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||Citizen Participation in Decision-Making Network Project
Citizen Participation in Decision-Making Network Project was launched by EcoPravo-Kyiv Environmental Law NGO in May 2003. The activities are carried out in partnership with the LEAP in Ukraine within the UCAN Program initiated by the Institute of Sustainable Communities (USA).
Democracy development in Ukraine can be improved by means of the institution of participation in various branches of activities at all levels. Environmental and social issues being closely interrelated and interdependent, they can be much better resolved in case representatives of civil society are involved in discussion and cooperation with the authorities. The involvement of the public in the process requires increased capacity of civil society groups and organizations on the one hand, and implementation of mechanisms of participation in the decision making process, on the other. The development of public participation institution has to be carried out not only at national, but also at regional and local levels. In some respects local communities should be in the focus, due to much worse access to information and slow introduction of democratic mechanisms in the life of communities.
The project is focused on the development of the institution of public participation through capacity building and involvement of NGOs, civil society groups and public initiative groups in the process of environmental decision making, and the improvement of local legislation.
The scope of activities within the project is aimed at:
Stakeholder groups: Pilot communities in Ukraine (Western region í town of Kossiv, Central region í town of Pavlograd, Eastern region í Svatovo village, Southern region í town of Evpatoriya, Northern region í town of Korostyshiv), as well as local NGOs, representatives of local administration, deputies of Municipal Councils, local businessmen.
- raising awareness on the issues of access to information and PP in decision making and mechanisms of implementation among stakeholders in local communities;
- informing stakeholders about citizen right to participate in decision making and the mechanisms of implementation;
- improving legislation on PP in decision-making at regional and local levels;
- perfecting mechanisms of PP in decision-making with the involvement of all stakeholders;
- improving and promoting the procedure of public hearing, as one of the participation forms;
- replicating the practice over Ukraine;
- strengthening the capacity of local NGOs and civil society groups;
- raising professional and organizational level of NGOs and civil society groups at local level;
- improving partnership of NGOs, civil society groups, local authorities, and business representatives.
About our partner:
- presentation leaflet on the goals and objectives of the project;
- informational leaflet on public hearings in local communities;
- guidelines on PP in decision-making tools and their implementation;
- draft legislation.
Ukraine Local Environmental Action Program launched by Institute of Sustainable Communities (USA) and ISAR í Ednannia NGO (Ukraine), is aimed at developing and demonstrating participatory approach in meeting environmental challenges at the local level in Ukraine. The Program provides opportunities for the members of local communities to be involved in prioritization dealing with environmental problems, to develop local plans of action and to participate in the decision-making process in cooperation with the municipal authorities. The interrelation of Citizen Participation in Decision-Making Network project and the LEAP project in Ukraine will have the synergistic effect as regards the perception by the members of local communities of their role and responsibilities within the society, the increased influence citizens may have on decision í makers, highlighting the importance of NGOs and civil society groups in the life of local communities.
The Ukraine Local Environmental Action Plan is a three-year project, which implies as a priority, citizens+ active participation in partnership with municipal officials in establishing environmental priorities and developing local plans of action. The project has a wide representation of stakeholders: municipal authorities and public administration officials at the local, region and national level, citizens, civil society groups, non-governmental organizations, state and private manufacturers, science and educational institutions, public utility companies and sanitary epidemic services.
The Citizen Participation in Decision-Making Network Project is closely linked to one of the provided outcomes of Ukraine LEAP Program, i.e. ïincreased empowerment of citizens to affect environmental decision makingØ. The project is focused on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention and related national and local Acts through introducing mechanisms of PP in decision-making process, strengthening local civil society organizations and initiative groups, as well as improving local legal base on PP. Interaction of EcoPravo-Kyiv activities with those of the LEAP program will enable to improve the quality of decisions for local environments made by public authorities, stir the stakeholders to greater activity, supply local officials, deputies, NGOs & representatives of local communities with the information needed.