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Mission and Aim

The mission of CEEweb

The mission of CEEweb for Biodiversity is the conservation of biodiversity in Central and Eastern Europe through the promotion of sustainable development.

CEEweb works through advocacy, influencing decision making, common projects, capacity building, networking and awareness raising.

It targets its members, local, national and international decision makers, NGOs and NGO networks, companies and the scientific community.

Why are regional efforts essential?

Today CEEweb represents the network of several dozens of nature conservation organizations from Central and East European countries, working together to protect the biological heritage of the region. The rich natural heritage, which is vital to the rejuvenation of these countries, is threatened by intensive agriculture, forestry and resource exploitation as well as infrastructure developments.

As CEE countries are trying to imitate the West; they repeat all the mistakes that were made by these previous models. Roads, power lines, tourist facilities are just some elements of developments that are being constructed without any consideration for the ecological consequences. With several of these countries joining the EU these influences have become even greater and more direct.

Since the ecological systems and features that need to be protected are linked and interdependent, biodiversity can not be saved by one country alone. It necessitates regional efforts, based on common biogeographical characteristics.

Aiming for policy-making that addresses problems at the source

In our times enormous political changes are taking place. The political map of Europe is changing, and so is the focus on nature conservation. Since the founding of CEEweb the work of the member NGOs has shifted from nature study to political activity, which represented the natural evolution of the nature conservation movement. This indicates that the strongest driving force influencing changes in nature conservation is policy-making. Therefore, just as in the case of the environmental movement, the nature conservation movement needs to address its problems at the source, rather than using an “end of the pipe” approach.

Pursuing its mission CEEweb aims to:

  • identify and change drivers behind biodiversity loss;
  • form common policies and actions for the enhancement of biodiversity in the Central and East European region;
  • promote the enforcement of international conventions for nature and biodiversity conservation, with special regards to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • promote the concept and strategies of sustainable development and contribute to their implementation;
  • raise public awareness about the importance of biodiversity and its protection.

For these aims the network undertakes lobbying activities and campaigning, information and expertise exchange, capacity building and educational activities.

The only network in CEE with ownership of local nature conservation NGOs

CEEweb for Biodiversity was founded in 1994 (under the name of Central and East European Working Group for the Enhancement of Biodiversity), with the support of the European Union and two Hungarian NGOs; the National Society of Conservationists and Green Action. One primary aim of the organization is to help the implementation of international tasks under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Presently CEEweb is the only network in operation which has been set up and run by nature conservation NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe.