Sweden Organizes Study Trip from the Mekong to the Baltic

A new collaboration initiated by SENSA (Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia) with SIWI (Swedish International Water Institute) is to organize a study trip for participants in ADB’s Working Group on the Environment (WGE), within the greater Mekong Sub-Region Programme(GMS), to the Baltic Sea Region.
The study trip, with the participation of two representatives from each of the six GMS countries, is planned to take place in the first half of May 2007.
The aim is to visit organizations and witness initiatives and projects that could be of interest to the participants and that demonstrate the successes and failures of regional Baltic Sea co-operation on, in particular, environmental issues. The trip will also focus on policy and administration, legal matters, stakeholder involvement, network building, regional development co-operation and the application of new environmental technologies, particularly in the fields of water, energy and eco-system services.
Apart from visits in the field attention will also be directed to the historical, political, economical, cultural, social and environmental context of the Baltic Sea region, in order to understand how it has changed and developed, why certain things work and others do not and what the successes (and failures) of building regional co-operation have been. Its organizational structure will also be highlighted as well as the effects of the expansion of the European Union. Joint efforts between regional bodies, such as HELCOM* and the EU, constitute another matter to be discussed. The role of, and relationships between, NGOs and national as well as regional bodies will also be reviewed.
*The Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental co-operation between Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

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