The project is aimed at capacity building, strengthening the role of Belarusian and Northwest Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in policy development and public awareness raising in the field of water management, as well as, promoting the dialogue between authorities and NGOs on public and NGOs role in water policies development and implementation in the North - Eastern side of the Baltic Sea.  

The main objectives of project are:

  • increase knowledge of Russian and Belarusian NGOs on public participation in water management and information on Water Framework Directive and relevant experience from Nordic countries in the field;
  •  conduct research on Belarusian, Russian and EU legal frameworks and water policy implementation and highlight the differences between national and international/EU legal frameworks in the understanding in order to give the target NGOs arguments for lobbying of policy changes;
  • transfer knowledge and experiences from Finnish and Baltic NGOs to Belarusian and Russian NGOs;
  • establish a group of NGOs experts in Russia and Belarus on public participation with the further goal to develop more projects on public information campaigns and participation in water policy development;
  • carry out national meetings aimed at a dialogue among authorities and NGOs in water sector;
  • develop a guidebook on water policy implementation and practices;
  • disseminate project materials and other relevant information via web-sites, 
  • establish a network of NGOs and other organizations in the region working on participatory approaches towards water management in order to support information exchange and cooperation in the region.  

Project actions:

1. Investigations on water policy implementation and relevant participatory legal frameworks and practices of public participation in water management in Nordic countries, Baltic States, Russia and Belarus – experts’ interviews with the authorities, NGOs and stakeholders, done in order to identify the best practices as well as barriers for the participation; preparing the guidebook on the best practices based on the interviews and other relevant documentation;

2. National dialogue between NGOs and authorities on country-specific issues in all participating countries (RU, BY, FI, EE, LV, LT) aimed at promoting cooperation among different stakeholders, discussing project findings from investigations on water policy implementation and addressing the role of NGOs in the process;

3. NGO strengthening and elaboration of the profile actions (targeted mostly at Russia and Belarus) - training session on public participation in water management and cooperation with authorities and other stakeholders in order to define the niche and tasks for NGOs; elaboration of profile actions, based on the national roundtables for and involving stakeholders in water management decision-making in Russia and Belarus via meetings with NGOs and based on the national roundtables;

4. Networking, project results dissemination and visibility in all participating countries - final project conference, aimed at the presentation of the project results and discussion on the next actions and steps, held in St. Petersburg; project web-page and internet portal of Peipsi CTC; the guidebook on best practices, etc.   Nordic Council of Ministries finances project, in the frame of Baltic Sea Region Program for NGO.

Project term:

1 January - 31 December 2008