EPHA Environment Network organised a Capacity Building Workshop on Environment and Health in Zagreb, Croatia on 3-4 March 2006. The programme, co-hosted by the Croatian Nurses Association, PIN for Health and Zelena Akciya/Green Action, was primarily open to local NGOs and community groups working on health and environment issues. A prerequisite for participation was also interest in Croatia’s pre-accession process and priorities.
The choice of Croatia as a pre-accession country was not accidental. The country is about to enter the pre-accession negotiation cycle. Its environmental legislation will need to be adapted to incorporate the acquis communautaire of the EU. Possibly, new laws will be passed too. This is a unique opportunity for the local civil society stakeholders to exercise their influence and bring about shifts in environmental assessment and decision-making to better protect public and children’s health.
The event brought together 30 participants from Croatian NGOs but also from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and from the Czech Republic, which provided a different angle to the discussion from the point of view of a new member state. The EPHA Environment Network secretariat worked closely with local partners and stakeholders in order to ensure that local experience and ideas are included and valorised in the programme. Interesting case studies had been surveyed in advance and presented to the participants during the training sessions as good practice examples.
The policy session included interventions by:
Antoniette Kaic-Rak (WHO Office in Zagreb) on “The WHO Pan-European environment and health process and opportunities for civil society”
Dr Krunoslav Capak (Croatian National Institute of Public Health) on “What is the government doing to implement the Budapest commitments? Towards a Croatian Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan (CEHAP)”
Asja Dalalič (Croatian Nurses Association) on “Civil society involvement in the development of a Croatian environment and health strategy”
Mojka Starc (Delegation of the European Commission in Croatia) on “Opportunities and challenges for environment and health policies in the EU accession process”
Tomislav Tomasevic (Zelena Akcia/Green Action) on “The civil society perspective on EU accession”
The EPHA Environment Network provided technical expertise on EU and WHO main policies. It also facilitated two specialised training sessions on advocacy skills and media relations. The latter focused on developing more fruitful and efficient communications with the media. One journalist from the national radio attended the media workshop, and gave his practical advice to the participants.
A report from the workshop will be available soon.
Written on 3 April 2006.
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