and staff members have not been paid since December 2006 To keep Azerbaijan on board, the RECC Charter was revised to institutionalize a powersharing arrangement among the three beneficiary countries based on a collegial troika. In April 2007, the three countries and the EC signed the revised Charter and the Board of Directors approved the new procedures so that EU funding can now be released. However, sustainability remains a critical concern.

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Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

The REC Caucasus remains the only regional organisation founded on the basis of the signatures of all three governments. Almost all stakeholders viewed it as very important for bringing the three countries together for addressing region-wide environmental problems. Under the revised Charter, the EC is permanent chair of the Board of Directors, which should enable it to better steer the direction of the RECC. The new collegial troika structure may however be unwieldy and the EC as main donor should be prepared to provide additional support if needed, given its potential as a facilitator of regional cooperation. Box 1: Recommendations for REC Caucasus 1. Emergency support through short-term technical assistance 2. Short term assistance from senior international expert in setting up the functions of the collegial troika, including drafting of job descriptions for the three directors 3. Financial management training including project-based budgeting (for all staff) 4. Longer term management assistance from a senior international expert 5. Develop a long-term pipeline of projects to attract new donors 6. Separate overall coordination activities carried out by RECC headquarters from countrylevel activities for Georgia. 7. Avoid micromanagement by the board via a workshop on the role of boards

REC Moldova REC Moldova serves the territory and population of the Republic of Moldova, the smallest geographical area covered by an EECCA REC. In its eight years of operation, the EU has provided almost 75% of its funding (50% core funding; 25% grants programmes). The EU stopped core funding in 2005 and in 2006 virtually all of RECMs funding came from other donors. The RECM has recently had to downsize its staff. RECMs activities are grouped into four programmes: (1) NGO Support Programme; (2) Information & Communication Programme; (3) Environmental Policy Programme: and (4) Local Initiatives Programme (LEAPs). The evaluation team considers the activities carried out by RECM as highly relevant in terms of its mission and objectives. Its programme to get environmental information out to civil society and the LEAPs programme has been in line with the RECMs objectives. Particular priority has been given to its NGOs support programme, which has been very effective in encouraging the formation of new NGOs, including in the regions. The efficiency of most activities and the usefulness of their outputs were confirmed in discussions with various stakeholders. The Environmental Policy Programme was however criticised for its failure to deliver as much impact as it could. Given that the Governments external policy is to work towards accession to the EU, more projects to assist with alignment to EU environmental standards could help the RECM to maintain its relevance into the future. However, the population and territory served by the RECM is very small. Now that EU core funding has stopped, the RECMs future sustainability is uncertain. Most stakeholders thought the RECM could achieve a maximum of 30% of its funding from non-EU sources. While the majority of RECM projects have attained some level of non-EU funding, these achievements will be difficult to sustain without continued EU support. Options to consider include expansion to cover additional countries or to link up with the REC CEE in Hungary. The EU should provide special support to REC Moldova to help it decide the future.

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Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

Recommendations for REC Moldova 1. Improve co-ordination and information sharing among REC staff and REC programmes. 2. More support for aligning national laws and practices with EU environmental standards. 3. Develop a long-term pipeline of projects to attract new donors. 4. Three possibilities for future survival, each requiring continued EU funding: a. Continue as REC Moldova with grants from other donors & more commercial projects b. Expand to also cover such countries as Ukraine and/or Belarus; c. Affiliate with REC Szentendre

Russia REC The Russia REC (RREC) was the last of the EECCA RECs to be formally established. Because of frequent reorganisations within the Russian government, the Russian Civil Service Academy stepped in to serve as founder, along with the EC. The UK Embassy and the Danish EPA joined as founders in 2004. RREC operates in a complicated political situation. The Russian government downgraded environmental protection as a priority in 2000 and government structures for environmental protection change often. Non-governmental organisations operate under restrictive conditions and those receiving funding from outside sources are viewed with suspicion. The RRECs activities have been grouped under four programme areas: (1) Strengthening & support of civil society & local self-governance; (2) Integration of environmental considerations into socio-economic development; (3) Facilitation of cooperation between the RF & the EU on environmental protection; and (4) Improving RREC operations, organizational planning and development. Most of its activities are considered very relevant and important. The RREC played a very significant role in the decision by the Russian government in 2004 to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Its activities on climate change have therefore had a very large global impact. Another notable effort has been its small grants programme, which has been particularly effective in that it has focused 80% of its resources on grants in regions outside of Moscow. The RREC has also made the most effort of the EECCA RECs to reach out to the business sector. The RREC has a highly professional and efficient staff, as evidenced by the service contracts with national entities it has been awarded. However, its sense of direction and its goals as an organisation are still evolving. In its efforts to become more financially sustainable, the RREC is considering becoming more like a policy think tank or even as a consultancy, and support for civil society is now getting less attention. The RREC now sees its mission primarily as promoting best practices in environmental protection and sustainable development by providing informed dialogues and stimulating direct contacts among partners. Commission staff in Brussels responsible for the recently established EU-Russia dialogue on environmental protection have found the RREC a valuable go-between in interactions with Russian counterparts. The RREC was recently asked to allocate 50% of EU core funding it currently receives from the EU towards facilitation of the dialogue. The RRECs core funding

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will continue through 2008. But EU funding will be needed after that time if it is to continue to facilitate communication and cooperation between Russia and the EU. Box 4: Recommendations for Russia REC 1. Strategic planning still needed to determine future direction of RREC as an organisation 2. Financial management training on project-based budgeting (for all staff) 3. Develop a long-term pipeline of projects to attract new donors 4. Continue to support development of civil society in the regions outside of Moscow, including via grants programmes to support NGOs & local governments 5. Longer term management assistance from a senior international expert

Central Asia REC (CAREC) CAREC serves five very different CA countries (KZ, KY, TJ, TM, UZ), some of which have political situations where participation by civil society is not encouraged. CARECs mission to help solve environmental problems inter alia by supporting the development of civil society is therefore very important, fairly difficult and with still a long ways to go. In addition to its headquarters in Almaty, CAREC has branch offices in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and a combined staff of some 40 people. During its six years of operation, CAREC has implemented more than 50 major projects and supported many NGOs and local public administrations via grants programmes. The activities of CAREC are grouped under the following programmes: (1) Environmental Education; (2) Information; (3) Environmental Policy; (4) Support for Public Initiatives; (5) Ecosystem Management. Under the latter, CAREC is carrying out the Ili-Balkash Basin Management project aimed at preventing another Aral Sea catastrophe in Central Asia. The activities carried out by CAREC have been very relevant and in line with its mission and objectives. The CAREC has been efficient and effective in carrying out the activities under its Environmental Education programme and Public Initiatives Support programme. However, it has been less efficient and effective in carrying out the activities under the Ecosystem Management programme. Stakeholders see CAREC as a unique regional environmental organisation that has already made an impact as a bridge between Europe and Central Asia, bringing best practices in sustainable development to the region and modelling the active participation of civil society in environmental decision making. The CARECs Central Asia Initiative is a particularly ambitious effort at bringing all 5 CA countries together in a common commitment to address their transboundary environmental problems. However, CAREC has found it difficult to move countries to take concrete actions to address environmental problems. Also, CAREC still needs to work on much better and clearer presentation of its work. In an effort to maintain regional balance, CAREC has ended up with an over-sized and unwieldy Board of Directors where members have sometimes lobbied for national positions instead of taking a regional perspective concerning the best direction for CAREC. This has impeded organizational goal setting and led to inefficiencies. CAREC has recently brought in a very experienced international expert, supported by the German government, to assist in improving its administration. Additional international expertise could help improve internal procedures and structure the work.

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A project pipeline is needed for the coming years as the first step towards greater sustainability. In addition, better IT technologies inside the CAREC offices, better institutional arrangements in CAREC, better co-ordination and cooperation among the programmes inside the REC and better internal procedures are strongly needed. Recommendations for CAREC 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Reduce the number of the BoD to some 7-8 persons. Provide special training to BoD members on the roles and responsibilities of BoD. Provide further international expertise to help improve internal procedures, etc. Improve presentations of CARECs activities and results achieved. Focus more on results to be achieved; use more indicators to track progress Improve co-ordination between CAREC & its branch offices

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Abbreviations & Acronyms Used


CA CAI CAREC CBO CDM CEP CEPF DANCEE DEFRA DG ENV DG RELEX EAP EECCA ENP ESD FSCEE GEF GHG GMO GTZ HQ ISAR LEAD LEAP MNR NGO NIS OECD OSCE PECE PPC PRTR REAP REC CEE REC M RECC REEEP RF RREC SADC SD SDCCC SEA SYKE TACIS ToR UNDP UNECE UNEP Central Asia Central Asian Initiative Central Asia Regional Environmental Centre Community based organisations Clean Development Mechanism Caspian Environment Programme Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Danish Environmental Assistance to Eastern Europe Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK Directorate General for Environment, European Commission Directorate General for External Relations, European Commission Environmental Action Plan Countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia European Neighbourhood Policy Education on Sustainable Development Field Study Council on Environmental Education Global Environmental Facility Greenhouse Gases Genetically Modified Organisms Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German Technical Cooperation) Headquarters Initiative for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia Leadership for Environment and Development Local Environmental Action Plan Ministry of Natural Resources Non-governmental organisation Newly Independent States Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Partners for Environmental Co-operation in Europe Project Preparation Committee Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers Regional Environmental Action Plan Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (based in Hungary) Regional Environmental Centre for Moldova Regional Environmental Centre for Caucasus Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership Russian Federation Russia Regional Environmental Centre Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Sustainable Development Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal Communities Strategic Environmental Assessment Finnish Environment Institute Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States Terms of Reference United Nations Development Programme United Nations Economic Commission for Europe United Nations Environment Programme

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UNEP/GRID- Internationally recognised information centre providing decisionArendal makers and the public with improved access to high quality environmental information USAID United States Agency for International Development US EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency VROM Netherlands Ministry of Environment

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Lists of Figures, Tables and Boxes Figures:


Figure 1: Figure 2: Figure 3: Figure 4: Figure 5: Figure 6: Figure 7: Relationships between Founders & Boards, sources of funding and REC Distribution of RECC budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects Distribution of the overall REC Moldova budget between EU and other sources over all years of the REC activities Distribution of REC Moldova budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects Distribution of RREC budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects Distribution of the core budget received from the EC among RREC activities (2002-2007) Trend of CAREC budget in 2001-2005

Tables:
Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4: Table 5: Table 6: Table 7: Table 8: Table 9 Table 10: Table 11: Table 12: Table 13: Table 14: Table 15: Table 16: Table 17: Table 18 Table 19 Table 20 Table 21 Table 22 Table 23 Table 24 Characteristics of RECs in EECCA Countries Trends in staffing of the REC Caucasus RECC sources of funding (period 2000-2006) Summary List of Publications by RECC Topics of Public participation conferences Evaluation of REC Caucasus activities Staff of RECM Contracts of RECM RECM sources of funding Summary list of Publications by RECM Projects implemented under the Local Initiatives Programme Evaluation of RECM activities Staff of RREC RREC sources of funding NGOs Grants Programme RREC projects on Climate Change Evaluation of RREC activities Summary List of Publications by RREC Staff in the main and branch offices of CAREC Major donors input in the CAREC budget 2001-2007 Projects on environmental educations and education for sustainable development by CAREC List of publications from July 2006 to June 2007 with the use of EC-4 budget Evaluation of CAREC activities Overall evaluation of EECCA RECs activities

Boxes
Box 1: Box 2: Box 3: Box 4: Box 5: Box 6: Box 7: Recommendations for REC Caucasus LEAPs- Example of Stefan Voda Recommendations for REC Moldova Recommendations for REC Russia Development of the Integrated Management Plan for Ili-Balkhash Basin Recommendations for CAREC Overall recommendations for EECCA RECs

Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

Introduction

This Report has been prepared for the European Commission under the project Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia (henceforth REC Evaluation). The objective of the assignment was to evaluate whether the activities as executed by the RECs from the year the EU commenced its funding until now are in line with the activities that were set forth in their respective charters (as set forth in the TORs section 1.3). It was also to evaluate whether those activities led to a demonstrable contribution to the objectives of the RECs (as set forth in section 1.2), i.e., to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation, free exchange of experience, public participation in environmental policymaking, and assistance to environmental NGOs.

Methodology

The evaluation carried out by the team consisted of five major steps: 1. Inception (preparatory) phase 2. Field visits (the evaluation team visited Moldova November 26 30, Kazakhstan February 5 10, Russia March 5 9, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan March 26 April 7) 3. Analysis of information gathered 4. Drafting the final evaluation report 5. Presentation of the results to the Commission and finalisation During the visits to the EECCA RECs, the evaluation team conducted interviews with more than 200 people. The team had 19 meetings in Moldova 22 meetings in Kazakhstan 25 meetings in Russia 58 meetings in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

In interviews, the evaluation team applied the standardised questionnaire (see Annex IV) consisting of three main parts: general information about the interviewee; questions related to his/her activities in / with the REC; and questions related to his/her valuation of relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability of the REC activities. During each interview, depending on the situation and answers already received, new questions were added to determine relevance and impact were added, depending on the category of stakeholder being interviewed. During each mission the guiding principle of the team was to determine whether the activities carried out by that EECCA REC had contributed to the achievement of its mission and objectives. Throughout the evaluation team aimed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the particular REC and its activities (projects). In addition to reviewing documents, the evaluation team met or had telephone interviews with a range of stakeholders who had been involved with the EECCA RECs in one context or another, to gather their opinions (both positive and negative) on the activities that had been

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carried out to date. Thus the evaluation team met the following groups of stakeholders in each country visited: 1. EC delegations where available (the evaluation team met people responsible in EC delegations in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, also Europa house in Baku); 2. EC staff in the HQ (DG ENV, DG RELEX, EuropeAid) 3. Directors of RECs; 4. Staff of REC (the evaluation team interviewed all programmes managers and other persons from the staff); 5. People from the ministries of environment (ecology in some countries), ministries of economy, ministries of health, ministries of education etc. who were familiar with the respective REC; 6. Representatives of various NGOs (the evaluation team had joint as well as individual meetings with NGO representatives); 7. Academic representatives, who in many cases were on the Board of Directors; 8. Businesses who had been involved in some joint projects; and 9. Donors that finance RECs and had been involved in some common projects. The evaluation team asked the various stakeholders how they rated the efficiency of a particular REC, how they saw roles of various stakeholders, and what they thought should be the future areas of the particular RECs activities. As specified in the TOR, the evaluation team looked at relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact of the support in terms of contribution to achievement of the overall programme objectives and sustainability of the results achieved, as well as sustainability of the RECs themselves. The evaluation team also gathered information on the activities that each REC staff member was conducting, and on funds received and spent on the main programmes and projects implemented by the RECs. We found, of course, that each of the four EECCA RECs being evaluated had unique characteristics. Geographical area covered and the political environments were very dissimilar; The staff size of each REC was different; The environmental problems in the countries served by the various RECs differed quite a lot; The status of each REC in the country where it was based diverged considerably; The needs of the NGOs in the various regions were also different; The projects implemented by the RECs were of different sizes and importance for various stakeholders, even when they were based on common methodologies (e.g., the LEAPs); Each geographical area had its own specific issues to tackle (e.g. Transnistria for Moldova REC, the frozen war of Armenia & Azerbaijan -operation for RECC).

The table on the following page summarizes these different elements. This means that any kind of quantitative indicators (like human and financial resources spent for a project output) are not comparable among the four RECs and are therefore not used in the evaluation report.

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Evaluation of the RECs in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia by Gretta Goldenman & Daiva Semnien

Table 1: Characteristics of RECs in EECCA Countries REC Geographical area covered KZ, KG, TJ, TM, UZ (3,994,400 2 km ) Political environment Supportive host countries for headquarters & branch offices; problems to establish branch offices in TM & UZ not yet resolved Specific political problems TM a closed country; UZ not supportive of civil society Key environmental problems Transboundary water resource management (e.g., Aral Sea); biodiversity protection; sustainable development in general Fragile mountain ecosystems Legal status in host country Registered as nonprofit institute. Application made for full status as international organisation Needs of the NGOs Political support Staff size (2007) 40 Sizes of projects implemented Very ambitious regional policy goals; outstanding environmental education & small grants programs Mostly support to NGOs, public participation, LEAPs

Central Asia REC

REC Caucasus

AM, AZ, GE Supportive host (186,100 km2) country

Frozen war of Armenia & Azerbaijan

Registered as nongovernmental organization under Georgian law; no further steps taken Moldovan legal entity, governed by Moldovan law as an independent, non profit and non political organisation of international character Registered as a national autonomous noncommercial organisation

Opportunities to gather regionally; financial support in the regions Financial and training on project development and management support Financial support, particularly in outlying regions

27

REC Moldova

MD only (33,843 km2)

Supportive host country

Transnistria region

Erosion, droughts, floods and landslides. Poor quality drinking water. Deteriorating municipal infrastructure. Industrial pollution, air quality in the larger cities; worsening municipal water & waste infrastructure; adaptation to climate change in polar regions

Huge support to NGOs, LEAPs development, strong informational programmes Ambitious policy goals; useful support for the EU-RU environmental dialogue

Russia REC

RU only (17,075,200 km2)

Host country government not supportive

Political changes have weakened environmental management structures

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Nevertheless, the evaluation team tried to acquire from RECs and are providing in this report the major numbers on revenue and costs, as well as staff of RECs. Lists of projects and programmes, together with funds devoted for those, are also included in this report. It should, however, be noted, that because of the same origin of establishment; dependence on EU money; and because civil societies in the countries concerned have similar political histories until recently, the four EECCA RECs face similar problems today. Moreover, a few programmes (especially NGO support programmes and LEAPs programmes) have been carried out by the RECS in the same way and thus can be more comparable than others.

Overview of the new RECs 3.1 Brief history of their establishment

The idea of establishing regional environmental centres in the countries of the former Soviet Union surfaced as part of the Environment for Europe process. A UNECE working group of senior government officials asked the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC CEE) based in Hungary to assess the feasibility of establishing REC like organisations in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On the basis of the resulting feasibility study, the European environment ministers attending the 1996 Sofia Conference called for the establishment of New RECs in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. This list was later expanded to include the Caucasus region, and then Central Asia. The EU agreed to support the start-up and work programmes of the New RECs (henceforth EECCA RECs). The United States also agreed to contribute support, with a focus on the New REC for Ukraine (no longer operating). The process of establishing the EECCA RECs began with a number of meetings with NGOs and ministries of environment in the targeted countries, to define their tasks and structures. Because of the widely varying situations in the various countries and regions, it was agreed that the EECCA RECs should be separate centres but linked together in a network of common aims and principles. A common form of charter was developed and agreed in Chisinau, Moldova, in December 1997. The European Commissions Tacis programme provided initial funding through service contracts with various consulting firms. In 2000 the first sizable EU grants for core funding were released to the EECCA RECs that were ready to begin operations. In 2002, the Russian REC became the last of the EECCA RECs to start up its operations.

3.2 Review of the common elements


The four EECCA RECs established with the assistance of the EU share a number of features. Common mission statement Common objectives Similar governance structures (board of directors, advisory board, etc.) Some common programme areas Dependence on the EC for core funding

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The EECCA RECs were established with the following mission in mind: to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation at national and regional level among NGOs, governments, businesses, local communities, and all other stakeholders, in order to develop a free exchange of information, in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention; offer assistance to all environmental NGOs and other stakeholders; and increase public participation in the decision-making process, thereby assisting the states of the NIS in the further development of a democratic civil society. To reach this goal, they were to pursue the following objectives: promote a broader cooperation in the environmental field among government bodies, local government bodies, NGO, businesses, scientific institutions, and other environmentally interested stakeholders at international, national, regional and local levels; make an efficient use of the funds and other kinds of support provided by the DonorParties to the Agreement, as well as legal entities and individuals, other states and international organizations; promote a free exchange of experience and information in the environmental field; increase public participation in making environmental policies and decisions that can affect the environment; assist environmental NGOs and other interested participants in their activities to protect the environment. Thus the mission statement and the objectives agreed emphasis on the development of a democratic civil society belief that this was important for solving environmental cooperation, free exchange of information and experience, for NGOs. for the EECCA RECs placed in the EECCA countries, in the problems. They emphasized public participation and support

During the establishment of each REC, care was taken to involve the various stakeholders to be served by each REC. The governments of the countries concerned, together with the European Commission, acted as Founders. The one exception was in Russia, where frequent changes in the government impeded the founding of the Russia REC, and where the Russian Civil Service Academy in the end stepped in to serve as Founder. The Founders typically worked in close cooperation with advisory groups made up of representatives from various stakeholder groups, such as NGOs. The Founders considered the legal form for incorporating the REC concerned in the host country and the wording of the founding documents, including the charters. Similar governance structures were also used in the establishment of the EECCA RECs. Each REC has a Board of Directors comprising representatives of the founding government(s), the NGO community, the European Commission (for the EU), and assorted other donors and stakeholders. Each REC has an Advisory Council consisting of selected NGO representatives, academic specialists, business representatives and other relevant stakeholders. The diagram on the following page shows the relationship between the Founders and Boards, the REC itself, and the various sources of funding.

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Figure 1: Relationships between Founders & Boards, sources of funding and REC Founders

Board of Directors

REC Management

Advisory Board NGOs Academics Business Community

Support Staff Secretaries Bookkeepers Drivers

Programme 1 Staff Expenses, e.g., publications, meetings Programme 2 Staff Expenses, e.g., publications, meetings

EU Core Funding

Project-specific Funding EU Other Donors Service Contracts

In developing this basic structure and in creating the individual EECCA RECs, great care was taken to ensure that the governance structures had balanced representation among the countries and regions served by the particular REC, as well as independence from the host governments. For those RECs serving several countries, such as the CAREC and REC Caucasus, these efforts to achieve balanced geographical and stakeholder representation led to rather unwieldy and ineffective Boards of Directors where national interests sometimes competed with the mission to promote regional cooperation. After their establishment, the EECCA RECs formed a network with the REC CEE to draw on its experience, and also to enable closer cooperating among themselves. They have had frequent joint meetings, and have worked on a number of joint and/or parallel projects, including: Developing the Basis for the NIS Sustainable Development Strategy (in preparation for Johannesburg in 2002)

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Towards Strengthening Local Environmental Governance in the EECCA Countries funded by the Netherlands government (basically development of LEAPs and support for implementation of local projects identified therein) Implementing the Aarhus Convention: Practical Tools of Public Participation (with the support of the REC CEE) Cooperation with the OECD & the EAP Task Force on improving environmental enforcement and compliance in the EECCA countries via a series of trainings for inspectors and practitioners from EECCA enforcement agencies Pilot projects for sustainable development of mountainous regions in the Caucasus Local Agenda 21 (Russia REC & REC Caucasus) Development of Networks of Library-Information Centres in Central Asia and the Caucasus (REC Caucasus together with CAREC) NIS RECs Support for Regional and International Transboundary Activities and Networking The EECCA RECs have historically relied primarily on the EC for the bulk of their funding. Each EECCA REC has received at least two large grants from EuropeAid programmes in the form of so-called core funding. The core funding has been provided after submission of a proposal from the respective REC outlining the challenges of the period ahead, and the key programme areas that would be carried out by the REC if the funding was received. The core funding has been used by the EECCA RECs to cover the costs of infrastructure (facilities, furnishings, computers), core staff, information programmes, and operating costs (including expenses for meetings of the boards).

3.3 The EECCA RECs and the EAP Task Force


The UNECE Environment for Europe process has been a particular focus of attention for all of the EECCA RECs. As has already been noted, the establishment of the EECCA RECs grew directly out of a resolution adopted at the 1995 Sofia Conference of European Environment Ministers. Many of the consultations with stakeholders and other establishmentoriented activities over the next few years took place in the context of the EAP Task Force. The EAP Task Force was set up at the 1993 Lucerne Conference as a means of coordinating among the countries participating in the Environment for Europe process, to assist them in reaching the goals of the Environmental Action Plan (EAP) for Central and Eastern Europe. From the outset it was coordinated through the OECD. At the 1998 Aarhus Conference, the function of coordinating was split. The OECD remained responsible for coordinating among the EECCA countries and the REC for Central and Eastern Europe (REC CEE) in Szentendre became responsible for coordinating among the CEE countries. As the various EECCA RECs became operational in 2000 and thereafter, they began active participation in EAP Task Force meetings, and in 2001 undertook a joint project Effective Involvement of NGOs in the Environment for Europe Process, under which they convened a number of coordinating meetings and provided funds for NGO representatives to attend key strategy meetings. At the 2003 Kiev Conference of European Environment Ministers, it was decided that the Environment for Europe process would be continued and deepened. The Environmental Strategy for EECCA was approved at the Conference as a long -term strategic document for the region. In addition, the possibility was raised of the EECCA RECs taking over some of the EAP Task Force functions performed at present by the OECD, following the example of the REC for Central and Eastern Europe.

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The EECCA RECs have since then been actively engaged in a process of preparation for taking on a collective role of serving as the EAP Task Force secretariat for different international programmes and initiatives. The RREC invited the RECs (including REC CEE) to a working meeting in Moscow in August 2003 to discuss this prospect in more detail. A basic agreement was reached at the meeting to establish a network of the RECs which would be aimed primarily at supporting efforts to achieve the objectives of the Environment Strategy for EECCA. The RECs presented their joint work programme at a joint meeting of the EAP Task Force and the Project Preparation Committee (PPC) in October 2003. The result was the development of a package of projects for presentation to the EAP Task Force and other donors. The next Conference of European Environment Ministers will take place in autumn 2007 in Belgrade. As the Belgrade Conference draws closer, the discussions concerning the future of the Environment for Europe and the EAP Task Force have entered a new phase. The enlargement of the European Union to include 10 of the Central and Eastern countries means that the primary clients are now the EECCA countries. Moreover, the political and economic changes of the past 15 years have led to a type of disintegration into sub-regions or regional blocks. This has led to consideration of the option of moving to a decentralisation of EAP Task Force functions through a transfer of some or all of the secretariat functions currently carried out by the OECD in Paris to organisations located in the sub-regions, e.g., the EECCA RECs. An intermediate option with these functions shared between the OECD/EAP Task Force and the EECCA RECs is also under consideration, e.g., the OECD could focus on methodological aspects, with the RECs focusing on implementation via dissemination of new ideas or best practices. The EECCA RECs have signalled their readiness to step into this role.

Assessment of the EECCA RECs 4.1 REC Caucasus

4.1.1 History, Context, Staff The Declaration signed at the 1995 Sofia Conference called for the establishment of a New REC for Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. In 1996, Georgia was added to this list, and in 1997 the proposal for a REC Georgia was expanded to include Azerbaijan and Armenia as well. The Charter for the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus was signed in 1999 by the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and by the EU. The REC Caucasus was officially registered in Georgia in 2000 and began formal operations that year. In November 2000 the four founders signed an Agreement on REC Caucasus (RECC), the Board of Directors was appointed, and the International Advisory Council was formed. Premises were found for the REC Caucasus and six staff members hired, including a Georgian national as Executive Director. In order to ensure regional parity in the RECCs governance structure, an Armenian national was appointed chair of the Board and an Azerbaijan national appointed chair of the Advisory Council. In December 2002 the RECC set up offices in Armenia and Azerbaijan to serve as resource centres for stakeholders in the two countries. These centres, formally known as RECC Information Points, began operating at the beginning of 2003 in order to provide support for RECC programmes and projects in the countries and to enable day-to-day contact with

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beneficiaries and stakeholders concerned. In 2004 the RECC Information Point in Armenia was formally registered with the Armenian government as a RECC Branch Office. However, relations between the RECC and environmental authorities in Azerbaijan did not proceed smoothly. The Azerbaijan Ministry of Environments choice for the position of coordinator of the RECC Information Point in Azerbaijan was not selected by the hiring panel. The Azerbaijan Minister of Environment maintained that he had not been kept properly informed about what the RECC was doing in Azerbaijan1, and in general that Azerbaijan was not getting a fair share of benefits from the RECCs activities in the region. Despite a number of discussions between the Azerbaijan Minister of Environment and the RECC Executive Director, relations did not improve. In 2005 the Minister insisted that the charter of the RECC be revised to institutionalise a power-sharing arrangement among the three beneficiary countries and that the Information Point in Azerbaijan be closed until such an arrangement was agreed. Since 2005, the RECC has maintained only a project office in Baku. The REC Caucasus (RECC) also had other problems. The RECC was the first of the three EECCA RECs to be audited by Ernst & Young in 2005. The E&Y audit did not find any major financial mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, or nepotism in terms of staff hiring. Nonetheless, the RECC was singled out for having a haphazard administration, including a lack of financial and human resources procedures. The E&Y audit made a number of recommendations, including development of procedural manuals for financial administration and for human resources management. On the basis of this report, in 2006 the EU decided to freeze all new project funds being held for the RECC, until it took the necessary steps to implement these recommendations. The effort to revise the RECC charter resulted in an extended period of uncertainty about the RECCs legal status. Although agreement on the wording of the revised charter was reached among the four founders by July 2006, Azerbaijan was not prepared to sign at that time. In 2005 and 2006 the RECC took a number of steps to address the concerns of its founders. With the assistance of the GTZ, it developed a REC Caucasus Strategy for 2006-2010. It also developed separate manuals for financial administration and human resources management, as per the E&Y recommendations. However, because the revised RECC charter had not been signed, the Board of Directors could not meet to approve the new documents. Moreover, the term of the first executive director had expired end of June 2006 (though given a two-month extension by the Board of Directors) and a new executive director could not be named until a revised RECC charter was in place. The former executive director stayed in place until February 2007 (in part because her signature was still required for any outgoing payment), at which time a formal letter of resignation was submitted to the Board. In March 2007, when the evaluation mission took place, the revised RECC charter had not yet been signed and no executive director was in place. However, the President of Azerbaijan had just authorized the signing of the revised RECC charter. The evaluation mission found the RECC itself to be still functioning but demoralized. Though all staff members were still in place and working, their salaries had not been paid since

It should be noted that a representative of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Environment had been appointed to the Board of Directors for the RECC but did not attend Board meetings regularly.

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December 2006. The situation (unpaid staff hanging on for a resolution) was similar in both the RECC branch office in Armenia and the RECC project office in Baku. The RECC staff had collectively taken the decision to maintain the organisation they had built up over the years, in the hope that the revised charter would be signed and enough funding released from the EU to enable them to continue. On 16 April 2007 during a meeting of the RECC Board of Directors in Tbilisi, the Founders of the RECC (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the European Commission) signed the new Charter of the RECC, and it entered into force. Under the terms of the revised Charter, the RECC will be managed via a collegial Troika an Executive Director and two deputy executive directors. Azerbaijan will nominate the new Executive Director, and Armenia and Georgia will nominate the two deputy Executive Directors. The position of Executive Director will rotate among the three directors on an annual basis, thus ensuring a fair representation of nationalities amongst senior staff. The objective is to create joint ownership of the organisation and to make it function as a truly regional body. The chair of the Board is now assigned to the EC on a permanent basis, which should enable the EC to steer the overall decision-making process and to serve as an arbiter in case of disputes. The Board also approved the draft manuals prepared by the RECC (Human Resources Manual, Code of Ethics and Conduct, and Financial Manual), thereby meeting the recommendations of the 2005 E&Y audit. Context The REC Caucasus serves a difficult region. Because of the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan and Armenia do not have formal relations. Georgia is by default the only place in the region where government officials and citizens from all three countries can come together to discuss common problems. Tbilisi is thus the one capital city that can serve as the location of the RECC. The mission of REC Caucasus therefore also includes an additional layer -- the political objective of encouraging regional cooperation in a region where two of the three countries are in a frozen conflict. While there are today a number of regional cooperation initiatives, ranging from various conferences bringing citizens from the three countries together to several transboundary technical assistance projects, to the best of the evaluators knowledge the RECC remains the only organisation founded on the basis of signatures from all three governments (and the EU). This makes the RECC unique in the region. Moreover, the ENP Action Plans of all three countries mention the RECC as an important element in building more regional cooperation. For example, the EU-Azerbaijan ENP Action Plan mentions as a specific action under Priority area 10 (Strengthen regional cooperation): Support the Caucasus Regional Environmental Centre in meeting its objective to promote co-operation between Governmental and non-Governmental actors in the region, as well as enhance participation in its work. Staff As noted above, the RECC started up in 2000 with 7 staff persons. Up through 2004, growth was steady. At its height, a total of 39 people were involved as staff in the RECC headquarters and the 2 country offices. At this point, the RECC office in Georgia has 12 full

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time staff members, 6 staff working on specific projects, and 2 persons who worked on a daily rate basis (driver and conference assistant). The RECC branch office in Armenia has 4 fulltime staff members (including a director) and a driver paid on a daily rate basis, while the RECC project office in Azerbaijan is staffed by 2 experts working on specific projects and a secretary.
Table 2: Trends in staffing of the REC Caucasus
# 1 2 3 TOTAL Type of staff Management (Director, financial manager) Programme related Support (secretary, driver etc..) 2000 2 3 4 9 2001 2 3 3 8 2002 2 7 6 15 2003 2 15 7 24 2004 2 26 11 39 2005 2 23 12 37 2006 3 16 12 31 2007 1 16 10 27

As already noted, these staff members were still in place at the time of the evaluation mission. The staff is in general committed and hard-working, though there are variations in efficiencies. For example, the RECC branch office in Yerevan was very well managed. Though one of its two rooms served many purposes (meeting room, library and office space for 3 staff), it was tidy and well organised. On the other hand, the RECC central office in Tbilisi was more casual, with a library in need of reorganisation and a lack of places to shelve the documents lying around on the floors. This could be in part attributable to the lack of an executive director. 4.1.2. Assistance Received to Date In the period 2000 to 2006, the RECC received a total of 4,046,884 in grants. Like the other EECCA RECs, the primary source of funding for the REC Caucasus since it began operations in 2000 has been the EU. As the following pie chart shows, between 2000 and 2006, the EU provided 62% of the total funds received by the RECC through its core funding and grants programmes, for a total amount of 2,530,583.

27% Core (EU) Grants (EU) 53% 11% 9% Grants (USA) Projects (other)

Figure 2: Distribution of RECC budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects

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It is worth noting that this percentage of 62% is a lower proportion of overall funding received from the EU than the other EECCA RECs2. The remaining 38% of funding received by RECC has been earmarked for specific projects. The following table lists all of the sources of funding received by the RECC in the period 2000 to 2006:
Table 3: RECC sources of funding (period 2000-2006)

Revenues 2000-2006 EU Tacis (core) EU (SDCCC grants) USEPA SADC/CDE (Switzerland) Germany Liechtenstein Netherlands (VROM) CEPF (Critical Ecosystems) Italy OECD SYKE (Finland) EU DG ENV UNEP / GRID Danish EPA Global Water Partnership USA (other) Field Studies Council Total

2111368 378925 463339 271739 237841 143075 138017 59495 51600 48180 43314 40290 19327 22194 15551 2629 2242 4046884

% 52.2% 9.4% 11.4% 6.7% 5.9% 3.5% 3.4% 1.5% 1.3% 1.2% 1.1% 1.0% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.1% 0.1% 100%

4.1.3. Main Programme Areas and Activities Programmes and projects The main programme areas reviewed by the evaluation team included the following: Information Public participation NGO support Government initiatives (LEAPs & environmental policy) Sustainable development (Caucasus Mountain Ecosystems; education for SD)

It was not possible to get information from the RECC concerning how the core budget from the EU was allocated across these programme areas. However, it is noted below whenever these programme areas were supported primarily by the core budget.

The Russia REC for example has received 72% of its financing to date from the EU.

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Information Programme One of the primary objectives of RECC has been to provide free access to environmental information and to assist others in improving access to information, as well as to raise environmental awareness and promote cooperation among environmental stakeholders. The Information Programme has had two main activities: 1) provision of environmental information resources to all stakeholders, and 2) dissemination of RECC information in particular to the media, in order to strengthen awareness of the RECC and its activities (i.e., public relations). It has been funded primarily via the core funding received by the EC, though some publications have been funded out of specific project funding, e.g., the LEAPs related publications. The RECC has had an ambitious programme for providing environmental information to stakeholders. In 2001, it launched the journal News from the REC Caucasus in both Russian and English for circulation throughout the region. The journal became quarterly in 2002 and continued to be published regularly until 2006, when funding became scarce. The RECC also initiated a Weekly News project, again in both Russian and English, and launched the REC Caucasus website. The electronic bulletin has continued regular publication, albeit monthly rather than weekly. During the evaluation mission, this electronic news service was mentioned by many stakeholders as a particularly useful form of support from the RECC. This was in part because, in addition to environmental issues, it disseminated information on grants calls, seminars, meetings and other practical information. It has also been important that it is in the two international languages of the region (Russian and English). Another provision of information activity has been the compilation and publication of directories and databases. These have included: Environment and NGO Community: A Directory of Environmental NGOs (in three volumes, one for each country, English and Russian versions; first edition in 2002 and second edition in 2004). Environment and Public Authorities: A Directory of State Agencies Dealing with Environment and Related Issues (also in three volumes, one for each country, English and Russian versions; first edition in 2003 and second edition in 2005). Environment and Donors: A Directory of Local and International Funding Sources Working on Environmental and Related Projects (2004). The directory on public authorities included information on the various government agencies with environmental responsibilities, listed relevant legal acts and laws, included information on state reserves and national parks, and provided contact information in order to help strengthen communication between the sectors concerned. These directories are also available in electronic form on the RECC website and regularly updated in this format. The evaluation team reviewed a cross-section of these information materials and found them professional in appearance and text, and containing useful information. Under the public relations component, the RECC has published annual reports for 2000 through 2005, as well as a RECC information brochure, promoted its Information Points, and has carried out a number of media-related activities. Public outreach activities also included publication of an environmental calendar, a special RECC notebook and bag to be disseminated during RECC events, and special greeting cards for World Environment Day, New Years Day, climate change issues and so on. The evaluation team was not able to assess the effectiveness of these outputs in raising awareness about the RECC and its

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activities. The table below lists the number of publications produced to date by the RECC in both print and electronic formats.
Table 4: Summary List of Publications by RECC Quarterly Journal - News from REC Caucasus Directories "Environment and NGO Community" (2002; 2d edition, 2004) "Environment and Public Authorities" Armenia (2003; 2d edition, 2005) "Environment and Public Authorities" Azerbaijan (2003; 2d edition, 2005) "Environment and Public Authorities" - Georgia (2003) Information Brochures REC Caucasus Brochure 2002, 2d edition 2005 RECs Network Brochure LEAPs Information Brochures (2) Mountain Project Information Brochures Thematic Publications "Involvement of Caucasian NGOs in the 'Environment for Europe' Process" (in Russian only) Public Participation Manual (in Russian only) 3 Media Guides (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) Building a Regional NGO Platform in the South Caucasus for Involving Civil Society in EU Neighbourhood Policy Process 5 Proceedings of the REC Caucasus International Conference2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. 2005 3 LEAPs (Ararat, Kutaisi, Ganja) Earth Got Sick childrens book on climate change issues (in English and 3 national languages) Success Stories within Swiss Transboundary Grants Programme Guiding Principles for Reform of Environmental Enforcement Authorities in Transition Economies translated into Armenian, Azeri and Georgian (3) Glossary of Terms Used in Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Promotion - Armenian, Azeri and Georgian (3) LEAPs in EECCA Countries (RECs Joint Newsletter) Rethink, Refuse, Reuse from environmental education to education for sustainable development Annual Reports (6 covering the years 2000 -2005) Reports South Caucasus Environmental NGO Needs Assessment Grants Programme for NGOs, 2001: process, decisions, achievements Greeting Cards Environmental Calendars Electronic News - 2003 - 2007 Electronic Announcements Total Number of Publications Total Number of Electronic Announcements & News 13 issues 7 editions

26

6 2 6 3 55 775 68 830

The RECC also set up libraries of environmental information open to the public at RECC headquarters in Tbilisi and in the Information Points in Baku and Yerevan. In 2003, the
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RECC cooperated with CAREC on a project to develop their electronic libraries of environmental information in the Russian language. When the evaluation committee viewed the library at RECC headquarters, it was not functioning properly. Due to lack of staff, it had been put into the charge of temporary interns, and floor and table surfaces were covered with stacks of documents, unsorted and unshelved/unfiled. The library in Baku was no longer operating because of the closure of the Information Point there. However, the library in the Yerevan branch office was well-organised and reportedly used often by NGOs and students. The RECCs publications programme is highly relevant. The high volume of publications produced in multiple languages is an evidence of efficient management. Impact is variable. Several stakeholders mentioned the electronic news bulletin and the directories of government agencies as very important. However, the long-term sustainability of the information programme is dependent on continued EU core funding. Public Participation Programme Under this programme, the RECC has promoted initiatives aimed at increasing public participation in decision-making processes across the Caucasus. The majority of these initiatives have been supported out of EU core funding. Beginning in 2001, in the framework of the annual policy meetings of the RECCs International Advisory Council, the RECC sponsored annual conferences bringing representatives of governmental institutions, relevant parliamentary committees and NGOs, scientists, representatives from the EU and international organisations. The conferences were aimed at promoting an exchange of views and cooperation among the countries of the Caucasus on problems requiring a regional approach. Resolutions were adopted at each conference noting the key principles recommended for addressing the specific issues highlighted that year. The topics have been as follows:
Table 5: Topics of public participation conferences Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Topic Water Resources Management in the Countries of the South Caucasus Problems of Drought & Desertification in the South Caucasus Countries Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions Environmental Security of the South Caucasus Region Education for Sustainable Development Towards the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development No. participants Na 90 170 100 80

In 2006, the RECC was not able to organise an annual conference because of lack of core funding. Several stakeholders interviewed noted that these conferences were important for pulling people together from all three countries; one stated that it was the one event where NGOs could count on coming into contact with ministers of environment and therefore very valuable for the opportunity to freely exchange views. Implementation of the Aarhus Convention has been another important focus of activities. One of the RECCs first actions was to publish the Aarhus Convention in all three Caucasus languages Armenian, Azerbaijan, and Georgian. In December 2000, the RECC organized

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an Aarhus Convention workshop for representatives from all three countries, and one of its 2002 grants programmes was focused on Aarhus Convention implementation. The EU core funding has also supported efforts to develop environmental journalism in the South Caucasus. An initial activity was a special media tour as a side event to the 2003 annual conference on sustainable development of mountain regions in the Caucasus. In 2004 this was developed into the project Media and Public Participation Techniques. Under the project, national groups of journalists were formed in each country and provided with background briefings on specific topics by environmental specialists. The RECC also organised competitions for environmental stories as well as media tours to highlight special environmental issues in the region. In 2005, for example, a regional workshop on Journalistic Monitoring of Environmental Hot-spots took place in Kazbegi, Georgia, for journalists from all three countries. Activities sponsored by other donors have included a 2001 project on Public participation in transboundary water management issues in the South Caucasus financed by USEPA (40,000 USD) under which national meetings with representatives from NGOs, governments, parliamentary committees, scientific, business and donor communities as well as the mass media in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were organised. The project also included an earmarked grants programme designed to help NGOs address immediate low-cost, high priority environmental projects. This was followed up in 2002 with a regional information meeting in which donor representatives participated where information on water related projects in the south Caucasus was presented. With the support of the Danish Government, a separate set of meetings was organised to discuss a proposal for cooperation with the Global Water Partnership in the Caucasus region. In 2002, under agreement with REC CEE and supported by Italy, the RECC began implementation of the project Implementing the Aarhus Convention: Practical Tools of Public Participation. This project was aimed at building capacity for government environmental decision-making, sharing of experiences in implementing the Article 6 provisions, and promotion of best practices of public participation with the goal of demonstrating the benefits of well-functioning democratic mechanisms. The project trained around 120 community leaders in the three countries and provided direct assistance (pilot project grants) in each country. The public participation programme is highly relevant. Several stakeholders considered the annual conferences as effective and efficient mechanisms for bringing key groups of stakeholders together around specific topics, and therefore having a high impact. However, practical results are less in evidence. The programme has good prospects for long -term sustainability, given the number of projects funded by other donors.

NGO Support The NGO Support Programme has aimed to assist NGOs in building their institutional capacities to enable them to effectively tackle environmental problems, as well as to build regional partnerships. This programme has included capacity building measures, direct support through a grants programme, and support for NGO participation in regional and international fora. These measures were identified in part through a 2001 NGO needs assessment that polled 292 NGOs in the three countries. The majority of these activities have been financed via core funding.

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Capacity building activities have included national trainings for NGOs, especially oriented towards newly established NGOs as well as those outside of the capitals. For example, the training on public participation focused on how to identify target groups, develop effective information materials and press releases, how to work with the media, and so on. Participation of NGO representatives in regional and international fora has also been supported. This included regional meetings in 2002 for development of a Regional NGO Position Paper for presentation in Johannesburg, and to support the Caucasus countries to prepare for the 2003 Kiev Conference. The RECC also supported participation of NGO representatives in the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health that took place in 2004 in Budapest. Active involvement in the 2003 Kiev Conference was ensured through the project Effective Involvement of NGOs in the Environment for Europe Process. This included a series of national and regional planning seminars for NGOs, government, media and business representatives, a publication on the Environment for Europe process, and the funding of Caucasus NGO participation in strategic international meetings. In addition to publishing a Manual on Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making in the countries of the South Caucasus in the Russian language, circulated widely to stakeholders in the region, the RECC regularly disseminated information through its electronic newsletter, organized national NGO meetings before and after the conference, and funded three NGO representatives from each country to attend the Kiev Conference. In 2005 the RECC implemented the project Building a Regional NGO Platform in the South Caucasus for Involvement of Civil Society in Formulation and Implementation of European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Process to introduce the EU Neighbourhood Policy, including the element of cooperation in the field of environment. An October 2005 regional meeting of environmental NGOs served to raise awareness among Caucasus NGOs concerning the ENP and helped them to identify opportunities for their involvement in the development and implementation of the EU Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. These efforts to link national NGOs with international initiatives were mentioned several times by stakeholders as very important for the region. The RECC has also administered a number of grants programmes to support NGOs and their activities. Ongoing grants were also made available for start-up, subscriptions, emergency and travel grants. The first programme launched in May 2000 with EU support provided seven NGOs with grants. A 2001 grants programme funded by the USEPA provided USD 91,801 for financing 56 projects balanced among the three countries, and continued in 2002 with the selection of 18 more projects in the three countries. Other 2002 grants programmes included an earmarked grants programme for NGOs on water resources management and related issues, and a cross border grants scheme financed by Switzerland which supported projects involving NGOs from all three countries. EU core funding typically covered administrative costs of the grants programme. Administration included training sessions in the three capitals and outlying provinces on project proposal development and implementation of the projects, including financial administration.

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The RECC grants programmes were assessed by most NGO representatives interviewed as very important, especially for NGOs in areas outside of the capital cities. Administration was considered to have been transparent and the selection of recipients carried out via an objective process involving committees representing all three beneficiary countries. The NGO support programme has been highly relevant to the objective of strengthening civil society, particularly outside of the major cities. This was considered as one of the high impact programmes of the RECC, and as something that the RECC did particularly well. Sustainability is dependent on continued funding by donors, including the EU.

Government Initiatives Programme This programme had two elements: (i) environmental policy and (ii) local environmental action plans (LEAPs). Many of the activities under the environmental policy element have been supported out of core funding. The 2003 Kiev Conference was one such focus of activity. The RECC supported the three governments in developing publications for the Conference, translated the three draft protocols to be opened for signature at the Kiev Conference into the three national languages, and financially supported three official delegates from each country. In addition, the RECC provided support to the Government of Georgia for the organization of the Conference of Environment Ministries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and their Partners, which was held in October 2004 in Tbilisi. This was preceded by an international meeting of environmental NGOs entitled Kiev + 1 that brought together 54 participants from 14 EECCA countries to assess the progress made since the 2003 Kiev Conference. In 2004, the RECC also carried out a Government Needs Assessment during which more than 150 officials with environmental responsibilities in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were interviewed to ascertain their needs and conditions. Other donors have also supported activities linked to the Environment for Europe process and the EAP Task Force. The 2003 Kiev effort included assistance to the UNEP/GRID Arendal project to prepare the soil, waste and water components of the Kiev Assessment document. In addition, the RECC cooperated with the OECD on a project to strengthen environmental enforcement in the region by translating two documents (Guiding Principle for Reform of Environmental Enforcement Authorities in EECCA Transition Economies and Glossary of Terms Used in Environmental Enforcement and Compliance Promotion). Another 2004 project was on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Capacity Building in the South Caucasus: Towards a Coherent Strategy. The project aimed to promote SEA as a key instrument for integrating environmental concerns and sustainable development principles into government policies and programmes, by transferring the experience with SEA gained in CEE countries within the general framework of the UNECE SEA Protocol. The LEAPs effort has been funded by donors other than the EU. The RECCs initial foray into LEAPs was in 2003 via the project Local Dialogues on Environment First Step toward the LEAPs financed by USEPA. The RECC also started implementing a joint project with the other EECCA RECs entitled Towards Strengthening Local Environmental Governance in the EECCA Countries funded by the Netherlands government. After a contest among local governments, three cities were selected for participation Ararat in Armenia, Ganja in Azerbaijan, and Kutaisi in Georgia. The goal of these projects was to facilitate public participation and cross-sector cooperation by involving local communities in the development

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of these LEAPs. The RECC convened national meetings and training seminars, and supported analyses of local legislation to identify possibilities for LEAP implementation. Nine persons (three from each country) were funded to attend an international conference on LEAPs organised by REC Moldova in 2003. In 2004, the LEAPs programme moved to local implementation with training in Tbilisi of 45 local community leaders from the three pilot cities in techniques of LEAP development, followed by kick-off conferences in the pilot cities themselves and a series of working meetings of stakeholder committees until first draft Action Plans were produced. In 2005 the consultation process continued through additional stakeholders committee meetings and LEAPs for Ararat, Ganja and Kutaisi were finalised and published in national and Russian languages. After formal presentation of the LEAP documents at final city conferences, memoranda of understanding were signed between city mayors and REC Caucasus in which the local governments agreed to integrate the LEAPs into city plans and to implement priority actions. The LEAPs were then supported by a small grants programme to support implementation of priority actions by NGOs and municipalities. This programme has provided the most directly relevant support to the stakeholder governments, particularly in Georgia. However, there is little evidence of concrete changes to environmental policy as a result. Local impact in the three pilot cities where LEAPs were developed was high, but replication of the results is dependent on continued donor support.

Sustainable Development The 2003 proposal from the RECC to the European Commission mentions three components under this programme: Water, Desertification, and Mountains. As previously noted, each of these themes was featured at a RECC annual conference. While some work has continued on the water issue via a RECC project for the Global Water Initiative, a later RECC report mentions that no additional project funding could be found for activities on desertification and therefore this theme was dropped. In 2004, Education for Sustainable Development was added to the programme. Mountain ecosystems have been a major focus for the RECC since the 2003 RECC annual conference on Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions. As a follow-up, the RECC together with the Russian REC developed a special project Pilot Projects for Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions of the Caucasus Local Agenda 21. This effort has been financed by the governments of Germany and Liechtenstein. The aim has been to set up a practical, local level base for the elaboration of a Mountain Convention for the Caucasus. The project is being implemented by National Coordinators selected in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia, and has the following components: Local Agenda 21 plans for eight mountain villages in the Caucasus (two in each country, including Russia) Development of a network of villages in the Caucasus for exchange of experience Development of an information database with a view to elaborating a Caucasus-wide strategy of local sustainable management. In 2004 the pilot villages were selected. In 2005 working groups including local participants carried out assessments of the situation in each village, and developed first drafts of the Local Agenda 21 plans. In addition, five project proposals were elaborated for each village, along with implementation of one small project in each village. In one of the Armenian mountain villages, for example, a traditional water channelling system was rehabilitated.
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The Education for Sustainable Development programme was launched in 2004 through the organisation of two roundtable meetings in each of the three countries, in order to assess the baseline situations. The assessment showed that the country scenarios differed considerably and that a regional approach would need to keep these national differences in e.g. legislation and educational curriculum into account. The RECCs Fifth Annual International Conference in 2005 focused on Education for Sustainable Development, in follow-up to a High-Level Meeting of Education and Environment Ministries of UNECE Ministries in Vilnius earlier in 2005, where the UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development was adopted. The RECC staff person coordinating the ESD programme was highly professional. Because of the differences in the three countries, a decision had been taken to focus on development of a curriculum for the Georgian schools. Officials in the Georgian Ministry of Education told the evaluation team that they are undertaking a major curriculum reform, and that the contributions of the RECC to this effort were highly valued. Another activity related to sustainable development was the RECCs administration of the Azerbaijan portion of the Tacis Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal Communities small grants programme, through the Baku projects office. The objective of the small grants programme was to reduce and prevent overuse of the natural resources of the Caspian Sea region by assisting coastal communities to develop alternative and sustainable sources of livelihoods, and in general to promote sustainable economic development. A total of 41 projects were selected to receive a total amount of 290,000 EUR. All of the persons interviewed in Azerbaijan were very pleased with the results from this project with the exception of the Minister of Environment (see below). The activities in this programme to date have been highly relevant, but somewhat localized in that the Sustainable Development of Caspian coastal communities was limited to Azerbaijan and the Education for Sustainable Development activity has so far concentrated on Georgian schools. If the Mountain Project succeeds in bringing about a Convention linking the South Caucasus countries and Russia, it will have a very high impact with the potential for long term sustainability of results.

4.1.4 Overall Assessment of Activities, including Stakeholder Assessments The mission to evaluate the REC Caucasus covered visits to each of the three capitals (Tbilisi, Baku, Yerevan) and interviews with a cross-section of RECC staff and other stakeholders in the three countries to gather their views of the role of RECC and the activities it had carried out to date. In both Georgia and Armenia, the RECC was viewed by almost all stakeholders as very important for bringing the three countries together for addressing region-wide environmental problems (the exception was a Georgian NGO). The government representatives the evaluation team interviewed in Armenia viewed it as particularly important as being the only opportunity for them to sit at the same table with counterparts from Azerbaijan to discuss common environmental issues. Georgian government representatives also mentioned the importance of this regional aspect. Views in Azerbaijan varied the most. The Minister of Environment was highly critical of the RECC, calling it that Georgian NGO. He took umbrage at the fact that the former head of the RECC Information Point in Azerbaijan (which had been intended as the first stage of an eventual RECC Branch Office there) had been appointed without his approval. He described

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the Caspian coastal communities grant programme which had been administered through the RECC via an Azeri project officer as having caused serious harm to the environment because he viewed overgrazing as the countrys most severe environmental problem and because 25% of the projects it supported were livestock production (in fact, these were quite small-scale). In contrast, the NGOs interviewed in Azerbaijan were appreciative of the RECCs role. Indeed, they expressed feelings of abandonment because of the closure of the RECC Information Point. Officials at the Ministry of Economic Development were also positive about the RECC, citing the Caspian grant programme as a very useful effort in support of regional development. The local manager for the Caspian Environment Programme described it as the best project ever from the point of view of the CEP. The specific assignment for this evaluation was to assess how each REC was carrying out the core activities set forth in its charter. As per the assessment of its programme areas above, the REC Caucasus is seen as doing a good job with information exchange, administration of grants programmes and in promoting public participation in environmental decision-making processes.
Table 6: Evaluation of REC Caucasus activities
RECC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none +++ ++ ++ +++ +++ ++ ++ +

The support for environmental education was still in the process of development but satisfactory. In terms of providing a forum for discussion and policy analysis of environmental issues, the RECC has performed satisfactorily, and its annual conferences deserve special mention. Nonetheless, its policy agenda could be more ambitious. With respect to providing a framework for possible regional co-operation, the RECC has had success in bringing NGOs and local governments together in all three countries. It is hoped that the new structure under the revised charter will enable the three governments of the region to cooperate more closely on concrete environmental initiatives. Finally, the RECC could do better in reaching out to the business community.

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4.1.5 Conclusions The evaluation teams general conclusion is that since its founding in 2000, the activities carried out by the RECC have been relevant to its mission and objectives. It is worth noting that the activities carried out by the REC Caucasus have been mostly oriented towards NGO support or working with local governments (LEAPs, mountain villages). This is in contrast to CAREC and REC Russia which have both tended to pursue rather ambitious policy-oriented projects. While this has been useful for building the NGO movement in the region, it may also have contributed to some of the misunderstandings described above, which have diminished its impact. However, under the last programme area, RECC is aiming at the development of a Mountain Convention for the Caucasus, and this will potential ly have a very high and visible impact. The programme officers at the RECC have carried out these activities fairly effectively. But the uncertainties of the last couple of years have had an impact and there is currently little budget to do anything other than electronic newsletters, trainings, and the like. The efficiency level of the RECC head office in Tbilisi could be improved with better management. The evaluation team was told about instances where board meetings were not properly prepared. Another indication of lack of efficiency was the delay in responding to the E&Y audit recommendations. On the other hand, the Branch Office in Armenia was very well organized and highly praised by all Armenian stakeholders for its efficiency. A particular problem related to efficiency has been the relationship between the RECCs board of directors and the RECC management. Several staff thought the Board of Directors got into too many details and tried to control each step of the RECC, instead of giving strategic directions for the RECC management to follow. It is not clear whether the board tried to micro-manage the RECC or whether the RECC management team turned to the board for too many decisions. Whatever the reason, the dependency of the RECC on getting decisions out of the board led to a type of paralysis which contributed to the financial crisis 3. Because there is no separate branch office covering Georgia, RECC programme managers have been coordinating project work being undertaken in all three countries, as well as carrying out the Georgian part of these projects. This lack of distinction between the Tbilisi offices function as regional coordinator and its work in Georgia could have contributed to the perception in the Azerbaijan Ministry of Environment that they were being managed by a Georgian NGO. The RECC office in Tbilisi also leads in development of new project proposals. The staff of the RECC branch office in Armenia did not think this situation was satisfactory, in that they were not included in the shaping of RECCs new projects. Sustainability of the RECC is a concern. The RECC was in a severe administrative and financial crisis at the time of the evaluation mission. The cash reserves that the RECC had been using to keep on going were almost entirely depleted. The rent for the premises of the branch office in Armenia had not been paid for several months, and the financial manager

The EU held back the contract for the Mountain Project until the RECC complied with all of the 2005 E&Y audit recommendations but the measures taken by the RECC needed to be approved by the Board, which was not able to meet to approve the measures until April 2007.

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did not know how they would pay the rent for the Tbilisi premises in May. Moreover, the rent for the Tbilisi office was due to increase in the summer of 2007. Yet the management team did not have a contingency plan in place if the expected funding did not materialise, and there was no long-term plan for how the RECC could finance its core costs with the expected shift to project-based funding. The new structure of the RECC is likely to increase the difficulties that the RECC has with respect to sustainability. The revised charter sets in place a collegial troika comprising three directors from the three countries, with the position of executive director rotating among the three on an annual basis, and will also require setting up a RECC branch office for Georgia. This new structure was necessary to keep Azerbaijan on board, and was agreed to by both Armenia and Georgia for that reason. However, there is widespread concern that the collegial troika structure will be unwieldy and expensive. The EU as main donor to date should be aware of this and ready to provide additional support if needed.

Box 1: Recommendations for REC Caucasus 1. Emergency support through short-term technical assistance 2. Short term assistance from senior international expert in setting up the functions of the collegial troika, including drafting of job descriptions for the three directors 3. Longer term management assistance from a senior international expert 4. Financial management training including project-based budgeting (for all staff) 5. Develop a long-term pipeline of projects to attract new donors 5. Separate overall coordination activities carried out by RECC headquarters from countrylevel activities for Georgia. 6. Avoid micromanagement by the board via a workshop on the role of boards The revised charter also specifies that the EU will become permanent chair. This is an opportunity to help the board to become more strategic rather than hands-on, so that the RECC staff can have more operational flexibility. More long-term management assistance from a senior international expert should also be considered. CAREC is currently benefiting from the support of Alexander Juras as deputy director through the German governments SIM programme. According to the First Secretary of the German embassy in Tbilisi, the German government might consider similar support to the REC Caucasus to assist it in making the transition to the collegial troika form of management, but RECC would need to make a formal request to the embassy. This might require a decision by the new Board of Directors. It is difficult to see at this time how the RECC will manage this transition without technical assistance from a senior international expert to help the three directors to figure out their respective roles. It is therefore recommended, if the EU wants the REC Caucasus to survive, to consider some emergency support to the RECC. This might be in the form of short-term technical assistance to help it change to the new structure foreseen in the revised charter.

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4.2

REC Moldova

4.2.1. Brief history, context and staff History REC Moldova is an independent, non profit and non-political organisation. It was created by an October 1998 Government Resolution4 and immediately began formal operations. As with the other EECCA RECs, REC Moldova (RECM) was established to assist in solving environmental problems in Moldova and neighbouring countries through the promotion of cooperation between NGOs, governmental bodies, local communities, the business sector and all other environmental stakeholders at both the national and regional levels. It was also aimed at increasing public participation in the environmental decision-making process. The RECMs original founders included the Government of Moldova, the EU and the USA. At the end of 2004, in order to support its efforts to become recognised as an international organisation, needed to meet EU eligibility requirements for direct grants, and to enlarge environmental cooperation in the region and at European level, the RECM Board of Directors launched an initiative to invite other EU countries to join in and thereby expand the circle of founders. The invitation to become a new founder of RECM was accepted by Romania (Ministry of Environment and Waters) and by the ministries of environment of Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) decided to become an Associated Partner. In October 2006, the new founders were invited to a Board of Directors meeting at which time the changes in the Founding Agreement and Charter reflecting this expanded base were introduced. A RECM North office was opened in Balti in late 1999 and another South office in Cahul in spring 2000. Context REC Moldova serves the territory and population of the Republic of Moldova, the smallest geographical area covered by an EECCA REC. Like other EECCA countries, Moldova is in transition to a market economy and democracy and is still facing a series of significant development issues and difficulties both at the central and local levels. These difficulties are related to high inflation, unemployment and migration problems, weak governance, corruption, a low level of decentralization and local autonomy, etc. Moldova is one of the poorest former Soviet Union republics, with agriculture as the primary base of its economy. Environmental protection is not a government priority, and therefore environmental degradation and pollution problems are still left without proper attention. Such an economic and political background necessitates the promotion of environmental protection related principles at all levels, at the same time strengthening civil society in order to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Government Resolution no. 1071 of the Republic of Moldova, dated 22 October 1998, according to the agreement signed on 15 July 1998 in Brussels by the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Commission.

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In 1991 when Moldova became an independent country, tensions arose between the Russian speaking and the Romanian speaking communities. In the process of founding REC Moldova, similar tensions existed between Romanian speaking environmental NGOs and other environmental NGOs that had the Russian speaking community as its base. One of the RECMs achievements has been its ability to stay neutral and to serve all environmental NGOs, independently of their political positions. RECM Staff Table 7 presents the number of REC Moldova staff through its years of operation. Until recently, REC Moldova employed a staff of over 10 people. Because of the current shortage of funding, RECM has now had to downsize its staff. During the teams mission in November 2006, 7 people were working in the central REC office and 2 in the regional offices, all earning reduced salaries.
Table 7: Staff of RECM
Type of staff Management (Director, financial manager) Programme related Support (secretary, driver etc..) TOTAL 1998 1 0 1 2 1999 2 3 3 8 2000 2 3 3 8 2001 2 5 3 10 2002 2 6 4 12 2003 2 7 3 12 2004 2 7 3 12 2005 3 8 3 14 2006 3 7 3 13

All of the RECM central office staff members were interviewed (see Annex 1 for the list). The RECM staff members were considered by almost all interviewees as professional and very experienced, particularly in carrying out activities related to development of the NGO community. However, a few government officials interviewed thought that the professional level of the RECM staff was not sufficient to implement environmental policy related projects. There was common agreement that the first chief executive had carried out his mission very satisfactorily in the early years of the REC. There was also a common appreciation of the qualities of the second chief executive, and some concern was expressed that he was still overshadowed by the first director over the current operations of the REC, to bring in some of the changes he wanted to make. Some REC staff complained of inadequate internal transparency and a lack of information sharing, especially after colleagues had attended international meetings. 4.2.2. Assistance received so far The following table presents contracts REC Moldova has had with various donors during its operations so far.

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Table 8: Contracts of RECM


Donor T a c is 1 9 9 8 (L IN K S ) T a c is 2 0 0 0 T a c is 2 0 0 1 T a c is 2 0 0 1 T a c is 2 0 0 1 T a c is 2 0 0 2 T a c is 2 0 0 2 T a c is 2 0 0 2 T a c is 2 0 0 3 T a c is 2 0 0 3 T a c is 2 0 0 4 T a c is 2 0 0 4 -2 0 0 5 T a c is 2 0 0 4 D G E nv (LE A P ) D G E nv (A P ) D G E n v (P P ) (fro m R E C C E E ) T a c is 2 0 0 1 (R R E C ) DANCEE U S EPA U S E P A (I C C m e e tin g ) U S E P A (L E A P E d in e t) REC CEE REC CEE L E A P N e th e rla n d s UNECE L E A P N e th e rla n d s (S t V o d a ) W o rld B a n k D FID Is sa k W a lto n F o u n d a tio n U S & E a ste rn E R P N E n v ir REC CEE REC CEE W o rld B a n k (P O P s) W o rld B a n k (P O P s) V oda) E A P T a sk F o rce T O T A L C O R E (T A C IS ) T O T A L G R A N T S (T A C IS ) T O T A L P R O J E C T (T A C IS ) T O T A L (T A C IS ) T O T A L C O R E (O th e rs) T O T A L G R A N T S ( O th e r s ) T O T A L P R O J E C T ( O th e r s ) T O T A L (O th e r s) GRAND TOTAL P e r io d 2 6 .1 0 .9 8 -3 1 .0 3 .0 0 0 1 .0 6 .0 0 -2 8 .0 2 .0 1 0 1 .0 3 .0 1 -2 8 .0 3 .0 2 0 5 .0 7 .0 1 -0 5 .0 7 .0 2 1 0 .0 1 .0 2 -0 9 .1 1 .0 2 0 1 .0 3 .0 2 -2 8 .0 3 .0 3 1 6 .0 8 .0 2 -1 5 .0 8 .0 3 1 0 .1 2 .0 2 -0 9 .1 2 .0 3 2 0 .0 5 .0 3 -1 9 .0 5 .0 4 1 1 .0 9 .0 3 -1 0 .0 9 .0 4 2 5 .0 2 .0 4 -2 4 .0 2 .0 5 1 1 .0 6 .0 4 -3 0 .0 9 .0 6 2 2 .0 6 .0 4 -2 1 .0 6 .0 5 3 0 .1 1 .9 9 -3 1 .0 1 .0 1 0 1 .0 5 .0 0 -3 0 .0 4 .0 1 0 1 .0 4 .0 0 -3 0 .0 6 .0 1 1 5 .1 2 .0 1 -3 0 .1 1 .0 2 0 1 .0 3 .0 1 -2 8 .0 2 .0 2 0 1 .1 1 .9 9 -3 1 .0 5 .0 2 0 1 .0 6 .0 0 -2 8 .0 2 .0 1 1 5 .0 8 .0 2 -1 4 .0 8 .0 3 0 1 .0 3 .0 3 -3 0 .0 6 .0 3 0 1 .0 9 .0 4 -3 0 .0 8 .0 5 1 5 .1 2 .0 2 -1 4 .1 2 .0 3 1 2 .0 4 .0 4 -2 0 .0 7 .0 4 0 1 .0 7 .0 4 -3 0 .0 6 .0 5 0 1 .0 4 .0 5 -3 0 .0 9 .0 5 0 1 .0 4 .0 4 -3 1 .0 3 .0 5 0 1 .0 4 .0 4 -3 1 .1 2 .0 4 0 1 .0 1 .0 5 -3 1 .1 2 .0 8 0 1 .0 9 .0 4 -3 0 .0 8 .0 5 0 1 .0 9 .0 5 -3 1 .0 1 .0 7 0 1 .0 2 .0 4 -3 1 .1 0 .0 4 1 0 .1 0 .0 5 -1 0 .1 2 .0 5 0 1 .0 7 .0 6 -3 1 .1 2 .0 7 0 1 .0 6 .0 6 -3 0 .0 6 .0 7 N a m e o f th e p r o je c t N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a E v a l u a t i o n o f e n v ir o n m e n t a l s i t u a t i o n i n t h e b a s i n s o f t h e P r u t r i v e r tr i b u t a r i e s N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a ( T r a n s d n i e s t e r r e g io n ) N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a N e w R e g i o n a l E n v ir o n m e n t a l C e n t r e M o l d o v a I m p le m e n ta tio n p r e v e n tio n c o n tr o l a n d w a ste m a n a g e m e n t G e o rg ia , M o ld o v a , R u ssia a n d U k ra in e S tr a te g y ( C o m m o n N e w R E C s p r o je c t) G r a n t s to N G O s P r o g r a m m e A c t iv i t i e s ) S u p p o r t t o I n t e r n a t io n a l C o o r d i n a t i n g C o m m e t t e ( m e e t i n g s ) d e v e lo p m e n t a n d im p le m e n ta tio n in th e E d in e t c o u n ty M o ld o v a T e c h n ic a l a ssis sta n c e fo r th e D a n u b e R e g io n a l G r a n ts I n d e p e n d e n t S ta te s W o rk sh o p o n th e A p p lic a tio n o f E n v ir o n m e n ta l I n d ic a to r s d e v e l o p m e n t a n d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n i n t h e S te f a n V o d a d i s t r i c t D o n o r s m e e tin g s D o n o r s m e e tin g s S a v e o u r s t r e a m s ( b i o l o g i c a l m o n i to r i n g o f w a t e r q u a l i t y ) S a v e o u r s t r e a m s ( b i o l o g i c a l m o n i to r i n g o f w a t e r q u a l i t y ) D a n u b e N a tio n a l G ra n ts - 1 st P h a se D a n u b e N a tio n a l G ra n ts - 2 n d P h a se P O P s a w a r e n e s a n d e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v it i e s P O P s a w a r e n e s a n d e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v it i e s d e v e l o p m e n t a n d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n i n t h e S te f a n V o d a d i s t r i c t ( P h a s e I I ) A s s e s s m e n t o f t h e E E C C A s t r a t e g y i m p l e m e n t a t io n A m o u n t in USD $ 2 4 0 ,9 4 8 $ $ $ 1 4 7 ,0 5 9 2 0 ,7 4 8 5 0 ,0 0 0 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 2 8 ,0 0 0 1 ,3 3 9 1 8 ,0 0 0 9 8 ,1 3 0 4 7 ,0 0 0 4 7 ,5 0 0 3 6 ,2 0 8 4 ,8 1 8 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 1 4 0 ,9 4 8 1 0 0 ,0 0 0 2 4 0 ,9 4 8 1 1 7 ,8 0 7 1 4 4 ,5 0 0 2 3 6 ,4 9 5 4 9 8 ,8 0 2 7 3 9 ,7 5 0 5 1 ,0 0 0 8 ,4 0 0 1 ,5 1 7 ,0 6 1 4 4 6 ,2 9 0 2 3 5 ,4 7 3 2 ,1 9 8 ,8 2 4 2 5 ,0 0 0 3 8 6 ,7 5 6 4 1 1 ,7 5 6 2 ,6 1 0 ,5 8 0 2 ,6 0 0 4 0 ,0 0 0 1 4 ,0 0 0 3 ,1 5 0 1 0 0 ,0 0 0 1 2 5 ,0 0 0 2 5 8 ,5 5 0 7 3 ,2 3 0 6 8 ,2 7 0 2 1 6 ,0 0 0 1 1 1 ,7 1 0 1 2 0 ,8 5 5 3 0 1 ,6 6 5 7 9 ,0 0 0 1 1 4 ,6 1 8 6 1 5 ,8 4 6 1 1 4 ,0 8 0 4 5 ,2 9 0 7 4 ,5 7 2 2 4 ,0 0 0 2 3 ,7 4 4 2 5 ,0 0 0 A m o u n t in E u r o

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REC Moldova has received and spent more than 3 million EUR during its eight years of existence. Approximately three fourths of the funds received were from TACIS (Figure 3).

25%

Total TACIS Total others

75%

Figure 3: Distribution of the overall REC Moldova budget between EU and other sources over all years of the REC activities

Just over half of the funds received were core funding from the EU. Approximately 800,000 EUR or 25% of the total budget was spent for direct implementation of various projects supported by other donors. Funds for grants programmes amounted to approximately 650,000 EUR, or 21% of total funding received (Figure 4).

25%

51%

Core TACIS Core US EPA Total grants Total projects

21%

3%

Figure 4: Distribution of REC Moldova budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects.

In addition to the EU Tacis programme as major financier, a few other donors have supported activities of the RECM. These include DG Environment DG ENV is also EC), the Danish EPAs DANCEE programme, the US EPA, REC CEE in Hungary, the Dutch

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government, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, the Isaac Walton Foundation and the OECD through the EAP Task Force.
Table 9: RECM Sources of Funding
Donor Tacis core Tacis grants and projects DG EVN Tacis 2001 (RREC) DANCEE US EPA REC CEE UNECE LEAP Netherlands World Bank DFID Issak Walton Foundation US&Eastern ERPN Envir REC CEE Danube grants World Bank (POPs) EAP Task Force GRAND TOTAL $ 739,750 $ $ $ $ 18,000 98,130 94,500 41,026 8,400 2,610,580 $ 1,339 2,600 $ 28,000 191,000 $ 217,807 17,150 $ Amount in USD 240,948 Amount in Euro 1,517,061 681,763 143,862 23,744 25,000 % of total budget 53.7% 21.6% 4.6% 0.8% 0.8% 5.1% 0.5% 0.7% 6.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.4% 2.3% 2.2% 1.0% 0.3% 100%

In 2006, virtually all of the RECMs funding came from donors other than the EU. 4.2.3. Main Programme Areas and Activities Programmes and projects During its eight years of activities, REC Moldova has implemented some 16 long-term projects through its own staff resources. It has also supported the activities of many NGOs and local public administrations via its grants programmes. To date, RECM has provided 259 grants to Moldovan NGOs. With its support, more than 200 environmental NGOs were established and tens of publications in the field of environment published. The activities of the REC implemented to date are grouped into the following programmes: NGO Support Programme Information & Communication Programme Environmental Policy Programme
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Local Initiatives Programme (LEAPs)

The RECMs current activities focus on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention, the EU Water Initiative, implementation of LEAPs, biological monitoring of small rivers through the Save Our Streams project, and preparation for the 2007 Conference of European Environmental Ministers in Belgrade. The RECM is involved in the processes Environment for Europe, Environment and Health, and Education for Sustainable Development. NGO Support Programme The NGO Support Programme is considered by most stakeholders as the most important and essential activity to date, given Moldovas conditions. The objective is to assist Moldovas NGOs so that they can better deal with local, national and regional environmental problems. The non-governmental community is considered to play a very important role in Moldovas environmental sector. Local authorities have little economic resources and only limited capacity to be able to consolidate their communities and to give purpose and vision to community development. Local populations tend to be passive in resolving community problems, and citizen participation in municipal processes of policy formulation and programme implementation is very weak. Under such conditions, the development of civil society and NGOs, as well as support for their activities, is of particular importance. Most NGOs in rural areas and small towns are at a rudimentary level of formation and represent a very small part of the population. The NGO Support Programme was formed in 2004 after merging two previous RECM programmes the Capacity Building and the Grants Programmes. The NGO Support Programme has provided three types of support: (1) training aimed at building capacity, (2) funds for registration and other support to enable start-up of new NGOs, and (3) grants programmes. The trainings included such topics as how to prepare project proposals and how to manage an NGO. NGO representatives interviewed for this evaluation mentioned the importance of these seminars. RECM has also had an Internship Programme for Moldovan NGOs, and about 70 interns have participated to date. In addition, since 2001 RECM has organised five annual National Forums for Environmental NGOs, usually with more than 150 participants. However, in 2006, the shortage of funds did not allow the organisation of a sixth National Forum. The RECM also supported the start-up of new NGOs, including by awarding 150 so-called start up grants of up to 100 EUR each, to enable grassroots groups to register officially as NGOs. When the RECM was established in 1998, Moldova had only 25 NGOs in the environmental sector. It may be an indicator of the success of the RECM programme that today there are at least 250 NGOs . The grants programmes have been particularly important for NGOs to obtain funding for their projects via open competitions. Since 1999, RECM has awarded 259 small and medium size grants (500 - 10,000 EUR) to NGOs. Moreover, another 97 small grants (300 500 USD) have been provided within the Save Our Streams programme. In addition, RECM has supported NGOs to organize different seminars and trainings. Approximately 200 such seminars have been approved for RECM support. Moreover, the RECM has had an informational centre for the public, including NGOs, where documentation and internet access were available.

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Thus REC Moldova asserts that over 700 projects of various types involving more than 140 NGOs from Moldova, Romania and Ukraine have been implemented within its Grants Programme, with financial support primarily from the European Commission but also from USEPA, DANCEE, and UNDP/GEF. By the end of 2004, REC Moldova had launched 12 different competitions for grant funding. The second round of the Danube Regional Programmes grants competition for NGO-related projects in the second half of 2005 was the last grants programme implemented by RECM. Implementation of the projects started in January 2006 and ended in December 2006. These grant programmes supported various types of NGOs -- young, rural, academic to implement a wide range of environmental projects, from contests for children and various publications to the upgrading of small wastewater treatment plants and removal of illegal dumpsites. Today, however, lack of funding means that grants support is no longer available for Moldovan NGOs. In addition, the RECM informational centre has had to be cut because of financial difficulties. The shortage of funding for these RECM activities was of great concern for all NGO representatives interviewed for this evaluation. A number of RECM strengths with regard to civil society development can be identified: Almost all interviewees stressed the neutrality of REC Moldova. By not taking sides and by treating all NGOs the same, it has succeeded in diminishing the divisions and conflicts within the NGO community. RECM has managed to retain its independence in decision -making. Environmental NGOs are considered the strongest NGOs in Moldova, and this is seen as due in part to the huge support the REC has provided via its grants, training, information dissemination and other programmes. RECM is an important information source for many Moldovan NGOs and is especially important support for small NGOs. RECMs two branch offices are considered very important for getting close to people in rural areas.

A former minister of ecology and natural resources said during his interview with the evaluation team: REC Moldova is the best of all the RECs around. What is especially good is that the REC funds small young grassroots NGOs. NGOs see the REC as a service organisation, and the REC implements this role with excellence. The REC is especially important for small NGOs. It would be a fatal mistake to stop the RECs funding at this point, because it would be difficult to recreate it, and it would be very hard if the situation were destabilized again. However, a few stakeholders also had criticisms of the RECM and its NGO-related activities: One respondent viewed REC Moldova as only an intermediary for providing donor money to NGOs. He thought the REC was not active enough in green actions and should be more visible to ordinary people. Some NGOs (especially scientific) were considered opportunistic and only interested in the financial support the REC could provide; it was said that they would not be sustained once this type of financing was cut. There is no sustainability of some young and small NGOs. They would not be able to survive without the RECs support. On the other hand, it was suggested that Moldova may not need so many NGOs and that the main criterion should be the quality of NGOs.

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On the basis of this analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the NGO Support Programme, it must be concluded that the RECM has indeed fulfilled its mission objective related to the development of civil society in Moldova. The RECM staff used relevant procedures for grants management, demonstrated independence and guaranteed qualitative and quantitative growth of the NGO community in Moldova. Of course, one might raise a question on the meaning of building a civil society in a post-soviet area, but this is an issue of a different investigation and concern. Programme of a high relevance. Significant positive impact on the development of civil society. Management of grants efficient. Small NGOs are not sustainable without RECs support.

Environmental Information and Communication Programme The information dissemination programme is directly linked with the NGOs Support Programme. Its goal is to provide free access to environmental information and to assist others in improving access to information, promote cooperation among environmental stakeholders, assist in increasing the environmental awareness across the region, networking and assistance to stakeholders. The public relations activities are to ensure continued development of the REC Moldova brand identity and the strengthening of the image and reputation via proactive liaison and media related activities. The major activities conducted according to the informational programme include: Creation and maintaining of the web page (www.rec.md ), Creation and maintaining of databases and directories on national environmental NGOs and the REC Moldova library, Electronic bulletin, disseminated twice a month by e-mail to more than 200 recipients, Quarterly Informative REC Moldova Bulletin, published in Romanian and providing information on environmental issues for all stakeholders, Information Centre and Library, comprising some 1,200 publications on environment, available to the public. Until recently, eight workstations were available for public access to environmental information and Internet access services for environmental stakeholders. However, due to the shortage of funding, currently the availability of workstations is drastically reduced. The editorial programme, which does not only support materials developed by the RECM, but also publications developed by other NGOs. Environmental publications supported by RECM range from educational books for children and older people to an exhaustive publication on the flora and fauna of Moldova. Mass media relations. RECM collaborates with the mass media, thus ensuring an effective dialogue between the RECM and the population of the country. Any representative of the mass media can solicit information anytime at REC Moldova.

The following table provides summary of a list of publications issued by the RECM during 2000-2006. The full list is annexed to this report (Annex IV). Each year quarterly bulletins and annual reports are published both in English and Romanian.

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Table 10: Summary List of Publications by RECM Year 1999 2000 Publications More than 20 publications were edited within the REC Moldova projects. Among them: Public participation in environmental decision making (legislative compendium) Guide for public participation in developing and implementing the Local Environmental Action Plans Perspectives of European Ecological Integration 2001 14 publications, among them: The European Union Environmental Legislation (Compendium) Action Plan for the ecological agriculture development in the Northern part of the Republic of Moldova Concept of the Environmental Policy of the Republic of Moldova (in Romanian, Russian and English) The National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation (co-financed) 2002 7 publications, among them: Environment for Europe (realisations, problems, perspectives) Water and health S.O.S.! Nature is in Danger 2003 More than 10 publications, among them: The book "Natures treasures" written by E.Pavelcu; Leaflets for the Ecological Festival "Buciumul lui tefan" organized in the Stefan Voda district; Materials for the conference "Ecological chemistry and chemical risk assessment" 2004 6 publications, among them: The Financial Dictionary ; financed by REC Moldova with the Mix Enterprise CBC AXA 1000 copies; The brochure Local Environmental Action Plan, Bulboaca community, Ecological Guide for children "Ghid ecologic pentru cei mici" 2005 - 15 publications, among them: 2006 The Environmental NGOs Directory, developed by REC Moldova. 5000 exemplars edited and disseminated on demand and during events. The guide An Ecological Ethical Code for the citizen of the 21st century- the guide comprises the best essays written by the participants of the contest The guide Sustainable Development problems and ways of solving them Source: Provided by REC Moldova

The strengths of the Programme on Environmental Information and Communication implemented by REC Moldova are very similar to those related to the civil society development. The following can be mentioned: The REC is an important information source to many stakeholders in Moldova. Information on workshops, seminars and other events is constantly disseminated from the REC to many addressees; The REC is a platform for other organisations, which use its services to convey their information to NGOs of Moldova (e.g. Milieukontakt); RECM serves as a secretariat for organising the so-called donor meetings in order to better coordinate the activities of donors, e.g. by exchanging information on various environmental problems and projects in order to avoid duplication.

The major criticism of this Programme, mostly articulated by NGOs, was related to the shutdown of the informational Centre in the premises of the REC. It can be stated that a major portion of the activities carried out by the REC Moldova has promoted a free exchange of experience and information in the environmental field and the

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RECMs role in assisting environmental NGOs and other interested participants in their activities to protect the environment is fulfilled. Programme of a high relevance. Effective source of information and platform for various stakeholders. Adds to sustainability of NGOs community.

Environmental Policy Programme This Programme of REC Moldova was launched in autumn 2003. As stated in the official website of the REC, the Programme should contribute to: Promoting the implementation of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice on Environmental Matters, and of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) developed within the Convention; Implementing the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment; Integrating the environmental interests in other sectoral policies (industry, agriculture, forestry, municipal sector, etc.); Promoting the approximation of the national environmental legislation to the EU legislation; Involving different environmental stakeholders including the large public in developing and implementing the national and international environmental policies; Facilitating exchange of experience and expertise in the process of developing and implementing environmental policies and strategies.

In accordance with the REC's mission, this Programme also focuses on the activities that promote public participation in the environmental decision-making process and the dialogue between all the key groups involved in the implementation of the environmental protection policies: central public authorities, local public authorities, NGOs, national and international environmental organisations the private sector the academic sector and civil society. A number of stakeholders view the RECM as essential for ensuring continued access to international donors, especially for small NGOs and local communities. The following projects/initiatives are being implemented under this Programme: - Environment and Health - East-West Environmental Partnership for EECCA countries - UN ECE Strategy for Sustainable Development - Save Our Streams project - LEAD International - Regional Program on the Management of Sustainability in Moldova The stakeholders interviewed in the course of the project noted a number of strengths in this Programme and related RECM activities. In particular: The RECM is seen as a strong partner in regional co-operation and an important bridge to the international community, through its work on the Environment for Europe process and its networking with the other RECs, and for its capacity to support projects across the Romanian and Ukrainian borders. RECM implements the role of an intermediary between the Government of Moldova and civil society, as well as between the Parliament and NGOs, etc.

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RECM has successfully participated in the creation and implementation of some strategic documents. For example, it has had a huge input in implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy. RECM has succeeded in co-operating with agricultural units and farms and farmers, which, contrary to businesses, have been quite good collaborators in implementing the REC financed projects. However, this Programme also evoked the most criticisms. A few interviewees were of the opinion that the REC Moldova could be doing much more in terms of policy-related activities. The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources was the most vocal critic. While he noted the very good work of the REC in building civil society in Moldova, he also thought the REC should do much more to support the government at this time (the two restructurings of the government in 2004 and 2005 had left the Ministry very understaffed), e.g., through the provision of consultancy-type services to assist in EU approximation, implementation of international conventions and environmental assessments in general. However, when asked if the Ministry would pay for such services, he hedged by saying the REC did not have enough qualified staff to provide the Ministry with sufficiently high quality work it needed. The weakest chain is considered to be the work with business communities. Businesses have not been very co-operative to date and the REC has not yet succeeded in building bridges for businesses towards various industrial pollution prevention and control and other related projects and activities. Programme of a high relevance. Ambitious purpose of the Programme. Support to national policies. Impact of the programme, however, needs to be increased. Not effective cooperation with business communities.

Local Initiatives Programme The Local Initiatives Programme was launched at the end of 2003. The need to initiate this programme was substantiated by the fact that the environmental problems have their roots at the local level and, therefore, need to be tackled at this level. Thus, the mission of this programme was to promote environmental protection and sustainable development at the local level by increasing the capacity of local authorities. Within the framework of this programme, REC Moldova provided assistance to local authorities in: Identifying local environmental problems, development and implementation of local environmental action plans; Comprehending the causes of environmental degradation and identifying ways to prevent and address local environmental issues; Providing understanding of the national environmental policy; Promoting partnerships between local authorities and different stakeholders (entrepreneurs, NGOs, the general public, etc.), in their efforts towards environmental protection and sustainable development at the local level; Promoting the best practices of addressing environmental problems at the local level; Facilitating access to environmental information and public participation in local environmental decision-making; Identifying sources of funds to support environmental projects at the local level. Projects implemented under the Local Initiatives Programme are summarised in Table 10 below.

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Table 11: Projects implemented under the Local Initiatives Programme Project Budget Public Participation in Local Environmental Action Plan EUR 45,300 Development and Implementation Strengthening public participation in local environmental action USD 50,000 plan development and implementation in the Edinet county Towards Strengthening Local Environmental Governance in the EUR 100,000 New Independent States Strengthening public participation in local environmental action EUR 40,000 plan development and implementation in the Stefan Voda district (phase I) Strengthening public participation in local environmental action EUR 51,000 plan development and implementation in the Stefan Voda district (phase II) TOTAL ~ EUR 270,000 Source: compiled by the consultant from the data provided by REC Moldova Donor EC US EPA Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands

The programme activities included organizing seminars, trainings and conferences, as well as co-financing of small-scale activities initiated by local authorities and implementation of projects towards environmental protection and sustainable development at the local level. The Evaluation Team visited one area where the Local Initiatives Programme was successfully implemented. Text box 2 gives an example from the Stefan Voda district.
Box 2: LEAPs - Example of Stefan Voda: The Stefan Voda raion (district) has a population of 73,000 people and an area of 100,000 ha. With the help of the RECM and of the Dutch government, a Local Environmental Action Plan was developed for the raion. The Raional Council adopted the LEAP in September 2005. Improvement of drinking water quality and solid waste management were identified as top priorities. The LEAP proposes a number of environmental improvement measures, but did not include the costs of implementation. While some measures have already been implemented or are under implementation, a huge need remains for further funding, e.g., for development of a solid waste management system in the raion. The RECM has continued to support Stefan Voda authorities during this stage of implementation. For example, the RECM supported an effort to raise public awareness on a project to improve the municipalitys water distribution system. Initially, only 30% of the population wanted to connect to the planned new system because of the charges that would result. However, after RECM carried out a study on pollution of shallow wells in the area, willingness to connect to the centralised system increased up to 90%. Moreover, after informing the public about contamination of water sources by nitrates and microorganisms, some initial actions were taken to eliminate centres of pollution for ten springs, which improved water quality. The RECM has also helped to establish a network of NGOs in the raion (24 in all), which carry out various projects, e.g., on solid waste management, afforestation and public awareness. The Green Museum based in Stefan Voda municipality serves as an ecological centre for these NGOs; among its projects funded i.a. by RECM grants include ecological summer camps for children, a campaign to plant trees in the valley of the Nistra river, and publication of an eco-tourism itinerary in the lower Nistra river region. The mayor of Stefan Voda asked that this evaluation report state that the ordinary citizens of Moldova want to reach the EU environmental and other standards. However, they find it very difficult, as Russia has separated the industrial potential (40%) of the country (Transnistria region) and under the current situation, economic growth for the raion is quite difficult to achieve.

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Programme of a high relevance. Significant impact on local communities. Efficient help to local communities.

4.2.4. Conclusions On the basis of the above findings, the evaluation team considers that the activities carried out by REC Moldova since its establishment are relevant in terms of its mission and objectives. The REC Moldova has placed particular priority on its NGOs support programme, including projects addressing Aarhus Convention issues. Its Informational Programmes aimed at getting environmental information out to civil society and the LEAPs have also been priority programmes and are in line with the RECMs objectives. The relevance of these programmes and the usefulness of their outputs have been confirmed in the discussions of the evaluation team with various stakeholders. In particular, the ambitious target of changing the mentality of the civil society and local authorities and creating active civil society actors ready to go into discussion with government officials and in some cases even to enter in direct conflict with them or with private entities requires a lot of efforts and resources. The activities to date and results achieved have effectively contributed to this objective. At this point in time, therefore, the objectives of the RECMs projects remain relevant and may be even more pertinent to national environmental and civil society development in the future. The outputs of the projects are in line with and support the national plans and policies. The Environmental Policy Programme was however criticised for its failure to deliver as much impact as it could. Given the Governments position that the strategy goal of the external country policy is accession to the EU, projects to assist in approximation to the EU could be quite a good chance for the REC to direct its activities to more poli cy related issues and to maintain its relevance into the future. From an efficiency point of view, the evaluation team could not find any evidence that the process of transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes was not cost-effective. the evaluation team therefore concludes that the efficiency of most activities in producing outputs was good. The relationship between the RECM and its Board of Directors has been effective. The examples from other RECs show that problematic Boards can be a very big obstacle for effective and efficient work. As regards sustainability of the REC, the situation, at least for the nearest future, is very unclear. The most recent contract with the EU for core funding ended in September 2006. With a smaller budget available, management of the RECM has decided to continue the same activities, but to reduce their scope, and to aim to survive on the funding provided for existing and future projects. None of the interviewees thought the RECM could be self-sufficient, but most believed there were possibilities around for the RECM to become more self-funded (30% was the proportion cited by several board members). Opportunities cited included charging for services, e.g. training of NGOs and local government officials, preparation of educational materials for the Ministry of Education, support to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources for EU
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approximation. The possibility of collaboration with the Academy of Sciences or the Ministry of Environment to co-finance projects was also cited, but this would of course require the RECM to continue receiving grant financing from an international donor. As regards the sustainability of the projects, it is the view of the evaluation team that the majority of the projects have attained some level of sustainability for most of their outputs and achievements. However, without continued EU support, it is not clear how these achievements can be sustained. The objective of the assignment is to evaluate whether the activities carried out by the RECM from the time it began receiving EU funding until now have been in line with its Charter. Based on the assessment of programmes above, the table below indicates how well RECM has carried out the activities particularly specified in the ToR of the Evaluation.
Table 12. Evaluation of RECM activities
RECM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none ++ +++ ++ +++ +++ ++ + -

4.2.5. Recommendations specific to RECM In interviews with stakeholders, they were asked about their opinion of the future of the RECM. NGOs expressed their firm request to have support from the RECM in the areas of training, proposal preparation and efficient implementation, as well as funding for hard investments, such as ecological tourism or small wastewater treatment plants. They also wanted more environmental information and outreach, such as a journal or a radio station. They saw a continuing role for the RECM in information dissemination, e.g. in becoming more of a source of information for journalists. Local authorities that had developed LEAPs mentioned the need to extend such activities to other communities, to enhance local stakeholders capacities in creating partnerships among themselves and to continue with implementation of the Plans already developed.

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REC is seen also as helping to build bridges with the business community and with the Transnistria region, while recognizing the difficulties with the latter because of the political situation. Finally, the EU Neighbourhood Policy and Moldovas wish to come closer to the EU should become one of the most important work areas for RECM.

It can be hard for NGOs in Moldova to obtain funding, especially if they are not on good terms with the Ministry of Environment. Although some support from the governments side is available through the National Environmental Fund, several people questioned the transparency and objectivity with which these funds were distributed. Moreover, some international donors are reducing their programmes for the environment. Under such circumstances, the following recommendations are relevant:

Box 3: Recommendations for REC Moldova 1. Improve co-ordination and information sharing among REC staff and REC programmes. 2. Respond to opportunities provided under the EU Neighbourhood Policy by providing more support for aligning Moldovan law and practices with the EU environmental standards. 3. Three possibilities for future survival, each requiring EU core funding: a. Continue as REC Moldova with grants from other donors & more commercial projects b. Expand to also cover such countries as Ukraine and/or Belarus; c. Affiliate with REC Szentendre In the latter case, both the willingness to accept REC Moldova from the REC Szentendre side and the intent to become a part of REC Szentendre should be clearly articulated. The biggest advantage of becoming a branch organisation of REC Szentendre would be the exchange of experience and acquisition of positive practices, as well as the direct use of the think tank of a much older, more experienced and bigger organisation. Decisions such as these may be needed to ensure a more sustainable REC presence in Moldova in the future. The EC should provide support to the REC in the process of thinking through its future steps.

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4.3

Russian REC

4.3.1 Brief history, context and staff The Russian REC was the last of the EECCA RECs to be formally established. The active work to set up the RREC began at the end of 1997 with a series of joint meetings with NGOs and local authorities in several Russian regions. This led to the development of a concept for the RREC, which was discussed at a March 1998 conference in Moscow attended by a cross section of government officials, NGO representatives, and donors. By mid 1998, a Charter and Founding Agreement had been prepared by the Tacis RREC Implementation Team, and Michael Kozeltsev (the Tacis team leader) was selected from 8 candidates as the RREC Executive Director Designate. Because of frequent reorganisations within the Russian government as well as difficulties with the Ministry of Finance, the first effort to formally register the RREC in 1999 did not succeed. The Tacis team searched for alternatives to having the Government of the Russian Federation as founder, and selected the Russian Civil Service Academy from among several candidate organisations. On 6 March 2000, the founding agreement was formally signed. The RREC was legally registered by the Moscow Chamber of Registration in August 2000 and with the RF tax inspection unit in January 2001. Although the RREC started carrying out activities already in March 2000, with the organization of a few seminars and roundtables, the institutional setting up of the RREC took longer. In May 2001, the first meeting of the RREC Board of Managers took place in the presence of European Commissioner Margot Wallstrom. Mr. Prusac, Governor of Novgorod province, was appointed as Chair of the Board, and Mr. Kozeltsev was formally appointed as Executive Director. The first tranche of EU core funding became available in July 2001. Formal operations began in 2002. In March 2004, the RREC Board of Managers decided to set up a RREC information point in the town of Novgorod the Great, and the officially named Environmental Information Centre Fund began its activities in autumn 2004. In October 2004, a new Founding Agreement was signed by the two origina l founders, joined by the UK Embassy in the RF and the Danish Environment Protection Agency. At the same time, a new Charter was signed amending in particular the role and composition of some of the executive bodies. Political and economic context In any review of the activities of the Russian REC, it is important to recognize the complicated political environment in which the RREC operates. In 2000, the Russian government took steps regarded by many as essentially dismantling the environmental protection administrative framework. In particular, the then Ministry of Environment that had been newly formed on the basis of the former State Committee for Ecological Protection was subsumed into the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The MNR is primarily a resource exploitation ministry, charged with overseeing the utilisation of Russias considerable natural resources, including forests, petroleum and other minerals. Since this move, the focus of Russian policy in this area has been on economic exploitation, and environmental protection is not considered a priority in the RF in general. In general, the government structure for environmental protection remains quite uncertain. Government decision-makers change frequently and it can be difficult to find the official counterpart.

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Moreover, it is not easy for non-governmental organizations to operate in Russia at present. The government has instituted several restrictions on NGOs, including registration requirements, and those NGOs receiving funding from outside the country are often regarded with suspicion. Corporate Development & Staff The RREC has been taking steps to develop itself as an institution. In 2006 it worked with a specialist from COWI Russia on how to become more professional and commercial, including the use of project-based budgeting and the use of LFA as a programming tool. For the past year RREC management has been developing a draft Corporate Development Strategy covering the period 2006-2011. The European Commissions representative on the RREC Board of Directors has suggested that the strategy have four pillars and that the RREC apportion its resources among these priorities as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. support for civil society (10-20% of resources) integration of environment into economic and social development (20%) facilitation of the EU-Russia Environmental Dialogue (50%) development of increased financial autonomy (10-20%)

Today the RREC has 17 staff members. As the table below shows, the big expansion since 2004 has been in the number of programme-related staff.
Table 13: Staff of RREC
Type of staff Management Director Chief Accountant Accountant Subtotal: Programme related Administrator for env.programs & SD Administrator NGO devel. & public awareness Adminisrator for information and communication Administrator for NGO grants Librarian Regional manager Administrator for institutional development Editor Project development manager PR-manager Expert on int'l environmental cooperation Subtotal: Office-manager Secretary Driver Head of Administrative department Subtotal: TOTAL: Temporary staff, related to the programmes 1 2 1 1 1 1 2001 1 2002 1 1 2003 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 2004 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2005 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2006 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 1 1 1 1 4 16 99 2007 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 10 1 1 1 1 4 17

0 1

4 1 1 1 3 9 64

4 1 1 1 3 10 93

7 1 1 1 3 13 109

8 1 1 1 3 14 63

1 2

The table also shows when the RREC has brought in temporary staff when needed to carry out specific programme activities. In addition, the RREC provides office space for persons working for separate, external organisations. One former RREC staff member continues to

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work on climate change issues within the RREC but is in fact technically working for a US NGO. Similarly, another staff person works on energy efficiency issues for another NGO. 4.3.2 Assistance Received to Date Since 2002 the RREC has received and spent more than 5 million EUR. The major funder for the RRECs activities has been the EU. The other projects that it has brought in to diversity sources of funding have been dedicated to specific projects. Annex IV provides a complete list of all grants received by the RREC to date. The RREC has depended on EU financing to cover basic costs (office rent, furniture, core salaries). Between 2002 and the present, the EU has provided 2,383,065 EUR for so-called core funding (46% of the total) and another 1,381,602 EUR for grants programmes (26% of the total). Project-related grants from other donors have totalled 1,317,349 EUR (25%). The graphic below illustrates the shares of the various sources of funding.

25%

46% 3% EC core funding EC grants programmes Commercial contracts Other donors 26%

Figure 5: Distribution of Russia REC budget among core funds, grants and funding for projects.

It should be noted that the Russia REC has received almost three -quarters of its funding for core functions and grants programmes to date from EU sources. It is therefore one of the EECCA RECs most dependent on the EU for financial support. However, the Russia REC is also the only EECCA REC that has succeeded in bringing in commercial contracts as an alternative source of funding 148,399 EUR (3%) to date. Moreover, the accounting team at the Russia REC has also kept track of how the core funding received from the EU as well as project funding from other donors has actually been spent across the various activities. The figure next page shows how the pool of funds provided from EU core funding left over after deduction of operating expenses was allocated among its activities.

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Figure 6. Distribution of core budget received from the EC among RREC activities (2002-2007)

9%

14%
Environment for Europe Civil Society Kyoto Protocol EU-Russia LEAPs Business Sustainable development Other projects

21% 24%

7% 7% 4% 14%

The following table lists all of the sources of funding received by the RREC in the period 2002 to 2006:
Table 14: RREC Sources of funding

Revenues 2002-2006 EU Tacis (core) EU (grants) UK DANCEE Netherlands Commercial clients US Environmental Defence REEEP Germany (Umweltsbundesamt) UNEP / GRID IMZ OECD UNDP Russia EU DG ENV Finland Total

2 383 065 1 381 602 451 078 216 843 146 768 148 399 140 423 102 120 93 060 58 820 39 278 27 970 19 795 9 025 9 306 2 863 5230415

% 45.6% 26.4% 8.6% 4.1% 2.8% 2.8% 2.7% 2.0% 1.8% 1.1% 0.8% 0.5% 0.4% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 100

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4.3.3 Main Programme Areas and Activities Since it began operations in 2002, the Russian REC has carried out a range of activities. These can be grouped into four main programme areas: Strengthening & support of civil society & local self-governance Integration of environmental considerations into socio-economic development Facilitation of cooperation between the RF & the EU on environmental protection Improving RREC operations, organizational planning and development

Support for Civil Society A major focus of the RRECs activities since it began operations in earnest in 2002 has been support for civil society. These activities can be grouped into three categories: (1) support for implementation of the Aarhus Convention pillars in Russia; (2) capacity building for civil society; (3) direct support for civil society through grants & other programmes. Implementation of the Aarhus Convention pillars Of all of the EECCA countries, only the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan have so far not acceded to the Aarhus Convention. The RRECs activities to promote the RFs accession to the Aarhus Convention and to implement the three Aarhus Convention pillars are therefore important. One government official told the evaluation team the RREC was invaluable in keeping the issue of accession of the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions alive. RREC activities in 2002 and 2003 included a Danish-funded project on Preparing for accession to the Aarhus Convention and a workshop in Moscow on Local Environmental Action Plans and Aarhus Convention. In 2004 the RREC continued its lobbying for accession to the Aarhus Convention and in addition promoted the second pillar of public participation in environmental decision-making by regularly reviewing legislative drafts of the RF State Duma, placing the documents on the RREC website for commenting by the public, and coordinating the input of leading NGOs in order to positively affect the lawmaking process. The results included a substantial improvement in the text of the draft Urban Development Code with respect to the procedure for consultations with the public on urban development decisions. RREC also negotiated with the Ministry of Natural Resources concerning preparation of a document Public Participation in Environmental Assessment in the RF. At the time of the evaluation mission, the RREC was launching a project to coordinate public participation in the EIA procedures being carried out for the Northern gas pipeline which will run from St. Petersburg under the Baltic Sea to Germany and other EU countries. The RREC had made this project, financed out of EU core funds, a priority because of the concern of the Nordic countries about the environmental impacts of the pipeline and because no transboundary consultations had taken place, given that Russia had not yet ratified the Espoo Convention. The project was seen as an opportunity to raise public awareness about the pipeline and the EIA process, and at the same time highlight the Espoo Convention as an important international agreement. These activities are highly relevant to the RRECs mission. RREC has been effective in getting public participation procedures for EIA adopted into national law, and innovative in the effort to model public participation in an EIA for a transboundary situation.

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Capacity building & grants programme for NGOs One of the RRECs first actions to support civil society after it began operations in 2002 was a survey into the needs of environmental NGOs in Russia, using a common set of questions agreed with the other EECCA RECs. The NGOs identified three areas as most important for their work: (1) educating the public, (2) influencing public authorities, and (3) monitoring the state of the environment. The survey found that the main source of funding for environmental NGOs was donors grants; most of the NGOs surveyed noted that the most important assistance they wanted from the RREC was help in the search for sponsors. They stressed the need for joint seminars and workshops and for opportunities to exchange practical experience from within Russia and abroad. In response, the RREC has organized a number of training workshops for NGO representatives. The EU-supported grants programmes have had the widest geographical reach of all the activities carried out by the RREC. The first grants programme was launched in October 2002 with 202,000 available for grants. Because of the historically uneven distribution of funds among NGOs, the RREC Board of Managers decided to channel 80% of these funds to the regions outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Out of a total of 258 applications received from 63 regions, 48 from 32 regions were selected 29 in the small grants (< 2000) category, 8 in the special grants (< 6000) category, and 11 in the general grants (< 10,000) category. A quarter of these were from small towns and villages. The regions covered stretched from Kaliningrad in the west to Sakhalin Island in the east 10 time zones. Ninety percent of the projects were on public involvement in environmental decisionmaking, development and implementation of LEAPs, and protection of biodiversity. The second grants programme for NGOs was launched in March 2004, with another round announced in September 2004. A total of 205 applications were received from 54 regions, and in the end 42 projects from 28 different regions were selected. In all, 227,500 was distributed. Again the grants programme aimed to support NGOs in the regions.
Table 15: NGOs Grants Programme:
RREC grants programmes Date launched Total in EUR Applications received No.of regions applications rec'd No. of grants No.of regions where grants distributed NGO support #1 NGO support #2 October 2002 202,000 258 63 48 32 March 2004 227,500 205 54 42 38 SD Caspian CC February 2004 293,200 189 25 26 na

The RREC also administered the Tacis-financed small grants programme for the Caspian Environment Programme on Sustainable Development of Coastal Communities in the Russian regions bordering the Caspian Sea (18 districts in Daghestan, 5 in Astrakhan, and 2 in Kalmykia). This grants programme differed considerably from the grants programmes for NGOs in that the objective was to support entrepreneurial activities that were sustainable environmentally and that could provide sources of livelihood reliable enough to replace

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poaching and other environmentally damaging economic activities in the Caspian region. A field office was established in Astrakhan for the duration of the project (2004-2006), and the programme formally launched in February 2004. After two calls for applications, 189 proposals were received, and from these some 36 projects were approved for a total amount of 293,200. By all stakeholder accounts the Caspian coastal communities grants programme was particularly well received. It was popular within the RREC itself because it was seen as supporting ordinary peoples efforts to better their lives in a sustainable way. RREC staff members coordinating the effort to strengthen environmental NGOs and local governments are quite professional and committed. From all accounts the grants were administered efficiently, and the decisions of the grants evaluation committee considered appropriate. However, RREC management is reluctant to administer another EC-funded small grants programme because of the administrative burden of complying with complicated EC rules for such programmes. Highly relevant activities in line with the stated objectives of the RREC. Strong impact due to focusing the small grants programme on the regions outside of Moscow. Sustainable from point of view of capacity of staff, but dependent on EC funding.

Integration of environmental considerations into socio-economic development Another major area of activity has been working with local communities and other stakeholders on integration of environmental considerations into socio-economic development. These activities can also be grouped into categories: (1) support for Local Environmental Action Plans & LEAP practitioners; (2) promotion of environmentally friendly commercial activities; (3) assessments of environmental and social impacts of economic activities. Support for LEAPs In 2003, with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning & Environment, the RREC initiated a programme of activities aimed at improving environmental planning at the local level. With the administrative reforms launched by the Russian government in 2004, the previous relationship between the central government and the local-level governance structures shifted and opportunities arose to model how local communities might be more effective in solving their problems related to the environment. A Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) was developed for the Shatura District in Moscow Oblast, with the bulk of the work in 2004, and approved as a binding document in 2005, by the Head of the Shatura District Administration. Three other districts in Moscow Oblast as well as a district in Yaroslavl Oblast were selected for follow-up of the programme. In 2005 a LEAP was developed for the Pervomaiskii District of Yaroslavl Oblast, and a conference on Problems of legal provisions and regulations for the sustainable development of regions was organized in November of that year. In 2004 a somewhat parallel effort was developed in cooperation with the REC Caucasus, supported by Germany and Liechtenstein Pilot projects for sustainable development of mountainous regions in the Caucasus Local Agenda 21. Two mountain settlements were selected in each of the four Caucasus countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia), contacts established with the local population, and an analysis carried out of t he status, needs and prospects for sustainable development for each pilot settlement. The RREC is now working with the two local communities in Russia (one settlement in North Osetia-

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Alaniya, and another in Kabardino-Balkariya) to develop Local Agenda 21s for their situations, including selection of pilot projects for realization. The long-term goals of the project include: creating an Alliance of the Caucasus mountain communities, creating a Local Agenda 21 for the entire Caucasus region, and initiating the elaboration and adoption of a Caucasian Convention using as a model the Alpine and Carpathian Mountain Conventions. RRECs participation in the effort to achieve a Convention for the Caucasian Mountains and its work with local communities is relevant. The LEAPs programme has succeeded in building local level capacities, but lack of support at national level limits impact. Promotion of environmentally friendly commercial activities One of the objectives common to all EECCA RECs has been to facilitate dialogue with the business community with a view of building cooperation to address environmental problems. The RREC has identified several activity areas aimed at promoting green business in Russia. Training is one of the areas considered particularly important. For example, in 2002, the RREC organised a training seminar on Waste Management: Russian Experience and International Standards in Volgograd. A related activity was the 2003 seminar in St Petersburg on introduction of environmental management standards and cleaner production techniques in Russian businesses, which was organised together with the RussianNorwegian Cleaner Production Center. A 2002 conference on Activities of Law Enforcement Agencies for Ensuring Environmental Safety in Russia in Moscow was followed by trainings for environmental inspectors and other officials. In 2005 and 2006 activities in this area continued. With German support, the RREC implemented a project aimed at strengthening environmental enforcement and compliance in the north-western region of Russia. An international workshop for the purpose of exchanging experience and best practices took place in March 2006 in Novgorod, and a training course for environmental inspectors in July 2006, also in Novgorod. A more ambitious effort was a 2003 project to create a basis for organic agriculture in Russia i.a. by helping to develop technical regulations for the production, processing, storage, transportation and packaging of organic food products in the RF, along with a number of conferences and workshops aimed at building a national market for organic products. This programme was continued in 2004, but broadened into a general food safety programme. In addition to the work to develop organic food production in the RF, the RREC also included activities related to a legally binding international standard for the regulation of GMOs. Several reports on the international regulation of GMOs and food safety were presented at conferences in Russia, and the RREC also supported financially an international seminar on Food Safety in Russia and EECCA countries held under the auspices of the RF Ministry for Natural Resources. The RREC also worked to promote accession by the RF to the Cartagena Protocol. Of the EECCA RECs, the RREC has made the most effort to reach out to the business community. However, concrete Impacts have been difficult to achieve. Environmental & social impact assessments Some of the RRECs more innovative ventures have not succeeded in being sustained. For example, a 2003 project supported by the UK Foreign Office aimed to create a system of sustainable development indicators that would be used by NGOs and independent experts, and to gradually set up a network of organisations and experts that would be involved in

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assessing sustainability within the RF on an ongoing basis. The evaluation team was informed during its mission that this activity had been dropped because it was clear that the RF was not moving in a sustainable direction and there was no interest in such monitoring at this time. A more unusual and concrete project in this area is the social impact assessment and resettlement plan that RREC has been contracted to perform for a gold mining venture in Chita Oblast. This is a commercial project. The RREC team has been contracted to survey the local residents of the area that will be affected by the start-up of a large-scale open pit mining venture receiving foreign direct investment, and to develop a plan for assisting the residents to resettle in other areas successfully. Promoting closer relations between Russia and Europe From its operational start-up in 2002, the RREC has had as one of its aims the improvement of cooperation between Russia and the EU in the area of environment whether within the framework of the EU Tacis programme or in the form of support for bilateral cooperation between EU countries and the Russian Federation. A programme area that has increased in importance in recent years is the promotion of closer relations between Russia and Europe in the area of environmental protection. As with the other two programme areas already described, these activities can be grouped as follows: (1) support for ratification of Kyoto & other climate change related activities; (2) support for the Environment for Europe process; (3) support for the EU-Russia dialogue on environmental protection. Climate change, including Kyoto ratification One of the RRECs priority activities in the initial years was to support ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the Russian Federation. The RF had signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 along with 83 other countries, and its ratification in October 2004 was critical for the Protocols entry into force. The RREC put considerable effort into building the policy case for ratification. In 2002 it supported a theoretical study of the ancillary benefits in the form of reduced local air pollution and health risks that could be achieved in five pilot regions by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which would in turn reduce emissions of conventional pollutants). It also sponsored several projects aimed at supporting a functioning programme of implementation once Kyoto ratification was achieved, in order to allow the RF to benefit from participation in the Kyoto mechanisms. For example, the project on Development of Foundations of Greenhouse Gas Emission Registry in Russian Federation looked at best international practices in developing national GHG registries, while a 2002 workshop focused on How will Russia benefit from implementation of the Kyoto Protocol? This effort continued the following year with the preparation and holding of a Social Forum on climate change in March 2003 within the framework of the World Conference on Climate Change, publication of several monographs and articles, monthly round tables and frequent seminars, and the development of a concept for new legislation on GHG emissions regulation in the RF. The Russian gas industry was given support for a pilot project on reduction of fugitive methane emissions in the city of Kaliningrad, with the aim of developing a methodology for inventorying gas leakages and determining reduction measures that could be introduced in the state-owned and private companies operating in the Russian gas industry.

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The efforts of the RREC and other stakeholders paid off in 2004 when the RF ratified the Kyoto Protocol, thereby enabling it to come into force. This success enabled the RREC to reorient its activities in the area of climate change towards practical support for implementation of the Kyoto mechanisms in Russia. In 2004-2006 the RREC continued and/or initiated a range of projects aimed at strengthening Russias role in addressing climate change issues, including:
Table 16: RREC Projects on Climate Change

Donor UK

Project Assistance to the Russian gas industry to reduce fugitive natural gas emissions (est.14% of total GHG emissions).

Denmark Inventory of emissions and stocks of greenhouse gases, projects for joint implementation and quota trading in the RF US NGO Ongoing cooperation with the US NGO Environmental Defense with respect to climate change and Kyoto issues RAO Gazprom Preparation of formats for presenting GHG emissions data

RF MNR Development of a system for inventorying GHG emissions and absorption (for RF Ministry of Natural Resources) British Council GEF Core funding Project on Barriers in the way of development of institutional framework for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in Russia. Raising public awareness about climate change and the Kyoto Protocol

Trainings on GHG emissions trading & implementation of Kyoto Protocol in Novgorod Oblast

At the G-8 Summit of 2006 in St. Petersburg, energy issues were high on the agenda. The RREC prepared two reports within the framework of the G-8 Summit: one on application of market-economy methods for encouragement of energy-efficient technologies and on elimination of excessive limitations impeding development of environmentally oriented businesses. The reports were presented at a meeting of heads of agencies in the G-8 countries responsible for government regulation of environmental and technological safety organized by Rostekhnadzor in Moscow. In 2006, in the context of its efforts on climate change and energy, the RREC agreed to support the regional secretariat of the International Partnership for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEEP), founded in Johannesburg in 2002. As the REEEPs regional office, the RREC has carried out activities to inform and educate key stakeholders and analyzed the politics of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. It also implemented a regional grant programme that financed information of municipal energy efficiency, development of energy efficiency building codes for the RF and Kazakhstan, and compiled renewable energy legislation in Kazakhstan. The RRECs activities on climate change have had a very large global impact. A highly skilled and efficient team working on climate change issues.

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Environment for Europe process The RREC, along with the other EECCA RECs, has worked closely with the UN ECE Environment for Europe process. Following the Fifth European Ministerial Conference in Kyiv in 2003, the RREC actively pursued ways of cooperating with the other RECs with the aim of establishing a network of RECs that could transfer experience of the EAP Task Force and create the potential for future possible implementation of the EAP Task Force secretarial functions. EU-Russia dialogue on environmental protection Facilitation of discussions and negotiations between the EU and Russia has been another focus of RREC activities in this programme. For example, the RREC acted as secretariat for a March 2003 High-Level Meeting in Moscow to enhance cooperation among the EECCA countries with respect to the EU Water Initiative. In February 2004, a second high -level meeting on the EECCA component of the EU Water Initiative took place in Moscow, again with the RREC acting as secretariat. This meeting was in the form of a donors conference, where over 200 project ideas were put forward for consideration by the donor community. The RREC is now acting as a type of secretariat to assist the recently established EU-Russia dialogue on environmental protection. A number of sub-committees have been set up within the context of this dialogue, and several of these sub-committees have RREC staff members as active participants. The RREC sees its function in this area as a kind of translator between the EU and the Russian government, in order to facilitate common understanding. This role of the RREC as a bridge between the EU and the Russian government was viewed by several Russian officials interviewed in the course of the evaluation as being very important. It was noted a number of times that Russia needed to learn from the EU how to achieve economic growth without increasing damage to the environment. An indicator of the importance placed by Commission staff in Brussels on the support of the RREC with respect to the EU-Russia dialogue is the suggestion that the RREC apportion 50% of the core funding it is currently receiving from the EU on facilitation of this dialogue with counterpart Russian authorities. However, officials interviewed in the EC Delegation in Moscow viewed this as primarily a priority for DG Environment. Support to the EU-Russia Environmental Dialogue is relevant. Since this role is still starting up, the impact or efficiency cannot be assessed.

4.3.4 Overall Assessment of Activities The TOR for this evaluation specified that the EECCA RECs and their activities were to be evaluated in light of their missions and the objectives they were to pursue. In evaluating the RRECs activities, it is important to note that the RREC has changed (or is in the process of changing) its mission. The mission statement appearing on the RREC website is similar to that of the other EECCA RECs: The Centre operates for the purposes of assisting in the co-operation on international, national and regional levels among government bodies, local authorities, nongovernmental organisations (associations), the business community and any other entities and individuals involved in environmental protection through exchange of

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information and assistance. The Centre also promotes broad public participation in the decision-making process relating to the protection of the environment. However, according to the draft Corporate Development Strategy currently under preparation by the RREC management, the RREC mission is now as follows: Promotion and introduction of advanced ideas, policies, procedures, standards, experience and best practices to ensure Russias environmental welfare and sustainable development by providing an informative dialogue, stimulation of the development of direct contacts among partners and implementing practical activities. This change in the mission statement of the RREC complicates the process of evaluation, since according to the TOR, the measuring stick was to be the mission, objectives and activities set forth in the founding Charters of the EECCA RECs.
Table 17: Evaluation of RREC activities
RREC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none ++ + ++ +++ ++ +++ + ++

The table above provides a snapshot of the evaluation teams assessment of the activities carried out by the Russian REC to date. The activity on information exchange is considered as carried out satisfactorily, on the basis of the publications produced to date (see list on following page). The recent addition of a public relations specialist to the RREC team should help to improve the effectiveness of this activity, as well as the RRECs environmental awareness initiatives in general. Although the RREC has carried out training and capacity building projects, it does not have an environmental education programme. The RREC could do better in this area of activity. The RREC has administered the three grants programmes to date with efficiency and skill. It is also doing well in promoting public participation in environmental decision-making, including support for development of legislation.

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Table 18: Summary List of Publications by RREC


Date Title, engl Number of copies
600 1000 1000 5000

2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2003 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2004 2005 2005 2005 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2006 2007 2007 2007 2007

Kyoto protocol: out look from Russia RREC Bulletin Kyoto protocol: benefits for Russia Kyoto protocol: mission can be carried out Kyoto protocol: New threat Kyoto protocol: Gas or coal? RREC Annual report Ensuring environmental safety in using GMOs Proposals to transition to sustainable development National assesment of the progress of the RF to sustainable development Warming in Russia... Water for life Independent estimation of the Kyoto protokol ratification Schoolchildren protect nature, CD Prospects of ratification of the Aarhus Convention Economic consequences of ratification of the Kyoto protocol V European Conference of the Ministers for environment protection, eng V European Conference of the Ministers for environment protection, rus LEAP and the Aarhus Convention Sustainable development indicators in the Voronezhskaya oblast Together we shape the future, rus "Second High Level Meeting on Strategic Partnership on Water or Sustainable Development" Together we shape the future, eng Prospects of ratification of the Aarhus Convention, eng Booklet Technical RREC project, rus Booklet Technical RREC project, eng Annual report 2004, eng Annual report 2004, rus Booklet Interview of M. Valdstream Climate change and public health in the XXI century Book Monitoring of the development. Brochure Kyoto protocol and gas sector in Russia Brochure Climate Change Brochure The Energy of Joint Efforts on the results of the 2
nd

1000

2000 1500 200 600 300 300 200 200 1000 500 500 1000 500 250 50 50 500 500 125 700 350 500 500 500 300 500 5000 1000 500

grant programma

Brochure Adaptation to Climate Change Booklet Environmental protection and industry Brochure Kyoto protocol: how to follow? Brochure Mitigation of Climat Change Annual report 2006 Book Climate, atmospheric air quality... Environmental protection and industrial safety of the energy sector engl Environmental protection and industrial safety of the energy sector rus Environmental Management on ISO 14001 Sustainable development of the caspian coastal communities Publication on LEAPs - Korablinsky municipal district of Ryazan oblast Publication on LEAPs - Pervomaisky district of Yaroslavl oblast Booklet on RE status in FSU, rus Booklet on RE status in FSU, eng Environmental movement in Russia, reference book Analytical review of energy sectors of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan

500

600 600 180

Total number of copies circulated

30605

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A particularly strong area of activity for the RREC is the promotion of interactions between government, NGOs and other stakeholders on specific issues. The RREC played a very significant role in the effort to achieve ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2004, and it is continuing to pursue an ambitious policy agenda. Its support for the EU Russian Environmental Dialogue is considered potentially a high impact activity. The RREC could do better in providing a framework for regional cooperation. It should be noted however that Russia is a huge country spanning 11 time zones, and the resources that the RREC has on hand for carrying out core programmes is limited. Finally, the RREC is doing relatively well in linking up with the business community on environmental issues. It has carried out a number of small commercial contracts for Russian companies, as well as actively promoted environmental management in industry. 4.3.5 Conclusions and Recommendations Several of the stakeholders interviewed for this evaluation echoed the importance of the RREC as a source of information on what the EU is doing in the area of environment and on international best practices with respect to environmental protection. But in part because the RREC has changed its mission since its founding, the determination of relevancy with respect to the RRECs activities is more difficult than with the other EECCA RECs visited by the evaluation team. The conclusion of the evaluation team is that some of the activities are very relevant and important (Kyoto Protocol, Aarhus Convention, facilitation of the EU-Russia dialogue, support to civil society). The RREC played a very significant role in the decision by the Russian government in 2004 to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Its activities on climate change have therefore had a very large global impact. In fact, only CAREC comes close to the RREC with respect to the ambition of its environmental policy goals for the region it serves. In addition, the activities it has taken in parallel to the other RECs (NGO support, LEAPs, dissemination of environmental information) are as relevant and well administered as in its sister organizations. The relevance of these programmes and their usefulness in the broader context of Russias environmental policy has been confirmed in discussions with stakeholders. Other activities, e.g. sponsorship of childrens environment competitions in Moscow or specialist conferences among academicians, are somehow less relevant, though they may be important in the Moscow context of maintaining and supporting a network of contacts. Another notable effort has been its small grants programme, which has been particularly effective in that it has focused 80% of its resources on grants in regions outside of Moscow. The RREC has also made the most effort of the EECCA RECs to reach out to the business sector. However, the RRECs sense of direction and its goals as an organization are not clear. The RREC sees itself as a policy think tank or even as a consultancy. The draft Corporate Development Strategy, intended to be a guide to the RRECs future direction does not clarify the situation. In the view of the Evaluation Team, the RREC has the most professional and efficient staff of all the EECCA RECs. It is carrying out rather sophisticated projects at times, e.g., the commercial consultancy work it is carrying out for a private mining company concerning the resettlement plans for local populations. Most programme heads are senior experts with

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extensive experience working both inside and outside of Russia. This gives the RREC an international perspective and a savvy that was not as present in the other EECCA RRECs. Many of the RREC professional staff have however been hired only recently, reflecting the fact that the latest round of EU core funding started up in the summer of 2006. This professionalism extends to the RREC administrative staff. Although by their own account they did not have many procedures in place in the start-up years because of the small staff size at that time, they took the E&Y audit report very seriously and have been taking steps to develop the recommended administrative procedures. The RREC has proven itself to be very useful to the European Commissions DG Environment in its relations with Russia with respect to the environment. For example, the RREC was instrumental in bringing about Russias ratification of the Kyoto Protocol (though it was a campaign supported by many other groups as well). The Russian environmental management system has been undergoing frequent changes and the RREC can facilitate links between the Commission and the Russian officials who might make a difference. The EC Delegation in Moscow recognised this role as useful, but because the country budget for Russia has been reduced under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, Delegation officials were not keen on continuing to provide core funding. While the RREC has a secure basis of funding for the next two years, long-term sustainability remains a concern. But concerns were raised about whether the RREC continues to place enough emphasis on the objective of strengthening civil society which was one of the main things the EECCA RECs were founded to do. In this regard, it is important to note that other sources of external funding are becoming limited for NGOs. The USAID-funded ISAR programme is no longer operating and the Soros Foundation no longer finances environmental projects. Some of the larger Moscow-based environmental NGOs continue to be successful in attracting grants from US foundations and European bi-lateral donors (e.g., Netherlands, UK). The smaller NGOs in the regions do not have the contacts or the expertise to be able to compete. If the RREC is to continue to play a strong role in contributing to the development of civil society in Russia, it will need continued donor support in this area. Box 4: Recommendations for Russia REC 1. Strategic planning still needed to determine future direction of RREC as an organisation 2. Financial management training on project-based budgeting (for all staff) 3. Develop a long-term pipeline of projects to attract new donors 4. Continue to support development of civil society in the regions outside of Moscow, including via grants programmes to support NGOs & local governments 5. Longer term management assistance from a senior international expert

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4.4

CAREC

4.4.1. Brief history and staff The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) was established on the initiative of the Central Asian states after a decision at the 1998 Aarhus Conference of European Environment Ministers. In 1999, the Central Asian governments decided to locate the headquarters of the future CAREC in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and to set its branches in each country of the region. The Agreement on the Working Conditions of the CAREC signed by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the European Commission and the UNDP was ratified in 2000 by the Parliament of Kazakhstan. This Agreement, along with the CAREC Charter, serves as the legal framework for the CARECs operations. CAREC became operational in 2001, after receiving a grant from the EU and a building in Almaty provided by the Kazakh government. CAREC is an independent, non-profit and nonpolitical international organization implementing its activities in accordance with Kazakhstan legislation. However, the process of accreditation is not yet finished. Amendments to the agreement with the Kazakh government are needed, mainly to ensure full status as an international organisation, including diplomatic immunities. CAREC is the only EECCA REC which has its own premises, provided by the Kazakh government. Unfortunately, the current condition of the building is not perfect CAREC will still need to invest considerable funds in renovation in order to make its premises convenient for the work of its staff. Staff Approximately 40 people currently work at CAREC, including the branch offices in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Programme staff comprises 27 persons, including a deputy director and an international expert seconded from Germany to assist in upgrading the CAREC management and programme implementation.
Table 19: Staff in the main and branch offices of CAREC
Type of staff Management (Director, financial manager) Programme related Branch office in Kyrgyzstan Branch office in Tajikistan Branch office in Uzbekistan Support (secretary, driver etc..) TOTAL Source: Provided by CAREC 2005 3 10 2 3 3 16 37 2006 4 11 2 3 3 16 39 2007 4 13 2 3 3 14 39

It should be noted that the CAREC central office has done well in pulling together a multinational staff from the various Central Asian countries. The office in Kyrgyzstan has two persons, in Tajikistan three and in Uzbekistan three persons. Though there is no CAREC

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office in Turkmenistan, CAREC did have a project office there to implement the Caspian coastal communities grants programme. CAREC plans to establish a branch office in Astana, as a national office serving Kazakhstan. As a whole, CAREC staff has sufficient expertise to implement the variety of programmes they are currently working on. Nevertheless, ambition and drive appeared to vary widely among the individuals interviewed by the evaluation team and in some cases a better staff hiring policy may be applied. CAREC management noted that it was difficult to find suitable professionals for work in CAREC. One reason might be that salaries of CAREC staff have not increased since the beginning of its operation, while the economy, especially in Kazakhstan, is growing at a high rate. The evaluation team was not able to visit the CAREC branch offices in the other countries during its mission to Central Asia. It was told by at least one person that supervision of the CAREC branch offices was lax and could be improved. For example, no one in the main office was responsible for co-operation with and co-ordination among CARECs branch offices. It was noted also that a corporate spirit should be much improved in CAREC. A common policy, operating procedure and style are missing at the moment. According to many interviewees, the work of CARECs Board of Directors, which consists of 13 members, is not efficient, mainly because each member sees himself/herself, first of all, as a representative of his/her own country. Moreover, it is quite difficult to achieve useful decisions in a group where each member has a very different mentality and represents very different organisations. However, the Board has just enabled CAREC to successfully undergo a change in management at the highest level. Under its Charter, the term of any one executive director cannot exceed six years. The first executive director, a Kazakhstan national who by all accounts has had a strong vision of sustainable development for all of Central Asia, had to leave office at the end of 2006. Despite tendencies within the Board of Directors to try to secure national advantages by promoting own candidates, the Board was able to agree on a candidate from Kyrgyzstan with a similar view of the importance of promoting cooperation among all of the Central Asian countries. The new director understands the existing problems and already has plans for improving management of CAREC. In any case, the evaluators are of the opinion that at least two measures would help to increase the efficiency of the Board as the main managerial body of CAREC: a reduction in the number of the Boards membership to some 7-8 persons and special training to help them to understand the role, purpose and functions of the Board in an international organisation such as CAREC. 4.4.2. Assistance received so far The EU has been a major funder for the CAREC activities. In addition to that, a fairly large number of other donors have been involved in the activities of the REC. In total, 43 donors can be counted. These include the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Finland, Sweden, Germany, UK, Switzerland, the US and Norway, various international organisations, private companies, NATO, UNEC for Europe, EEA, OSCE, Asian Development Bank, etc. For full list of donors and full list of contracts see Annex V. The table below presents only summarised picture of donor input into the overall budget of CAREC.

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Table 20: Major donors input in the CAREC budget 2001-2007


Donor
European Commission USEPA TACIS via Linden Consulting Partnership OSCE EEA - European Environment Agency MFA-N Stichting Both ENDS Other donors, having less than 1%

Budget folder / name of project


Operation agreements and grant programmes Implementation of water project in Taldakurgan Addendum to sub-consultancy agreement - Tacis NREC III CAREC, Invoice # 1.9.2/165 dated 15.08.03 Conferences and env education Improving EECCAA reporting to intl obligations in the field of climate and air pollution Construction of water systems IBB Strengthening civil society networks to address dryland and poverty issues... (DRYNET)

Contract amount in EUR


4,683,746 147,109 91,813 91,269 140,000 211,469 267,731 706,429

% 73.88% 2.32% 1.45% 1.44% 2.21% 3.34% 4.22% 15.68% 73.88% 26.12% 100%

Sub-total EC Sub-total other donors

4,683,746 1,655,819

TOTAL

6,339,565

Source: summarised by the consultant based on information provided by CAREC

Spending of CAREC is available for years 2001-2005. CAREC has spent approximately 4.6 million EUR during its five years of existence (2001-2005). The core budget and other projects make up equal parts: 2,330,000 EUR were received as a core budget and 2,340,000 came from various sources to be spent directly on projects. It needs to be note, however, that part of funds to be spent on various projects came from the EC. Over the years the proportion between the core budget and the other projects has varied: in 2001, 2003 and 2004 the core budget was larger, while in 2002 and especially in 2005 the project-based financing was much more substantial than the core budget. The 2005 figures show that all the five Asian countries have received similar amounts for implementation of the programmes (around 20%). Figure 7 below shows the trend of CAREC annual budget:
1,800,000 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,200,000 1,000,000 800,000 600,000 400,000 200,000 0 2001 2002 2003 EC core budget 2004 Other projects 2005

EUR

Figure 7: Trend of CAREC budget in 2001-2005.

As in the case of other countries, environmental protection is not a priority for the governments of the Central Asian countries. The situation with foreign donors in Kazakhstan and the other CA countries is similar to the one in Moldova and Russia: international donors are reducing their support. Therefore it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure financial

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support of some environmental programmes and NGOs survival. Recently, Kazakhstan has not seen any new NGOs emerging. In such an environment, support for environmental entities is becoming even more urgent. CARECs staff members are all aware of the need to broaden their funding base, and several programme staff members stated they had already fundraised most of their programme costs. Moreover, the Kyrgyz and the Tajik national offices had both succeeded in getting individual funding for the projects. In this respect, CAREC still has insufficient capacities in writing new project proposals. Moreover, a higher appreciation of the support provided to date by EU core funding is needed: a breakdown of how much core funding has been used to finance activities such as the informational programme could help to get the CAREC started to think about all of its funding as project-based. Nonetheless, in general, as with the other EECCA RECs, no one interviewed thought the CAREC could be self-sufficient. The core funding provided by the EU appears to be necessary if the regional activities of CAREC are to continue. CAREC would need financial security for some three to four years. 4.4.3 Main Programme Areas and Activities To date, during its six years of operation, CAREC has implemented more than 50 major projects and supported many NGOs and local public administrations via grants programmes. If one includes projects implemented through its grants programme, at least 150 projects have been implemented since 2000. The evaluation team identified the following five programmes reflecting the activities of CAREC: Environmental Education Programme Informational Programme Environmental Policy Programme Public Initiatives Support Programme Ecosystem Management Programme

It should be noted, however, that it is not so easy to divide all projects CAREC is implementing, into programme areas. In sources issued by CAREC itself such as its website and in the sources of other interested parties, the number of CAREC programme areas varies from four to eight. This is related to one of the main criticisms of CAREC by the evaluation team the absence of a well-structured presentation of its work and results. Environmental Education Programme One of CARECs most ambitious and successful efforts is the Environmental Education Programme, related to the UN Decade on Education on Sustainable Development (20052014). It was launched following an initial sub-regional Workshop on Environmental Education organised in cooperation with the Tajikistan Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2002. The Programmes purpose is to solve priority regional environmental education problems relating to the experience and information exchange between different educational institutions in the CA countries; develop common approaches and principles for the
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Environmental Education Programme formulation and implementation; create a network of information, methodological and training centres in the CA region; introducing modern textbooks, manuals and methodological books in the field of Environmental Education and Education on Sustainable Development, and attract interested partners and donors investments for the Programme and project implementation in the region. The activities under the Environmental Education Programme have aimed in particular to develop networks of sub-regional experts and specialists, among them ministries, departments, non-governmental organizations, representatives of scientific institutions and pedagogues. A second sub-regional Consultative Meeting on Environmental Education for Sustainable Development in 2003, sponsored by the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Education and Culture and the European Commission (EC), marked the beginning of active work in this programme. A sub-regional working group was established at this meeting that continues to operate today. It makes joint decisions and develops new educational materials on Environmental Education and Education on Sustainable Development. The working groups activities were approved at the fourth sub-regional Conference in 2005 and its authority extended up to the 2007 Belgrade Conference. The Central Asian working group on Environmental Education and Education on Sustainable Development (ESD) is responsible for providing information on the progress made on ESD at Steering Committee meetings related to the UNECE ESD Strategy and other international ESD forums. The experience of sub-regional cooperation of the CA countries on ESD is recognized as one of the best of its kind in the European and Asian regions. As a measure of the widespread recognition and support which this programme has received, it is worth noting that the fifth sub-regional Conference on ESD in 2006 in Bishkek was organised by CAREC in cooperation with and sponsorship of the Kyrgyzstan government, the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and the Regional Office in Bangkok, the European Commission, the Japanese Funds-in-Trust and the OSCE Centres in Almaty and Bishkek. Projects on Environmental Education and Education on Sustainable Development implemented to date include:
Table 21: Projects on environmental education & education for sustainable development Years 20022004 20042005 20052006 2004 Project title Environment for Future Generations Donors European Commission and British Council, in cooperation with the Field Study Council on Environmental Education (FSCEE)

Dissemination of the textbook for UK Embassy in Kazakhstan, UNESCO secondary schools in Central Asia on climate change Education for Sustainability Climate Change in Central Asia and PECE UK Foundation OSCE Centre in Almaty

Promotion of Environmental Education in secondary schools of Kazakhstan

Promotion of Education for OSCE Centre in Almaty sustainable development into formal and non-formal educational system of Kazakhstan Source: CAREC

2006

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Many activities (such as issuing publications, organising training, capacity building etc.) have been conducted and different outputs have been developed under the above projects. Numerous actors have been involved as well (ranging from the Ministry of Environment to the mass media, etc.). Kazakhstan and the other Central Asian countries have lacked environmental education programmes and the above-mentioned projects were cited by interviewees as being extremely helpful for the overall educational system and, of course, for a better understanding of environmental protection and sustainable development issues in the region. This Programme is considered one of the best programmes CAREC is currently implementing. To a large extend, such an evaluation is attributable to the presence of highlyskilled professionals in charge of this programme in CAREC. The outputs are of top quality and have a practical value (e.g., as a curriculum for schools). Programme of a high relevance. Significant positive impact on environmental educational system, especially related to sustainable development. Managed very professionally and efficiently.

Information Programme The Information Programme is designed to increase public and stakeholder awareness related to the issues of environment and sustainable development, to assist NGOs in obtaining the necessary information, to promote environmental education and to intensify public participation in decision making. It provides its services through ensuring free access to databases and key documents, by issuing publications on environmental and sustainable development, and other activities. Since its establishment, CAREC is devoting part of its budget for issuing various thematic documents reflecting programmes carried out and in general hot environmental issues in Central Asia (CA). For example, in 2003, CAREC issued the following publications: 1. Report on Environment, Water and Security in CA 2. Status, Perspectives and Ways of Environmental Education Development in CA countries 3. Reference book on environmental NGOs in CA 4. CAREC grant programme 2002-2003 for CA NGOs 5. Water Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and implied acts 6. Plus a collection of 11 documents for Fifth Pan-European Conference of Environment Ministers in Kiev. Table 21 next page lists publications issued recently and informs on their dissemination.

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Table 22: List of publications from July 2006 to June 2007 with the use of EC-4 budget Dissemination Name of publication Edition NGOs, embassies, international organizations etc 300 rus and 700 eng Through CAREC branches Kyrgyzstan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Uzbekistan

Annual report

1500 (1000 Eng and 500 Rus)

50 rus and 50 eng

50 rus and 50 eng

50 and eng

rus 50

50 rus and 50 eng

Environmental Calendar for 2007 Manual on Aarhus Convention Catalogue of VI Central Asian ecological journalism festival Source: CAREC

500

300

50

50

50

50

300

130

150

10

10

200 (Russian version)

One of the main tools within the framework of the Information Programme is a library in the CAREC premises. The library stores information of the following areas: 1. Sustainable development (methodology, indicators of sustainable development, experience of other countries). 2. Economic aspects of development (small business, industry, agriculture, construction, trade, transport and communications, services, financial resources). 3. Social aspects of development (health, human development index and gender factor, poverty, education, urbanization, human potential). 4. Ecological aspects of development (information on water resources, climate change, air pollution, bio-diversity, forests, soil and ground resources, toxic and radioactive pollution, waste, fish resources etc.). 5. Environmental policy (state regulation, legislation, international and regional cooperation, projects, information exchange system, strategy and national plans, structure of management, environmental NGOs). 6. Materials of seminars and conferences (international, regional and national). 7. Statistical and information references and guides. 8. Periodicals. 9. Environmental information systems (Ds, booklets). 10. Information on consulting and professional organisations. 11. Reports of experts and advisers. It contains more than 10,000 books, articles, reports and other documents. There are also electronic versions of many items of the library available. The library provides periodical

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reviews of new acquisitions to the stakeholders and maintains relations with other libraries and information centres. It is believed that the library of CAREC is unique in its kind in the region. However, there are some limitations as regards its usage: due to CARECs location (far from the centre of Almaty in a residential area, lack of a good access road), it is not very convenient to reach the CAREC building. A website, www.carec.kz, has been created and, based on information in some CAREC publications, is regularly updated. However, the evaluation team was not successful in getting recent information from this website. Programme of a high relevance. Effective source of information and platform for various stakeholders (including students). Adds to a sustainability of NGOs community.

Environmental Policy Programme Within the framework of this programme, CAREC participates in the Environment for Europe process, supports the efficient exchange of experiences among countries in Central Asia and in other regions of the world. It participates in projects developing Regional Environmental Action Plans (REAPs), National Environmental Action Plans (NEAPs) and Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs). CAREC is considered to be a leader in the Central Asian region concerning international environmental activities. The Kazakhstan Ministry of Environment told the evaluation team that the relationship with CAREC in this area is very satisfactory. CAREC was termed the right hand of the Ministry. The 2007 Belgrade Environment for Europe conference is considered very important for CAREC. CAREC staff have taken a lead in this area and have prepared a first category agreement to be signed by ministers and other stakeholders in Belgrade. Another important area of work is the Central Asian Initiative (CAI) launched by CAREC. CARECs role in getting all the five CA countries on board with respect to the regions environmental problems is seen as critical. The Central Asian Initiative promotes regional awareness that nature has no borders. It has focused on water issues, as well as bio resources. CAREC has achieved good results in getting the Central Asian countries to sign on to agreements before the Johannesburg and the Kiev high-level conferences. However, some interviewees noted that CAREC seemed to be working from one conference to another. Moreover, CAREC appears to have difficulty concretising their policy initiatives. For example, the Central Asia Initiative remains mostly an aspirational declaration; there is little evidence that the CA countries are bringing in place policies and measures at the national and subnational levels needed to address the environmental problems of the region. It would be very useful if CAREC set concrete goals for implementation of strategies and policies decided upon in those conferences and tried to achieve them through concrete practices. More than 16 projects have been identified so far within the context of the CAI. However, CAREC now needs to help mobilise the resources needed to achieve these projects. One of CARECs goals for the 2007 Belgrade Conference is to attract donor funding not only for CAREC projects but also those for the region as a whole.

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It should be noted nonetheless that CAREC has succeeded in achieving a reform of water standards in Kazakhstan, bringing them much closer to the EU standards, and a new project was planned to develop appropriate sub-laws. CAREC has also helped to identify CDM projects in the Issykkul province (Issykkul is the deepest mountain lake in the world) and to raise funds for a water system for Issykkul. CAREC management expressed a wish to do more on energy and climate change. Programme highly relevant and with ambitious goals. Support to national policies. Not effective co-operation with business communities. However, CAREC has difficulty concretising these policy initiatives, therefore sustainability of current format of the programme is questionable. Concrete goals for implementation of strategies and policies should be set, along with indicators for measuring progress.

Public Initiatives Support Programme This programme aims to support civil society in Central Asian countries via the introduction of sustainable development concepts and the involvement of the general public in environmental matters in the region. Under this initiative, CAREC has managed a number of small grant programmes: a programme to support NGOs and other small entities and the Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal Communities programme. NGO support The evaluation team tried to get a clear picture of the status of environmental NGOs in the Central Asian region, but interviewees provided different numbers and opinions. For example, one person informed the team that Kyrgyzstan has 2,000 environmental NGOs and 8,000 CBOs (community-based organisations). However, other interviewees disputed these figures. The USEPA supported the first two years of CARECs small grants programme for NGOs. Later on, in 2003, the EU also started to fund this programme. The small grants funds from the EU were distributed to finance 11 small projects in 2004, 12 projects in 2005 and 23 projects in 2006. UNDP, USAID and other international organisations have also supported CAREC projects to develop NGOs. Starting from 2004, with support from the Norwegian and the Dutch governments, CAREC launched two new programmes: development of LEAPs and Water Initiative related studies. NGOs that had received grants from CAREC complained about the procedures as being very strict and the amounts available as being very small. Another criticism expressed regarding the NGO support programme was about the sustainability of local community-based projects. The NGOs support programme should perhaps consider more rigorous criteria, including NGO future sustainability. According to one interviewee, three types of environmental NGOs could be distinguished: 1. Real NGOs, developed to carry out certain activities over a period of 5 to 10 years. 2. Pro-governmental NGOs, set up when the government needed something endorsed but disappearing when not needed, i.e. when governments change. 3. NGOs set up just to qualify for a grant (so-called opportunistic NGOs). The general opinion was that real NGOs would most probably survive, even if the grant schemes would come to an end, since most of them had set up some kind of eco-business on the side.
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Most NGOs interviewed were in general supportive of CARECs operations and grant programmes provided. hey did not view it as a competitor for the funds, but rather as a partner. Only a very few considered CAREC as a competitor. The evaluation project ToR did not foresee scheduled visits to the Central Asian countries other than Kazakhstan. Therefore, in order to ensure a wider range of views, the evaluation team took steps to solicit the opinions of stakeholders outside of Kazakhstan by sending e-mails to CARECs list of NGOs in the CA countries. However, only two responses out of 20 were received, each providing a very positive opinion on CARECs work. Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal Communities (SDCCC) The SDCCC small grants programme, financed by EU Tacis as part of its support for the Caspian Environment Programme, is considered to be a very successful example of support of local initiatives and NGOs in the Caspian region. CAREC was contracted by Tacis to carry out the overall management of the SDCCC small grants programme, as well as to operate the programme in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. CAREC subcontracted with the Russian REC to carry out the SDCCC programme in the three regions of Russia bordering on the Caspian, and the REC Caucasus to do the same in Azerbaijan. One of the major objectives, as indicated by the official coordinating Kazakhstans role in the Caspian Environment Programme, was to provide incentives for local people to give up illegal fishing. Thus in Kazakhstan and the other countries, the SDCCC programme primarily financed projects that enabled the start-up and development of local businesses. In Kazakhstan, the programme covered 14 settlements on the coastal zones in the Atyrau and the Mangystau regions with a population of more than 277,000, and supported 35 grant proposals, 30 of which were less than 10,000 EUR and five over 10,000 EUR. New services of mini-bakeries, tailors, pottery and internet cafes were established, and production of fodder and agricultural products was increased. The programme created 88 permanent and 111 temporary jobs. The project received a high rating from EU monitoring experts for effective and efficient management. The team from CAREC designated to this programme was excellent. The manager of the small grants programme reportedly worked tirelessly throughout the programme, visiting the Caspian region repeatedly to coordinate with the local grant managers and in general to ensure a good outcome. The CAREC publication on the outcome of the SDCCC Programme is very well prepared and nicely issued. The evaluation team was told that the four countries participating in the Caspian Environment Programme considered the SDCCC Programme as very successful and asked that this project be extended.

Programme of a high relevance. Significant impact on local communities. Efficient help to local communities. Sustainability of some NGO support programmes is to be increased.

Ecosystem Management Programme Currently, two main projects are being carried out under the Ecosystem Management Programme. One of them, the Assessment of Mountain Ecosystems, is in the initial phase. The second one is described in the box 4 below.

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Box 4: Development of the Integrated Management Plan for Ili-Balkhash Basin The Ili-Balkhash basin project is one of the most ambitious projects CAREC has ever taken on. The goal is to fashion a three-way water sharing agreement among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China, by finding economic benefits in such an agreement for each country, leading to a win-win situation. Kyrgyzstan has received a proposal of the grazing rights to a pasture in Kazakhstan and money for the installation of a hydropower plant. Kazakhstan would then get water in exchange for its investment. Most of the work to date has been analytical, yet a three-way agreement of this sort also requires political and diplomatic skills, and the involvement of ministries of foreign affairs as well as ministries of environment. If a formal agreement among the three countries can be reached, it would indeed be a major success. However, the TACIS project supporting this project now has less than one year to go, and the resources may run out before the international agreement is in place.

Programme of a high relevance. Potentially very significant impact on environmental regional co-operation, however, so far the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme are not satisfactory.

4.4.4 Conclusions The evaluation team had difficulty getting a clear understanding of what the CAREC had done and was doing. The annual reports are not well-structured, and it was not easy to track all the activities CAREC is engaged in and the results of its efforts. The ill-structured presentation of the results CAREC has achieved implies that a good structure may be missing in the process of achieving these results, resulting in failure to concretise some proposals. Therefore, the effectiveness of the CARECs results presentation does clearly need improvement. Nonetheless, the evaluation teams general evaluation is that since its founding the activities carried out by CAREC have been very relevant, i.e. in line with its mission and objectives. Most of the stakeholders value CAREC as a very important, professional, serious, supportive and productive regional organisation. Almost all stakeholders see CAREC as a unique regional environmental organisation serving as a bridge between Europe and Central Asia, bringing best practices in sustainable development to the region and modelling the active participation of civil society in environmental decision making. This shows that the impact of the CAREC activities is visible and unique. Kazakhstans deputy minister of environment expressed a wish to have CAREC involved more closely in the Ministrys daily work and had a few concrete ideas about the role of CAREC and its future. He viewed CAREC as important for the development of civil society, for the generation of new ideas and to help governmental institutions to understand that environmental protection brings a double dividend, i.e., not only better environment, but also economic benefits. Concerning sustainability, the government of Kazakhstan is the one Central Asian country that might be able to provide some financial support, thus financing the above-mentioned image of CAREC. However, the deputy minister of environment was not very positive about this possibility.

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The CAREC staff, including the former executive director, is proud of this international role and hopes to expand its involvement in, for example, the EAP Task Force. In general, CAREC is pursuing its functions very seriously, and appears to be doing a very good job in that role. It tries to constantly improve its work, both in terms of administrative and institutional capacities, as well as with respect to the content. Management is aware of the main weaknesses and challenges of CAREC and drafts plans to overcome them. Currently CAREC is finalising its long-term strategic and 2007 2nd half year organisational plan. The Operational Manual has been reviewed and a new HR Manual completed. CAREC management hopes this will help to make CAREC work more efficient. CAREC works in quite a difficult political situation and deals with five very different countries, which, understandably, results in various difficulties, problems and misunderstandings. Society, especially in some Central Asian countries, is oppressed; therefore, the mission of the CAREC related to the civil society development is very important, fairly difficult and still has a long way to go. Though the evaluation team did not have the possibility to visit the CAREC branch offices in other countries, it heard that there is some distrust towards CAREC in the other countries simply because of the location of the central office in Almaty and a lack of information on CAREC and its activities. The objective of the assignment is to evaluate whether the activities carried out by the CAREC from the time it began receiving EU funding until now have been in line with its Charter. Based on the assessment of programmes above, the table below indicates how well CAREC has carried out the activities particularly specified in the ToR of the Evaluation.
Table 23: Evaluation of CAREC activities
CAREC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ +

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4.4.5

Recommendations

As discussed in previous sections, CAREC is advised to be more result than process oriented. It would be very useful to bring a western approach into the daily work of CAREC. In addition to the existing foreign expert in CAREC, funded by the German government, more international experienced staff would help CAREC in its tasks to improve the internal procedures and to structure the work. Training for the members of the Board of Directors on the role and the main objectives of the Board, as well as the method of the Boards work, has already been mentioned. Knowledge of English is a big barrier to NGOs in CA. According to the manager of the Local Initiatives Programme, in total there are, perhaps, five persons in NGOs in CA able to communicate in English. Therefore, training and future capacity building is a prerequisite for improvements in CAREC. We have noticed that even official documents of CAREC itself are issued without a proper language check. The Evaluation team would have proposals related not only to internal, but also to programme-related aspects of CARECs work: Disseminate more information about CAREC in the CA countries other than Kazakhstan Climate change education related issues are important for future work The niche for local consulting companies is still quite empty in Kazakhstan and the other CA countries; therefore, sustainability of CAREC can be at least partly secured by implementing some commercial consultancy projects. A project pipeline is needed for the coming years as the first step towards greater sustainability. In addition, better IT technologies inside the CAREC offices, better institutional arrangements in CAREC, better co-ordination and cooperation among the programmes inside the REC and better internal procedures are strongly needed.

Box 5: Recommendations for CAREC 1. Reduce the number of the BoD to some 7-8 persons. 2. Provide special training to the members of the BoD on the roles and responsibilities of BoD. 3. In addition to the existing foreign expert in CAREC, bring more international experienced staff which would help CAREC in its tasks to improve the internal procedures and to structure the work. 4. Highly improve presentation of CARECs activities and results achieved. 5. Focus less on process, more on results to be achieved; use more indicators to track progress 6. Improve co-ordination & cooperation among CARECs programmes 7. Improve co-ordination between CAREC & its branch offices 8. Develop pipeline of project ideas & proposals in order to work towards greater sustainability

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Overall assessment and recommendations for next stage

The previous sections about the four EECCA RECs under evaluation described the main activities carried out to date by each and indicated how these activities had been assessed by the cross-section of stakeholders interviewed. Wherever possible, the sections provided data to indicate the RECs performance in carrying out these activities. The data provided includes information on the number of staff over the period of their operations, sources of funding, the number and importance of programmes under implementation, categories and number of publications issued, type and number of trainings and workshops/conferences carried out, number of NGOs supported and size of such a support. This information was not always available for each of the EECCA RECs and therefore data gaps remain. In addition to the stakeholder interviews and the indicators described above, the evaluators used first-hand observations to evaluate whether the activities carried out by the EECCA RECs from the time they began receiving EU funding until now have been in line with their charters. The following table indicates some of the areas where the different EECCA RECs excelled, as well as where improvements are possible.
Table 24: Overall evaluation of EECCA RECs activities
CAREC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Information exchange & dissemination on environment and sustainable development issues Support for environmental education, training & capacity building Support for environmental awareness initiatives Establish grants programmes Promotion of public participation in environmental decision making processes Provide a forum for discussion & policy analysis of environmental issues & for interaction between governments, NGOs & other stakeholders Provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and non-governmental level Link with the business community and industry on environmental issues Key: +++ = good; ++ = satisfactory; + = could do better; - = none ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ +++ ++ + RECC +++ ++ ++ +++ +++ ++ ++ + RECM ++ +++ ++ +++ +++ ++ + RREC ++ + ++ +++ ++ +++ + ++

A number of overall conclusions can be made here. Each of the EECCA RECs has done very well in administering the small grants programmes aimed at providing support for civil society. CAREC and the Russian REC have excelled at providing forums for discussion and policy analysis of environmental issues among stakeholders, just as CAREC and REC Moldova have provided excellent support for environmental education and capacity building. The efforts of the RECs Caucasus and Moldova to promote public participation in environmental decision making processes are also praiseworthy. All of the RECs were diligent in supporting environmental awareness and in exchanging and disseminating information on environment and sustainable development, e.g., by publishing periodicals and electronic newsletters, maintaining websites, and the like. In this latter area, the REC Caucasus has been particularly excellent in its attention to publishing in the three national languages as well as in the two international languages of the region, English and Russian.

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The activity which has been given the least attention by the EECA RECs is to pursue links with the business community and industry on environmental issues. In the opinion of the evaluation team, only the Russian REC made a concerted effort to actively engage the business community.

In general, the evaluation team concludes that the EECCA RECs have fulfilled their missions of promoting cooperation, free exchange of information, and public participation in environmental decision-making successfully. While each REC had the model of the REC CEE to follow, they were given little other guidance on how to proceed and in light of this, their overall track record in carrying out activities related to their missions is quite good. In each RC visited, staff members complained of getting sometimes contradictory messages from the various Commission units concerning operations of the RECs and their future policy directions. They expressed concern that personal contacts developed in Brussels and in the various EC delegations over the years had been lost as officials moved to other positions, taking with them much of the history of the RECs and appreciation of the special difficulties the individual RECs had faced in getting to their current situations. They also found it difficult to keep up with changing administrative requirements, e.g., concerning eligibility for EC funding. One of the challenges for the EC is therefore how better to coordinate the activities of the different units involved with the RECs, and how to determine when special assistance might be necessary to help a REC deal with a particular administrative difficulty. Each REC was acutely aware that the era of EU core funding was coming to an end, but there was a lack of understanding or experience in how to go about making the changes needed to move toward a financial sustainability based on multiple donors and defined projects. Because of the significant core funding the RECs have received from the EC to date; other donors have tended to limit any financing provided to actual costs incurred in a particular programme area. Thus in many instances the EC core funding has in effect subsidized projects where primary support was credited to another donor. Ironically, the relative size and lack of strings attached to the EC core funding has at times made it less visible than the much smaller but targeted assistance provided by less munificent donors. The staff members of the RECs evaluated acknowledged that they needed to move to project-based budgeting. However, while all had sought out project funding from other donors and were tracking how this was spent, there is little awareness of how the core funding received from the EU was allocated among their ongoing functions, such as information dissemination or support for public participation, and how to go about turning these core functions into proposals that other donors might support. While their capacities diverge, all will need assistance to improve management in areas such as finances, procedures and project pipelines. The EECCA RECs can continue to play a valuable role in promoting environmental protection in the countries they serve, and it is recommended that they continue to receive support from donors, including the EC. At the same time the EC should support the independence of the RECs, while recognising that in the current political situation of many EECCA countries, this implies a difficult course for REC leaders to navigate. c A continuous, clear and most importantly stable and systematic policy would help management of the RECs to direct their efforts towards a more efficient course and become a stronger driving force in civil societies of EECCA countries.

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This would also support the RECs in another area. Now that the break-up of the Soviet Union is 15 years in the past, and various donors are withdrawing from the region to put resources in other areas, there was widespread concern that citizens in the EECCA countries would become isolated once again. In the various missions, stakeholders frequently stated that the EECCA RECs were needed as links to the international community, especially for the smaller NGOs. With the EU Neighbourhood Policy calling for closer links between the countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the EECCA RECs could become conveyers of best practices in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development, including alignment of national legislation and practices with the standards of the EU. The Russian REC and CAREC are doing well in this area. In contrast, the RECs Caucasus and Moldova were focusing on civil society and regional cooperation, and they could be doing more to bring EU standards and practices to the regions they served. It should be noted that the vision of building a civil society able to engage constructively with governments, businesses and other stakeholders in addressing environmental problems comes from a model that has worked well in Western Europe as well as the CEE countries. This model is more difficult to transplant into countries and regions where the political trend is against democratic processes and public participation. In such contexts, the core objective of the EECCA RECs of providing support to civil society probably requires the long-term support of a major donor like the EU.

Overall Recommendations for the EECCA RECs 1. Continue to give importance to grants programmes to support NGOs in the regions 2. Financial management training on project-based budgeting (for all staff) 3. Develop longer-term project pipelines and support each other in efforts to attract new donors 4. Play a stronger role in conveying best practices in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development, including alignment of national legislation and practices with EU environmental standards 5. Longer term management assistance from senior EU experts to internationalise staff and serve as a bridge between the EU and EECCA

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Annex I: List of people met

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Persons interviewed for the CAREC evaluation


Monday, 5 February (Almaty) 10:30 Anna Bramwell, Head of Operations, EC Delegation to Kazakhstan 14:00 Talaybek Makayev, Executive Director, CAREC 16:00 Presentation by Alexander Juras, Deputy Director, CAREC Also present: Bulat Yessekin, former ED, Acting Project Manager, Ili-Balkhash Project Vladislav Sadomsky Head of Executive Director office Emil Shukurov, Ecosystems Management Programme Manager Tatyana Shakirova, Environmental Education Program Manager Ismail Dairov, Environmental Policy Program Manager Yelena Yerzakovich, NGO Support Program Manager Surayo Pulatova. Information Program Specialist Sergey Solovyov, IT Manager Bakhytzhan Medev, Legal Counsel Lola Karibayeva, Office Manager Juliya Anishenko, Financial Manager Gulzhamal Issaeva, LEAPs Projects Manager Tuesday, 6 February (Almaty) Interviews with CAREC staff Ismail Dairov, Environmental Policy Program Manager Alexander Juras, Deputy Director, CAREC Juliya Anishenko, Financial Manager Vladislav Sadomsky, Head of Executive Director office Yelena Yerzakovich, NGO Support Program Manager Bakhytzhan Medev, Legal Counsel Bulat Yessekin, former ED, Acting Project Manager, Ili-Balkhash Project Group meeting with NGO representatives (at CAREC): Andrey Andreev, Legal Information network Legal initiatives Aliya Tonkobayeva, National Facilitator, CARNet, The Digital Information Network in the Area of Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Asia and Russia Oksana Tarnetskaya, National Environmental Press Centre Sergey Sklyarenko, Kazakhstan Association for Conservation of Biodiversity Ariur Mamytbekov, Public Foundation Eco-Idea (see www.econavigator.com) Ekaterina Strikeleva, Development Agency / Eco-Idea Wednesday, 7 February (Astana) 06:15 Flight to Astana

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10:00 Ministry of Environment Alzhan Braliev, Deputy Minister Bulat Bekniyazov, Director, Environmental Sciences Department Elvyra Ibraeva, Deputy Director, International Affairs Department Serik Akhmetov, focal point, Caspian Environment Programme

14 :00 Ministry of Agriculture Amirkhan Kenshimov, Deputy Chair, Water Resources Committee Thursday, 8 February (Almaty) Interviews with CAREC staff Tatyana Shakirova, Environmental Education Program Manager Meetings with NGO representatives (in their offices) Kaisha Atahanova, Chair of Eco-forum, Environmental NGOs Network in KZ and NGO representative on CAREC Board of Directors Vadim P. Nee, Law and Environment Eurasia Partnership (Almaty Office) Sergey Solyanik, Ecological Society Green Salvation Interviews with CAREC staff Surayo Pulatova, Information and Communication Programme Manager and Librarian Friday, 9 February (Almaty) Interviews with UNDP staff Stanislav Kim, coordinator, UNDP/GEF project on Lake Balkhash Alexander Nikolayenko, UNDP Project Manager Debriefing at EC Delegation Adrian Van Den Meer, Ambassador Anna Bramwell, Head of Operations Interviews with CAREC staff Emil Shukurov, Ecosystems Management Programme Manager Debriefing for CAREC staff Vladislav Sadomsky Head of Executive Director office Tatyana Shakirova, Environmental Education Program Manager Yelena Yerzakovich, NGO Support Program Manager Surayo Pulatova, Information Program Specialist Bakhytzhan Medev, Legal Counsel Lola Karibayeva, Office Manager

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Persons interviewed for the REC Caucasus evaluation


Tuesday, 27 March 10:00 Delegation of the EC to Georgia, Tbilisi Alexis Loeber 11:00 REC Caucasus Lela Janashia, Information and Public Participation Programme manager, Keti Samadashvili, Environmental Policy and LEAPs Programme manager, Nikoloz Kobakhidze, financial manager 14:10 WWF Caucasus Lana Ghvinjilia, Communications officer Maka Bitsadze, CEPF country coordinator 15:00 US AID Tamuna Barabadze, Project management specialist, office for Energy and Environment Dana Kenney, senior energy advisor 17:00 Meeting with businesses Zaal Kheladze, LTO Wood service Solomon Tsabadze, HSE manager David Girgvaliani, executive manager of scientific research firm Gamma Levan Kvashali, operations manager, Iridium Travel company (Caucasus Initiative for Clean Mountains) 19:00 REC Nina Shatbarashvili, Mountain programme manager 20:00 Nato Kirvalidze, former director of the REC Wednesday, 28 March 09:15 REC Caucasus Lela Janashia, Information and Public Participation Programme manager 10:00 REC Enver Safarzade, NGO support programme manager 10:30 Meetings with NGOs in REC Lasha Chelidze, Imereti regional association of Youth ASA Nino Chkhobadze, Environmental League (former Georgian Minister of Environment) Gia Sopadze, Union of Sustainable Development Ecovision Gregory Abramia, International Centre for Environmental Research 13:45 Ministry of Environment NinoTkhilava, Head of the Integrated environmental Management Department, GEF operational focal point in Georgia 14:15 Ministry of Environment Revaz Enukidze, Head of International Relations and Conventions Department
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Giorgi Kalbin, Nino Kizikurashvili, advisor to the Minister 15:00 Ministry of Environment Zaal Lomtadze, Deputy minister 17:00 Travel to Baku Thursday, 29 March 10:00 Europa House in Baku Wolfgang Sporer, Coordinator of Europa House Alan Vadams, Special Envoy to the Republic of Azerbaijan 12:00 REC project office in Baku Chingiz Allahverdiyev, National Coordinator, Small Grants Programme 14:45 Meeting with NGOs in the REC project office in Baku Firuza V. Sultan-Zadeh, EcoSphere Social-Ecology Centre Nariman Agayev, Head of the Centre for Sustainable Development Yuriy Valuev, NGO Piligrim 17:00 Ministry of Economic Development Rufat Mammadov, Director of NCU for the EU technical assistance in Azerbaijan Asker Alakbarov, Head of Department of investment programms of the Ministry of Economic Development Friday, 30 March 10:00 Caspian Environmental Programme Bakhtiyar Muradov, coordinator of the programme 14:00 Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Azerbaijan Mr. Bagirov, Minister Rasim Sattarzade, Head of Environmental Policy Division 15:15 Meeting with GTZ representative Schafiga Hadschiahmedova, local coordinator 15:50 Meeting with representative of the Ministry of Education Lala Dadasheva, deputy director of the Centre for Ecological Education, Ministry of Education 16:15 Meeting with NGO Zeynalov Telman, President of National Centre of environmental forecasting 17:00 Meeting with NGO Farida K. Huseynova, Azerbaijan Green Movement 18:00 REC project office in Baku Azer Garayev, coordinator of Mountains project in Azerbaijan Saturday, 31 March
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Travel to Tbilisi Sunday, 1 April Travel to Yerevan Monday, 2 April 9:30 REC office in Yerevan Meeting with whole staff in Armenian branch office

10:30 REC office Rubina Devrykyan, Mountains project coordinator 11:30 Ministry of Health Nune Bakuns, Head of division of legal assurance and 12:30 State Committee of water systems of the Ministry of Territorial Administration Liana Karapetyan, Adviser to the Chairman 14:00 REC office Hovhannes Ghazaryan, REC Caucasus Armenian Branch Office Coordinator 14:45 Meeting with Hakob Tovmasyan, mayor of Ararat town (where LEAPs project was implemented) 15:20 SECO Zara Allahverdyan, senior National Program Officer, Embassy of Switzerland 16:00 Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies, National Academy of Science, Armenia Armen K. Saghatelyan, director 16:45 Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology, National Academy of Science, Armenia Bardukh Gabrielyan, director (former RECC Board Member) 17:15 Meeting with NGOs representatives of 13 organisations Tuesday, 3 April 9:00 9:45 Millenium Challenge Account Armenia Armine Simonyan, Environmental and Social Impact officer Ararat Gold Recovery Company Anush Gevorgyan, Chief Environmental and Safety Officer

10:45 UNIDO operations in Armenia Anahit Simonyan, Head 11:30 WWF Armenian branch Karen Manvelyan, country director 12:15 OSCE, office in Yerevan

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Jeanette Kloetzer, Economic and Environmental Officer Gohar Ghazimyan, Senior Environmental Assistant 13:15 Meeting with Lilit Harutyunyan, RECC Programmes Coordinator, currently in Yerevan 14:45 UNDP, Armenian office Armen Martirosyan, Environmental portfolio manager 15:30 Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia Ruzanna Davtyan, director of International Relations Department Samuel K. Amirkhanyan, Secretary General (Chair, Board of Directors, REC Caucasus) 18:30 REC Ashkhen Gevorgyan, Assistant to Armenian branch office coordinator and LEAPs programme Anna Jenderejian, Information Officer, Media Project National Coordinator in Armenia Thursday, 4 April Travel to Tbilisi 14:45 RECC office Nikoloz Kobakhidze, Finance and Administration Department head Keti Grigolia, Educational Programme Coordinator Keti Samadashvili, Environmental Policy and LEAPs Programme Manager Friday, 5 April 9:00 Delegation of the EC in Georgia Alexis Loeber

10:10 Embassy of Netherlands in Georgia Janet Alberda, First Secretary, Deputy Head of Mission 11:00 German Embassy in Georgia Christian Pernhorst, economic adviser 13:00 TACIS and the Balkans / Cards Monitoring Programme Tornike Gotsiridze, senior monitor 13:45 Ministry of Education of Georgia, National Curriculum and Assessment Centre Manana Ratiani, expert of social sciences group Ekatherine Slovinsky, coordinator of the Natural Science group 14:15 CENN (Caucasus Environmental NGO network) Nana Janashia, executive director 15:00 EU Programmes Coordinating Unit, Office of the State Minister of Georgia Roman Kakulia, Head of Unit 16:30 Office of State Representative of the President of Georgia in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region Besik Sabashvili, deputy representative Merab Buchukuri, deputy representative

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Persons interviewed for the evaluation of REC Moldova Monday, 27 November 09:00 13:30 Andrei Isac, Executive Director, REC Moldova Victor Cotruta, Development & Finance Director, REC Moldova Vitalie Cimpoies, NGO representative, member of the Advisory Council of REC Moldova, newly appointed Environmental Inspector for Falesti Raion Liubomir Secara, Vice Mayor of Falesti town Alexandru Stratulat, Expert, "Support to PCA and WTO Implementation and to EU/Moldova European Neighbourhood Action Plan" office Alexei Andreyev, Director of NGO Biotica

15:00 16:30

Tuesday, 28 November 08:45 10:00 Alecu Renita, President of the biggest environmental NGO in Moldova Ecological Movement of Moldova, member of the Board of Directors Gheorghe Duca, President of the Academy of Science of Moldova, former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, former Head of Parliamentary Commission for Ecology, former member of the Board of Directors Valentin Plesca, Project Manager, UNDP/GEF project on POPs at the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Constantin Mihailescu, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, member of the Board of Directors Laurentia Ungureanu, NGO representative, member of the Board Ludmila Gofman, staff member of REC Moldova

11:30 12:30 16:00 18:00

Wednesday, 29 November 08:30 10:00 Travel to Stefan Voda Municipality Meeting in Stefan Voda, where REC implemented few projects: Gheorghe Anghel, Mayor of the Stefan Voda Municipality Tatiana Marin, local office of NGO Ecological Movement of Moldova Vladislav Cocin, mayor of Carahasani municipality Nicolae Nastasi, chief, Ecological Inspection, Stefan Voda raion Galina Juras, Inspector for Education Directorate, Stefan Voda raion Andrei Isaac, Executive Director, REC Moldova Jekaterina Kuharuk, NGO Ekostrategij

14:15 15:00

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Thursday, 30 November (in Chisinau, by Daiva Semeniene) 9:15 10:00 12:00 14:00 15:15 15:50 16:30 Sergiu Cibotaru, IT specialist, REC Alexandru Teleuta, Director of Botanical Garden Valeriu Mosanu, researcher at the National Institute of Ecology Ina Coseru, Coordinator, Environmental Policy Programme, REC Ana Olaru, Consultant, NGO Support Programme Anastasia Radu, Editor, Informative Bulletin, Information and Communication Programme Iordanca-Rodica Iordanov, Representative of Milieukontakt Oost-Europa

(in Brussels, by Gretta Goldenman) 19:30 Ilya Trombitschii, Director, NGO Eco-TIRAS

Friday, 13 April 2007 (in Washington DC, by Gretta Goldenman) Arcadie Capcelea, World Bank programme officer, former Moldovan Minister of Environment, current Chair of Board of Directors, REC Moldova

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Persons interviewed for the evaluation of REC Russia Sunday, 4 March (Moscow) Arrival of Goldenman Monday, 5 March (Moscow) Arrival of Semeniene 12:00 Pierre Dybman, Operations, EC Delegation to the Russian Federation 15:00 Meeting with Mikhail Kozeltev, Executive Director, Russia REC 17:00 Meetings with other RREC staff Ludmila Bogdan, programme manager, public participation and the Northern Pipeline Svetlana Frenova, programme manager, REEEP Juliya Dobrolyobova, programme manager, climate change Anna Kanshieva, manager, fundraising Tuesday, 6 March (Moscow) 10:00 Meeting with Anatoli Kopylov, RAO UES (at RAO UES) 11:30 Meetings with other RREC staff Lia Sandanova, programme manager, small grants Olga Razbash, programme manager 13:00 Meeting with Evgeni Gorshkov & Natalia Vavilova, RF Ministry of Natural Resources (at RREC) 14:30 Additional meeting with Olga Razbash, RREC 16:00 Meeting with Julia Kamenskaya, Brannan Company 18:00 Meeting with Olga Troitskaya, COWI Consult, Moscow Wednesday, 7 March (Moscow) 10:00 Meeting with Alexander Averchenkov, World Bank, Moscow office 12:00 Meetings with other RREC staff Andrei Terentiev, programme director, programme manager for EAP Task Force & LEAPs 14:00 Meeting with Svetoslav Zabelin, Socio-ecological Union (Moscow-based NGO) 15:00 Telephone interview with David Vincent, British Embassy 15:30 Meetings with other RREC staff Elena Surovikina, manager, public relations

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16:30 Meeting with Sergey Tveritinov, Russian Federal Service for Ecological, Technical & Atomic Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) Thursday, 8 March (Moscow) International Womens Day Am Desk research at hotel

14:00 Meeting with Mikhail Kozeltev of RREC Friday, 9 March (Moscow) 09:00 Meeting with Jean-Louis Lavroff, EC Delegation to Russia 11:00 Meeting with Vladimir Zaharov, Chair, Committee on Environmental Security of the Public Chamber, & corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science 13:00 Luncheon meeting with Oleg Pluzhnikov, Ministry of Economic Development & Labour 15:00 Meeting with Masha [RREC accountant] 17:00 Meeting with Olga Ponizova, EcoAccord (Moscow NGO; former RREC board member) Departure of Semeniene Saturday, 10 March Departure of Goldenman

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European Commission staff in Brussels 26 October 2006 (Inception Meeting, both consultants present) Jean-Marc Riegel, DG AIDCO Lena Nielsen, DG AIDCO Cornelius Broekhuizen, DG AIDCO Henriette Faergemann, DG ENV 16 November 2006 (Gretta Goldenman only) Anne Burrill, DG ENV Henriette Faergemann, DG ENV

26 February 2007 (Gretta Goldenman only) Jaime Reynolds, DG ENV Slavitza Dobreva, DG ENV 16 March 2007 (Gretta Goldenman only) Cristina Casella, DG AIDCO 6 June 2007 (presentation, both consultants present) Anne Burrill, DG ENV

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Annex II: Resources Consulted

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Documents reviewed for the evaluation of the CAREC Analysis of the Advisory Requirements of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, Report to the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety in Germany by Alexander Juras, February 2006 Progress Review on Education for Sustainable Development in Central Asia, CAREC, Almaty, October 2006 Situational Analysis of Education for Sustainable Development in the Central Asian sub region, CAREC, Almaty, Kazakhstan, August 2005 Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal Communities. Small Grant Programme. Publication written by Aida Darmenova and Yelena Yerzakovich, November 2006. The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia. Annual Report 2004. The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia. Annual Report 2003. The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia. Facts and Figures, 2001-2006. The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, 2001-2006. CAREC website

Documents reviewed for the evaluation of the REC Caucasus REC Caucasus website. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2000. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2001. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2002: The Year of Change. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2003: The Year of Achievements. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2004: Step Forward. REC Caucasus. Annual Report 2005: Ideas in Action. REC Caucasus. Proposal for a Grant to the New Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (attached to Grant Agreement No. 69072). REC Caucasus. Interim Report covering the fifteen month period of the execution of the Operation from September 9, 2003 to December 9, 2004 of the Grant Award to the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (Tacis Contract No. 69072). REC Caucasus. Interim Report covering the fifteen month period of the execution of the Operation from December 9, 2004 to December 9, 2005 of the Grant Award to the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (Tacis Contract No. 69639).

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REC Caucasus. Charter incorporating draft amendments (draft for approval at Founders meeting on 12 July 2006). European Commission. EU-Azerbaijan ENP Action Plan Ernst & Young. Systems and financial report of the Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus (May 2005). Carried out under an Audit Framework Contract for the European Commission. REC Caucasus website.

Documents reviewed for the evaluation of the REC Moldova Evaluation of UNDP outcome in Moldova of capacities and partnerships of local governance actors developed in urban/rural areas for transparent and accountable policy formulation, service delivery and resource management projects addressed: Local Agenda 21, Mesmerizing Moldova, Sustainable Tourism Development, Better Opportunities For Youth And Women, Information and Learning Network. Alexandru Muravschi, Erik Whist, Chisinau and Oslo, December 2005 Evaluation of the Tacis Interstate Programme in Environment. Final report, 30 September 2000. The Netherlands Economic Institute (NEI BV, Rotterdam), in cooperation with MOB (Nijmegen), and MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (Amsterdam) for the Evaluation Unit of the Joint Service for external relations of the European Commission (SCR). EU Grant Contract External Aid 62427, 2003. EU Grant Agreement with an International Organisation External Aid, No 01-0254, 2002. EU Grant Contract External Aid 01-0107.00, 2001. EU Grant to the Regional Environmental Centre Moldova. Final report, REC Moldova, Chisinau, 2006. Regional Environmental Centre - Moldova. Annual Report 2005. 2nd Environmental Performance Review. Republic of Moldova. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe REC Moldova web site

Documents reviewed for the evaluation of the RREC Corporate Development Strategy of the Russian Regional Environmental Center for the Period 2006-2011 (April 2007 draft). Proposal for a Grant to Continue the Activities of the Russian Regional Environmental Centre (attached to Grant Agreement No. 030-630 for the period 16.10.2002 to 16.04.2004). Budget from the Tacis Interstate Programme Environment 2001.

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Proposal for a Grant to Continue the Activities of the Russian Regional Environmental Centre (attached to Grant Contract No. 73628 for the period 17.01.2004 to 17.01.2006). Budget from the Tacis Interstate Programme Environment 2002. Proposal for Management of the NGO Grants Programme (attached to Grant Agreement No. 2002/027-636 for the 12 month period beginning 23.07.2002 ). Ernst & Young. Systems and financial report of the Russian Regional Environmental Centre (July 2005). Carried out under an Audit Framework Contract for the European Commission. RREC. Annual Report 2002-2003. RREC. Annual Report 2003. RREC. Annual Report 2004. RREC. Annual Report 2005. RREC website. Terms of Reference for establishing a dialogue on environment between the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission. Signed on 10 October 2006.

Documents reviewed for the evaluation of all RECs Communication from the Commission. Wider Europe Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours. COM(2003) 104 final Communication from the Commission. Paving the way for a New Neighbourhood Instrument, COM(2003) 393 final. Communication from the Commission. Paper, COM(2004) 373 final. European Neighbourhood Policy Strategy

Communication from the Commission. Neighbourhood Policy. COM(2006)726 final

On

Strengthening

the

European

Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. EECCA RECs. Position paper on EECCA RECs Capacities and Perspectives for the Environment for Europe Process. March 2007 draft. Alexander Nikitin. The End of the Post-Soviet Space: The Changing Geopolitical Orientations of the Newly Independent States. Chatham House Briefing Paper (REP BP 07/01, February 2007).

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Annex III: Revenues Received by EECCA RECs to Date

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Grants and other revenues received by REC Caucasus


Donor
EU EU USA Denmark EU USA EU EU USA USA EU Switzerland GWP UNEP/GRID Italy EU Netherlands OECD USA OECD Germany Liechtenstein USA OECD Germany DG XI (ENV) Tacis 2000 - 2001 US EPA DEPA Tacis, LINDEN, Consortium US EPA Tacis 2001 - 2002 Tacis 2002 - 2003 US EPA (through UNDP) US EPA (through UNDP) EU (through REC Russia) Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SADC) GWP (Global Water Partnership) UNEP/GRID-Arendal Italy (through REC CEE) Tacis 2003 - 2004 The Netherlands (through REC Moldova) OECD USA - Global Environment OECD German Ministry of Environment Principality of Liechtenstein US EPA OECD German Ministry of Environment BCEOM 00-0069.00 82851801 - 0 Tacis NREC III RECC 82851801 - 1 01-0126 35904 826620 - 1 826620 - 2 01-0242/3 30954-473 69072 ENV/2002/003 JA00019857 JA00023175 Z 1.6 - 90213-51/10 82851801 - 2 Z 1.6 - 90213-51/19

Contract

Period
01.04.00 - 30.06.01 26.05.00 - 25.01.01 01.10.00 - 30.09.07 11.12.00 - 13.12.00 01.02.01 - 31.08.01 01.10.00 - 30.09.07 20.05.03-19.05.04 01.12.02 - 31.05.03 09.07.01 - 03.10.02 01.04.02 - 01.12.02 2002 01.11.01 - 31.12.03 08.08.02 - 09.08.02 01.08.02 - 31.12.02 15.11.02 - 31.05.03 10.09.03 - 09.09.04 03.01.03 - 15.09.03 16.06.03 - 20.06.03 2003 2003 15.03.03 - 15.12.03 15.03.03 - 15.12.03 01.10.00 - 30.09.07 2004 2003 - 2005 Transboundary Project

Name of the project

Amount
37,000 125,000 $ 135,000 $ 23,170 98,587 $ 40,000 383,000 229,999 $ 147,055 $ 20,800 14,362 $ 250,000 $ 13,430 10,500 51,600 529,984 $ 17,300 $ 5,221 $ 3,000 9,800 36,133 $ 2,148 $ 299,000 29,955 80,365

Setting up New Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus Grant & Programmes Workshop on Aarhus Convention Interim support, Setting up New Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus Water Project Setting up New Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus Support to the Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus Grant & Programmes ICC Co-ordinating Transboundary Project in the NIS Transboundary Grants Programme Workshop on Water Issues Workshop on preparation for Kiev Ministerial Conference in 2003 Grants Programme for Media Support to the Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus LEAP common for all RECs Trainer Workshop on Environmental Compliance Assurance Workshop Translation, publishing and dissemination of EAP Task Force Publications Conference on Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus Conference on Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) Project Workshop on Kiev+1 Ministerial Conference Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 0

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Donor
Liechtenstein Germany EU Netherlands Switzerland OECD Finland USA Liechtenstein EU Netherlands Great Britain Germany USA Liechtenstein Netherlands Netherlands Principality of Liechtenstein German Ministry of Environment Tacis 2004 - 2006 Ministry of Environment Netherlands (VROM) CDE OECD SYKE, Finish Environment Institute Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, USA Principality of Liechtenstein Tacis (through REC CA) Ministry of Environment of Netherlands (VROM) Field Studies Council, Great Britain German Ministry of Environment Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, USA Principality of Liechtenstein Ministry of Environment Netherlands (VROM) Ministry of Environment Netherlands (VROM) of of of

Contract
Z 1.6 - 90213-51/29 69369 -

Period
2003 - 2005 2005 - 2006 08.12.04 - 08.03.06 2004 - 2005 2005 2005

Name of the project


Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 0 Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 1A Support to the Regional Environmental Centre Caucasus Strategic Environmental Assessment, I phase Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus Workshop for Inspectorates Workshop on Water Rescource Management Workshop on Building a Regional NGO Platform in the South Caucasus Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 1A Sustainable Development of Caspian Costal Communities, Grants Programme Strategic Environmental Assessment, II phase Caspian Biodiversity Education Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 1B Environmental Hot-Spots Jounalistic Monitoring Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions in South Caucasus - phase 1B Local Environmental Action Plans SEA Conference

Amount
$ 25,293 51,703 881,926 35,040 4,980 4,000 39,218 9,138 127,037 373,970 12,500

2005 2005

Z6 - 90213-51/32 -

2005 - 2006 01.12.03 - 31.12.06 2005 - 2007 2005 - 2007 01.10.06 - 31.10.07 2006 - 2007 2006 - 2007 2006 - 2007 2006 - 2007

130,050 $ 100,000 70,830 30,000 60,000

TOTAL CORE (TACIS) TOTAL GRANTS (TACIS) TOTAL PROJECT (TACIS) TOTAL (TACIS) TOTAL CORE (Others) TOTAL GRANTS (Others) TOTAL PROJECT

TOTAL CORE (TACIS)

2,248,496 410,970

TOTAL GRANTS (TACIS) 14,362 TOTAL PROJECT (TACIS) TOTAL (TACIS) TOTAL CORE (Others) $ 532,055 TOTAL GRANTS (Others) TOTAL PROJECT (Others) $ 549,362 741,249 51,600 2,673,829

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Donor
(Others)

Contract

Period

Name of the project

Amount

TOTAL (Others)

TOTAL (Others)

$ 1,081,417

792,849

GRAND TOTAL GRAND TOTAL IN EUR

GRAND TOTAL GRAND TOTAL IN EUR

$ 1,081,417

3,466,677

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Grants and other revenues received by REC Moldova


Donor
Tacis 1998 (LINKS) Tacis 2000 Tacis 2001 Tacis 2001 Tacis 2001 Tacis 2002 Tacis 2002 Tacis 2002 Tacis 2003 Tacis 2003 Tacis 2004 Tacis 2004-2005 Tacis 2004 DG Env (LEAP) DG Env (AP) DG Env (PP) (from REC CEE) Tacis 2001 (RREC) DANCEE US EPA US EPA (ICC meeting) US EPA (LEAP Edinet) REC CEE REC CEE LEAP Netherlands UNECE

Period
26.10.98-31.03.00 01.06.00-28.02.01 01.03.01-28.03.02 05.07.01-05.07.02 10.01.02-09.11.02 01.03.02-28.03.03 16.08.02-15.08.03 10.12.02-09.12.03 20.05.03-19.05.04 11.09.03-10.09.04 25.02.04-24.02.05 11.06.04-30.09.06 22.06.04-21.06.05 30.11.99-31.01.01 01.05.00-30.04.01 01.04.00-30.06.01 15.12.01-30.11.02 01.03.01-28.02.02 01.11.99-31.05.02 01.06.00-28.02.01 15.08.02-14.08.03 01.03.03-30.06.03 01.09.04-30.08.05 15.12.02-14.12.03 12.04.04-20.07.04

Name of the project


New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova Evaluation of environmental situation in the basins of the Prut river tributaries New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova Public Awareness Campaign in LEAP Development and Implementation (Transdniester region) New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova New Regional Environmental Centre Moldova Public Participation in Local Environmental Action Plan Development and Implementation EU Approximation Work of the Republic of Moldova in integrated pollution prevention control and waste management Transboundary co-operation at international level between the NewRECs from Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine Developing the Basics for the EECCA countries Sustainable Development Strategy (Common New RECs project) Grants to NGOs Support to The Regional Environmental Centre Moldova (Grants to NGOs and Programme Activities) Support to International Coordinating Commette (meetings) Strengthening public participation in local environmental action plan development and implementation in the Edinet county Implementing the Aarhus Convention:Practical Tools of Public Participation in Moldova Technical assisstance for the Danube Regional Grants Towards Strengthening Local Environmental Governance in the New Independent States Workshop on the Application of Environmental Indicators

Amount in Euro

Type of funds
Core

125,000 258,550 73,230 68,270 216,000 111,710 120,855 301,665 79,000 114,618 615,846 114,080 45,290 74,572 24,000 23,744 25,000

Core Core Grants Grants Core Grants Project Core Grants Project Core Grants Project Project Project Project Grants Grant&Programmes Core Project

14,000 3,150 100,000

Project Project Project Project

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LEAP Voda)

Netherlands

(St

01.07.04-30.06.05 01.04.05-30.09.05 01.04.04-31.03.05 01.04.04-31.12.04 01.01.05-31.12.08 01.09.04-30.08.05 01.09.05-31.01.07 01.02.04-31.10.04 10.10.05-10.12.05

Strengthening public participation in local environmental action plan development and implementation in the Stefan Voda district Donors meetings Donors meetings Save our streams (biological monitoring of water quality) Save our streams (biological monitoring of water quality) Danube National Grants - 1st Phase Danube National Grants - 2nd Phase POPs awarenes and educational activities POPs awarenes and educational activities Strengthening public participation in local environmental action plan development and implementation in the Stefan Voda district (Phase II) Assessment of the EECCA strategy implementation

40,000

Project Project

World Bank DFID Issak Walton Foundation US&Eastern ERPN Envir REC CEE REC CEE World Bank (POPs) World Bank (POPs) LEAP Netherlands phase (St Voda) EAP Task Force II

2,600

Project Project Project Grants Grants Project Project

01.07.06-31.12.07 01.06.06-30.06.07

51,000 8,400

Project Project

TOTAL CORE (TACIS) TOTAL GRANTS (TACIS) TOTAL PROJECT (TACIS) TOTAL (TACIS) TOTAL CORE (Others) TOTAL GRANTS (Others) TOTAL PROJECT (Others) TOTAL (Others)

1,517,061 446,290 235,473 2,198,824

25,000 386,756 411,756

GRAND TOTAL

2,610,580

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Grants and other revenues received by Russia REC

Donor
EC EC US Environmental Defence Fund EC EC EC DANCEE (DK) EBRD (UK) EC EC DANCEE (DK) ERM (UK) ERM (UK) NL Embassy US Environmental Defence Fund IMZ (NL) UK Embassy UK Embassy DANCEE (DK) BK (RU) EC COWI RU RU

Contract
Grant 01-0242 /2002 (EC) Grant 01-0189 /2002 (EC) UNDP Grant 4 /15.02.02 2002-095-01 Grant 027-636/ 2002-2003 (EC)

Date

Name of the project


"Co-operation with the Russian Regional Environmental Centre: Coordinating a transboundary project in the NIS to support sustainable development document by NGOs (the Operation") Setting up New Regional Environmental Centre - Russia REC ("the operation") "Co-benefit analysis of greenhouse gas emission reduction, greenhouse gas emission registry and development of the emission trading university in Russia" "Coordination and cooperation activities to ensure networking and interregional cooperation among new REC's Interim award to Pussia REC (RREC) for NGO programme officer and associated administrative costs Continuing the Activities of the Russian REC

Amount in euro
100,980 376,517 77,796 19,795 31,954 540,359 67,889 21,450 227,700 9,306 50,214 16,931 39,905 8,313 5,199 79,461 19,810 214,623 66,381 3,174 367,686 28,588 13,224 5,851

Grant 030-630 (EC) Grant DHI 2003/01 C12837 Grant 30478 (EC) Grant REC Moldova ENV 2002/001 Grant 2003/2 01/02/2002 2003/03 ERM Grant MATRA-KAR 25/03 Grant 2/03 Grant IMZ/2003072242 Grant 2003/04 Grant 2003/05 Grant DHI 2003/06 Agreement -03-65/1755-2 REC for Central Asia Services to COWI Commercial contract 117SC Center for environmental-economical researches and information" 005-2 Agreement 2004/2 (204.95.01) 07.04.03 28.05.03 01.08.03 15.08.03 17.09.03 15.09.03 30.09.03 10.11.03 17.12.03 12.01.04 10.12.0 03.01.03 19.02.03 23.01.03

Consultancy services in connection with the development of the EU-EECCA component of the EU Water Initiative Environmental Due Diligence: zssistance in organising public participation in EIT Program of Co-operation with local Partners (grant program) Environmental Management Strengthening in New Independent Coutries "Project to support Consideration of Russian Federation to possible accession to the Aarhus Convention" "Developing of indicators of sustainable development in the Russian Federation" "Developing of indicators of sustainable development in the Russian Federation" "Development of the Materials, necessary to take Decision on the Kyoto Protocol "Publication and dissemination of a report on the economic consequences of emplementation of the Kyoto protocol in Russia" "Transfer of Experience of the EAP Task Force to the New REC's" "Independent evaluation of Russia's transition to sustainable development at regional and federal level" "Support for Russian Gas Industry to participate in Kyoto mechanisms" Consultancy services in connection with the development of the EU-EECCA component of the EU Water Initiative (continuing) Organization and carrying of workshops to discuss the draft Technical Regulation on Environmental Safety ( including alternative versions) Sustainable development of Caspian communities Joint Implementation and Emission Trading in the Russian Federation Organization and carring out workshops on discussion of technical regulations "On environmental safety" "Format Development for the data on Gas Emissions taking into Account National and International Requirements

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EC US Environmental Defence Fund IMZ (NL) UNEP UK Embassy EC DANCEE (DK) UK Embassy GOF UNEP AEA (UK) FI Ministry Environment OECD OECD RU NL DE of the

EC 73628 ED USA 1/04 Grant IMZ 5060.04.0108 CPL-2312-3501-2661-220500 British Embassy (UK) 2005/01 EC 2002/030-607 Grant Carl Bro 30.3688.01 GOF UNEP 2005-FPL-2312-1066-2661 AEA Technology (Commercial contract) 14708391 Consultancy Contract Ministry OECD (commercial) 0030542/AR OECD (commercial) 00031310/1100/AR RU 79/05 Grant 5060.05.1410 Mountain project Project ) (Umvelt Bundes Amt

17.12.03 27.02.04 25.06.04 18.08.04 12.01.05 17.12.04 18.01.05 20.04.05 03.06.05 23.03.05

Continue the Activities of the Russian REC Climate change and public health in Russia in 21 century Promoting Adequate Capacity Building of the EECCA RECs Support in implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference for dissemination of experience on methane emission control in natural gas sector of Russia Grants to NGOs Public participation in Environmetnal Assessments in the Russian Federation GOF Climate change & Energy Programme: Russia: Raising of Public Awareness on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol in Russia Holding a training workshop as a result of interviews with senior government officials on awareness on climate change issues Consultancy services, research on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in the Russian Federation "Finnish-Russian Joint Seminar on establishing the institutional Framework for the emplementation of the Kyoto Protocol - Russin input to the seminar" New mechanisms for improving environmental safety and environmental supervision in the RF, 21 June" Organising an ICC meeting in Moscow on 22 June, 2005" Analysis of education modernization problems: legal and organizational framework Promoting Adequate Capacity Building of the EECCA RECs "Sustainable development of Mountain Regions of the Caucasus - Local Agenda 21, Phase 1 A" Russian and FSU Regional Secretariat Activities in 2005-2006 Strengthening Environmental Enforcement and Compliance in North-Western Russia and Rendering Effective Support for the Implementation of the EECCA Environmental Strategy" Climate, Air Quality and Public Health in Moscow and Tverskaya Oblast. Assistance in the organisation of an expert workshop on Environmental Finance in Moscow, December, 2006 Facilitating the Development of the EECCA LEAP Network and Further Promotion LEAP Implementation in the Russian Federation through Strengthening of the EECCA RECs "Civil Society Participation in Environmental Decisions" REEEP Russian and FSU Regional Secretariat Activities in 2006/2007 Environmental Legislation in Russia Policy and Regulatory Analysis Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study and preparation a resettlement Action Plan for the Taseevskoye Project

1,333,255 37,428 39,278 19,403 23,751 230,066 32,359 192,894 39,417 11,071 2,863 15,000 10,000 5,851 46,209 36,060 46,167 57,000 20,000 2,970 12,785 556,150 55,953 4,551 6,830

22.04.05 15.06.05 30.06.05 28.04.05 11.08.05 01.09.05 10.11.05 02.05.06 24.11.06 16.06.06 01.04.06 22.06.06 24.08.06 02.11.06

Grant for REEEP 2005/6 DE US Environmental Defence Fund OECD NL EC 380 01 124 Umvelt Bundes Amt Project Grant ED USA 2006/2 OECD (commercial) JA00040539 Grant 9017.06.1059 Grant 111-735 /(EC) Grant for REEEP 2 ERM (UK) Service contract ERM 032/06 Golder Agreement services for sub-consultant

TOTAL

5,230,415

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Grants and other revenues received by CAREC


Donor
European Commission European Commission European Commission European Commission European Commission GWP CACENA UNECE UNECE UNECE CEE REC in Szentendre Millenium Assesment (MA) via World Fish Center Norway Government via UNECE SAEFL SAEFL Millenium Assesment (MA) via World Resources Institute EEA via Water Resource enter Hollad government via REC Moldova Exxon Mobil USEPA USEPA via GETF

Contract #
Contract 65452 ( 3)

Contract perod
01.12.03 - 31.05.06 30.06.06 - 29.12.07 01.07.05 - 30.06.07 01.11.02 - 01.02.04 27.11.03 - 26.12.06

Budget folder / name of project


EC operation 3 Agreement # 2003/65452 (Dec 1, 03 - Nov 30, 05 prolonged to May 31,06 ) EC operation 4 Agreement #122-653 (30.06.06-29.12.07) EC - TACIS project on IBB, Agrmnt# 101-879 (01.07.05 to 30.06.07) EC operation 2 (Nov 1, 02 - Feb 01, 04) EC grant program GRANTS(#72488 scince 26.11.03 -- 40 months) Regional Seminar Conduction 25-26 apr 05 "Normative base develpmnt on water qual. CA&C" Consultative Meeting on Environment,Security and Water in CA Regional Seminar Conduction 25-26 apr 05 "Normative base develpmnt on water qual. CA&C" Workshop 17-19 Oct 06 "Int Air Monitpring..." Green Park in Central Asia Assessment of Central Asia Mountainous Ecosystems SEMINAR ON AARHUS CONVENTION EIA, Guidance development WORKSHOP ON CHEMICALS, June 2003 Introductory videoconference with the MA Monitoring Water NIS LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ENHANCING TEXT BOOK DEVELOPMENT (1st thanche) IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER PROJECT IN TALDAKURGAN PREPARATION: WATER PROJECT IN TALDYKURGAN

Contract amount in EUR


999,977 800,000 700,000 583,769 1,600,000 12,504 17,285 9,238 28,613 3,340 7,981 16,373 33,835 27,654 2,192 18,750 33,100 22,066 147,109 1,946

Contract 122-653 (EK 4) Contract 101-879 (TACIS) Contract 2002/031-987 ( 2)

Contract 72488 (Caspian grants)

"Offer of Service Contract # 2/2005 of 05 march 04.03.05 - 15.05.05 2005 Purchase Order PS 4263 Purchase Order PS 8213 dated 18/04/05 Purchase Order PS-10747 Green Park in Central Asia Memorandum of agreement dated 01.03.03 / Letter - Prolongation, . Purchase order PS - 5418 Letter of Agreement dated 12.07.04 LGE / C232-0505 Introductory videoconference with the MA Monitoring Water NIS Contract ENV/2002/002/72 TEXT BOOK DEVELOPMENT (1st thanche) Cooperative Agreement X4 - 83127201 Purchase Order G 1234 05.01.03 - 10.02.03 18.04.05 - 18.05.05 13.10.06 - 25.12.06 01.05.07 - 31.05.07 01.03.03 - 31.01.04 01.10.03 - 31.10.03 01.08.04 - 31.05.05 03.06.03 - 31.07.03 01.11.02 - 31.12.02 01.11.02 - 31.10.03 03.01.03 - 31.01.04 31.01.03 - 31.12.03 15.09.03 - 14.09.08 15.07.03 - 30.09.03

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Annex IV: List of Publications by REC Moldova

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List of Publications by REC Moldova


Year 1999 2000 Publications There were edited more than 20 publications within the REC Moldova projects. Among them: Public participation in environmental decision making (legislative compendium) Guide for public participation in developing and implementing the Local Environmental Action Plans Perspectives of European Ecological Integration. Annual report for 1998-1999 in English and for 2000 in English and Romanian REC Moldova Quarterly Bulletin (1000 copies each). REC Moldova Annual Report prepared and published for the year 2001 in English and Romanian The European Union Environmental Legislation (Compendium) Newsletter "Arca lui Noe", 9 issues Disabled people and the environment, in Romanian Stop the soil erosion! in Romanian and Russian Action Plan for the ecological agriculture development in the Northern part of the Republic of Moldova The Red Book of the Republic of Moldova (co-financed) The Guide for pupils on wetlands of Low Prut river Concept of the Environmental Policy of the Republic of Moldova (in Romanian, Russian and English) The ecological guide for children The methods and technology for ecological education The National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation (cofinanced) The Significance of the Walnut Trees for the Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction in Republic of Moldova in Romanian and Russian Brochures: Environment for Europe (realisations, problems, perspectives) These species are protected by the State Snakes from the Dniester River Water and health S.O.S. ! Nature is in Danger Annual Report REC Moldova Bulletin The book "Natures treasures" written by E.Pavelcu; Leaflets for the Ecological Festival "Buciumul lui tefan" organized in the Stefan Voda district; Materials for the conference "Ecological chemistry and chemical risk assessment"; Brochure "Cleaner - means more profitable"; Brochure "Genetically Modified Organisms";

2001

2002

2003

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2004

2005 2006

Poster "Saharna"; Different brochures published by NGOs and financed by REC Moldova; Annual Report REC Moldova Bulletin The Financial Dictionary ; financed by REC Moldova with the Mix Enterprise CBC - AXA 1000 copies; The Bulletin Ordinea Noua; Brochure on LEAP, Bulboaca community, edited by the NGO ProNatura, District Council of Anenii Noi & National Ecological Institute of RM; Ecological Guide for children "Ghid ecologic pentru cei mici", edited by Soroca Territorial Organisation of the Ecological Movements. Annual Report REC Moldova Bulletin The Environmental NGOs Directory, developed by REC Moldova. 5000 exemplars edited and disseminated on demand and during events. The brochure Zona Lacului de acumulare Dubasari, financed by REC Moldova, edited by the Public Association Ecosistem. An Ecological Ethical Code for the citizen of the 21st century- published by REC Moldova and the NGO BIOS; the guide comprises the best essays written by children participating in a contest. 2 calendar-posters: one for Territorial Organisation of Ecological Movement of MD within project Danube starts from small rivers; the second within project Through cooperation and participation lets save the rivers of our Danube (Ecological Movement of MD). The Brochure The young generation is for the village developmentfinanced by REC Moldova and edited by TURUNCIUK NGO. The guide Sustainable Development problems and ways of solving themfinanced by REC Moldova and edited by the NGO ProNatura and the National Ecological Institute of RM. The Brochure - financed by REC Moldova and edited by Ecological Movement of Moldova, Comrat Branch; The leaflet Lunca Prutului Inferior - financed by REC Moldova and edited by NGO Liceenii; The leaflet Trezeste-te, gunoiul te inunda - financed by REC Moldova and edited by NGO Noi pentru Viitor; Brochure Prutul de Mijloc o speranta pentru supravetuirea speciilor rare de pasari, reptile, amfibieni si insecte - financed by REC Moldova and edited by Ornithological Herpetological Society from the Republic of Moldova; Leaflet for photo contest The Ecology of Gagauzia - financed by REC Moldova and edited by Ecological Movement of Moldova, Comrat Branch; Brochure Mediul si Sanatatea - funded by REC Moldova, edited by Ecological Movement of MD, & Public Association Health and Environment; Brochure for children Invata de la toate - financed by REC Moldova. Annual Report REC Moldova Bulletin

Source: Provided by REC Moldova

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Annex V: Terms of Reference for the Evaluation

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Terms of Reference Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia 1. 1.1 Background General Information about organisational background and structure

In view of the success of the CEEREC centres operations and as a result of discussions held at the 3rd (1995) and 4th (1998) Ministerial Conferences Environment for Europe, ministers of Environment Protection of the Newly Independent States (NIS), and representatives of Western Europe and USA reached an agreement to set up five similar centres in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. To-date, the network of new RECs includes four centres on the territory of NIS. The RECs are managed by their Board, which has all necessary powers to manage activities of the REC in question, in compliance with the local laws, the Agreement and this Statute. The Board of Directors is the supreme directing and decision-making organ of the REC. The members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the signatory countries of the REC's Charter. The members serve for a period of three years, renewable once. The initial Board members are appointed by the Signatories. Day-to-day management is undertaken by the Executive Director.

1.2 Objectives of the RECs:

The Mission of the RECs is to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation at national and regional level among NGOs, governments, businesses, local communities, and all other stakeholders, in order to develop a free exchange of information, in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention; offer assistance to all environmental NGOs and other stakeholders; and increase public participation in the decision-making process, thereby assisting the states of the NIS in the further development of a democratic civil society. To reach this goal, the RECs are pursuing the following objectives: promote a broader cooperation in the environmental field among government bodies, local government bodies, NGO, businesses, scientific institutions, and other environmentally interested stakeholders at international, national, regional and local levels; make an efficient use of the funds and other kinds of support provided by the Donor-Parties to the Agreement, as well as legal entities and individuals, other states and international organizations; promote a free exchange of experience and information in the environmental field; increase public participation in making environmental policies and decisions that can affect the environment;

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assist environmental NGOs and other interested participants in their activities to protect the environment.
1.3 Activities: To achieve the objectives they shall carry out the following activities:

- to assist in the exchange and dissemination of information on issues of environment and sustainable development; provide access to national and international databases making use of existing structures, and facilities; produce newsletters and other publications; - to provide support for environmental education, training and capacity building; - to provide support wherever possible for initiatives aimed at increasing environmental awareness; - to establish a grants programme which maintains a balance between small and large grants and participate with other RECs in developing a grants scheme for regional and trans-border projects; - to promote public participation in the decision making processes of society which relates to the environment; - to provide a forum for discussion of environmental issues; policy analysis relating to environmental issues, sustainable development and interaction between governments, NGOs and other stakeholders; - to provide a framework for possible regional co-operation at a governmental and nongovernmental level; - to provide a link with the business community and industry on environmental issues.

1.4

Management and structure

The RECs are generally governed by: The founders; approves the charter and appoint the Board members inter alia Board of Directors; the governing and representative body of the foundation Executive Director; is appointed by the Board and manages the day-to-day affairs of the foundation. Advisory Council; shall give opinions on the activities and their impact.

Additional information can be found at the web site of the respective REC: CAREC: http://www.carec.kz/ REC Caucasus: http://www.rec-caucasus.org/ REC Moldova : http://www.rec.md/ REC Russia : http://www.rusrec.ru/ 1.5 Financing:

Financially, the RECs are fully financed by donations from donors. The majority of funds are provided by the EUs Tacis instrument, with additional funding contributed from the United States (through US EPA), and several EU Member States. The financial support from the EU has mainly been in the form of core funding while other donors have contributed through project directed financial support. Three of the RECs (Caucasus, Russia and CAREC) have

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recently undergone a financial and systems audit. The auditor carried out a financial review of the three latest contracts, for the period from 1/12/2002, and examined the internal control systems. REC MOLDOVA
budget year

contract no

amount

core core grants grants core grant Prut project core grant Project LEAP NGO grants core
Total

20000062/26334 20010127/26733 20010107/26813 20010230/26935 20010254/26959 2002-30278 2002-35791 2003-62427 2003-69563 2003-77069 2004-080893 2004-080895

1998 1998 1998 1998 2000 1999 1999 2001 2001 2001 2002 2002

125.000 258.550 73.230 68.270 216.000 111.710 120.855 250.722 77.901 114.618 114.080 615.816
2.146.782

REC RUSSIA
core grants officer core grants core grants core
Total

20010189/26895 2002-27636 2002-30630 2002-30478 2003-73628 2003 30607 2006-111735

1998 2000 2001 2001 2002 2001 2004

376.537 31.954 550.000 215.694 1.371.554 250.000 1.500.000


4.409.091

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REC CAUCASUS
20000069/26341 20010126/26832 2002-35904 2003-69072 2004/69369

core core core core core


Total

1998 1998 2001 2001 2002

125.000 362.219 229.999 529.984 881.925


2.129.077

REC Central Asia (CAREC)


core core 2001-0127 2002-31987 1998 2001 2002 2002 569.451 583.769 999.977 1.582.020

2003-65452 core Small grants prg 2003-72488 Dev of IliBalkhash basin Integrated Mgmt Plan 2005-101879
Total

2003

700.000
4.435.217

2.

Description of the evaluation

2.1 Objective The Objective of this assignment is to evaluate whether the activities as executed by the RECs from the year the EU commenced funding of the respective REC and onwards are in line with the activities as outlined under section 1.3 and if these activities have contributed to a demonstrable contribution to the objectives of the RECs, as set out in section 1.2.

2.2

Criteria for evaluation

The main criteria for the evaluation will be: The relevance of the assistance in terms of appropriateness of objectives to the problems that it was supposed to address; the quality and flexibility of the design for addressing the needs and reaching the objectives identified; The efficiency of the assistance in terms of how well activities transformed the resources available into results; The effectiveness of the support delivered in terms of achievement of immediate objectives; including the quality of policy dialogue achieved;

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2.3

The impact of the support in terms of contribution to the achievement of the overall programme objective; The sustainability of the results.

Expected results

The result of the assignment will be the production of an evaluation report with findings on activities and objectives of the RECs evaluated, and recommendations, where appropriate, how activities of the RECs can be strengthened and/or modified to improve achievement of objectives.

2.4

Requested services

It is expected that the project team will engage in the following activities: Inception phase Review of the relevant documents, including original strategy documents such as the respective charters and work plans, Project Proposals, contractor reports, monitoring reports (if available) and other relevant documentation. Meetings with representatives of the European Commission in Brussels (AIDCO) and EC Delegations in the involved countries. Field phase Collection of relevant data, meeting with the Project Partners (REC Caucasus, REC Moldova, REC Russia and CAREC) and stakeholders (including the Environment DG). Assessment of project results. Assessment of the Project Partnerss capacity. Assessment of the scope of the proposed new project (phase II) in comparison with the first phase, recommendations on who should be appropriate project partners/stakeholders if the new project will take place. Final phase Final report preparation. Briefing meeting with the European Commission to present and discuss the findings as explained in the final report.

3.

Experts profile

Contractors interested in this assignment are invited to put forward a team of two experts. Expert, Category I -Team leader Qualifications and skills At least a Masters degree level in an economic or a scientific discipline. Fluency in English

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At least working level of the Russian language. At least one of the experts in category I and category II should be fluent in Russian.

General professional experience At least 15 years experience in the area relevant to the assignment, such as evaluation experience, and a profound knowledge of appropriate evaluation methodologies and techniques Proven environmental expertise in transition economies. Excellent drafting and oral presentation skills Specific professional experience Experience in application of the EU legislation in non-EU countries; Good understanding of relevant EU legislation; Good understanding of institution building in transition economies, promotion of civil society and support to regional collaboration. Experience of working in the NIS countries. Expert Category II Qualifications and skills At least a Masters degree level in an economic or a scientific discipline. Fluency in English At least working level of the Russian language At least one of the experts in category I and category II should be fluent in Russian. General professional experience At least 10 years experience in the area relevant to the assignment, such as evaluation experience, and a profound knowledge of appropriate evaluation methodologies and techniques Proven environmental expertise; Excellent drafting skills Specific professional experience Experience in application of the EU legislation in non-EU countries; Good understanding of relevant EU legislation; Good understanding of institution building in transition economies, promotion of civil society and support to regional collaboration. Experience of working in the NIS countries. The bidding firms are required to submit CVs of two proposed experts and a note of 3-5 pages of A4 setting out their proposed methodology based on these Terms of Reference. An example of previous evaluation work by the expert(s) shall also be attached to the proposal. 4. Location and duration

Location Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku, Chisinau, Moscow and Almaty.

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Duration the project will start the day after the signature of the contract and finish after 6 months. 5. Reporting

The Reporting language is English. The assignment must apply the Logical Framework Approach. (see the Project Cycle Management Guidelines http://ec.europa.eu/comm/europeaid/reports/pcm_guidelines_2004_en.pdf) Inception report with detailed methodology and key questions, to be submitted 1 month after commencement of the contract. Mission reports highlighting the progress and conclusions with the Project partners. The Final report must be delivered, electronically and in 3 hard copies, no later than one month after the end of the project. The EC Project Manager is: Lena Nielsen European Commission Unit A3 Tel +322 2961800 6. Administrative information

The maximum amount for this assignment is 180.000 Number of working days for the team is estimated at 130 days. Travel need to the countries is estimated as follows: A maximum of 8 travel days to each country is available (48 days) and 2 trips to Brussels of one day each (2 days) for each expert (total =2 x 50 = 100). 7. Indicative timetable

1. Briefing meeting with the EC project manager in Brussels 1:st day of the entry into force of the contract (1 day) 2. Undertake missions to the six countries autumn 2006 3. Inception report October 2006 4. Final report February 2007

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Annex VI: Proposed Methodology for the Evaluation

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Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia

The approach The four Regional Environmental Centres (RECs) for the NIS were established under a common framework, with nearly identical charters signed by the beneficiary country(s) and the EU and with similar management structures. They have received the bulk of their funding from the EU Tacis instrument, with contributions with other donors, and have cooperated on a number of regional projects. Despite these similarities, the records of achievements of the four new RECs have varied greatly. Each has faced unique problems and opportunities in terms of governance, funding, project management, and public relations. Each REC has had to develop its own relationships with stakeholders and donors. And each REC has had to develop core activities relevant to the particular national situation. The two RECs covering groupings of countries (CAREC and REC Caucasus) have had particularly difficult challenges in building constituencies for their assistance, both in the countries in which they are headquartered and, often more markedly, in the other countries which they are to service. The challenge of this assignment will be to consider, on the one hand, the common objectives, framework of activities and structures of the RECs and, on the other hand, how each REC has pursued its mission in the context of its own national and regional situation. It will be important to develop a system for evaluating each REC that is based on uniform measures and benchmarks and that at the same time is flexible enough to take into account the specific problems faced by each REC. The evaluation methodology will therefore require both qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques.

The objective The objective of the assignment, according to the TOR, is to evaluate whether the activities as executed by the RECs from the year the EU commenced its funding until now are in line with the activities that were set forth in their respective charters (described in the TORs section 1.3). It is also to evaluate whether those activities led to a demonstrable contribution to the objectives of the RECs (as set forth in section 1.2), i.e., to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation, free exchange of experience, public participation in environmental policymaking, and assistance to environmental NGOs.

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The criteria for evaluation The Terms of Reference for this evaluation already notes the main criteria that are to be used for the evaluation. These are: The relevance of the assistance in terms of appropriateness of objectives to the problems they were supposed to address; The efficiency of the assistance in terms of how the resources available were transformed into results; The effectiveness of the support delivered in terms of achieving the immediate objectives; The impact of the support in terms of contribution to achievement of the overall programme objective; The sustainability of the results. A couple of these criteria may be able to be evaluated using quantitative methods, e.g., the efficiency of the assistance might be gauged by comparing similar projects across different RECS, the results achieved, and their budgets. A comparison with other TACIS work may in some cases by useful. However, most of these criteria will require a qualitative evaluation.

The methodology The methodology proposed by our team (Gretta Goldenman and Daiva Semeniene) will comprise a series of consecutive stages: Stage 1: Inception / preparation Our first step will be to carry out an initial desk study using publicly available information from the websites of the RECs. A quick review of these four websites reveals that they include histories of the each REC, and lists of current and past projects. They also have links to publications and to other organisations. The purpose of this initial study is to give our team a preliminary idea of each RECs current situation, including how they present themselves to the general public. Our next step will be to arrange and attend an inception meeting with the relevant Commission desk officer(s). In addition to Lena Nielsen, we assume that a representative from DG Environment would also be present. At this meeting we would expect to discuss the Commissions objectives for this evaluation in terms of its work in EECCA. The TOR mentions the proposed new project (phase II), and we would like to have more details on this. This inception meeting will also be the occasion to gather documents on hand within the Commission, including the original strategy documents, charters, project proposals, contractors reports, and other documentation mentioned in the TOR. In addition, we would expect to get any important contact information that the Commission desk officers may happen to have, e.g., key officials in ministries of environment, NGO contacts, local and international project partners, etc. This contact information would complement the contact information we would be gathering on our own, and help to ensure that our field study focuses on the most relevant and knowledgeable stakeholders. 118

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At this inception meeting we will also ask the Commission to support this evaluation by providing the letters of introduction to the respective RECs and as needed to open doors at ministries of environment and other key stakeholders. We would be glad to assist the Commission in drafting these letters. We also expect to review the project methodology and work programme at the inception meeting, and we will bring specific proposals and questions for discussion. The desk study would then continue to review these additional documents, and questions formulated on the basis of the information contained therein. These initial questions would then be organised into a master questionnaire or interview protocol that will be used as the structure for a systematic process of gathering information during the field study. We view this questionnaire as a very important tool for the evaluation, both during the preparatory stage, and during the field interviews themselves. Within one month of project start-up, we will submit an inception report (Annex VIII) with a detailed methodology and work programme, and the master questionnaire.

Stage 2: Field visits to the RECs The next step would be to organise and carry out fact-finding missions to each REC, in order to gather the information needed for the evaluation. Organizing a series of missions to be carried out under a tight time schedule requires a significant amount of preparatory work, including arranging for appointments, international and local travel, and accommodation. Our approach would be to organise an initial mission to one of the one-country RECs, possibly REC Moldova, in order to test the interview approach, including the questionnaire. After this initial mission, we would refine the questionnaire for the next mission. We would also develop specific questions for each particular REC. We would expect a schedule of missions such as the following for this field visit stage. Mission 1: Mission 2: Mission 3: Mission 4: Moldova CAREC Russia REC REC Caucasus, including missions to Azerbaijan and Armenia

We foresee that the mission to each country would last approximately 5 working days. A typical country mission would begin with a meeting at the EC Delegation to gather the views of the officials working with the respective REC. The next stop on the field visits would be at the offices of the REC, to interview key staff members. We would expect to start by meeting with the Director, and then with individual programme staff.

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For the Caucasus REC, we understand that the mission will include visits to the information points in Baku and Yerevan as well as Tbilisi, and thus will take up to 15 working days. The fact gathering at each REC would focus on its work programme since their start-up as an institution. We would compile lists of the individual projects carried out to date with EU and other donor funding, and select a cross-section of three to five projects per REC for a closer scrutiny. For each project we would look at the appropriateness of the objective, the resources available to carry out project activities, the degree to which the objectives were achieved (including the results of any policy dialogues), the impact of the project to the overall programme objective of the REC being evaluated, and finally, whether the results were able to continue after projects end. We would collect project reports as well as details about any project partners and/or beneficiaries, for interviews in the second half of the week. For the selected projects, we will review their starting budgets and the main spending items of selected projects to get general understanding of their implementation. We would also carry out a capacity analysis, i.e., an evaluation of whether the staff on hand of the REC is able to provide the desired assistance in such a way as to ensure that the objectives of that REC are achieved. In addition, special attention will be paid to assess the scope of the proposed new project (phase II). This would include a comparison with the first phase and an assessment of the project partners/stakeholders.

The TOR calls for an LFA approach. We understand this to mean an analysis of the projects carried out by that REC, structured similar to an LFA matrix,, i.e., to state Objectives (Purpose), Results (Outputs), and Activities and Means, and to show whether and how each is as measured in terms of Indicators of Achievement, Measurement of those Indicators, and Assumptions and Risks.

The remainder of the week would be devoted to interviews with other stakeholders: ministry of environment officials, NGOs, the business community, and so on. Some of these stakeholders may have been project partners. We would start the process of identifying stakeholders to interview by asking the respective RECs for contact persons. However, using our own contact networks, we would also compile our lists of contact persons who might be expected to have independent points of view that would be useful for our evaluation. These meetings with different stakeholders are expected to be among the most useful tools to perform the evaluation successfully. At the conclusion of each mission, we would brief each RECs director on the conclusions reached during the week and discuss their views concerning our conclusions. Stage 3: Analysis of information gathered

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Immediately upon the conclusion of each mission, our team will prepare a mission report for the European Commission detailing the activities carried out, persons interviewed, information gathered, and preliminary impressions of each REC. On return, we will review the information gathered for the REC just visited and determine if any gaps remain. We will then enter into email correspondence with the RECs and any other stakeholders as needed to gather any missing or unclear information. On the basis of the mission report and the further information gathered, we then will draft individual evaluation reports for each REC. Each report will present an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the REC and its projects. Our guiding principle throughout will be to determine whether the project and the RECs involvement therein had added value. On completion, each report will be sent to the European Commission for review and comments. Stage 4: Drafting the final evaluation report After completion of the four individual reports, the project team would then prepare a final Evaluation Report with detailed, comparative findings on the activities and objectives of each of the RECs and recommendations concerning how activities might be strengthened or modified in each to better meet their stated objectives. The final report will also present broad conclusions on the effectiveness of the RECs and recommendations for the next stage of the Tacis REC programme. Stage 5: Presentation to the Commission & finalisation After submission of the draft Final Report to the Commission, the team will schedule a briefing meeting with the Commission services in order to present the findings and to discuss the conclusions and recommendations stemming from the evaluation. The comments received during this briefing mission would then be incorporated into the Final Report. The Final Report will be submitted to the Commission electronically and in 3 hard copies no later than one month after the end of the project.

Work programme An indicate work programme is presented here on the following page.

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1 Stage 1 (Inception / preparation) Project start-up Desk study Inception meeting Development of questionnaire Project inception report

Oct 2 3

Nov 5 6

Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Stage 2 (Field visits to RECs) Preparatory work Mission to Moldova Mission to CAREC Mission to Russia Mission to REC Caucasus and Azerbaijan / Armenia Stage 3 (Analysis of information gathered) Mission reports to the EC Individual evaluation reports for each REC Stage 4 (Drafting the final evaluation report) Draft final report Stage 5 (Presentation to the Commission and finalisation) Meeting with the Commission Final report

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Annex VII: Questionnaire Used During Interviews

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Questionnaire used during interviews


General information 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Name of the person interviewed, date and time Position Organisation How long are you working in REC / How long are you involved in activities related to REC? What are your functions? How do you value the work of the Board of Directors? How do you value the work of the Advisory Council? What are the main environmental problems in your country? How do you personally see the role of the REC in solving these problems?

Information on objectives and activities of the REC 10. What are on-going main activities / projects you are involved in / you know? 11. What are tangible outputs of your activities: # of seminars; # of trainings; # of publications etc..? 12. Do you think that projects carried out meet objectives of REC? 13. Would you be so kind to give marks (1 the worst, 5 the best) on the level of meeting the following objectives of the REC: Objective Mark (from 1 to 5) Comments

Promote a broader cooperation in the environmental field among government bodies, local government bodies, NGO, businesses, scientific institutions, and other environmentally interested stakeholders at international, national, regional and local levels Make an efficient use of the funds and other kinds of support provided by the Donor-Parties to the Agreement, as well as legal entities and individuals, other states and international organizations Promote a free exchange of experience information in the environmental field and

Increase public participation in making environmental policies and decisions that can affect the environment Assist environmental NGOs and other interested participants in their activities to protect the environment

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14. What marks would you give for activities of REC you know (1 the worst, 5 the best)? 15. Do you have evaluation forms after each event to get impression of participants on the usefulness of a particular event? 16. Can you assess proportions of time spent on each activity you are involved in? Activity Mark (from 1 to 5) Comments

To assist in the exchange and dissemination of information on issues of environment and sustainable development; provide access to national and international databases making use of existing structures, and facilities; produce newsletters and other publications To provide support for environmental education, training and capacity building To provide support wherever possible for initiatives aimed at increasing environmental awareness To establish a grants programme which maintains a balance between small and large grants and participate with other RECs in developing a grants scheme for regional and trans-border projects To promote public participation in the decision making processes of society which relates to the environment To provide a forum for discussion of environmental issues; policy analysis relating to environmental issues, sustainable development and interaction between governments, NGOs and other stakeholders To provide a framework for possible regional cooperation at a governmental and non-governmental level To provide a link with the business community and industry on environmental issues

Information on effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the REC 17. Can you list the main outputs REC has developed during its existence? / during your cooperation with REC? 18. How would you value the work of REC? Is it successful? 19. If yes, what are the main successes? 20. What are the main things to be corrected?

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21. What, do you think, are the means which could be used for increasing efficiency of the REC? 22. Who / what is the major driving force for new project ideas? 23. Would you be so kind to give your evaluation on how efficient, effective and sustainable is the work of REC? (Here the evaluation team provides a short explanation on what is efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, e.g., effectiveness the extent to which a program has made desired changes or met its goals and objectives through the delivery of services; effectiveness can be judged in terms of both input and output. Efficiency - the extent to which a program has used resources appropriately and completed activities in a timely manner.) Indicator Relevance Effectiveness Efficiency Impact Sustainability 24. What are the main risks related to the work of the REC, according to you? What indicators, do you think, can be used for measuring achievements of the REC? Mark (from 1 to 5) Comments

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Annex VIII: Inception Report

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Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia
Inception Report
22 November 2006

Table of Contents
1. 2. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. 2.5. 3. 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 4. 4.1. 4.2. 5. 5.1. 5.2. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................. 133 IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK ............................................................... 134 Background and Context ..................................................................................... 134 Activities ............................................................................................................... 135 Master questionnaire............................................................................................ 136 Key stakeholders .................................................................................................. 136 Project organisation ............................................................................................. 136 PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND OUTPUTS ..................................................... 137 Objectives ............................................................................................................. 137 Outputs ................................................................................................................. 137 Summary of Assumptions and Risks ................................................................... 138 OVERALL WORK PLAN ................................................................................ 138 Planned Activities................................................................................................. 138 Timing of Planned Activities................................................................................ 138 INPUT.............................................................................................................. 140 Project Staff and Resources ................................................................................. 140 Budget................................................................................................................... 140

ANNEX 1: MINUTES FROM INCEPTION MEETING ANNEX 2. MASTER QUESTIONNAIRE ......................................................................

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1 Introduction This draft Inception Report for the project Evaluation of the Regional Environmental Centers (RECs) in Caucasus, Moldova, Russia and Central Asia (henceforth REC Evaluation)5 describes how the evaluation team intends to carry out the assignment. It includes the projects implementation framework, provides a detailed work plan and describes the results expected to be delivered. The evaluation services will be provided by Gretta Goldenman of Milieu Ltd. (Belgium) and by Daiva Semeniene of the Center for Environmental Policy (Lithuania). The project start-up was on 26 October 2006. An Inception Meeting took place on 26 October 2006 at the premises of the European Commission (EuropeAid) in Brussels. The methodology and the main objectives of the project were discussed and agreement reached on many aspects during the meeting. The minutes from this meeting are attached to this report as Annex I. An additional informal meeting with DG Environment took place on 16 November. The purpose of this report is:

To contribute to a common understanding of the project approach, To provide information on the process of the project implementation so far, To provide more details on the methodology that will be used by the consultants for the assessment of the RECs.

The brief descriptions provided in each section of the report are based on the general knowledge of the consultants, indications received during the inception meeting and information accessible on the Internet.

This project is being carried out by Milieu Ltd, under contract to the AGRECO consortium for the Framework Contract EuropeAid Lot 6: Environment (Letter of Contract No 2006/126467).

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2 Implementation Framework 2.1.Background and Context As stated in the Regional Environmental Centres Charters, countries of the New Independent States (NIS) have serious environmental problems and solutions of these problems require the co-operative efforts of governments, non-governmental organisations and citizens of related regions. The following summaries on the major environmental challenges in respective countries are based on the WB6 information: Moldova In Moldova, where the agricultural sector is key to the economy, the principle challenge in environmental field is sustainable land management. Erosion, droughts, floods and landslides should be given a very high priority in the environmental policy. Moreover, poor quality drinking water, which in many areas is contaminated by nitrates, causes big difficulties for population and hence substantial challenges for environmental authorities. Deteriorating municipal infrastructure, linked in turn to economic difficulties and affordability constraints does not help to solve environmental problems and needs special attention as well. Central Asia countries Sound water management is the principle environmental challenge in these countries, which are mostly semi-arid and dependent on irrigation for much of their agriculture and part of their energy. Tajikistan and Kyrgyztan face difficulties from erosion and poor watershed management. Hazardous waste from mine tailings, and vulnerability to landslides and earthquakes, threatens not only locally affected people but downstream water-bodies in this region. Kazakhstan in particular has a legacy of polluting industry, but it is adopting policies to address this, and is attaching increasing priority to environmentally sustainable management of the oil industry as well as of its vast range and arable lands. Deteriorating municipal infrastructure, and poor access to water and sanitation, especially in rural areas, poses challenges in environmental health. All countries except Kazakhstan face severe financial constraints to improving environmental management, and civil society organizations are developing slowly in most countries. The countries also have fragile and unique ecosystems, especially in the mountainous areas and along river valleys. Russia Russia has recently improved forest management. It phased out the production of ozone depleting substances and signed the Kyoto protocol but still has to adopt the monitoring and institutional arrangements to engage in carbon trading. Industrial pollution remains a challenge and traffic pollution is affecting air quality in the larger cities. Municipal water and waste infrastructure needs substantial improvements.

The World Bank http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/ECAEXT/EXTECAREGTOPENVIRONMENT /0,,contentMDK:20635664~menuPK:1623704~pagePK:34004173~piPK:34003707~theSitePK:511433,00.html

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Environmental policy changes have been affected by frequent administrative changes in Russia, though budget allocations for ecosystems management, as well as attention to river basin management issues are increasing. Caucasus Caucasus countries are mountainous, have varied topography and landscapes, rich ecosystems and considerable potential for cultural and ecological tourism. However, they are vulnerable to natural disasters and disaster management systems have weakened over the last 15 years. Major challenges in environmental field are related to the land and water management. Pollution related to the oil industry is a particular challenge in Azerbaijan, and in all countries increasing use of fuel wood among low income people, as well as illegal harvesting, threaten sound forest management. As in other countries under consideration, municipal water and waste infrastructure requires special attention, as it has deteriorated over last years. A positive notice is that in Georgia and Armenia civil society organizations are active and this provides good ground for activities of such organisations as REC.

2.2.Activities According to the Consultants proposal, the Consultant should have conducted the following activities during the inception phase: Initial desk study

Materials about Moldova REC (as this is the first country planned to be visited), received from the Commission and available on the Internet, have been studied. Desk studies related to other countries will be made prior each visit. To arrange and attend an inception meeting

Inception meeting attended. See minutes in Annex 1. To get contact information for future visits to countries under consideration and to arrange letter of introduction from the Commission

Initial contact list for all countries to be visited received from the Commission. Moreover, the consultant exchanged e-mails with responsible people in Moldova and preliminary list of organisations and persons to be visited in this country is formed (see section on Key stakeholders). To review the project methodology and update the work programme

For the updated work programme see section 4.2. To develop master questionnaire or interview protocol

For the proposed master questionnaire see section 2.3 and Annex 2.

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To prepare an inception report.

As it can be seen from brief descriptions, provided above under each activity, required tasks during the inception phase have indeed been conducted. Some of the activities are in more detail presented below.

2.3.Master questionnaire The proposed questionnaire consists of three main parts: general information about the interviewee; questions related to his/her activities in / with the REC; and questions related to his/her valuation of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the REC activities. Detailed proposed questionnaire is attached to this report as Annex 2. It should be noted that, of course, the master questionnaire is just an indication and reminder with which to track questions during an interview. During each interview, depending on the situation and answers already received, new relevant questions may be added or existing questions deleted. During the first mission (to evaluate the REC Moldova) the interview approach (questionnaire) will be tested. After this initial mission, we will refine the questionnaire for the next mission.

2.4.Key stakeholders Key stakeholders to be contacted during the project by consultants are basically key partners and beneficiaries of the relevant RECs. These usually include representatives of the following institutions/organizations: 1. Ministries of Environment, persons responsible for environmental policy, public awareness raising, trainings etc.. 2. Other related ministries, like Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economy and similar. 3. Scientific communities usually involved in Boards of Directors and/or Advisory Councils. 4. Environmental NGOs. 5. Municipalities. 6. Private consultants. 7. Business community.

2.5.Project organisation As there are only two consultants involved, project organisation is quite simple: the consultants met during the inception phase to agree on details of the work plan and will then work together to schedule and then carry out the evaluation missions to all six countries. 136

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Organisation of visits and relevant meetings in countries under consideration will take considerable time and will be shared between consultants. Minutes of meetings and trip reports will be prepared after each mission. Based on those minutes, after the last mission, the draft final report will be developed.

3. Project Objectives and Outputs 3.1.Objectives The objective of the assignment, according to the TOR, is to evaluate whether the activities as executed by the RECs from the year the EU commenced its funding until now are in line with the activities that were set forth in their respective charters. It is also to evaluate whether those activities led to a demonstrable contribution to the objectives of the RECs, i.e., to assist in solving environmental problems in the NIS region through the promotion of cooperation, free exchange of experience, public participation in environmental policymaking, and assistance to environmental NGOs. 3.2.Outputs The output will be an evaluation report. Below is the proposed table of contents:
Outline for the Final REC Evaluation Report 1. 2. 3. Introduction, including objective of the evaluation Methodology, including the criteria for evaluation Overview of the new RECs a. Brief history of their establishment b. Review of the common elements (aims & objectives, governance structures, programme areas) Assessment of the RECs a. REC Moldova 1) Brief history, including review of problems to address (i.e., 2) Evaluation of the programme areas & activities (relevance, effectiveness, impact) 3) Evaluation of use of assistance received (efficiency) 4) Other issues (governance, sustainability) 5) Recommendations b. Russia REC 1) Brief history, including review of problems to address (i.e., 5) Recommendations c. REC Caucasus 1) Brief history, including review of problems to address (i.e., 5) Recommendations d. CAREC 1) Brief history, including review of problems to address (i.e., 5) Recommendations

4.

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5.

Overall assessment and recommendations for next stage

3.3.Summary of Assumptions and Risks It is assumed that: The staff of the RECs are open and willing to co-operate. Relevant national and local institutions and public are willing to cooperate. Staff from REC is available for clarifications and discussions throughout the project. There is no lack of data or information about the activities and budgets of RECs. There are no unfavourable political, legal or institutional decisions during the implementation of the project, which would not allow making interviews.

At this stage there does not appear to be any significant risk associated with these assumptions.

4. Overall Work Plan 4.1.Planned Activities As suggested in the methodology proposal, the project implementation comprises a series of consecutive stages: Stage 1: Stage 2: Stage 3: Stage 4: Stage 5: Inception / preparation (described in section 2.2) Field visits to the RECs Analysis of information gathered Drafting the final evaluation report Presentation to the Commission & finalisation

Content of each of stages was described in the Methodology proposal and has not been changed except of mission dates, which are now presented in section 4.2 of this report.

4.2.Timing of Planned Activities An updated work programme is presented here on the following page.

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Oct 1 2 Stage 1 (Inception / preparation) Project start-up Inception meeting Desk studies Development of questionnaire Stage 2 (Field visits to RECs) Preparatory work Mission to Moldova Mission to CAREC Mission to Russia Mission to REC Caucasus and Azerbaijan / Armenia Possible follow-up mission Stage 3 (Analysis of information gathered) Mission reports to the EC Individual evaluation reports for each REC Stage 4 (Drafting the final evaluation report) Draft final report

Nov 4 5

Dec 8 9

Jan Feb Mar Apr May 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Stage 5 (Presentation to the Commission and finalisation) Meeting with the Commission Final report

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5. Input 5.1.Project Staff and Resources The team of two consultants Gretta Goldenman and Daiva Semeniene are implementing the project. As per the ToR, 130 working days are provided for desk studies, preparation of trips, trips themselves and report writing. The days needed for travel, according to the ToR, including trips to six countries and to Brussels, are estimated to not exceed 100 days for both experts.

5.2.Budget During the Inception meeting it was agreed to change the budget line for local travel to local costs so that it may also be used for interpretation (to allow more active participation of both consultants in the discussion), reporting, and other such expenses.

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Annex 1. Minutes from Inception meeting with Commission services

26 October 2006, 13:00 pm


AGRECO Team Gretta Goldenman, Milieu (Brussels) Daiva Semeniene, AAPC (Vilnius) Lara Beltrame, AGRECO European Commission Jean-Marc Riegel, DG AIDCO Lena Nielsen, DG AIDCO Cornelius Broekhuizen, DG AIDCO Henriette Faergemann, DG ENV

I. Objectives & scope of the evaluation Objectives & background from the Commissions perspective Mr. Riegel noted that the RECs were established with the EUs support and they continue to receive most of their financing from the EU. The Commission is therefore interested in an evaluation of their performance, their links with stakeholders, and their effectiveness in championing the integration of environmental policies into other sectors. What is the justification for having the RECs as permanent bodies, or might other entities be envisaged? Are the RECs linking their activities with EU policies, e.g. the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans? As of 2007 the number of EU instruments for the countries under consideration will be reduced. The RECs in Russia, Moldova and the Caucasus countries will be covered by the Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument while CAREC will come under the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI). Ms. Nielsen pointed out that the RECs have received 14 to 15 MEUR since the EU signed the first contract with them in 2000. Management of the contracts with all four of the RECs has now been devolved to the respective Delegations, with the REC Caucasus devolved only in April 2006. The Delegation in UA manages contracts with REC Moldova. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are covered from Brussels directly. The audits by Ernst & Young looked at management, procedures, accounts, salary levels. They identified REC Caucasus as the biggest concern. The EU has sent the message that, unless measures for concrete improvement are implemented, it will provide only project financing, not core funding. Our methodology for the present project as per proposal submitted No changes are needed in the proposed methodology. II. Substantive issues Any specific concerns to pay attention to? Ms. Faergemann noted that the Moldovan Ministry of Environment has 25 staff compared to REC Moldovas 15 staff & asked the consultants to look at the implications of this. She mentioned that Russian REC had been affected by a number of political difficulties during its initial years so that it had taken longer to get off the ground than the other RECs, and this should be taken into account. There seem to be particular problems between REC Caucasus and its partners in Azerbaijan. The assessment should try to provide recommendations on how to change the situation there.

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Mr. Broekhuizen asked the consultants to look at how CAREC includes Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in their programmes. In contrast to the E&Y audits, this evaluation is to look more broadly at whether the goals & objectives of the RECs have been achieved, and the overall contribution to environmental improvements. One should pay attention that the RECs are unique organisations -- neither NGO nor governmental body -- and their activities need to reflect this. A concern has been raised about Russia REC, which at times has seemed to act as a government representative. The image of the RECs is a very important attribute to look at during the evaluation, because of the attachment of the EU to this image. The consultants were asked to look at whether it is possible for the RECs to become self-sustaining, e.g., through support from their own governments or by becoming more project-based. Are they able to attract other funds? E.g., REC Moldova is receiving funds from the Republics of Latvia and Estonia. The criteria for evaluation The criteria in the TOR are the ones used by the TACIS programme evaluators. No additional suggestions were forthcoming concerning how to measure whether a certain criteria, e.g., effectiveness, had been achieved. Selecting a cross-section of projects per REC: any obvious candidates? AIDCO would like analysis of specific projects, whereas DG ENV is more interested in the overall impact of the RECs. AIDCO is particularly interested in the grants projects. Does it take up too much staff time for the impact created, or is this the most useful thing for the RECs to do? Also look at the projects related to the Environment for Europe process, the Water Initiative, and anything related to biodiversity and climate change. Do these projects have a regional perspective? Ability to market activities is a very important criteria for evaluation as well.

III. Contractual issues Reimbursables budget how much flexibility within travel budgets It was agreed to change the budget line for local travel to local costs so that it may also be used for interpretation (to allow more active participation of both consultants in the discussion), reporting, and other such expenses. Interpretation (see above). IV. Practical issues Scheduling of missions, reports, briefing meetings with Commission services The Russian REC reorganised itself only in spring 2006. It asked to be one of the last RECs to be evaluated so that it can have more time to set its reforms in place. Ms. Faergemann suggested meetings with other DG ENV officials, including Anne Burrill who has been involved in the effort to strengthen REC Caucasus, and Jaime Reynolds, for Russia REC.

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Gathering of documentation for inception phase Ms. Nielsen gave the consultants the documents she was able to gather inside AIDCO. She noted that most of the documents (e.g., project reports) were sent to the Delegations when management responsibility devolved to them, and she will ask the Delegations to give the consultants access to that documentation. Contacts with EC Delegations & other stakeholders (key officials, NGOs, project partners) Ms. Nielsen will give the consultants the details of the contacts at the Delegations, and both she and Ms. Faergemann will supply the names of the other key stakeholders they have had contact with. Letters of introduction from AIDCO Ms. Nielsen will supply any letters of introduction needed by the consultants. Support for getting visas Ms. Nielsen will send an email to the Delegations to tell them about the evaluation project and to ask for their support in getting visas approved. For Azerbaijan, the contact will be with Europea House. The RECS may also be asked for assistance. V. Reporting

Formats for inception and final reports, mission reports It is not necessary to send a report after each mission. Short e-mail message re the main activities carried out is enough. Ms. Nielsen will ask AIDCOs Evaluation Unit if they have a model for the structure of the final evaluation report. VI. Other issues None discussed during the inception meeting.

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