The REC is implementing the Local Initiatives for a Sustainable Ukraine (LINK) project in three partner municipalities in three regions of Ukraine: Ivano-Frankivsk (western Ukraine), Cherkasy (central Ukraine), and Poltava (eastern Ukraine). The three selected municipalities are the economic, cultural and intellectual centres of the respective region.
The project will produce results based on the needs of the beneficiaries, and it will be tailored for maximum receptivity concerning policy advice, strategic development and financial support. In turn, this will generate enhanced local ownership and the overall sustainability of project outcomes/outputs.
The LINK project aims to strengthen local capacities to diversify sources and options for a resource-efficient economy by bringing together policy makers, businesses and civil society at local level to enable positive change in Ukraine. The project promotes good governance, energy efficiency and EU integration processes.
The project goal is to improve local and participatory governance on energy planning and sustainable development issues through three work packages:
WP1: Local Environmental Action Planning (LEAP LINK)
WP2: Civil Society Organisations (CSO LINK)
WP3: Citizens Pack
Local communities in Ukraine will be supported to improve environmental planning in the energy sector and to enhance environmental investments in selected local communities. This will contribute to improved environmental management and will help to break the vicious circle of a degraded environment, failing economy and poverty. The project team will work closely with local authorities and key stakeholders in selected municipalities to set up working groups, assist in assessing and prioritising sustainability issues, and setting goals and targets for investment preparation and project financing.
CSO LINK will ensure the fair and timely involvement of stakeholders in local planning and will enable CSOs to become equal and reputable partners at local level on issues relevant to resources and energy efficiency and sustainable development. It will encourage CSOs to become important drivers of change and development in Ukrainian society and act locally at community level.
The LINK project foresees the development of a Citizens Pack multimedia product aimed at conveying messages about the wise use of resources and energy; sustainable development; and positive changes in values and attitudes in society. The Citizens Pack targets primary school pupils and their teachers, as well as members of CSOs involved in educational and awareness-raising activities. The product is also designed to have a positive impact on the level of environmental literacy in Ukrainian society as a whole, including municipal bodies, media, businesses, CSOs and families.
Activities implemented under Work Package 1 will focus on:
- integrating environmental and energy security issues into local development planning processes;
- building the capacities of local authorities and identifying investment opportunities for priority environmental, energy efficiency and energy recovery projects; and
- developing mechanisms for the sustainable use and management of natural resources, including energy security.
Under Work Package 2, the project team will be engaged in:
- mapping CSO project beneficiaries working on sustainable development and energy issues, and/or representing the interests of the community or local groups;
- developing and implementing a capacity-building curriculum on energy and sustainable development for CSOs and other stakeholders, with relevance to EU approximation;
- investing in the skills and knowledge of CSOs in order to increase their capacity to lobby and monitor environmental policy development;
- developing a training curriculum on public participation in decision making, advocacy, lobbying and watchdogging;
- providing training on CSO organisational development and self-assessment, using tools already developed by the REC, as well as on CSO image and cooperation with stakeholders;
- supporting CSOs with trainings on leadership and good governance, monitoring, financial and human resources management and the use of information technology; and
- offering grants of between EUR 30,000 and 40,000 to consortia of at least three local CSOs from the target municipalities for participation in coordinated actions and cooperation with local government and other stakeholders on priority issues of local energy plans.
The implementation of Work Package 3 will include:
- undertaking a feasibility study and collecting and translating existing materials related to education for sustainable development;
- developing a country-specific Citizens Pack adapted to the needs of Ukraine, with a focus on the three target regions;
- testing and adjusting the Citizens Pack and launching it officially in the three target regions;
- devising and implementing a training programme addressing primary schools and local CSOs in the three target regions; and
- evaluating the training programme and the first results of Citizens Pack implementation.
- Awareness raising
- Capacity building
- Institution building
- Knowledge transfer
- Local initiatives