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Environmental NGOs in SEE: Survey Findings, Analysis and Recommendations. Mihallaq Qirjo, Director of REC Albania. Main Data Factors. Founding of ECSOs by Year - Regional. Top-Ranked Topics & Activities - Albania. Most Common Funding Sources - Albania.

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Environmental NGOs in SEE: Survey Findings, Analysis and Recommendations

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Environmental NGOs in SEE:Survey Findings, Analysis and Recommendations

Mihallaq Qirjo,

Director of REC Albania


Main Data Factors


Founding of ECSOs by Year - Regional


Top-Ranked Topics & Activities - Albania


Most Common Funding Sources - Albania

CEE 5 sources, SEE 3.5 sources, Albania 3 sources


Haves and Have-Not’s?

Albania

SEE Region


Financial Status of Albanian NGOs, 2006


Headline Findings:

  • Growing disparities between different types of ENGOs (the haves-and-have-not’s), in financial resources and capacities.

  • Increasing staffing since 2001.

  • Less capability on politicised or campaign issues (GMOs, climate change, et. al.).

  • Development of a professional class of ECSOs, viewed as think-tanks or crypto-consultancies.

  • Do donors use ECSOs as vectors for their positions – whose priorities?

  • Questioned connection or relevance to the community.


Primary Concerns

  • N.B. More in Striving for Sustainability


Accountability - Aarhus

  • The legislative framework for access to information and public participation is generally good, but implementation, enforcement and the lack of rules remain the key problem. ECSOs are the most active on the field of public participation, less active in making official information requests, little has occurred in the access to justice field nationally or locally.

  • The ECSOs involvement is generally well accepted in decision-making but it is not as critical as it might be for fear of repercussions.

  • The lack of defined procedures on how to apply for information has created an alternative information channel through personal contacts as a constant practice.

  • Guidelines on public participation procedures in the EIA process endorsed by the environment ministry have rarely been followed in practice.

  • Regarding the public participation, ECSOs acknowledge that their role in local/regional/national decision-making or development planning so far is consultative or participatory, but not yet influencing. Public involvement on the local level tends to bring more satisfactory outcomes.


Recommendations


Accountability

  • CSOs capacity should be strengthened on how to use formal and informal opportunities and rights for access to information, public participation and access to justice;

  • CSOs should be encouraged and trained to exert pressure on the government to keep and disseminate accurate data on the state of environment, environmental permits and EIA reports produced;

  • CSOs and the decision making authorities should work closely on developing a strategy for enhancement of the dialogue and cooperation between them in the exercising the Aarhus rights;

  • CSOs should enter into dialogue/discussion with authorities about developing/using formal and informal ways of CSOs involvement, cooperation and presentation of different decision-making and advisory bodies;

  • CSOs should be trained to use broader range of techniques and methods to reach out and work together with local citizens and other stakeholders;

  • CSO’s shall develop capacity to flag problem cases and submitting them to the court procedures


More details regional analysis in…

www.rec.org/sector


Aahrus convention and Protection of Vlora Bay

Civic Alliance for Protection and Development of Vlora Bay


The border of existing Protected Area of Narta lagoon


  • Aerial wiew of Vlora


Plazhi i Nartes, 2006


  • Signature of loan agreement between World Bank and Albanian gov’t (2004)

  • TEC in Vlora will be accompanied with other important energy investments, such as AMBO, Petrolifera Italo-Albanese, Oil refinery, which will be part of the Energetic Park of Vlora”.


According to WB, this project is classified under the category A: with potential significant negative irreversible impacts

(MWH, Oct. 2002final, Siting study f15)

EIA report identifies a list of potential impacts such as:

  • On Sea environment

  • On Fish populations

  • Oil spills

  • Flora and fauna of the Narta protected area

    (Source: Harza: EIA Report on Vlora B)


The selected site of the planned thermal power plant in Vlorë has led to concerns regarding environmental impacts and economic viability, and should be reconsidered.

Source:Albania 2005 Progress Report; Brussels, 9 November 2005, SEC (2005) 1421, COM (2005) 561 final}


Case under 9.2

NGO questions:

  • Inadequancy of EIA report

  • No-proper Public participation procedure.


Compliance committee

  • Communication ACCC/C/2005/12 had been submitted by the Civil Society Development Centre of Vlora, Albania, regarding compliance by Albania with the provisions of article 3, paragraph 2; article 6, paragraph 2, and article 7.

  • the Albanian authorities had failed to comply with the requirements of the Convention to properly notify on a timely basis and consult the public concerned in a decision- making process concerning planning of an industrial park comprising, inter alia, oil and gas pipelines, installations for the storage of petroleum, three thermal power plants and a refinery in the protected area near the lagoon of Narta, Albania.

  • Compliance committee, accepting this communication, has asked Albanian Ministry to provide with a plan for improving such procedures which were raised in this communication.


Local Refrenda Process

  • AQMGJV submitted 13,929 signatures (1370 more than defined by law)

  • Central Election Committee dismissed the request for non compliance, although NGO climed there were 880 signatures more than needed.


  • NGO requested CEC the fulfilling the requirements stated in the decision, as defined by law. (article 128.3).

  • CEC answered that the Decision 1688 is voted “with tre votes pro and three against”

    Request to the Constitutional Court

    Complaint: NGO

    Defendant: CEC

    Object:

    Dismiss the CEC decision No. 1688 date Nov. 2005;

    Accept the request of NGO for local referenda


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