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Ukraine meeting WECF and partners

Open Space for Implementation project, WECF General Assembly, IAB meeting and MFS2 preparatory meeting with partners

07.10.2010 |Anna Samwel and Farida Shorukova

From September 13-18, on the shores of the Black Sea in Tatarbunary region, Odessa province, Ukraine, a major part of the WECF network came together to exchange visions and ideas. The meeting was the closing activity for the 3 year projects ELA and MATRA, and to finetune the project proposal for MFS2 with the partners.

The General Assembly of the WECF network took place and the newly elected International Advisory Board had their first meeting. The event was organized by the WECF partner Vozrozhdenie, who had successfully implemented advocacy and practical demonstration projects in the region in the frame of the ELA project.

76 representatives from 14 countries in Eastern and Western Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia took part. The topic of the closing meeting for the MATRA and ELA projects was ‘From the Past into the Future’, looking back at the 3 year projects and working on a common future perspective on how to make the results sustainable. This part on project work was facilitated by the ‘Open Space’ methodology. This allowed the participants to set the agenda themselves and propose and choose the most actual topics to discuss in mixed groups. The main topics that came up were: lessons learned and monitoring, upscaling of the results by alternative financing mechanisms, exchange on certain specific technologies such as solar technologies and sustainable sanitation solutions, communication within the WECF network and how to continue in the future as a network without the same big projects.

For the (Empowerment and Local Action) ELA project, 2010 was the year for monitoring the demonstration objects, trainings and awareness raising efforts implemented during 2008 and 2009. The main topics were sustainable sanitation, safe water, sustainable and  safe water and sustainable agriculture and rural development.

In the frame of the 3 year MATRA project ‘Democratization of Governance of the Dniester River Basin’ Ukrainian, Moldovan and Transnistrian partners implemented 20 demonstration projects in 20 communities along 4 tributaries of the Dniester river and lobbied for a more democratic governance of the Dniester basin.
The results and lessons learned from these projects were shared among the project partners and wider WECF network.

In the second part of the meeting, the General Assembly of the WECF network took place with 72 members present and 10 WECF staff. Different projects on the main topics on which WECF and partners are working - safe water and sanitation, safe energy, safe chemicals, were presented by partners and WECF staff. Also the new IAB members were presented.

Finally on the last day, the Georgian, Kyrgyz and Moldovan partners worked, after preparatory discussions on skype, intensively on preparing the MFS 2 proposal for the Coalition for Climate Justice. The IAB meeting also took place on the same day, with most of the IAB members being present.

During the meeting it became clear that WECF has developed to a knowledge-based network, with partners benefiting from the added value of the network, or as some like to call it: ‘the WECF family’.

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