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9 January 2017

Our plans for 2017

In 2017, we will continue with our efforts to create a future where sustainability and the environment are priorities. We are keeping our holistic approach in all of our current and new activities and we are working for the benefit of society and for the benefit of our members.

Here is the outline of the thematic activities foreseen for this year:

Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – EU budget that will benefit both people and planet

Our ultimate objective is to make the next MFF (the EU Budget 2021-2028) “sustainable proofed”, which can support the European transition to sustainability and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals with European actions.

Activities: online questionnaire – recommendations for the next MFF, report in April; developing sustainability proofing guidelines with the other members of SDG Watch Europe by September, followed by the conference in Brussels targeting decision makers and relevant stakeholders.

Green infrastructure (GI) and sectorial policy integration

We are continuing with our lobbying work in Brussels demanding more financing for green infrastructure from the next EU budget as well as the integration of GI with other sectors. We will organize two meetings on ecosystem services (ES) and green infrastructure: “speed dating” with potential donors and ES awareness raising meeting for MEPs. Furthermore, we will continue developing informational and promotional material on GI integration with health, agriculture, cities and water sectors.

29 – 30 November in Budapest: Together with Livingroofs.org we are organizing the 2nd European Green Infrastructure conference exploring how nature-based solutions help cities address climate change adaptation, biodiversity loss, water and energy management, health, wellbeing and community. Leading urban Green Infrastructure experts from policy, planning, design, implementation, maintenance and monitoring will share experience of working with nature to create resilient, livable 21st Century cities.

Our 7th Green-Go Short Films Contest’s categories will closely related to green infrastructure and ecosystem services, aiming to reach millions of people and to create an online community of proactive film authors and nature conservationists from all around the world.

We will also investigate how we can combine smart and innovative solutions in urban areas within Smart and Green – the Future of Visegrad Cities project, focusing on Slovakian, Hungarian, Czech and Polish cities.

Agriculture

After successful CEEweb Academy EU Agriculture and Green Infrastructure: Towards a Profitable and Sustainable Practice and initial presentation of our Sustainable Rural Development Index (SRDI), we’re continuing our efforts to its further development and testing its effectiveness with two validating workshops. We will also provide our input on CAP during the public consultation in early 2017 on how the EU agricultural policy should change.

Natura 2000

As the fitness check results showed that the directives are fit for purpose, our campaign’s focus is now on asking MEPs and the European Commission for more funding for Natura 2000. We will also urge the member states for the better implementation of the directives and continuously gather feedback from the experts on the needed improvement. We will also organize an expert workshop on the to be published Action Plan on implementation and a conference on the socioeconomic benefits to highlight the need for more support from the EU budget.

DEAR project

In January, we are launching an online course on circular economy to Hungarian businesses, together with the Circular Economy Foundation. We are also organising a conference on circular economy for 200 Hungarian businesses on 1st June in Budapest.

We will publish a petition asking EU stakeholders to ban planned obsolescence and to support reparability.

Our focus will also be on education where our main objective is to raise the awareness of children in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland about the various aspects of resource use. These activities will be conducted in a frame of a project Educate 4 sustainable resources, lead by the Slovak Center for Communication and Development

The beginning of 2017 is also marked with activities related to two new Interreg projects:

In TRANSGREEN, lead by WWF DCP, we will work on a catalogue of measures on how the new road and railways infrastructure of the Danube countries consider more ecological corridors and green infrastructure.

Within INSIGHTS project we look into how smart concepts and methods for promoting environmental consciousness and healthy lifestyle amongst visitors and hosts can be linked to sustainable tourism.

Furthermore, we are proceeding with restoration activities, currently waiting for the EU to accept the published study on it, as well as with sustainable tourism within ETE project. We are working on the final activities related to the MAES project on mapping and assessing ecosystem services that will be completed with summary study, stakeholder briefs and a conference in February in Targu Mures. We will continue with the Natura 2000 biogeography process activities and will attend workshops and other related events.