Coordination and collaboration among environmental citizen associations with the Government of Macedonia
Coordination and collaboration among environmental citizen associations with the Government of Macedonia
In recent years, environmental NGOs had repeatedly asked and pledged to improve communication and cooperation between civil society organizations working in the field of environmental protection and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MOEPP), or improve communication with each of the sectors of the Ministry. They also constantly prepare their own analyzes, opinions, papers and recommendations for policy change related to the environment, but rarely when they reach the right place at the Ministry.
At the 9th annual national meeting of environmental NGOs, it was agreed to establish a joint working coordination body, which will have the task to improve communication between environmental NGOs and the Ministry of the environment, but also to work towards improving state of the environment, raising public awareness, better information, joint initiatives and exchange of ideas among all stakeholders.
On 13.03.2013 an agreement was signed for cooperation between the MOEPP and representatives of environmental organizations on the establishment of a coordinating body with representatives from the Ministry and civil society organizations responsible for different issues (eg. Climate change, nature, waste, etc.). This initiative and the agreement were supported by the EU Delegation in the country and the official signing took place at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje.
Although at that time representatives of civil society organizations were selected through an open nomination and voting, and the coordinating body was formally established, the body failed to continue to work with the desired pace. Support and funds were needed for its functioning and coordination which unfortunately were not provided by any source.
In 2015 Eko-svest established the electronic environmental platform Ekosfera, through a grant from the GEF Small Grants Program, which aims to improve communication and coordination between civil society organizations and the MOEPP, and to improve information towards the public about the environment and its protection.
These two elements together, the coordinating body and the electronic environmental platform Ekosfera can be combined and compatibly contribute to a substantial change in the current way of communication and coordination. Using the tools provided by Ekosfera and commitment of the environmental NGOs to strengthen cooperation with relevant institutions, this grant would create the synergy between existing initiatives and projects and will enable functionality of currently established structures. Of course, the intention is to essentially improve the state of the environment and public participation in policy-making in this area, through enhanced cooperation and coordination among all stakeholders.
The overall objective of the project is an affirmation of the principles of good governance, participatory democracy, joint initiatives and exchange of ideas through creating mechanisms to promote dialogue between the MOEPP and civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to protect and improve the state of environment in Macedonia.

Specific objectives are: (1) strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations for improved cooperation and communication between environmental NGOs and the MOEPP; (2) Establish a mechanism for managing the quality and sustainability of the Coordinating body for cooperation between the MOEPP and environmental NGOs; (3) Providing regular strategic planning as well as planning and coordination of activities between civil society organizations and representatives of the MOEPP.

The project works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations for networking and partnership with government policy and decision making, therefore it is expected that the project will contribute to:
• Participation in ongoing monitoring and analysis of policies affecting civil society organizations
• Providing opinions, suggestions and ideas to the MOEPP in the process of initiating and drafting laws and bylaws in the area of environment.
• Mechanisms for public participation in the preparation of strategic documents, action plans and policies.
• Participation of CSOs in planning the funding priorities for national programs, based on analysis of annual reports of ministries and state bodies.
• Active participation in programming and defining priorities for the use of programs from pre-accession funds and other funds.
• Support of civil society organisations for the Ministry for better implementation of legislation at the local level.
• Survey of good practices (MK and EU) and joint implementation initiatives.
• International cooperation with other coordination bodies between ministries and civil society organizations.
• Active support for the implementation of the Strategy for cooperation with civil society organizations and participation in the preparation of new action plans related to the environment.
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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 10,255.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 6,170.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Number and type of support linkages established with national government institutions 1

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Zlatko Samardziev
Ms Melita Ivanova


Majka Tereza 15/6
Skopje, 1000