Thursday, December 22, 2011
You can find all materials and the recorded Live stream here on the website.
We are happy to still receive your feedback!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
For many of us and at least for the organisers this has been the first online event of such a big scale. We have enjoyed this a lot and are sure that online conferences will become more and more common as we get used to them and the technique. For this reason, we'd like to hear your thoughts how it worked out!
What did you think was the best part? What could still be improved?
What was in your opinion the most interesting speech, presentation or video at the European Climate Champions?
We are happy to say that all the material will stay available on the site and it's worth and also the presentations from the live stream will be added to the site soon. We hope you enjoyed the conference!
Photo: Kaj-Michael Lang. "Behind the scenes" at the European Climate Champions
Rather often we hear from local authorities that there are too much initiatives and not enough coordination and continuity. This is what the Integrated Management for Sustainability is standing for: Coordination and continuity - not only on local level by supporting local and regional authorities to implement this integrated management approach, but also on European level by establishing the European Partnership.
All these initiatives are useful and they need a management system to be implemented as well as guidance and training programmes. The European Partnership will offer right this:
* A management system which proofs to be logical and practical and at the same time flexible to allow the integration of existing management tools
* Guidelines which are meaningful and profound and at the same time adaptable to the circumsdances of all European countries
* A training structure which combines the European state of the art and national peculiarities and is able to support local and regional authorities by solving their individual challanges
* The European Partnership will further develop a standard for IMS and assure the quality of the management system itself but also of the IMS trainers and training. And it will lobby for mainstreaming IMS and for establishing tangible benefits and advantages for local and regional authorities with an IMS implemented.
The European Partnership has been established with the spirit to include and not to exclude and with the objective to joint forces and use synergies. The CHAMP project team as well as the new IMS National Training Hubs are looking forward to new partners and to work together with initiatives with the same objectives as we have.
A peaceful and relaxing Christmas time and very best wishes for the New Year,
Marion Hammerl and the CHAMP Team
The concept of sustainable development is known in Rumania since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The first management tool proposed to the local communities was the Local Agenda 21. In 2008, the National Strategy for Sustainable Development coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests was approved. In the first "Romanian National Report" from 2008, measures and first results have been published.
Since 2003, a scientific consortium formed by INCE- Romanian Academy, the University Lucian Blaga Sibiu, and CRFCAPL Sibiu, has realized various projects focusing on local communities and sustainable development with the objective to elaborate a model for local authorities.
These strategies are based on the results of sociological investigations and the main objectives are:
- Rational use of natural resources at local level
- Environmental protection
- Protecting and developing cultural heritage
- Sustainable development of economy and increase employment jobs
- Development of sustainable tourism
The methodology is transferable to the majority of local authorities in Rumania. In most of the cases it is still too early to evaluate the implementation and the results obtained. Sibiu and the Association Drumbrava Narciselor are included as positive examples in this brochure.
Fundatia de Perfectionare Profesionala in Administratia Publica uses the results and lessons learned from the strategies in training courses for staff of public administrations and has been able – thanks to ICLEI - to enrich the experience in Rumania with knowledge from other countries.
But there is still a big need for training of politicians and technicians in local authorities. So far, local administrations are not used to a management approach which considers economic, ecological and socio-cultural aspects in an integrated manner. Rumanian communities need more to exchange experiences and to learn from the few but positive examples in the country and also from experiences in other European member states. Furthermore, integrated sustainability management will increase transparency and contribute to a better implementation of programmes and projects.
These are aspects of high importance for European and international funding institutions. IMS will therefore increase the possibilities for Romanian Local Authorities to obtain funding which they need urgently to solve important environmental and social problems. Last not least it is of high importance that Rumanian local authorities become an ethical ideal (Vorbild) regarding sustainable planning and acting and start to live the principles of participatory democracy and the spirit of tolerance. Only then they can request the support of stakeholders and citizens and motivate them to change behavior.
Fundatia de Perfectionare Profesionala in Administratia Publica believes that the Integrated Management System is a valid instrument to enable Rumanian local authorities to face global and local challenges and to contribute to improvement of quality of life for the citizens in our country.
The IUME process is one initiative that is building tangible basis and possibilities for cities to learn from each others. As Mr. AtKisson said in yesterday’s panel discussion “If you cannot measure sustainable development, it will remain just a nice word”
Ms. Mühlmann from ICLEI reminded that integration and cooperation are the key to success and that there is also a key set of indicators in the Capacity Development Package on www.localmanagement.eu which functions as e-platform for the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management.
Ms. Maliszewska from the Sendzimir Foundation emphasized the need for continuous capacity development on two levels: individual and institutional. She also saw that IMS can have a role as being practical tool in developing good governance.
Several comment speeches noted that good governance and sustainability management are challenging goals for cities but the networks have important role as supporters in the process. Mr. Hooli from UBC summarized the experiences from implementing IMS by referring to a civil servant who had stated in IMS workshop that “Cooperation is municipal therapy”.
Photo: Lauri Hooli from UBC.
Now, we observe that many local administrators, personally and because of deeper insight and understanding, would like to innovate their work-place and procedures by introducing instruments like IMS. And not at least during the CHAMP e-conference 'Climate Champions', we could observe a general agreement of many diffeent actors in Europe that IMS is perhaps the most promising solution for a sustainability oriented public management for European cities, towns and regions, independent from geographical location or size. But will the EU's integrated approach and local integrated management 'fly' just by being the best-in-class instrument for managing local sustainability and climate change response? Will local governments in Europe rearrange their public management procedures towards an 'integrated approach' following the IMS example just by voluntary move? The European EMAS does so, but the main argument is 'competition', which is a valid argument for private organisations, businesses, of course. But for public administration that is used to deal with and inside a clear legal framework? We are IMS enthusiastics - and we have our doubts. The doubt lives on the fact that IMS is simply not required. There is a trap that we observe. It is the 'waiting for the other-trap'.
Local administrators would like to change, but don't get mandate by their politicians and CEO's. Politicians and CEO's refer to missing legal requirements and reject any voluntary spending for a transition (independent from any future gains). National governments are not really interested in developing a legal obligation (which would actually mean to change local constitution), as they expect municipal associations to oppose due to the 'old dragon phenomenon'. They refer to other European countries that do have no such obligation in their legislation. Who could then move? The European Commission. But: In 2005, the European Commission presented their idea of an obligation for integrated environmental plans for the, then, 460 European cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Immediately, Member states and National local government associations rejected this idea. It was, however, not for the contents, but for the principle. Member states saw problems with the subsidiarity principles, municipal associations, by default, opposed any new instrument - in their understand equal to: burden - obligatory to local governments. The old dragon waves ...
Meanwhile, we hear some administrators say: the city networks should lobby a legal requirement? Well, we do so for quite long time, actually. But with the 'waiting for the other-trap', there is no entry point, no example, and lobbying from the outside only. We are committed to carry IMS forward: by means of the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management, dissemination, advocacy work. But this will help little, if not public administrations themselves move and push their politicians and Councils, Councils move and push their national associations, national associations move and push their national governments, and the national governments take a different view on cooperating with the European Commission for a new mode of multi-level integrated sustainability governance.
One good example for this successful cooperation is the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate with the city of Speyer. During the CHAMP project Speyer has started its integrated sustainability management system. Actually they are elaborating the indicator set for their Baseline Review. There is a ppt available about the local development of Speyer in the cities solution section.
Another German example using IMS fighting Climate Change is the City of Nordhausen in Thuringa. Stakeholder Integration and public participation are crucial for the local responsibles. Therefore they organised in cooperation with ICLEI, two stakeholder fora and a public information event. Further information you get here.
An interesting source for further information on local sustainability in German is the webportal nachhaltigkeitkommunal.eu.
Do you know any other good examples of German cities being active fighting climate change and fostering a sustainable future?
Ms. Maliszewska also recognizes that implementing sustainable development is a very important thing but at the same time is a very complex issue that should be dealt with the right tools. That's why the Sendzimir Foundation has decided to be part of the CHAMP European Partnership: cities gain support and a stimulus from being part of a network.
The Capacity Development Package set up in CHAMP may address perfectly the complexity of the topic: its practicality is a support for Polish cities and bring strong benefits.
Why an environmental management system or - even more appropieate - a sustainability management system should not be obligatory for all local and regional authorities, as well as sound financial management is legally requested?
Since many years, environmental organisations like ours are observing, that voluntary instruments (doesn´t matter if for public bodies or companies) do not have the expected effects. By now, only a very limited number of organisations is engaged and motivated to develop truly towards sustainable development. And additional to their efforts - which are very much appreciated - they need to pay for certifications which underline that they are acting in a responsible way.
And the other 90 % of public bodies and companies which are just doing the legally requested - or often even not that? Why they do not need to pay the costs for the environmental and social impacts they produce because of short term benefit orientation?
This is an "illegal competition" - said Jochen Seitz, CEO of PUMA company. PUMA recently published as first company an Ecological Profit and Loss Account - internalizing the costs for use of water, land use, waste and CO² emissions.
Only in 2010, the costs for these environmental aspects was more than 120 million euros - nearby 50% of the benefits of the company. Jochen Seitz underlines that all companies should be legally obliged to publish a Environmental Profit and Loss Account. First it would allow transparancy and it would be the basis for sound regulation measures such as taxes for the overuse of natural resources.
This would be an important step to favor responsible companies - as well as public administrations - and to punish all those which are benefitting now from unsustainable and unresponsible behaviour.
Best, Marion Hammerl
After this, Pamela Mühlmann from ICLEI introduced the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management, which is working to mainstream integrated management to build more sustainable cities and regions. The European Partnership aims to form a bridge between European policies and local authorities. It focuses in increasing the capacities of local authorities
At the moment the European Partnership is still an open network, so if your organisation is interested, please contact us! You can find more information on the in the Introducing the European Partnership section.
CHAMP and Integrated Management for Sustainable Development is supported by the European Commission within the LIFE-Programme.
Of course, there is potential for improvement regarding the management of the LIFE-Programme and the supported projects as well as other EU programmes. But so far, LIFE is the only financial instrument to support nature and environmental projects in the European Union.
Yes - also other programmes are supporting increasingly sustainability projects, but LIFE allows the implementation of model initiatives and - of special importance - to really look for the "European Added Value".
The current LIFE Programme will end by Dec. 2013 and the continuation of LIFE is still not sure! DG Environment is fighting for the continuation of LIFE and we all should support this.
Yesterday, the European commission published the proposal for the new LIFE 2014 - 2020:
A LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action with a budget of3,2 billion Euro
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The LIFE Programme is key to
designing better environmental policy. It is available to support all those people and
organisations who are working to make sure that legislation results in better
outcomes for the environment in Europe. We are reforming the programme to
deliver greater impact by mobilising support in an integrated way from other funding
CHAMP gathers many European networks working on sustainability and IMS, and very experienced ones as well, and they can support cities providing best practices and trainings.
In this sense, cooperation at international level between networks and therefore their cities is key for a sustainable growth in our countries: this is also a key issue that is being discussed now in the second day of the CHAMP online conference. Please take a look at the live conference on line and don't hesitate to ask questions, the speakers are there to give you ideas and to answer your questions!
You can find more information in the section European Cooperation.
Today our topic is European cooperation for mainstreaming the integrated approach to fight climate change and you can find the detailed programme under the Live Stream site.
We are doing this in intense cooperation with Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency - our CHAMP partner in Hungary.
Besides contacting all Environmental Ministries, competent bodies and other relevant organisations in Central and Eastern European countries, we developed more intense contacts with Sendzimir Foundation in Poland and Fundatia de Perfectionare Profesionala in Administratia Publica in Romania. Lake Constance Foundation supports these future "IMS National Hubs" by the realization of information workshops and first trainings for local authorities and the adaptation and translation of basic training material.
Furthermore, Lake Constance Foundation supports also REC (Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe) in the training of 25 municipalities from Balkan region towards sustainable development.
All these activities are financial supported by the German Environmental Ministry and the German Federal Environmental Agency within the Programme to support the Assessment for Eastern European Countries and the LIFE Programme of the European Commission.
Marion Hammerl, Lake Constance Foundation
"By learning, we learnt what kind of targets can be set and how to reach these targets. We know that targets must be continuohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifusly developed; it is not enough that we set the targets and only meet them; we have to try annually or bi-annually to review and further develop them. And maybe the main learning is that we can not stop, persistently we have to develop we have to set new targets and meet them. We would like to update our environmental management plan annually – biannually, and also that the members of the local council support us to implement new and new environmental programs."
The end of the training the participants received a certification within the Final Award Ceremony. The representatives of Fonyód can be seen on the picture.
If you would like to become a Climate Champion, please click to the project website or follow the on-line conference.
You can find out more about the Hungarian trainings in the section Reflecting the CHAMP trainings.
An added value is the opportunity coming from CHAMP on an european partnership of cities, with training hubs becoming points of reference for training on IMS, providing tools that would enable cities to stand up alone and to use the most of their internal capacities.
Watch the video of Emanuele Burgin at the section Why is European Cooperation needed?
It's true that transnational city networks such as ICLEI, UBC, Energy Cities and Climate Alliance etc. working with climate issues can be of great help to their member cities. They can either use direct lobbying, financial incentives or direct consultation and collaborative efforts in an international setting.
In the CHAMP training series we have seen that peer support and capacity building offered by these networks is really of great value to the cities. What ways do you think this kind of city networks can help cities?
Read the keynote paper by Kristine Kern here and feel free to discuss it in the comment section of this post!
Check out the content on that topic at the "European cooperation" pages
As yesterday you are able to comment and dicuss on the blog or get in touch with us straight.
The Live stream is on air from 11.00-13.00 (CET+1) and you are very welcome to ask questions in the chat.
We hope you enjoy today!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Club is supported and managed by the Province of Modena, a CoM coordinator, with the technical support of the Agency for Energy and Sustainable Development in Modena.
They get together to discuss issues linked to energy and climate change, they work together sharing ideas and solutions, they travel to see european successfull and sustainable cities: don't you think that this could be easily replicated? We think so!
See here the interview from Stefano Vaccari from the Province of Modena.
When you organise an online conference with the background of being climate-friendly and avoiding emissions, it also requires some new ideas when it comes to speaker present.
So when we came to that point, we almost went into the trap to just give a small present like always: something typical Finnish, design, small handicrafted items, wine, flowers....
There is nothing at all wrong with these, but isn´t there anything else? Something that makes more sense? Something that is also easy to carry for the speakers and nothing they would throw away...because they didn´t like the wine or have already 10 ties or scarfs?!
Luckily there are several initiatives and organisations who actually offer just this: another kind of spaeker present - trees !
For our speakers and panelists during the conference, we donated 50 trees to be planted in Nicaragua.
With this we contribute to the reforestation in Nicaragua and through this help to protect the climate.
The organisation who leads the project we donated the trees for and who facilitates th ewhole donation process is PrimaKLima weltweit
Perhaps it is an idea also for yout future events? We will definitely use this way to give presents in a climate-friednly way in the future as well!
Alan AtKisson, in his presentation at Climate Champions 2012 in Turku, reinforced the importance of both, individuals that act as change agents for sustainable development as well as alliances and networks that help to energize their activities and multiply their effects. 'You'll never walk alone' is important for both: the person or organisation that feels a movement of like-minded around providing feed-back, confirmation, and inspiration, and the movement that could not 'move' or be 'moving' without the individuals that carry the idea by personal 'investment' of time, creativity, power.
When starting CHAMP - Local Response to Climate Change, we were conscious about the need to not just add another project to the list, not just another guide to the shelf, not just another training package to the portfolio. Too often we had experienced a good idea or programme vanishing with the end of a funded project. Encouraged by cities that took part in Managing Urban Europe-25, we dared to think of a European platform for integrated management. This platform was not supposed to be an organisation or network competing with the existing - with 4 of them actually included in the project team. The idea was rather to establish a platform or partnership that would continue after the project's lifetime with all involved contributing to its maintenance. Moreover, this partnership should allow for reaching out in all 27 Member States of the European Union, offering training capacities in-country, networking opportunities and - following the principle of continuous improvement - establish a feed-back and learning process to improve training material.
Implementing this idea, the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management was launched at the occasion of the Bonn Resilient Cities 2011 conference. The Partnership establishes a structure of national training hubs. These hubs connect trainers and advisors of local governments that want to implement IMS. They offer training opportunities and advocate integrated management in their countries. At the same time, the training hubs commit themselves to be part of a European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management. By now, seven training hubs have been established. Others announced their interest.
The European partnership supports the training hubs by providing training material, opportunities to exchange and furthering standards for integrated sustainability management. As said, you'll never walk alone! Join the partnership, join the movement!
People engaged in environmental protection like me very often are not very pacient and not very friend of the "small step by step approach".
But during the years I learned, that people need to be "picked up from where they currently are" - especially if the task is to work on challanges related to climate change.
The Integrated Management System is not a tool for punctually problems - but a tool to work in a structured and efficient way on long term objectives. It is impossible to achieve sustainable development in one step and therefore the concept of IMS is based on a modular approach.
The "Plan-do-act-check" Management Cycle is known since decades and still valid. The environmental management systems EMAS and ISO 14001 are based on this cycle and IMS too.
Therefore, EMAS or ISO 14001 are good basis to extend them towards a sustainability management system: extention to the whole urban area, inclusion of all relevant stakeholders and inclusion of all aspects of sustainability.
Anyway, if we are discussing environmental aspects, allways social and economical implications are considered as well.
EMAS is motivating explicitly the certified administrations to develop the EMS further - even if only the environmental part of the management system will be certified by an auditor!
Apart from the scope related to content and some other wording such as Baseline Review instead of Environmental Report, there is one important difference between EMS and IMS. It is the request of political committment on highest level and in all relevant steps of the management process.
EMAS requests that the " head of unit" is responsible and needs to sign the Environmental Declaration. In case of IMS for local and regional authorities, the "Council" is the head of unit and highest responsible on political level. Therefore is is crucial to involve the Council in all steps of the management system and to request the political support in form of approval of all relevant decisions and findings within IMS.
Political committment starts with the council decision to implement the IMS, follows by approval of the Strategic Programme and includes the regognition of the monitoring results and the political willingness to take the necessary correction actions - even if they are not popular.
The CHAMP project team and the communities involved in the implementation of IMS want to motivate local and regional governments to start the integrated management approach - step by step and in a modular approach!
The Capacity Bulding Package and the increasing practical experience behind is ready to support you!
Best wishes, Marion Hammerl - Lake Constance Foundation
last week I was invited by Fundatia de Perfectionare Profesionala in Administratia Publica, an organisation with long term expertise regarding capacity building of local authorities. Last week, the second traing on Integrated Managementfor Sustainability took place and representative of 8 rumanian and 3 moldavian municipalities participated.
Climate change was not the main focus of the workshop. The local authorities want to know more about IMS as an instrument to improve basic aspects such as management of water resources including waste water treatment, increase renewable energy, take the right decisions for sustainable infrastructures or to increase jobs - specially within the "green economy" and for young people.
But of course, all these aspects are related to and influenced by climate change.
We discussed (not easy, because we needed translation) intensely that IMS requieres a change of thinking in the administration - a challange specially in those new EU member states where there is no tradition to follow all steps of a management cycle and to look for a participatory approach.
The Rumanian and Moldavian local authorities expect by implementing an environmental or sustainability management system also better access to financial support from the European Commission and other funding institution. And yes, a well structured and transparent management system will underline the profesionality of the local authority and increase trust. Funding institutions can be much more confident, that local authorities with proper management will have less conflicts and will achieve the agreed objectives!
Fundatia de Perfectionare will continue to offer training on IMS as the National Rumanian Training Hub. The Rumanian Environmental Ministry is supporting these approach and Lake Constance Foundation contributes with background material and experiences.
The German Environmental Ministry and German Environmental Agency support the dissemination and implementation of IMS in Eastern European Countries by co-financing training, translation of guidance etc.
Best wishes, Marion
Delegations of 194 countries would have come to Durban ready to implement an Integrated Management System for Climate Protection for our planet:
The first step = a sound Baseline Review for the whole planet and all ecological, social and economical aspects related to climate change has been realized.
Scientific Experts all over the world agree on the targets which need to be achieved by 2020 in order to have a minimum chance to avoid a global warming over 2 degrees.
A risk analysis has been done regarding what the consequences if temperature arises about 3,5 degrees - scenario which starts to be discussed now.
And the world´s political decision makers on highest level recognize the findings of the baseline report and use them to set the right priorities.
Instead of last minute negotiations and a "Pact with legal force" by 2015, a sound "Strategic Climate Programme" with concrete Action Plans would have been approved with measurable targets, clear responsibilities and time tables and allocated resources. Partnerships have been putted in place, because these inmense challanges can not be achieved by the governments only!
A Strategic Programme with the requiered political committment - that means approved by the UN and all 194 countries. Monitoring sturctures and procedures have been defined - neutral and trasparent - and with the compromise not to ignore monitoring results and to take correction actions if needed.
An appropiate organisational set up was established to assure the efficient functioning of the integrated climate management system and to set up the procedures and rules for stakeholder involvement.
Communication and involvement are considered as a priority in all stages of the elaboration and implementation of Climate Management - and citizens and stakeholders involved consider themselves well informed in order to be able to contribute actively and appropiatly to the tremendous objective.
Unfortunatly it seems that political leaders of many countries never heard about the integrated management approach for sustainable development. Steps agreed are too weak and too slow when climate change has become a rather urgent issue!
We urge political decision makers from national, regional and local governments to learn from the CHAMP Capacity Building Package and the take the guidance and experiences seriously!
We invite them to come to our IMS Training Courses! We recommend to contact the local and regional authorities participating in Managing Urban Europe and CHAMP and implementing integrated management system.
They can tell you, that it is not an easy task, that is requieres political will and continous support of political decision makers in all steps of the management process. But it is the only way to come to positive results.
Climate mitigation and adaptation requieres a structured and continious way. The global objectives can only be achieved on local level - therefore it is so important to support local and regional authorities which are taking these challanges seriously and are working towards solutions in a structured and continuos way.
At the same time, European and national political decision makers need to change the political framework in order to make IMS mainstream: IMS as a minimum requirement for all kind of financial support, Strategic Programmes and sound monitoring on local, regional and national level ... these are the steps which need to be taken.
No more time to loose!
Best wishes - Marion Hammerl, Lake Constance Foundation