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A conference on sustainability through Human Resources Development projects

What is the practical relation between sustainable development and human resources development programs? This and other related questions were central to the conference on Sustainable development and human resources, taking place in Brasov, mid October, and bringing together over 140 current and potential European Social Fund beneficiaries. Among the stakeholders contributing to the talks, public authorities' representatives brought significant value.

The conference also marked the first national lucrative meeting of the community of practice for sustainable development in Romania. Sustainability as a dimension of ESF co-financed projects is the main matter of interest to members of the "sustainable community", created to answer the need of a dialogue platform available to all stakeholders: beneficiaries, management authorities, sustainable development experts.

The community of practice is a result of the Partnership for sustainable development project, aiming at programming upgrading for a more consistent and sustainable absorption of ESF money.

Derek Osborn, ex-director of the European Economic and Social Committee, Evan Williams, Scottish Sustainable Development Centre President, Andrea Floria, Monitoring Expert with Authority of Management on POSDRU, Lavinia Andrei, President of Terra Mileniul III Foundation, Nicoleta Dobre, Councellor, Ministry of Environment and Mihai Belea, Main Expert with The Authority for Structural Instruments Coordination (ACIS) were the main speakers stressing a wide range of aspects and conclusions about European financed projects' sustainability:

 

  • The main issue comes from the lack of clear and established indicators for the evaluation of how the sustainability dimension is implemented throughout ESF cofinanced POSDRU projects ; 
  • Correct and efficient implementation of sustainable development depends on capitalizing on the existing expertise, especially that of other member states, through adapting and integrating sustainability procedures and indicators from best practice examples.
  • It is particularly important to overcome lip-service and move towards actual implementation of sustainable development through ESF financed projects. In Romania, out of over 1304 POS DRU projects, 1182 include sustainability objectives. However, according to a study carried out by the Community of practice, a very small number of beneficiaries actually know how to carry out such objectives. Sustainability intentions don't translate into practice. 
  • Lack of specific expertise and a faulty collaboration between beneficiaries and management authorities are the main sources of deficiencies in projects' roll-out. 
  • A community of practice specialized on sustainable development and particularly on sustainable implementing of POSDRU projects is seen as a valuable opportunity to correct underlined deficiencies both by experts, beneficiaries and authorities.
  • The ACIS representative expressed support for the sustainable community" initiatives and offered guarantees that the approaching programming will take into consideration the necessity of evaluation indicators for all horizontal themes, sustainability included.

 

"Romania has the obligation of sustainably spending the EU funds; an obligation that is currently highly disregarded. The community of practice will channel stakeholder efforts towards an efficient integration of the sustainable development theme throughout ESF financed projects" Dan Barbulescu, Programme Director with Save the Danube and the Danube Delta Association.

The Community of practice is a result of the Partnership for sustainable development project, initiated by the Save the Danube and the Danube Delta Association, in partnership with ActiveWatch the Media Monitoring Agency and co-financed through ESF, POSDRU 2007-2013.

 




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