Firstly instituted in Belgrade in 2004, it develops and coordinates the activities of bilateral cooperation for environmental protection trough the support of both Italian and local experts. It was born to create a geopolitical network in Central Eastern Europe in environmental fields, in particular it focuses on the Balkan region setting bilateral cooperation to encourage political and environmental dialogue within these countries.
In fact Central Eastern European countries had the same post-conflict problems and the priorities of the governments were to reconstruct each country and its economy. The Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea gave them the possibility to support their reconstruction and the achievement of a sustainable development according to acquis communautaire. In the past few years of work it extended the activities in the whole Balkan area and over (Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine) involving more than 50 collaborators (coordinators, managers, local referents, technical and legal experts). Nowadays TFCEE signed about 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Annexes, while technical agreements with Russia and Turkey are in process of negotiation.
The MoUs achieved with the competent local authorities (Ministries for the Environment, Energy, Economy) have been the referent framework that allowed the development of about 70 projects (that will be discuss in details afterwards) in the framework of Kyoto Protocol and sustainable development. In particular the agreements promote, trough activity of scouting, the implementation of projects finalized to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the framework of Kyoto Protocol that can be presented like JI (Joint Implementation) and CDM (Clean Development Mechanism). These projects encourage the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, waste management system, afforestation and reforestation. Task Force’s projects included also activity of technical and legal assistance for the achievement of acquis communautaire, the implementation of international conventions in environmental field, the improvement of institutional capacity, the ratification of Kyoto Protocol and the institution of national authorities (Designed National Authority) whose rule is to evaluate and approve preliminary JI and CDM projects. In order to guarantee the development of bilateral cooperation the Task Force identified representatives in loco that maintain contacts with the local authorities and the Italian embassies in the countries, promote, in collaboration with ICE (Italian Institute for Foreign Trade), the Italian activities in the framework of environmental protection spreading know how and innovative technology.
Finally, the Task Force is in contact with international entities such as EAR ( European Agency for Reconstruction), World Bank, EBRD (European Bank for reconstruction and Development), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United nations Environment Programme), UNOPS (United Nations Office of Project Services), OSCE (Organization for security and Co-operation in Europe), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) in order to enlarge the possibility to finance the identified projects.
At the present time the Task Force for Central Eastern Europe is a reference point for these countries: Republic of Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and also for below mentioned countries:
Environmental cooperation in the Russian Federation
The Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea is negotiating a MoU with the Russian Federation Ministry of the Economic Development to study Joint Implementation projects in the framework of Kyoto Protocol. The Italian Ministry is accruing bilateral relationship with the local authority to set up concrete activity on environmental cooperation and it developed the following projects:
- Voluntary agreement with Grand Urals Association signed on April 2008 to evaluate and develop Joint Implementation opportunity
- Voluntary agreement with “Carbon Trade & Finance Sicar S.A.” signed on April 2008 to promote flexible mechanism of Kyoto protocol
Environmental cooperation in the Republic of Romania
The bilateral cooperation between the Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea and the Romanian Ministry for the Environment started on December 2004 with the MoU on ‘Environmental protection and sustainable development’ and continued on the basis of the Mou on Climate Change signed in Bucarest in 2006.
In Romania the task Force developed following activities:
- REHRA project to develop a methodology for the evaluation of environmental and sanitary risk in Danube river basin.
- Elimination of methyl bromide in horticulture for land disinfection
- W BLESS Project to increase environmental system management to heal Black Sea coastal area according to EU directive on water.
- TEIAMM Project to elaborate a methodology to manage transboundary effects due to industrial accidents in Danube river basin.
- TEIAMM 2 to complete the results with TEIAMM
- Experience spreading on the access and use of European funds trough seminars on structural funds planning.
- Technical assistance to update national strategy on sustainable development.
- REIS project to manage an informative system (Environmental Information System) and INTRANET communication among environmental institutions responsible for environmental politics.
- Extreme event project consisting in post degree courses set up in Italian Institute specialized in climate change study and dangerous consequence.
- Feasibility study to create a system on urban and industrial solid waste treatment in the area of Bucarest-IIfov.
- Environmental taxation to analyze fiscal instrumentation and effects.
Environmental cooperation in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Within the partnership ADRICOSM the Italian Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea, developed the following goals:
- Organization of an international research programme to promote development and application of marine and coastal monitoring system, to improve environmental prevision capacity in the region of Adriatic Sea in order to realized an integrated system for coastal and fluvial basins management.
- Consolidation of prevision and monitoring system trough demonstration of use performed by international users. In the framework of ADRICOSM partnership the following projects have been achieved:
- ADRICOSM-EXT consists in the construction of a brief term prevision system and monitoring of marine circulation variability in the coast; implementation of an integrated plan and a system to manage urban sewer channel and water effluent cycle of disposal; evaluation of the results and diffusion of products to user community.
- NERES PROJECT for environmental requalification and sustainable development in Neretva’s delta. The task is to evaluate the extension of saline intrusion and identify the possible actions of phenomenon mitigation; to assure nature conservation and the protection of delta and humid zone ecosystem; to promote sustainable use of resources and sustainable development of economic activities.
- Training in cooperation with REC and Umana Dimora Unlus in order to improve natural parks and Bosnia-Herzegovina areas management.
- Institutional assistance to enforce the ministries of the two entities federated in Bosnia (Bosnia Herzegovina Federation ad Republic of Srpska) involved in environmental field.
Environmental cooperation in Ukraine
The cooperation between the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the Ukrainian National Agency for Environmental Investment started on 18th June 2009 with the signature of the MoU in order to begin a bilateral cooperation in the environmental field with particular attention to the development and realization of potential projects reducing greenhouse gasses emission in the framework of Joint Implementation mechanism. The bilateral cooperation will focus on the following issues: energy efficiency, forestry management, biofuel, legal and technical assistance to introduce European directive and standard in environmental field. On 30th October 2009 there was the first Joint Committee, composed by both Italian and Ukrainian members where it was underlined the interest in the above mentioned areas.