On 30 March 2021 Estonia-Russia CBC Programme invited field experts in environmental issues for consultation in course of preparation of the Programme for the period 2021-2027.
68 experts from Estonia and Russia met in online discussion of the issues related to the Policy Objective 2 (PO2) ‘A greener, low-carbon and resilient Europe by promoting clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investment, the circular economy, climate adaptation and risk prevention and management’ pre-selected for the new Programme.
The event was focused on main environmental challenges under the PO2 identified based on desktop research, stakeholder consultations, Joint Programming Committee discussions and collection of ideas that have taken place in Estonia and Russia in 2020:
- Joint management of the Narva River basin, including Lake Peipus/Pskovsko-Chudskoye. The challenges are primarily related to eutrophication, sustainable management of the fish stock, wide spectrum of waste and alien invasive species.
- Joint management of the Gulf of Finland, including the problems related to eutrophication, wide spectrum of waste and alien invasive species.
- Lack of cooperation regarding management of protected areas, restoring and protecting the habitats.
- Lack of systematic approach regarding development of green infrastructure and low-carbon public transportation systems.
- The increasing amounts of municipal waste, low circular material use rates and modest recycling rates of municipal waste.
Within the 1st joint session of the meeting two polls were carried out to specify ranking of the challenges by their importance and necessity for cross-border cooperation for their successful implementation on both sides of the border.
The further exchange of opinions was organized in 4 working groups, where the ranking results were endorsed with some additions. Experts were active in providing their ideas and stakeholders consultations resulted in specifying potential cross-border cooperation activities and organizations that have interest and capacity to implement them in the territory of the next Estonia – Russia Programme 2021-2027.
Organizers are grateful to all participants for their time and valuable input to the discussion and to Iveta Puzo, senior expert of TESIM project, for kind assistance in preparation and moderation of the event.
Programming bodies will continue with stakeholders consultations on other Policy Objectives to have opinions of the wider audience of Estonia-Russia bordering regions.
Summary of the event’s outputs will provide solid ground for further development of the relevant chapters of the Programme document and will be reported at the 5th meeting of the Joint Programming Committee in May 2021.