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Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

Newsletter Dear reader, In the second edition of our newsletter we have the pleasure to inform you about latest developments in the project SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation, such as the regional advocacy training. We are further happy to share with you the impressions of Ms Jelena Dubak, Secretary General of Montenegro Red Cross, who participated in the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban and contributed to a global visibility of the SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation. As usual, we also present some regional news and event announcements and hope you enjoy reading our newsletter. For more detailed information on our project, please visit!

In this issue:    

UNFCCC in Durban Regional Advocacy Training Climate Vulnerability Assessments EU Acquis Trainings

By agreeing on a roadmap for drawing up a legal framework for climate action by all countries by 2015, the conference met a key condition for entering into a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. However, the failure to reach a binding agreement to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions represents our “collective failure” and puts the world’s most vulnerable people at even greater risk, stated Mr Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In line with this, the WWF summarizes that through this rather weak agreement major decisions on the content of the Kyoto Protocol were only postponed and made an unclear commitment to a global agreement from 2020. Ms Jelena Dubak, Secretary General of the Montenegro Red Cross participated in the Durban Conference as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation and was ready to share her impressions upon return to Podgorica.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban took place towards the end of 2011 with the main purpose to advance the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

First of all, it is important to note that the IFRC has an observer role in the negotiations without any rights of decision-making. So the main idea was to take active participation in the conference, in particular in the relevant side-events, in order to present the position of Red Cross/Red Crescent (RC) National Societies related to climate change. In this context we tried to strengthen the dialogue between RC/RC National Societies, but with high-level governmental representatives.


Secretary General of Montenegro Red Cross participating in the UN Climate Change Conference


Ms Dubak, could you tell us more about the purpose of the IFRC`s participation in the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban?

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

This was very useful in view of improving visibility of our work and highlighting the importance of climate change adaptation, so to say the necessity of taking appropriate and timely action to prevent or minimize adverse effects climate change has. What are lessons learned for your organization, also with regard to the SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation? Regarding the project “SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation� we luckily had the chance to get acquainted with stakeholders implementing similar activities, who shared with us their valuable experience in establishing networks and working in fora. Further we could distribute our project folders among relevant stakeholders from the European Union and call attention to what is going on in the SEE region. Apart from that, I had the chance to talk to governmental representatives from neighbouring countries, who pointed towards the increasing role Red Cross Societies have in the development of national climate change strategies, which, besides strengthened regional cooperation, can be seen as a positive outcome of the project already.

For further reports, comments and analysis on the climate change negotiations check out the websites of the UNFCCC, the European Commission, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre and the WWF!

REGIONAL PROJECT EVENT REVIEWS Regional Advocacy Strategies Training In the framework of the project a regional training on advocacy strategies was organized in Belgrade on 3 and 4 November 2011. The training was attended by network coordinators and communication experts from Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia and the sessions were prepared and conducted by Mr Markus Stock of the Institute for Economic Promotion of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Finally, how you do you personally rate the outcomes of the conference?

Participants had the opportunity to learn more about what key elements of effective lobbying and advocacy are and how interests are represented in different political systems, for example in Austria or in the EU. Institutions and legislative processes in the EU were presented and in this context participants discussed the importance of and how to deal with media. Finally, participants defined country specific interests and prepared a lobbying strategy accordingly.


Thank you for the interview!

Advocacy Strategies Training in Belgrade


Well, I have to admit that at the beginning the overall atmosphere was quite pessimistic, as participants did not expect concrete results to be taken. Finally the opposite came true, discussions were prolonged and some kind of roadmap was agreed on. In my opinion this was highly important in order to keep this atmosphere of looking ahead and continuing with negotiations, in particular for those countries which are already severely exposed to climate change and where adverse effects are already happening and affecting the most vulnerable.

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

The experts in charge of preparing the assessments met in Belgrade in December 2011 to consult on the crucial issues, such as a joint glossary of terms or the structure of the report. Following this, a regional partner meeting, aimed at discussing the current drafts of the climate vulnerability assessments will take place in Zagreb, mid February 2012. This meeting is also scheduled in preparation for the formation of the SEE Forum in May 2012.

CSO NETWORKS IN SEE EU Acquis Trainings Within the framework of the SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation, national trainings on the EU Acquis Communautaire were held in Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia in late 2011. These trainings were facilitated by Mr Klaus Radunsky from the Austrian Federal Environment Agency. Besides project team and network members, representatives of EU delegations and national ministries took active participation.

EU Acquis Training in Montenegro

In the framework of these national EU Acquis Trainings, special sessions on EU funding were held back to back, with the main purpose to provide a theoretical overview of relevant EU institutions and governing bodies, as well as EU funding instruments.

Macedonian network “Climate Reaction� is marking the international mountain day On 11 December 2011 the Mountain Sport Federation invited the Macedonian Red Cross to take part in the marking of the International Mountain Day together with other members of the Macedonian Climate Reaction Network formed in the framework of the EU project SEE Forum on Climate Change Adaptation.


Climate vulnerability assessments are cross-sectoral documents that are currently being prepared in the four project partner countries: Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. They will cover the areas defined as priorities for the respective countries and will identify vulnerable communities and groups through different regions, define adaptive measures in order to decrease the exposure of these communities and groups to negative impacts of climate change. These documents will identify recommendations for the decision-makers on what steps to take in order to improve adaptive capacities and minimize the impact of climate change. The assessments will serve as a base of action for the networks to raise awareness of the general public and governmental officials on climate change, fostering the adoption of the highest standards in this relevant field.

Participants were informed about the legal framework of climate change in the EU, best practices, and the comparative analysis of National Communications on Climate Change to the UNFCCC and EU corresponding documents. On top of the presentation of the current European documents, such as the Green and White paper for climate change, Mr Radunsky shared positive experiences and the present situation regarding climate change scenarios and adaptation efforts in Austria. Participants from Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia analysed the present situation in their countries regarding vulnerability and impact assessments and proposed future work in these fields.


Climate Vulnerability Assessments

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

The Macedonian Red Cross together with the Mountain Rescue Team of City Red Cross Skopje had the opportunity to promote the network among 500 hundred visitors and environment supporters in one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Skopje called Matka. During the promotion, t-shirts and educational leaflets were distributed and discussions on environmental issues took place.

The gathering provided an opportunity to discuss the new Report on regional CSO Networks in the IPA region (Western Balkans and Turkey), giving an overview on existing networks and their cooperation methods and also showing the added value of regional networks in building sustainable CSOs in the region. Moreover, participants of the meeting were informed about the IPA programming for the upcoming months and in this context the development of regional networking was highlighted. For further information, please visit the TACSO website.

Prepare to Respond – Building Humanitarian Capacity

The role of civil society networks in the EU accession process A two-day conference on CSO networks in Western Balkan countries and Turkey was organized from 13 to 14 December 2011 in Sarajevo with the main purpose to enhance their structured participation in the EU accession process and their involvement in the implementation of the Regional Cooperation Council strategy. The conference brought together representatives of regional civil society networks from the Western Balkans, Turkey and EU, as well as officials from governmental institutions responsible for cooperation with the civil society sector. Representatives from EU’s Directorate General for Enlargement also participated in the event.




“Climate Reaction” marking Mountain Day

In 2012 Austrian Red Cross and RedR UK are offering a unique training programme to support aid workers and humanitarian organisations to develop their skills to respond to disasters around the world. Courses will be held in new EU member states, Croatia and Austria, covering a range of humanitarian areas including general humanitarian skills and water, sanitation and hygiene. The trainings will cater for all knowledge levels, appropriate for individuals beginning a career within the sector, as well as for experienced relief workers looking to develop specialist skills. Diverse agendas and methodologies, skilled facilitators and international participants will provide the ideal training environment. All training resources, accommodation and meals are covered. This has been made possible through the support of the EC Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO). For further information, visit the Austrian Red Cross!

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

SEE Exhibition and Congress on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 28 – 30 March 2012; Sofia, Bulgaria The 8th annual congress of professionals involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy will take place in March 2012 in Bulgaria. The goal of the congress is to foster the exchange of know-how and stimulate the investments in South East European green energy sector. Apart from sessions on technology, best practices, finance, business strategies and policy, the event will also feature exhibitions on energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, recycling and environment. The congress will be attended by specialists and experts, governmental and local policy makers, investors, representatives of financial institutions and media. Read more on the official website.

Ice Cube in Belgrade National Geographic Serbia with partners launched an interesting action in order to raise awareness about global warming. A large ice cube, weighing more than 3 tones, was placed at a public square in Belgrade, followed by a competition for proposals how long it would take for the ice to melt. In temperatures varying from 0 to 23°C with changing weather conditions, the melting period lasted for two days, 19 hours, 48 minutes and 13 seconds. During that time various workshops related to ecology, global warming and CO2 emissions were attended by primary school children. The organizers hope that this initiative got the attention of the general public and that people will take more care of the planet in the future.

International Scientific Conference on Water, Climate and Environment 28 May – 2 June 2012; Ohrid, Macedonia

The Migration and Global Environmental Change Foresight Report is a study on the effect of flooding, drought and rising sea levels on human migration patterns over the next 50 years. It encourages governments and aid agencies to help the poor move away from vulnerable areas susceptible to flooding and droughts, adding that a timely action would also diminish the risk of conflicts and loss of lives. The report was partly commissioned to examine assumptions that the environmental degradation would create climate refugees. Potential solutions offered by the report are in managed migration and better planning of cities, especially in the area of water management. Read more here.


Migration and Global Environmental Change Foresight Report


The 5th International Scientific Conference BALWOIS 2012 will be held with the purpose of providing a forum for the exchange of information on the relationship between climate change and human activities with a specific focus on water related issues. Presentations of scientific papers on development activities and research are aimed at creating a platform for dealing with challenges such as water scarcity, floods, droughts, environmental degradation and regional risks. The conference will be attended by scientists, engineers, managers, legislators, NGO representatives and policy makers involved in water, climate and environmental matters. Read more or apply here.

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

FUNDING POSSIBILITIES IPA Cross-Border Programme Macedonia - Albania The European Commission has opened a call for proposals for the Cross-border Programme between Macedonia and Albania in order to tackle the socioeconomic situation of the border region, to set out a common strategy for remedying problems identified and to formulate joint priorities and measures for development. The global objective of the programme is to promote sustainable development in the crossborder area. More specifically, it aims at establishing joint actions and strategies to protect and valorise the natural resources of the region and at developing long term partnerships and networks across different sectors, such as CSOs, professional organizations and decentralized institutions. More on the grant can be found on the Europe Aid website.

The Cross-Border Programme Croatia–Montenegro is aimed at creating favourable environmental and socioeconomic conditions by improving the cooperation in jointly selected sectors and good neighbourly relations in the eligible programme area. Specific objectives of the current call are (1) to establish cooperation between institutions in charge of environment protection, as well as natural and cultural heritage protection, (2) to create recognizable tourist products and re-establish social connections in cross-border area and (3) to increase and enhance cooperation between institutions, citizens and civic organizations in the areas such as tourism, education and culture, in order to boost community development and improve neighbourhood relations. The call is open until 3 March 2012 and further documents available on the Europe Aid website.

Civil Society Facility Partnership Programmes In January 2012 the European Commission launched an IPA multi-beneficiary call for proposals on Civil Society Facility Partnership Programmes for CSOs supporting regional thematic networks. The programme purpose is to achieve a more dynamic civil society actively participating in public debate on democracy, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law with capacity to influence policy and decision making processes. The call aims to achieve this by establishing partnerships with regional networks of CSOs to pursue shared objectives regarding good governance and the fulfilment of the political criteria for EU accession. The deadline for submission of full proposals is 13 April 2012 and further information is available on the Europe Aid website.


The regional TACSO office has published an updated regional needs assessment report and individual country reports in November 2011. This is an update of two previous reports published in 2009 and it represents a synthesis of the eight individual country needs assessment reports. The report is aimed at providing a basis for creating TACSO’s support to both civil society and governmental authorities in the countries of Western Balkans and Turkey so as to enable them to better attend to and improve a number of institutional, policy and regional issues for a sustainable and effective development of civil society. Moreover, the report offers a comprehensive look into the strengths and weaknesses and most laudable achievements so far. Finally, recommendations for further improvements of the civil society environment capacities are suggested in the conclusions of the report. Read the individual country reports or the regional report on the TACSO website.

IPA Cross-Border Programme Croatia - Montenegro


Updated TACSO Regional Needs Assessment Report and Individual Country Reports

Newsletter – Issue no2 January 2012

PUBLICATIONS Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation The Special Report for Managing Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) is a comprehensive assessment of the role of climate change in altering characteristics of extreme events and was approved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in November 2011. It integrates expertise in climate science, disaster risk management and adaptation to inform discussions on how to reduce and manage the risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate. A summary of this report, specially designed for policy makers is available on the IPCC website.

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The next issue is coming up in March 2012!

Newsletter of SEE Forum on CCA  
Newsletter of SEE Forum on CCA  

second issue of the project newsletter