NGO Network Reinforcement - Support for the Danube Environmental Forum
The overall focus of the components under Objective 3 is to increase public participation in environmental decision-making. A vital and effective route to public participation is via NGOs, because they address communities' concerns and represent the members of communities.
The Danube Regional Project Phase 1 has focused on NGO institutional development support as well as awareness raising and community involvement. A mark of the success of this focus in Phase 1 has been the growth in the number of NGOs actively engaged with DRP: from 50 at the start of the Project to 154 today.
Cooperation of the civil society and in particular of local NGOs is essential to achieving the objectives and goals of the ICPDR and the Danube Regional Project. Particular attention has therefore been given to the reinforcement of the Danube Environmental Forum (DEF), which is the umbrella organization of the NGOs in the Danube River Basin as well as to increase DEF's capacities to take action for pollution reduction and control.
The project gives technical/professional assistance and financial support for the Danube Environmental Forum (DEF) and for national NGOs working on transboundary pollution issues and nutrient reduction. Phase 1 of the Project have been providing the support to make the DEF network (Secretariat, national focal points, national members etc.) fully operational and to prepare programs for training and awareness raising (publications), as well as specific activities (public participation) which will be implemented during Phase 2 of the Project.
Within the frame of the present project component, the support for awareness raising and public participation will be extended during phase 2 and focused on concrete demonstration measures of pollution control, nutrient reduction and transboundary cooperation.