Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is possible only when industrial growth is balanced with social development and nature protection. Following sustainable principles on the local level creates the basis for sustainable development.
This brochure is devoted to the local initiatives and projects based on principles of sustainability, which are performed in two neighbouring countries of the Gulf of Finland basin: Russia and Estonia. The brochure includes materials of the Russian-Estonian conference "Local Sustainable Initiatives and Public Participation in the Gulf of Finland Region" prepared by representatives of scientific institutions, universities, municipalities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Conference became a key step of the long-term co-operation of non-governmental organizations of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region: Friends of the Baltic and Centre for Environmental Initiatives, and Estonia: Estonian Society for Nature Conservation and Centre for Applied Ecology, Sillamae. During several years these NGOs co-operated in common actions and campaigns: the international campaign for promotion of Aarhus Convention, establishing the system for public access to environmental information, Moving Environmental Conferences (bicycle campaigns) along the Gulf of Finland shores, the course of exchange visits of NGO activists.
Learning best practices and NGO activities on the local level, exchanging experience of public participation, interaction between NGOs, business and authorities help to create common approaches to development of the civil society and conservation of nature in the Gulf of Finland basin and the Baltic Sea Region on the whole.
The Conference organisers and compliers of this brochure consider this material as a new stage in development of Russian-Estonian and Estonian-Russian cooperation and as the basis for future collaborative projects.
We are very thankful to Coalition Clean Baltic and Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain, whose support made possible several projects mentioned in the brochure.
We express our special gratitude to the US Embassy in Moscow for its support to the Russian-Estonian collaborative project, Russian-Estonian Conference and publication of this brochure.
Inter-regional environmental NGO "Friends of the Baltic"
St.Petersburg - Leningrad region, Russia