Capacity building and raising awareness of local residents on integrated environmental recourse management at municipalities in Latvia

Project number: LV/KAP/012/05
Implementation period: May, 2005-September, 2005
Location: city of Cēsis, Latvia 
Project is financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the MATRA program.
Key players – Baltic Environmental Forum took the initiative which was implemented in close co-operation with the Cēsis City Council. It is essential to involve communities in environmental activities in their local areas. However, it has been observed that local stakeholders can be difficult to engage, due to the cumulative effect of a lack of motivation and a perception of other residents as too passive. The initiative therefore aims at engaging local stakeholders in the City of Cesis, with emphasis on raising awareness and joint actions to involving local residents. The initiative illustrated that taking active environmental measures can be better dealt with by daily work than the organization of a spectacular campaign.
 The aim of the project of the project is to increase capacity and raise awareness of local residents on integrated environmental recourse management at municipalities by demonstration method in the town of Cesis.
 Objectives:
To provide easy understandable and user friendly information to local stakeholders e.g. inhabitants, enterprises, NGOs on legislative requirements related to environmental resource management, like water, waste, air quality etc.;
To raise awareness of the target group on principles for management of water, waste, air pollution by providing information and discussion forum;
To promote a local initiative by involving the local stakeholders in practical actions in various steps of environmental management;
To increase capacity by providing practical experience in environmental management for authorities at local level;
To support the process towards more open society by dissemination of best practices for public awareness raising activities among representatives of municipalities in Latvia.
Activities:
Awareness raising material for local stakeholders (informative leaflet);
Awareness raising meetings with inhabitants, enterprises, NGOs at the municipality of the Town Of Cesis;
 Local initiative – a joint work action in Cesis;
One meeting for evaluation of results and experience with local stakeholders in Cesis;
One meeting for dissemination of results to other Latvian local authorities.
Target group:
Direct – participants (local residents – inhabitants, municipal enterprises, NGOs at municipalities);
Indirect – beneficiaries (other local authorities in Latvia).
 Benefits - Good experience has been gained in methods for raising awareness and capacity – building within Cesis municipality. Other municipalities besides Cesis have also benefited as a result of an exchange meeting that was held to share experiences though interactive discussions. A network of contacts between municipalities could exchange best-practice experience on awareness-raising methods and the implementation of measures up to a regional level.