The Italian Trust Fund (ITF) was established in 2001 as a targeted contribution of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) to the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC).
It shares the REC’s ambition to assist in addressing environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. More than simply a funding mechanism, the ITF is an advisory body to the REC and stakeholders.
The ITF has a very broad beneficiary area, implementing courses, establishing partnerships and contributing to overall environmental progress in Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Black Sea region and the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region. With no binding geographical limitations, the ITF is able to spread and replicate its experience wherever requested.
The main areas of operation are sustainable development; capacity building; institution strengthening; training on environmental management and policies; education for sustainable development; environment and health; eco-building and energy efficiency; the facilitation of international conventions; climate change mitigation; and renewable energy. The ITF also assists the REC in its fundraising activities by supporting its presence in the international arena, expanding fundraising opportunities and providing expert personnel from the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, out of its headquarters in Rome and from its field offices in other countries.
Since the establishment of the ITF, Italy has become a major partner in environmental and sustainability solutions in the region served by the REC. Italy’s financial contribution has exceeded EUR 12 million, backing the successful implementation of more than 200 projects across Europe and beyond. The funded projects have raised awareness of far-reaching challenges related to the environment, climate change and health, and have provided fundamental help in identifying solutions. Cooperation between the ITF and the REC has also established and promoted strong networks among the beneficiary countries for regional and global solutions and has opened up new opportunities and channels for the involvement of Italian stakeholders — government, business, academia and civil society.
The most recent ITF initiative is the CEO Forum for Green Growth in the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa), which supports policies for green growth while stimulating the environment in which businesses operate.
All ITF projects are implemented in collaboration with the REC head office and country offices.
Key ITF projects
- CEO Platform for Green Growth in MENA
- Sustainable Development Academy: Comprehensive courses in six regions
- High-Level Conference on Water, Climate and Health (Arezzo)
- Supporting Education for Sustainability — The Green Pack in Turkey
- Beyond Piloting Green Pack Albania in the Basic Education System
- Training for Young Environmental Leaders
- Young Experts Programme
- Meeting for Friendship among People — Rimini
- Climate Change — Debate on Emissions Trading
- Implementing the Aarhus Convention: Practical Tools for Public Participation
- Promoting Climate Change Policies in Turkey
- School Environment and Respiratory Health of Children (SEARCH), phases I and II
- Health Education Programme for the Budapest Health and Environment Ministerial Conference in 2004
- Roadmap towards the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health
- Training Seminars for the Implementation of Waste Management
- Practices in Selected South East European Countries
- Energy Efficiency in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
- Conference Center Reconstruction
- International Strategic Environmental Assessment Workshop
- Identification of Municipal Environmental Investments
- Sustainable Development Certification in Turkey
- Launching Third-Generation Environmentalism with "Europe in the World"
- Support to the Implementation of the Carpathian Convention
- Support to the Preparation of Input to the Sixth Ministerial Conference
- “Environment for Europe” by the Countries of South Eastern Europe
- Eco-building Awareness-Raising Programme
- Road to Rimini