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25 June 2020 | Final event of the ENI SEIS II East project

25 June 2020 | Final event of the ENI SEIS II East project

© Charles Keddie

Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine

The final event of the ENI SEIS II East project marked the end of our four-year journey on implementing the SEIS principles in the Eastern Partnership region. We have many success stories that we can share and are grateful for the efforts of all the experts who contributed to this journey.

This meeting took stock of the progress achieved during the last four years. The Eastern Partnership countries expressed their gratitude to the EEA and applauded the project’s achievements in 2019.

Cooperation under the framework of the SEIS has been well accepted and supported by many partners and processes that the EEA contributes to. It was at the heart of the trilateral cooperation between the EEA, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to ensure better coordination between the various assessment processes and streamlining of activities.

The engagement of experts from the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) in the cooperation under the framework of this project has been essential, as it allowed us to involve a number of partners from the European topic centres, national reference centres and national focal points (NFPs) in sharing their experiences of EEA and Eionet tools, methodologies, practices and knowledge from a number of the  EEA member countries and six cooperating countries.

The outcomes of the current cooperation will be solid building blocks for further activities at national and regional levels while ensuring synergies with other EU-funded actions and international partners’ activities. Looking ahead we aim to ensure (i) synergies with other activities, (ii) ownership of the project outcomes by the partner countries and (iii) sustainability of the results by building on what has been delivered under the project and developing it further.

Cooperation with the six Eastern Partnership countries over the past four years has been extremely intense and covered a range of thematic areas where we have a number of success stories to share. To name a few:

  • Our air quality data map has been enriched with new stations from the Eastern Partnership countries.
  • The Water Information System for Europe’s functionalities and design have inspired the development of ecoportals in the Caucasus region, making its water quality data compatible with European datasets.
  • Indicator-based assessments and state of the environment reports have been produced in line with EEA/Eionet practices.
  • Corine (Coordination of Information on the Environment) Land Cover change maps have been produced for the capital cities and their surrounding areas in all six Eastern Partnership countries.
  • Open data and e-governance activities have been supported in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention.

All of the above activities have been inspired by the SEIS principles of having environmental information openly accessible, close to the sources, informing citizens and decision-makers, and enriching knowledge-based environmental policymaking.

The European Commission has put the European Green Deal in focus for the next five years, outlining ever more ambitious action to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, greening the economies and driving transitions. With all this ongoing activity, the upcoming period provides a unique opportunity to scale up and speed up the green transition in Europe and to support the Green Deal in the European Neighbourhood.

Agenda and presentations | Video recording iavailable upon request from the participants