Annual Report 1998

Central and Eastern Europe


Phare Countries


The SoE Reports from the 13 Phare countries were producted in a joint effort with the EEA Phare team and the ENRIN-EIONET national focal points. Two training workshops, funded by Phare were held in Budapest and Arendal.

GRID-Arendal was represented in the first meeting of the European GRID nodes which took place in Geneva in November 1998. As an outcome of this meeting, more active networking and co-operation between the GRID centers in Europe can be expected.

GRID-Arendal is implementing UNEP's ENRIN (Environment and Natural Resources Network) pro- gramme in the 27 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS. Information about the initiative is disseminated through the newly re- designed and regularly updated web site 1 and brochures printed in English and Russian. Most recently, a GRID- Arendal Occasional Paper on ENRIN has been published, containing an evaluation of the programme's imple- mentation to date and a directory of activities and contacts in the partici- pating countries.

The training workshop in Arendal


As the 16th node in the GRID net- work, GRID-Tbilisi was formally opened in a ceremony headed by the Georgian Minister of Environment, Nino Ckhobadze. The inauguration was attended by 50 representatives of the Georgian Government, NGOs and international organisations. The implementation project is funded by the World Bank. GRID-Tbilisi will take an active role in networking with Armenia andAzerbaijan and producing information products for the Transcaucasus.

'Environment for Europe'

ENRIN highlights in 1998 were a joint exhibition and a 'cyber cafe' with the EEA at the Ministerial Conference 'Environment for Europe' in Aarhus, Denmark in June. On this occasion, the 'State of the Environment Reports Sampler' CD-ROM - containing a selection of national SoE reports from Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, environ- mental maps and graphics and a 'cook- book' for production - was launched.

Looking ahead

Three issues will be ENRIN priority in 1999: Continue the integration process with the EEA; Focus on the NIS in allocating seed funding; and Closely follow the developments related to the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environ- mental Matters.

The opening of GRID-Tbilisi

Other externally funded projects under ENRIN are a feasibility study for an environmental information network in Azer-baijan (funded by GTZ), the establishment of GRID-Budapest (funded by Switzerland) and an electronic SoE report for the Aral Sea Countries (World Bank).

UNEP, GRID, EEA in Aarhus, Dk.



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