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Capacity building partner


Sustainable Development Academy

In today’s fast-moving, globalised world, more and more people are travelling and metropolitan areas are booming, taking an increasing toll on natural resources and the climate. Action is needed, especially at the political level, to spur progress on technical counter-measures. Firm commitments are needed to follow through with development strategies and plans that address these problems.

Although the traditional paradigm sets economic development against environment, a new view is slowing emerging: the term “development” is being redefined as the more rational use and management of our natural resources.

Sustainable development and environmental protection require sound education, capacity-building programmes and trainings and the raising of public awareness. With this in mind, the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, through the support of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, has established a targeted programme to build the capacities of key leaders in politics, public service, business, NGOs and the media, while building partnerships among these groups and academia.

Following the rebranding of the "Course for Sustainability" programme in 2010, the overhauled Sustainable Development Academy (SDA) has ensured a common and harmonised blueprint for all those involved in the implementation of the annual projects, and an array of new tools have been designed.

Since the pilot programme was launched in 2004, over 20 courses with approximately 600 participants have been conducted in Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the Visegrad countries, the Black Sea region, the MENA region and Turkey, as well as Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, including the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

The SDA aims to continue delivering high-calibre workshops and courses, with the help of experts and dedicated participants. The SDA’s efforts pursue dual, interweaving directions: building on the most successful experiences in the beneficiary countries, thus conveying and transposing lessons learned and major achievements in the newly planned courses; and proposing and implementing specific future-oriented and hands-on course sessions in order to introduce participants to the latest trends in environmental governance.

The SDA’s efforts to raise environmental awareness and promote capacity-building trainings on sustainable development are also contributing to the establishment of a network of national and local government officials and business representatives that facilitates dialogue, experience exchange and cooperation.
The programme’s aim has likewise shifted from how to rectify management problems to how to take preventive measures. Participants are encouraged to exchange experience and analyse each subtopic through workshops and simulation games.

The list of successfully implemented courses, seminars and certificate programmes includes:

  • Course for Sustainable Development for Central and Eastern European Countries (2004 – 2007)
  • Kazakhstan Course for Sustainability (2007)
  • Course for Local Sustainability and Action in South Eastern Europe and the Visegrad Countries (2008- 2011)
  • Seminar Series: Partnerships for Sustainable Development – Sustainable Public Policies and Business Practices for Black Sea Countries (2008 – 2011)
  • Certificate Programme on Corporate Sustainability (2008 – 2011)
  • Course for Sustainability for St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region (2010)
  • Course for Sustainability for Ukraine and Belarus (2011)
  • Living Laboratories: Resilience and Sustainability of Municipalities  (2012)
  • Course for Sustainability for the Western Balkans and Turkey + MENA region (2013)

The Sustainable Development Academy aims to continue delivering high-quality capacity-building trainings, with the help of experts and dedicated participants. While keeping up its support to the regions in which it has traditionally been active, in the coming years the intention is to persist in expanding the SDA’s field of operation and attract further enthusiastic partners to enhance the SDA’s overall reach and impact.