Communities for Sustainability
The overdependence on fossil fuels and inefficient use of raw materials are threatening both – the economy, as well as our environment, contributing to climate change (EC: Europe 2020 Strategy).
These two challenges and our responses to mitigate against them, will define the future of the NSR (North Sea Region). At the same time, new opportunities will emerge from the solutions we create.
In recognition that social partners are fundamental partners in implementing Europe 2020 strategies (European Economic and Social Committee: opinion on "Strengthening the participatory processes and the involvement of local authorities, NGOs and the social partners in the implementation of Europe 2020"), our project will support sustainable growth of local communities within the NSR through exploring how NGOs and community groups can contribute to sustainable development of the North Sea Region.
The current North Sea Region Programme outlines several important challenges the NSR faces:
- Too many jobs generated since the economic crisis have been in the low paid segments of the economy, this factor is sometimes more important in contributing to lower levels of GDP than unemployment.
- Very high per capita levels of Greenhouse Gas emission
- The NSR does not meet the Europe 2020 energy efficiency targets
- There is an acute need to scale back resources to a sustainable level
Our project stems from the need to include civil society (NGO) and the wider community in tackling those challenges through a framework of structured, distinct but interconnected interventions.
There is need for NGOs to be involved in delivering the NRS programme agenda, and the overarching Europe 2020 agenda, as they are equipped to reach members of the local communities they operate in.