article_thumb_264_4Y7P1HZD7QD9SMore than 25 representatives of regional and national networks/associations of civil society major groups (NGOs, business associations, local authorities, etc.) and media professionals, gathered for a 2-day sub-regional training in Podgorica, 29-30 September 2011 in order to explore ways on how to act as catalysts to de-pollute the Mediterranean. The training was organized by the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and WWF MEDPO, within the framework of the ENPI Horizon 2020 CB/MEP project.

Trainees from the Western Balkans and Israel had the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the different legal participatory frameworks relevant to the Mediterranean region; to gain a deep understanding of the Horizon 2020 Initiative (and its activities) and of EU mechanisms that support civil society participation in environmental policy formulation and implementation in the partner countries (including access to funds); to sharpen their skills on how to effectively communicate environmental issues and mobilize media and civil society actors (private sector, professional organisations, citizens, academics, NGOs…).

Not only the trainers but the participants as well, shared their experiences on advocacy, awareness raising and public participation issues, thus adding practical value to the theoretical parts/aspects of the training.

According to Ms. Emina Ahmetovic, Project Manager of EKOPOT, Association for development, advancement and promotion of ecological agriculture, tourism and environment protection, Bosnia & Herzegovina, “The H2020 CB/MEP training was a unique opportunity to develop my capacities in the context of contributing effectively to de-pollution activities through more informed inputs to environment related processes such as EIAs. The extremely bright and positive examples of NGO activities presented at training were very encouraging and inspiring, and Horizon 2020 is good starting point to take up action”.

In the end, participants forged alliances among them and committed themselves to combat pollution in the Mediterranean and contribute to the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative.

This press release has been compiled by the trainees as their first step to implement what they have learned…