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20 March 2007 | Printer friendly

NGO preparatory meeting for the Vienna Intergovernmental Mid-Term Review

The NGO preparatory meeting for the Vienna Intergovernmental Mid-Term Review (IMR) for the Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE) took place on 28th February in Brussels. Over 50 organizations from countries across the Pan-European Region participated. The meeting was chaired by Genon Jensen from Health and Environment Alliance, Sascha Gabizon from Women in Europe for a Common Future and EcoForum and Hanns Moshammer from ISDE Austria. The meeting was hosted by the Belgian government who kindly offered the venue.

The main outcomes from the meeting:

1. Agreement on a NGO strategy to coordinate input and increase participation in the Pan European Health and Environment Process.

2. Setting up of four virtual ad-hoc working groups along the lines of the CEHAPE four regional priority goals to efficiently and transparently develop NGO input.

Each group is coordinated by two NGOs. The groups are as follows:

RPG 1: Access to Clean Water and Sanitation
-  Coordination by: Women in Europe for a Common Future and Earth Forever (Bulgaria)

RPG 2: Accidents, Injuries and Obesity, Built Environment
-  Coordination by: European Child Safety Alliance and ISDE Austria

RPG 3: Air Quality and Reducing Respiratory and Allergies
-  Coordination by: European Respiratory Society and Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment

RPG 4: Chemicals, Radiation and Reducing Neurodevelopmental Diseases
-  Coordination by: Health & Environment Alliance and ECO Accord

The working groups will develop the issue specific input for: the programme of the 4 parallel sessions at the NGO Conference; recommendations; NGO interventions at the IMR. There has been a fifth working group set up which will be responsible for drafting the NGO declaration.

The three main agenda points covered during the NGO preparatory meeting:

NGO Conference, June 11-12

NGO participation in IMR, June 13-15

Best Practice Award

NGO Conference

The NGO Conference will be coordinated by ISDE Austria, and jointly organised by a number of NGOs including HEAL, WECF and Eco Forum. The aim of the event is to bring together between 30-50 NGOs with a good balance (so that east and west is represented equally as well as environment and health issues are covered appropriately) in order to:

Highlight and report on good practice and progress by the non-governmental sector in reducing environmental risks to children’s health.

Agree on recommendations to governments to strengthen and further implement the Budapest Declaration and CEHAPE in the lead up to the 2009 Ministerial.

The draft programme of the NGO Conference can be found below.

The Austrian government has kindly provided the venue and meal costs for the NGO Conference. HEAL is actively searching for a contributions from western governments to pay for the travel and accommodation costs of selected NGOs.

NGO participation at the IMR

It has been agreed upon that NGOs will get two slots during the IMR (latest agenda see below); one will be kept for the Best Award winners and the second is to report back from the NGO side event and formulate the key messages from the NGO community. It has been agreed upon that the reporting back has to be something visual, short, in order to get the message across the most efficient way.

Due to limited space at the IMR conference venue, each delegation, whether NGO or country, will be limited to six participants. This means that countries will be allowed 6 representatives, which could include youth or NGO delegates. The two major NGO groups, Eco Forum (for environment) and Health and Environment Alliance (for health) will also be allotted a 6 person delegation, for a total of 12 NGOs. NGOs will have the right to provide interventions from the floor during the meeting. We have requested the possibility for a rotating NGO delegation in order to secure maximum expertise and regional balance.

The selection process for the NGO delegations will be launched by end March. However, at this time there is no funding to bring NGO delegates to Vienna but we are working hard to identify such contributions from supportive countries.

(Please find below the IMR latest agenda.)

Best Practice Award

A competition has been launched for innovative and effective projects on children’s environmental health in Europe with a deadline for entries of 27 April. An international jury will select the 5 best projects who will each be awarded a prize of 1000 during the opening session of the Intergovernmental Conference on 13 June.

Organisations selected among the 15 pre-winners will be sponsored to attend the Vienna Intergovernmental Conference and to present their projects at the NGO Conference (June 12).

The CEHAPE Best Practice Award contest has been developed by ISDE Austria, HEAL and WECF and Eco Forum. The contest is being sponsored by the Austrian government. The HEAL secretariat is coordinating the logistics of the award process and ceremony and publish all entries on its NGO CEHAPE website.

The timeline of the Awards is the following:

Deadline for submissions: 27 April

Announcement of top 15 award winning projects: 11 May

Presentation of 15 projects at NGO Side Event: 12 June

IMR Award Ceremony and press conference to announce 5 final award winners: June 13

Please find below the call and the entry form.

For more information please contact

 IMR latest version
 Award entry form
 Award announcement
 NGO conference draft programme

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