Monday, December 7, 2009

Wales signs up to 10:10

Wales, one of the smallest nations in Europe will cut 10% of the emissions from the Welsh Government's estates in 2010 - that means a 10% cut from their offices, government buildings and so on.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

NGOs met Deputy Minsiter of Transport on Struma Motorway

Representatives of Green Policy Institute, Za Zemiata, CEIE, Balkani Wildlife Society and Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds (BirdLife Bulgaria) met this afternoon with Ivaylo Moskovski, Deputy Minsiter of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications. The main topic was the development of Lot 3 of Struma Motorway which has to go trough Kresna gorge - one of the most valuable areas of Bulgarian nature.

The other issues discussed include Bulgaria's Transport sector strategy and construction of the Trakia Motorway.

Mr. Moskovski offered full support ot the initiatives of NGOs, which would speed up the process of foundation of a steering committee for Struma Motorway as agreed with the European Commission two years ago. The other initiatives would help to overcome some nature protection problems around Trakia Motorway and would support public participation in the development of the Transport sector strategy.

Petko Kovatchev of GPI took the responcibility to draft the founding principles of the steering committee and after a short discussion within "Save Kresna gorge" NGOs coalition they will be presented to the respective ministries and agencies for further development of the process.

Meeting on Copenhagen Summit in the British Embassy in Sofia

A group of climate activists from Bulgarian NGOs (GPI, WWF, Za Zemiata, UNECO, Climate Coalition, Bulgarian Scoool of Politics, etc.) and media met this moring for an informal talk with Stuart Peters from the British Embassy, who hosted the meeting. The Bulgarian Minsitry of Foreign Affairs was also presented by Maria Pavlova from UN and Global Issues Directorate.

The participants discussed potential outcomes from the meeting of UNCCC' countries in Copenhagen and the consequences for Bulgaria and CEE countries. Potential areas for coopereation between civil society and British Embassy in climate issues were also presented by some of the NGOs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

National Radio: Petko Kovachev does not expect a joint document to be signed in Copenhagen

The director of Green Policy Institute, Petko Kovachev, expects that there will be no agreed document ready for signatures by the world leaders during the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Kovachev made this forecast in “Saturday 150” live of “Horizont”, Bulgarian National Radio.

Nevertheless, according to him, the Summit will be successful if an agreement on concrete significant goals, such us GHG emmissions' reduction and deforestation would be reached.

“Actually this is the main goal of the EU – to reach exactly these binding engagements and to make clear the deadline within which the document that would replace Kyoto protocol would be ready. At the end of the day we must have a ratyfied document before Kyoto protocol expire”, Kovachev explained.

Here is the original text (in Bulgarian).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Next week: lobby trip to Brussels

A team of experts of the Coalition for Sustainable Use of EU Finds in Bulgaria is going to Brussles for a set of meetings with representatives of European Commission, European Parliament and other institutions. The discussions will focus on how EU money are used in Bulgaria, difficulties and possibilities for improvement. Special attention will be given to several OPs, among them Environment, Regional Development, Transport and Cross-Border Cooperation. Some concrete projects, such us Struma motorway will be also discussed.

The team includes representqtives of Green Policy Institute, EA Za Zemiata (For the Earth) and Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development (Varna).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SAC verdict in favour of citizens!

Dear friends,

It's a great pleasure to inform you that the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) of Bulgaria has canseled the positive decision of the Minister of Environment on Chelopech Mining's EIA for introduction of cyanide leaching in gold extraction!

With its Decision No 13092 from November 04, 2009, SAC has canceled EIA Decision No 8 from July 30, 2008 г. of the Minister of Environment and Waters. The court sends the documents back to the Minsiter with a recommendation for a new ministerial decision to be prepared, in line with the Court's motives.

The case against the EIA Decision was opened by the following NGOs: Association for agricultural and environmental projects - Plovdiv, Centre for Environmental Information and Education - Sofia, Green Balkans - Plovdiv, Ecoforum - Sofia, For the Earth - Sofia, "Underground Values" Association - Sofia and Green Policy Institute.

The Court recognizes most of our arguments including:

1. The very ling period between the finalization of the EIA Report and the Decision (2 years and 4 months) which makes the information at the Report outdated, incl. the one for the level of pollution at the region.

2. The decision of the Ministry of Environment t oset up public hearings only at the villages of Chelopech and Chavdar is wrong.

3. The proposed cyanide technology cannot be described as Best Available Technique (BAT) because the concentration of the Arsenic at the Chelopech ore is very high and such a technology exist only at experimantal stage in Arozina, US.

Let's keep the hope,
Petko Kovachev, ED

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Green Policy Institute - who we are?

Founded: 2006

Statute: Foundation

Founders/Memebrs of the Board: Vasil Kadrinov (sociology/human rights), Dentza Petrova (sociology/eco-education, energy), Ivaylo Hlebarov (computers/waste management, EU funds), Neli Petrova, Petko Kovatchev (economist/energy, EU funds), Petko Tzvetkov (biology), Todor Todorov (history/climate change)

Other experts: Dragomir Konstantinov (economist/regional development, EU funds), Iordan Velikov (agribusiness/EU funds), Evgenia Avramova (lawyer)

Mission: The mission of the organisation is to change the development pattern of Bulgaria and region from business-as-usual to sustainable development.

Goals: The main goals of GPI are:
1.To work for generating and for the enforcement of various green policies in Bulgaria towards sustainable development, protection of the environment, strengthening of democracy, respect for human rights, and improvement of the welfare of Bulgaria's citizens.
2.To disseminate and work for enforcing, in Bulgaria, the various green policies generated within the international community.

1.Energy & Climate: new energy projects in Bulgaria (Belene NPP, oil pipelines), energy strategy for Bulgaria, promoting energy efficiency & renewables (alternative energy scenarios)
2.EU funds: monitoring of EU funds, civil mid-term report, campaigning on various projects
3.Regional Development: implementation of Rio Conventions on local and regional level
4.Sustainable Development: work on Bulgaria's SD strategy

GPI's work includes providing trainings and education, organising lectures, presentations of experts and debates, campaigning, doing research and publishing analyses and reports, providing media with its findings, etc.

Citizens’ control on public funds for environmental protection (2006)
Bulgarian energy: 2006 and further (2006)
Analysis of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Greece for co-operation in the construction and exploitation of “Bourgas – Alexandrupois” oil pipeline (2007)
Environmental Effects of the Closure of Uranium Mining in Bulgaria (2008)
Preliminary Analyses of the Impact of Bourgas – Alexandrupois Oil Pipeline on Natura 2000 Zones (2008)
Stimulating Public Participation for Integrating Global Environmental Issues into Strategies and Plans for Regional Development and Spatial Planning in Bulgaria (2009)

Membership in various NGO coalitions:
NO to Belene NPP! Coalition
Save Black Sea Coalition
Civil Coalition for Sustaianble Use of EU Funds in Bulgaria
Bulgaria – Zone, Free of Cyanides! Coalition