ISEE Russian Chapter Call for Cooperation

Description of the Projects

Project 1. Developing Mechanisms to Change the Social Needs Structure
(as a prerequisite of redirection of growth and globalization to ecologically sustainable future)

The objective of the Project is to substantiate principles, possible instruments and main steps of a gradual redirection of growth and globalization. Ideas behind this project are as follows:

Project tasks:

1) Collecting, arranging and analysis of information on ("open") studies in different areas related to sustainability issues;

2) Drafting strategy/program of integrating and coordinating scientific works and efforts on the issues of Sustainable development in international scale (increasing efficiency of studies);

3) Substantiation of increasing share of financial resources directed Sustainability research by the governments, international organizations and other institutions (increasing scale, importance and effect of studies);

4) Drafting international scientific programs on priority directions of studies:

(Studies integrating demand and supply sides aimed to obtain balance of material and non-material needs, i.e. social need structure adequate to the principles of sustainable development through assigning appropriate values for all marketable factors, goods.) 5) Policy Priorities elaboration: Preferably, this project should be an international or multilateral or bilateral one. Russian side can contribute to the Project only intellectually.

First stage (phase) will be drafting concept and strategic documents (minimum 200-300 th. $ for Russian part),

Second phase will be development of program document (1-2 mln. $).

Project 2. Building Sustainability at a Regional Level (the case of Saratov Province)

  1. Project objective is to identify the most economically efficient, socially acceptable and environmentally sound directions of the regional development and to prepare and initiate a set of investment projects in the above mentioned break-through directions.
  2. Project tasks.
  1. To develop (on the basis of the international experience) a set of indicators of sustainability at a regional level.
  2. To assess the actual level of sustainability/ unsustainability.
  3. To estimate (value of) assets and resources of the region that may contribute to the process of building sustainability (including natural, human and man made capitals).
  4. To develop proposals on the most efficient ways of using the assets.
  5. To identify the main factors of unsustainability at the regional level.
  6. To substantiate measures (to be undertaken in order) to mitigate an effect of the unsustainability factors.
  7. To develop a regional strategy of transition to sustainable development.
  8. To elaborate mechanisms for the Strategy implementation.
  9. To choose series of investment projects in the break-through areas with the preference to the projects that may benefit for the producers and investors of the donor country.
3. Work description. 3.1. First stage is an analysis of results of completed studies and of non-covered areas of the actual conditions. They will serve as a basis for the Project.

Then, additional subjects to be studied will be identified.

Next step is conducting research in the "white spots".

As a result of the first stage we should get the following outcomes:

  1. The second stage is a development of the regional Strategy of transition to Sustainable Development and to define more precisely the REAP.

  2. Information on different possible economic activities development should be collected and analyzed. The most efficient and environmentally sound directions should be selected. Concrete project proposals are to be considered and analyzed. Some new project proposals may be generated and developed.

    Projects especially aimed to reduce an environmental pressure will be selected in order to concretize the environment protection measures.

    Measures such as economic and legal instruments as well as policy, institutional aspects, public participation, environmental education and other also will be considered and selected. They will be chosen in order to create mechanism of transition to sustainability containing incentives for environmentally sound economic activities.

  3. The third, final, stage will be elaborating mechanisms of implementation of the Strategy including developing necessary regional legislation, normative and methodological base, institutional and policy measures. One of the most important document have to be mentioned is an amended Agreement on sharing responsibility between federal and regional authorities.
Also a series of investment projects in the most promising areas should be selected and prepared. The preference will be given to the projects that may benefit for the producers and investors of donor country (other things being equal).
  1. Expected benefits.
  1. Transferring advanced experience in the field of environmental planning and building sustainability at a regional level.
  2. Setting a series of clear indicators of sustainability at a regional level.
  3. Valuation of assets and natural resources of the region that may contribute to the process of building sustainability.
  4. Development proposals on the most efficient ways of using natural resources and other assets.
  5. Identification of the main direction of attaining the sustainability indicators.
  6. Developing the most efficient immediate measures and projects.
  7. Developing the regional Strategy of transition to Sustainable Development.
  8. Initiating a series of the most efficient investment project.
  9. Informing the potentially interested producers, investors and other organizations on the most efficient investment projects.
5. Term and Budget Estimate Minimum estimated costs for the Russian part (experts services, business/field trips and information) will be about 400.000 US$, and services of foreign experts - around 100.000 US$, (proportions could be different depending on granting organization and foreign collaborators: number, extent of involvement; so we should be prepared to different positive options as well as negative one) so that the total budget would be around 500.000 US$.

The project term is 2 years.

6. Further applications of the project results. The results of this project are ready to be used in Sverdlovsk, Yaroslavl and Kostroma Province (Provinces), where* the links between the research group and the regional authorities are already established (*where regional authorities are interested in a such kind of projects/in building sustainability). Project 3. Economic valuation of Russiaís Natural Resources.

Project objective is to substantiate reforming taxation and budget systems in order to create conditions for internalization of externalities, for proper changing efficiency criteria in the favor of nature saving, ecologically safe production and economy restructuring.

There should be a support from one of the Duma committees as well as from the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of natural resources for this project.

The project includes the following points:

  1. Initial generalized economic assessment of the Russian natural resources;
  2. Approval of the methodology of natural resource economic valuation;
  3. Elaboration of the plan of economic valuation of natural resources/objects
  4. Detailed economic valuation of every object and resource (Itís a huge work and no grant will be able to cover all the costs, however, it is possible to cover valuation of some outstanding objects as pilot/demonstration projects; these projects will show that such a valuation would contribute to the state budget and, probably further money will be given from budget);
  5. Directions of perfecting existing system of natural resource taxation, prospect purposes and program of the taxation system reform, main necessary steps and main obstacles.
First three steps are estimated at a level of 200-300 th. $ (one year),

The whole project:- 0,8 - 1,2 mln $ for two years (depending on selected objects of valuation).

Project 4. Development of the Integrated System for Environmental and Economic Accounting in Russia (the case of Yaroslavl Province).

The objective is to form conditions for providing the necessary information required by the public and decision-makers to assess the consequences of the abuse, over-use and under-investment in the Nationís natural capital; as well as a set of accounts by which democratic societies conserve natural resources and resolve conflicts of interest for the greater good.

The model employed will be the United Nationís System of Environment and Economic Accounting, (SEEA).

The first part of the Project is the design and feasibility assessment of SEEA for a Russian region. The output is a report and a SEEA implementation workshop among Russian Partners.

The second part of the Project is an on-going consultation on the implementation phase. Proposed here are a series of Canada-Russia workshops, reviews of progress, and direct help in solving methodological and technical problems, such as GIS for ecosystem mapping. Canadaís experience in environment and natural resource accounting is readily transferable to Russian conditions, in part because of the similarity of the ecosystems, climate, and the vast remoteness of Northern Regions shared by both countries. Indeed, there is a potential of the Russian experience and expertise being transferred to Canada, i.e., Russian surveillance technology and mapping from satellite imagery.

Yaroslalv Region is one the most prominent regions in terms of SEEA development and the necessary assistance and facilities for the project would be provided. The Central Statistical Office and Ministry of natural resources have also shown interest in context of the 1993 revisions of the UN System of National Accounts, (SNA) which include SEEA as a satellite component. The Ministry of Economics has similarly expressed support as a potential "user" for the purpose of assessing, at a macro-level, the environmental impacts of economic activity and resource exploitation. These three central agencies are the focus of the Projectís Partnerships and Clients with respect to the Design/Feasibility and the Implementation Phases. Emphasis will be placed on development at the Institute of Control Science, Russian Academy of Sciences of a Resource Centre for SEEA research and expertise.

Contarct ISEE.Russian Chapter Secretariat for more information on these and other activities.

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Last updated: September 9, 1999