Supporting the transition towards the energy democracy and the sustainable way of energy sector development in Belarus by including local communities, innovators, planners, and decision-makers in policy development and organizing exchange of experience wi

  • BelarusCountry
  • Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)Donor
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  • environmentcapacity buildingTopics

The Applicant/ Leader (in English)

Devlopment Policy Foundation

The Applicant/ Leader (in local language)

Fundacja Polityki Rozwojowej

Background of the applicant

Poland, Development Policy Foundation (DPF), The mission of the DPF is acting for the transfer of Polish transformation experience, including the experience gained outside the metropolitan areas, to the countries that are recipients of the developmental aid. 

The area of interest covers regional and local development, self-governance development, pursuing sustainable development and social inclusion.

The Foundation has been operating since 2010 and it has been developing partnerships in Poland and abroad and acting for the effective use and proper targeting of the aid. All our actions directed towards our partners involve the EU partner organizations, e.g. from EE, CZ, SK, SE, FI, UK and are strictly complementary. Acting independently or in cooperation with other organizations, DPF identifies its role as the concern for effectiveness, quality and sustainability of the projects. Our projects includes:

 Since 2013, DPF has been a member of the Grupa Zagranica (English: the Zagranica Group – a Polish platform of civil society organizations, engaged in development cooperation, democracy support, humanitarian aid and global education.).

The fundamental directions of the on-going development projects include: Belarus – actions for voluntary services and private fundraising for the benefit of social institutions, their cooperation with the NGOs and social entrepreneurship development (http://fpr.org.pl/artykul.php?id=45&lang=en).

 Involving the NGOs into a dialogue regarding the public space. Georgia – a comprehensive program of cooperation with the NGOs from Kakheti / support in preparing project applications, support for the local social entrepreneurship (social slow food/tourism: temi-community.org; regional products, pottery), cooperation with centers for people with mental disabilities.

UA, TUN, GEO: participatory development, universal design, accessibility, greenery, quality of the public space, supporting a dialogue between local authorities and the NGOs/CSOs/ Informal groups, entailing tangible public space improvements: gopriplus.org & garnank.org & fixkairouan.org & soeasty.eu;

MD: Rural income diversification & local/short food chains & integrated rural tourism/biking & local food processing capacities/investments & equipment & registration of 2 first non-wine MD GIs/Geographic Indications in line with AA/MD provisions: codrute.org 

Tajikistan: counteracting poverty and exclusion by means of the long-lasting supporting program directed at the NGO which operates for the benefit of the local development and entrepreneurship in rural areas, and by strengthening the access to information (in close cooperation with organizations from PEIPSI CTC EE) http://gornobadakhshan.org/. Supported by Solidarity Fund PL 2013-15, amongst other donors; 

In 2015, DPF started cooperation with organizations from Myanmar and provides them with support in the field of lifelong education and in improving the quality of education in the Chin state (http://fpr.org.pl/page.php?p=projekty&lang=en): chin.ngo;

Our Belarusian partner - Ecohome. Ecohome is a Belarusian public organization that works in every region of Belarus. It acts according to values of democracy and ideas sustainable development and environmental friendly way of life. Ecohome was founded in 1996. Nowadays it is a national wide civil society organization with 120 members.

One of the goal of Ecohome is development of environmental and nature protection movement in Belarus, help public to participate in environmental decision-making, protect their environmental right and contribute to the further implementation of the Aarhus Convention. Ecohome is the only organization in Belarus, which is trying to help the citizens to claim their rights to a healthy environment in the court. Over the past 5 years have been initiated 24 court proceedings.

 3 Ecohome lawyers are consulting permanently citizens. Ecohome take an active part in public participation in environmental decisions making: commenting drafts of law, holding public environmental expertise, taking part in public hearing? Ecohome from 2009 conducts a systematic information campaign, aimed at countering the construction of nuclear power plant in Belarus.  

In 2013-2014 Ecohome in cooperation with the Moldovan organization Ecocontak within the project SECTOR program of The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) implemented the project "New lawyer generation active on Aarhus Convention", the purpose of which was to create favorable preconditions for implementing the environmental legislation according to the Aarhus Convention with respect to the pillar concerning the Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

We have been jointly (with the PL applicant) cooperating from 2010 on the project  Svirsky neuropsychiatric orphanage http://dominternatsvir.org and its extensions in Pukhavichy. 

Development, management and supervision of a range of development projects in SE & Central Asia, EaP and MENA – including: technical assistance on sustainable rural development, including micro renewables, democracy support, CSO sustainability, as well as social entrepreneurship in rural, remote, fragile and post-conflict areas.

Southern Ukraine, Kherson Oblast: Support for community & NGOs & CSOs – local authorities/LAs dialogue & transparency & accountability & participatory change/public consultation & public space upgrades/revitalization actions in Southern Ukraine: attention paid to a highly turbulent political situation in the area.

Boosting social engagement of local communities in solving their problems and in the process of creating common public space (strong support for citizen monitoring and innovative approach to public consultations - gopriplus.org as well as garnank.org – a new platform for Nova Kakhovka, operating from June 2016 on); Providing assistance to local & grass-root organizations by strengthening their capacities in obtaining financing for their projects.

Renewables – the recent renewable related component by the applicant/DPF: under gopriplus.org (DPF, founded Polish Aid &  Visegrad Fund, 2015) in UKR the applicant/DPF installed small integrated renewable devices (solar + energy storage) e.g. the constructed ferry stop in Gola Prystan is fully renewable/solar powered, entailing lighting + hot-spot/public wi-fi & night storage (see: https://www.facebook.com/gopriplus/ & https://www.facebook.com/soeasty); Further need tailored solar installations in Pamir, TJ & GEO;

Registration & postal address

Address: ul. Dobra 4 m. 70 00-388 Warszawa Poland

Applicant's email & phone

phone +48 501 506 042

fax office: +48 22 188 12 64

email: w.szpocinski@fpr.org.pl

Applicant's website/s or facebook

www.fpr.org.pl

Contact Person for this Project

Wojciech Szpoci?ski

Chairman of the board

phone:+48 501 506 042

mail:szproton@gmail.com or w.szpocinski@fpr.org.pl

Background Outline & Justification

Renewable energy is a challenge and an opportunity. In response to the climate change threat, the world community has to meet the challenge of sharply reducing dependence on carbon-based energy sources. While this is a daunting challenge, it also presents great opportunities; new industries and employment opportunities, new ways to reduce dependency on fuel imports and new ways to reduce air pollution and provide healthier environments. Belarus is not exclusion.

As of today, Belarusian energy system has a great potential for efficiency. It is based on the overwhelming proportion of conventional production capacity, deteriorated infrastructure, and the dominant focus on one source of energy generation – gas – and one supplier – Russia.

The energy dependence of Belarus on Russian energy supplies entails serious economic, political and social consequences and risks.

Currently, we can observe two main trends in the energy policy of Belarus. The construction of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant is underway. However, it is totally dependent on Russian loans and technologies. Besides, it has a high corruption component. According to expert estimates, there is a high probability that it may be suspended due to the economic crisis in Russia. One of the factors that could also make Belarusian authorities reconsider their attitude to this project is changing political situation in the region due to Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In this situation, for the NPP the increasing economic and political dependence on Russia can be considered dangerous.

On the other hand, during the last five years, Belarusian authorities reported increased energy savings and industrial energy efficiency. It was included in government programs, and several government agencies have made an increase in energy efficiency and implementation of renewable energy policy a significant point on the list of their priorities. For this purpose, government subsidies were allocated in relatively large volumes. Government is also trying to attract foreign investment into this area.

In recent years, a number of energy efficiency extension steps were taken and more efficient technologies in power generation were implemented. As a result, Belarus today has good foundations for making its energy “greener".

For these purposes it is crucial to have a vision, involving relevant stakeholders in its integration to national strategy and policies.

Moreover, thanks to the informational campaign positive experience of civic engagement to protect the human rights (here we should mention that right to a healthy environment is an integral part of universal human rights) will reach general society and bring examples of possible positive changes in the society.    

Project location

Minsk & the entire Belarus    

Project Start & End Date:

November 1 2016, - February 28, 2017    

Amount Requested, state the currency

23240 CAD    

Target groups & final beneficiaries:

The policy paper is intended for the use of it results by the politician and decision-makers responsible for the energy sector at various levels: the executive state bodies, industrial companies, and civil society in Belarus. The policy paper and the related information and communication activities will promote cooperation among all target groups.

A special role will dedicated to the representative of the scientific community, experts in energy and environment field, which will be involved in the process from the beginning and provide advices, counseling, and educational support for the general public.

At the early project stage civil society organizations and activist specializing in energy and environmental issues will be involved. Media - traditional and modern - are both specific target group, and the tool for communication and popularization of project’s ideas. 

Overall objective or goal

Supporting the transition towards the energy democracy and the sustainable way of energy sector development in Belarus.

Specific objective(s)

the first specific project objective is to develop and to promote policy in the field of, energy efficiency and renewable energy in Belarus 

To increase public awareness on the topic of renewable energy is the second specific project objective.

. To increase capacities of the professional groups - to conduct 3 day practical exchange of experience practical training

  

Description of the activities

We seek vehicles for closer collaboration among partner organizations not only through the mutual sharing of ideas and support, but also through the development of common understanding and vision, thus the first specific project objective is to develop and to promote policy in the field of, energy efficiency and renewable energy in Belarus, what will support the increase of collaboration among alternative energy democracy forces in Belarus and facilitate the dialog among the stakeholders. At the moment we have obtained data on energy and heat consumption and production in Belarus and collected number of environments indicators, which need to be analyzed and explained for possible alternative energy sector development in Belarus.

The policy will analyses the current situation and strategies in the energy sector, identify strategic priorities for its sustainable development and offer recommendation for the future of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and green jobs in Belarus.  The paper will also fill in existing gaps in the society debate relating to the assessment of ‘real world’ vs ‘official’ emissions and NPP building.

It is planned to prepare 30-40 page document. 2 Belarusian experts and 1 Polish will be invited to develop the document. Experts will be chosen based on their previous experience on the topic.

It planned that a content of the paper will include: context analysis, existing possibilities for renewable energy development in Belarus, existing and emerging Energy security risks in Belarus, recommendations.  Six energy development goals that, either alone or in combination, commonly shape energy development pathways, will be analyzed: “Energy Security», «Energy Access», «Energy Cost», «International Competitiveness» , «Modernisation» and « Emissions Reduction». Furthermore the paper will investigate & provide the recommendations on the efficiency - renewable energy nexus in BY, focusing on the following topical pivots:  challenges for energy prosumer approach in BY (households/micro +/- SME), its legal/institutional/market obstacles; Systemic and bottom level incentives for energy savings in BY & role for NGOs/CSOs; Local smart grids/energy networks potential in BY: smart demand & supply; Community involvement & landscape conservation;

The documents will provide a fact ground to advocate for alternative energy development, what is very important because nowadays one can observe in Belarus full dependence on foreign fossil sources, combined with an unhealthy technical fixation on nuclear energy – both a result from the centralised planned 20st century energy policy paradigms.

Currently no such document exists in Belarus and it’s a unique opportunity to raise the voice of civil society on the topic via Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum during working Group 3 (WG3: Environment, climate change and energy security) that will take place in November 2016 in Belarus. The forum is a legitimate platform for civil society participation in the Eastern Partnership.

2) Despite the fact that the awareness of the Belarusian society about the negative aspects of nuclear energy is quite high, the construction of the nuclear power plant is seen by many as the only option for energy development in the region. Such a position is taken not only by the government bodies and the state media, but also by representatives of political parties, civil society and general public. Therefore, in 2015-2016 our Belarusian partners Ecohome and Green Network switched from protest rhetoric to constructive dialog in order to inform general public about available alternatives generate a vision of sustainable energy development in the region. To increase public awareness on the topic of renewable energy is the second specific project objective.

Strong Media and advertisement campaign will help to reach the wide circle of population and attract attention to the right to healthy environment, energy democracy and show necessity to unite forces in addressing climate change and enhancing environmental sustainability.  Information campaign will reach not less than 150 000 visitors of the web site “greenbelarus” and  Development Policy Foundation, social networks.  At least 16 articles will be written: interviews with experts, activists, local residents, initiatives.  Not less than 10 repost by other Media.

3. To increase capacities of the professional groups - to conduct 3 day practical exchange of experience practical training for the 7 representatives of Belarusian Authorities, CSO’s/NGOs in Warsaw, Poland.

During the visit it is planned not only to conduct training, but also to receive real life experience by conducting a meetings with representatives of public/regulatory bodies (MIN of Energy, MIN of Environment, Energy Regulatory Office, Polish National Energy Conservation Agency), local authorities (Gmina Pluznica/ Pluznica Municipality & Powiat Wabrzeski/Wabrzezno County), topic relevant think tanks & NGOs (Institute for Renewable Energy) and further energy saving oriented start-ups (energydatalab.com/en) & tech companies (airon.com.pl & POL BIOGAZ), private renewable operators, mixed & renewable prosumers & on-farm installations (e.g. micro-farm biogas and biomass/pellet). Being strictly BY needs tailored: ranging from politics energy and law (overall regulatory aspects & market structure & incentives & prosumer approach & smart networks ), economic and financial analysis, and ending with the technical issues and design.

Belarusian authorities have limited to no experience with public participation in environmental decision-making. Belarusians need to learn to take civic responsibilities. The right to healthy environment is seen by the state as neutral topic, but we believe it is one of the possible starting point to attract both (local) authorities and citizen groups into a joint democratization learning process.  Bring to the attention of government officials information about the ecological problems and involving them into the solution process will contribute to the reaching of the overall project result.

The proposed project will contribute to the following long term result  results: the awareness of the Belarusian society about the negative consequences of the use of nuclear energy and about the possibilities of the sustainable energy development in Belarus is increased; the involvement of Belarusian stockholders in the development and promotion of a nuclear-free region's development strategy is increased; representatives of Belarusian  authorities will receive  knowledge, exchange of experience  and will be shown  possible alternative way of development of energy sector in Belarus.

Risks & risk-mitigation measures

One of the possible risk - representatives of the local authorities will be not allowed in the working places to join the training.

We will do our best in advertising and planning the content of the program to avoid any possible political agenda.

Budget

Summary Project Budget:

$23240CAD (total requested funding)

Type of activity

Contribution by:

total asked from CFLI

Ecohome (BY partner)*

Total

Policy paper

Expert honorarium

1500*3

3000

1500

4500

Review and proof reading

500

500

500

Translation

1000

500

500

1000

3-day Training in Polnand

Travel costs and local transport costs for the participants

500*7

3500

3500

Travel costs and per diem for BY coordinator

400*1

400

400

Visa and insuarance costs

130*7

900

900

Accomodation and per diem in Poland

300*7*3

6300

6300

Experts honorarium

300*3*2

1800

1800

Coordinator of the logistic of the trip PL

600*1

600

600

Informational Campaign

Articles

4*4*90

1440

1440

Work in the social networks

1000

1000

Info-grafics

4*150

400

200

600

Administration expenses

Project accountatnt PL

500*4

2000

2000

Project accountant BY

200*4

800

200*4

1600

Project manager BY

500*4

1000

1000

2000

Bank costs

500

500

500

Total

23240

5400

28640