"RREC has relevant potential for providing support to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia within the framework of Environment for Europe Process and implementing the functions of the Secretariat according to set framework"

V. Stepankov, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of Russia in 2004-2006

Local environmental planning

One of the effective ways of organizing environmental protection and a transition to sustainable development is local environmental planning.

The method of creating local action plans of environmental protection and sustainable development (LEAPs) has been developed through international experience which is widely applied in many countries.

The RREC is one of the organizations successfully working on the solution of environmental problems on Russia's territory, by means of the development of LEAPs and their realisation.

The RREC's concept for the development of LEAPs has always envisaged application of both national and foreign experience, accumulated by various countries. The specific character and strength of an activity on a local level is that local people are better informed about existing problems, they know each other well in addition to knowing the specifics of the local situation.

It is therefore easier for them to find a solution to their problems through joint efforts. In this sense LEAP is the most suitable and effective tool for the realization aims.

The work of the RREC in the field of local environmental planning is aimed at helping local authorities, environmental organizations, activists, representatives of businesses and local communities who are not indifferent to environmental issues.

The methods of our work include consulting services, methodical help and sharing of experiences, the organization of an information exchange, creation and development of networks of experts, and training.

This volume of work creates the basis for the firsthand development and implementation of local actions plans in various regions of Russia. In order to solve environmental problems on both regional and local levels we base on the principle that having a really reasonable and vigilant relationship with nature is only possible when the local community plays a part in its protection and there is a real motivated force.

One of the major results of our work as we see it is the increased opportunity for the local community to effectively solve the problems that arise.

From experience it is obvious that the best results occur when the right tools and methodology fall into the hands of people who have something at stake and have the initiative to do something about it.