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Environment and Security Initiative (envsec)

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Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC)

2004 Progress Report

Table of contents

Executive summary: highlights and outlook

List of acronyms

News from the regions

Central Asia

Southern Caucasus

South-Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe

News from the secretariat

Networking and building partnerships

Increasing visibility

Resource mobilisation and funding


1 Attended and organized meetings

2 Selected papers and publications

3 Directory of on-going and planned projects

4 Directory of contacts

5 National Focal Points

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY highlights and outlook

This report is the second in the series of the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative Progress Report. It describes activities and outputs throughout entire 2004, and for consistency of an annual reporting cycle it partly overlaps with the previous report, which covered the period from November 2003 till August 2004.

In 2004 the ENVSEC Initiative has significantly advanced in most of the regions covered as well as with cross-cutting work. The Initiative achieved concrete results in networking with key partners, participatory identification of specific environment and security priorities and raising awareness of the links between natural environment and human security. Progress of the year 2004 included the following highlights:

  • In-depth assessment of environment and security issues in the Ferghana valley in Central Asia. The assessment included a field study and regional consultations in Osh in December 2004 and a development of a USD 2,5 million follow-up work programme addressing risks from industrial pollution, uranium mining and abandoned waste sites, natural disasters as well as promoting sound management of small river basins in upper Syr-Darya. The Osh meeting will also be followed by a series of regular meetings of Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek provincial environmental authorities from the Ferghana valley;

  • 1st phase assessment of environment and security issues and hot-spots in the Southern Caucasus, launched with significant resonance at the ‘Environment for Europe’ Ministerial Meeting for the EECCA countries in Tbilisi in October 2004. On-the-ground activities included an application of strategic environmental assessment to incorporate related concerns into practical decision-making (Yerevan city and Batumi port development plans), strengthening cooperation on water management in Kura-Aras river basin (water monitoring, diagnostic assessment and strategic action), catalysing support to cleaning up abandoned military bases in Armenia, and increasing awareness of environment and security locally (Marneuli – Gazakh – Tavoush transboundary area);

  • Regional consultations in Skopje in September 2004, to further ENVSEC work programme for South Eastern Europe including an assessment and management of environment and security risks associated with mining practices, transboundary biodiversity management and conservation as a peace-building instrument and a tool for improving local livelihoods, and management of shared water basins;

  • Support to the 4th Central Asian Festival of Environmental Journalism with a special nomination on ‘Environment and Security’, a special edition of a transboundary CENN magazine for the Southern Caucasus, workshops in investigative environmental reporting in Yerevan and Tashkent, and setting up a new ‘Aarhus centre’ in Osh (Kyrgyz Republic) to promote access to environmental information and public participation on the local level.

  • Extensive presence of the Initiative and environment and security issues in international publications and various media, including the State of the World 2005 report, BBC, The Guardian, UNEP’s Poverty and Environment Times, documents and resolutions of OSCE bodies, and not least local mass media in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Thanks to funds provided by Austria, Canada, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, over USD 2 million have been made available for activities in 2004 -2005. In addition UNDP is mobilising USD 3 million for regional projects through the Global Environmental Facility. Finland has provided staff secondment for the Initiative’s Programme Management Unit in Geneva.

A highly important result of the year is the association of NATO’s through its “Public Diplomacy” division, which has already lead to a better integration of relevant NATO-supported research activities in the countries with ENVSEC priorities and a work programme. NATO is also contributing to ENVSEC core budget as well as to specific projects (such first joint project to address risks associated with uranium mining waste in the Ferghana valley is under preparation).
A meeting with donors and international organisations who expressed interest in closer collaboration with ENVSEC took place back-to-back with the September 2004 ENVSEC board meeting in Geneva, resulting in a revived dialogue with a broader international community.
Cooperation with UNECE is being strengthened, both through concrete activities (e.g. in Central Asia and the Dniester river basin), and through discussing long-term cooperative frameworks including an Memorandum of Understanding signed by UNECE and OSCE in December 2004, and harmonising work programmes with secretariats of UNECE-hosted conventions (in particular Aarhus Convention, two Helsinki Conventions: Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, and Espoo Convention on environmental impact assessment in transboundary context).
With 2004 being the first year of ENVSEC’s full-scale operation, 2005 will see further developments such as:

  • Implementation of the Ferghana valley programme in Central Asia, as well as exploration of needs in other parts of the region (the Caspian coast, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan);

  • Further development of projects in the Southern Caucasus, possibly starting in-depth assessments in areas of frozen conflict such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorny Karabakh;

  • Implementation of South-Eastern European work programme including a high-level meeting on environment, security and mining to take place in Romania, work on specific hotspots such as the Lojane mine in Macedonia and the Tisza, Prespa lakes and Sava basins;

  • Start-up of 1st phase assessments in Eastern Europe (Belarus – Moldova – Ukraine) as well as in the Arctic (in cooperation with UNEP’s Polar Programme);

  • Continuously strengthened publicity dimension including the ENVSEC website (, which will be launched in March 2005.

Local ownership of the approach and results is and will remain the guiding principle. This is being achieved through a broad use of local expertise, involvement of local groups and organisations in planning, evaluation, and selecting areas of intervention. (To-date, ENVSEC national focal points have been nominated by the majority of countries.)

The intention of the ENVSEC partners is to further strengthen the international cooperative network involving political, donor and research organisations. ENVSEC will continue contributing to ‘globalising’ the agenda of linking environment, peace and security, as well as to develop further methodologies for assessments and interventions in this field.
More details about the concrete work under the Initiative are presented below and in the Annexes. ENVSEC partners will be grateful for any feedback and ideas with respect to both this publication and the Initiative altogether.

Nickolai Denisov (, Marika Palosaari (

ENVSEC Programme Management Unit

UNEP / ROE, 11-13, ch. des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine-Geneva, Switzerland

Tel: +41 22 917 8281, fax: 41 22 917 8024
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