Under its Capacity Building and Training programme, IMPEL is developing a structured and consistent programme, based on identified needs and knowledge gaps. The programme entails setting up a strategy, an organisational structure and toolkits to further professionalise the implementation of EU environmental legislation. This activity includes a feasibility study for a Knowledge and Innovation Centre.
The programme emphasizes the importance of improving knowledge and professional skills. It also aims to improve cooperation between practitioner and other bodies, providing training for environmental compliance assurance professionals at national and European level.
During their first meeting, the Programme Management Team addressed the development of a strategy document and the multi annual work programme for Capacity Building and Training.
The programme contains three Working Groups. Working group I has started with the development of the multi annual strategy. This strategy is input for Working Group II, which is now working on the feasibility study of the creation of a Knowledge and Innovation Centre. Working group III is currently producing a proposal for the development of a training toolkit. The outputs of Working Group II and III will in turn be input for finalising the multi annual strategy.
Project lead Tony Liebregts says: “The funding of the first Specific Grant Agreement is being used to ensure the development of the programme Capacity Building and Training in the IMPEL network. This work covers the development of a strategy, structure and toolkit to further professionalise capacity building and training within the IMPEL network. Key outputs are a feasibility study on the creation of a Knowledge and Innovation Centre and a proposal on how to develop a toolkit for training. We expect the first key outputs and outcomes to be achieved in the Spring of 2021. Then a long-term SGA application for the period 2021-24 will be submitted. This follow up phase will cover the implementation of the Capacity Building & Training programme.”
Project co-lead Rob Kramers adds: “Building capacity is a core priority for the network. In the last 20 years IMPEL has developed a variety of tools and guidance for its members that proved to be successful. The IMPEL leadership felt that more robust training and capacity building were needed, which could incorporate tailored activities and connect different actors across the compliance chain. We are proud to be part of this strategically important programme.”
Although the COVIC-19 crisis has delayed the project a bit as a result of the cancellations of planned meetings, the Capacity Building and Training programme is now gaining speed through online meetings. Working Group II (chaired by Mark Wells, Environment Protection Agency – Scotland) and Working Group III (chaired by Vladimir Kaiser, Inspectorate of the Environment and Spatial Planning – Slovenia) are meeting online frequently to discuss their deliverables.
Environmental Compliance Assurance and European Green Deal
A key motivation for carrying out this programme is the European Commission’s Environmental Compliance Assurance initiative. At several Compliance and Governance Forums, the main high level body set up by the European Commission to monitor progress on delivery of the initiative, IMPEL has indicated its willingness to assist the European Commission.
The European Green Deal is the Commission’s new growth strategy. It includes a roadmap with clear steps that will drive forward our ambitious work together over the next five years for Europe to become climate-neutral by 2050, protect human life, animals and plants by cutting pollution, help companies become world leaders in clean products and technologies and help ensure a just and inclusive transition.