Through the work of this topic area, the REC is able to respond to the growing need, on the part of its stakeholders, to put environmental management into practice. The topic area supports the establishment of the Environmental Management Center in Serbia; and as part of the consortium managing the European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ETC/SCP), the REC continues to contribute to its activities. Another important area of work is support for sustainable waste management practices: the topic area also collects and disseminates information on methodologies, techniques and good practices in relation to the broader subject of waste prevention. It is also developing innovative approaches to knowledge brokering between policy makers and researchers. It contributes to the integration of environmental issues into decision making by extending the use of project-level environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for particular plans and programmes.
The topic area strives to:
- encourage and actively promote sound environmental management and the adoption of practices that will lead to the efficient use of resources, energy conservation and waste reduction;
- play an active international role by supporting the implementation of relevant international initiatives/mechanisms and fostering the development of regional and national networks;
- gain recognition for the REC as a partner among key stakeholders in the field of sustainable consumption and production in our regions as well as among key international stakeholders (regional governments, the Marrakech Task Forces, the EC, and the European Environment Agency's SCP team);
- implement capacity-development projects in South Eastern Europe, Turkey and other regions on sustainable consumption and production and environmental management issues, EIA/SEA methodology and implementation, and facilitating cross-border cooperation.
Building on the REC's experience in recent years, the topic area's activities are centred around three main themes:
Environmental resource management
The topic area supports activities implemented to reduce the environmental impacts of enterprises, with a particular focus on environmental management reporting, cleaner production, and improvements in waste management planning processes and practices in line with relevant EU directives.
Sustainable consumption and production
Activities are undertaken to explore the interactions between our social, economic and political systems and the physical environment. The work is carried out in the context of gradually increasing efforts on the part of governments and a wide range of other stakeholders, including businesses, to implement the concept of sustainable development in practice.
The following services are offered to the REC's beneficiaries (mainly public administrations at national and regional/local level) and international organisations: SEA pilot studies; the establishment of EIA/SEA networks and clearinghouses; inputs to and the promotion of international agreements and national legislation; capacity development and guidance; and research and development/comparative studies.