On the Saint-Petersburg initiative
Stage 1 - the creation of the Saint-Petersburg Initiative
At the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, heads of government and high-ranking representatives of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Iceland, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Kingdom of Sweden and the European Union together with businesses and non-governmental organizations gathered at the Conference of Heads of Government of the Baltic Sea States for Environmental Protection of the Baltic Sea in St Petersburg on April 5-6, 2013 in order to assess progress in achieving the common goal of preserving the Baltic Sea environment, and to identify additional ways to strengthen cooperation in the interests of its sustainable development, including public-private partnership in the sphere of environmental protection of the Baltic Sea region.
We have been handed the environmental torch from Finland, the hospitable host of the Baltic Sea Action Summit that was held in Helsinki in 2010. I feel strongly that these events should and must become a tradition…
The combination of economic growth goals and environmental responsibility is a high-priority issue in the work of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Helsinki Commission – Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). The draft of the so-called St Petersburg Initiative will continue in this vein and will develop existing multilateral cooperation mechanisms in this area. We hope that this initiative will unite representatives of state agencies, business circles and civil society, and that it will generate practical ideas and specific proposals for the preservation of the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea.
Dmitry Medvedev's speech at a conference of the heads of governments of Baltic States, held in St. Petersburg on April 6, 2013
One of the main and the most discussed topics of the Baltic Sea Forum was the development of public-private partnership in the region. The Russian Federation fully supports this format of cooperation, considering it the most efficient and effective.
This was reported by Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, during the final plenary session of the Baltic Sea Forum in St. Petersburg.
As the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia explained, currently the government faces the task of creating the regulatory and legal environment, so as to encourage businesses for active support of global environmental initiatives. The participation in projects aimed at reducing the negative impact on the environment should be beneficial to all parties.
In addition, an important result of the discussions of the experts was called the decision to establish a working group for the development of the St. Petersburg Initiative and its implementation, which is to be presented at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in October 2013 in Copenhagen.
April 6, 2013 (17:25) Source: Press Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia
Stage 2 - set up of working group for the development of the Saint-Petersburg Initiative and its implementation
The Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia held a meeting on the implementation of the St. Petersburg Initiative, public-private partnership aimed at improving the environment in the Baltic Region.
During the meeting, participants discussed the issues of ideology, strategy and structure of the initiative, and the preparation of proposals for the implementation of public-private partnerships in the Baltic Sea Region.
The meeting was chaired by Nuritdin Inamov, Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Natural Recourses of Russia.
During the meeting, A Working Group was created for the implementation of the St. Petersburg Initiative in the format of an interacting Managing Committee, Board of Partners and Secretariat.
The Secretariat of the Working Group was approved.
The Board of Partners will include representatives of the organizations that have expressed interest in participating in the projects of public-private partnerships within the framework of the St. Petersburg Initiative, including:
- the administrations of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast,
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),
- North Investment Bank (NIB),
- Center for International Industrial Cooperation UNIDO in the Russian Federation,
- Helsinki Commission (HELCOM),
- Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP),
- Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO),
- State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs” (Vnesheconombank),
- Financial Group Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau Bankengruppe (KfW),
- International Center for Business Promotion,
- Gazprom OJSC,
- LUKOIL OJSC,
- AK Transneft OJSC,
- SUE Vodokanal of St. Petersburg,
- non-governmental organization Ecology and Business,
- Baltic Fund for Nature,
- St. Petersburg Research Center for Ecological Safety of RAS,
- as well as representatives of federal executive bodies and regions.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the possibility of implementing the project with the participation of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring for the establishment of a regional network for monitoring the aquatic area of the Baltic Sea, as well as the interest of the St. Petersburg Research Center for Ecological Safety in environmental projects in the Baltic Sea Region. The parties also discussed the possibility of supporting environmental projects in the Baltic Sea Region with the participation of Vodokanal of St. Petersburg.
According to Anders Blum, the permanent coordinator of the Finnish group of advisers of CBSS attached to the Government of St. Petersburg, the water treatment system in St. Petersburg is one of the examples of the environmental project that has already been successfully implemented in the region. Mr. Blum noted the importance of the public-private partnership in the Baltic Sea Region.
Based on the results of the meeting, the representatives of the Board of Partners will prepare proposals for the implementation of projects within the framework of the St. Petersburg Initiative, and will send these to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. The Secretariat of the Working Group will summarize the proposals on the priority projects received from the members of the Board of Partners, and will present them at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting in Copenhagen in October 2013. Based on the results of the session, the Center for International Industrial Cooperation UNIDO in the Russian Federation will submit proposal on the development of joint projects and their financing to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia.
In summing up the meeting, N. Inamov emphasized that the St. Petersburg Initiative was a platform for the interaction and dialogue between the government, business and society, where the most effective ways of interaction would be discovered.