International conference, Minsk, 28-30 May 2019


 W&EEnvironmental Knowledge and Policy Innovation between East and West 

 Lessons Learned and not? 


 Information letter is available here


A conference to take stock of the transfer of expertise and policy innovation related to environmental management and governance between the European
Union and Eastern Europe and Russia.

The conference is organised by GRASS - EU governance of natural resources: geopolitics, regions and sectors (, together with
National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Pskov State University (Russia), and IALE Chapter in Belarus.

The latest conference updates, abstract submission and registration procedures are available from the conference web site

PskovSU EMU Erasmus+
NAS RB      

Background and objectives

The scope of the transfer processes of expertise and policy innovation related to environmental management and governance between the European Union and Eastern Europe and Russia is broad and includes direct, and indirect interactions, as well as intentional and unintended transfers of environmental governance knowledge and innovation. For instance:

  • EU neighbourhood policies and other cooperation and partnership mechanisms (EaP, common spaces with Russia, enhanced partnership and cooperation agreements, EU association agreements etc.)
  • Multilateral environmental agreements and treaties promoted by the EU and partly based on EU policies, in particular treaties of the Council of Europe, such as the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and UNECE, such as Air, Water, Industrial Accidents, Environmental Assessment and Public Participation conventions, and others like HELCOM
  • EU-driven or supported regional cooperation initiatives and programs (for instance Euroregions and INTERREG)
  • Сross-border cooperation between neighboring countries: top-down vs. bottom-up dynamics
  • Funded programs by EU institutions such as research or capacity building like the EU framework programs, H2020, INTAS, Tempus, Erasmus+, EuropeAid, Renewable Energy/Efficiency programs, as well as individual member states or regional organisations like the Nordic Council or Visegrad Group
  • EU-supported or promoted environmental standards, certification and verification systems, organisations and monitoring systems
  • International research panels, science-policy interfaces and assessments supported by the EU, such as IPBES, IPCC, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, FAO

All these mechanisms resulted in numerous policies, national legislation, administrative arrangements, cooperation mechanisms, management guidelines and practices, as well as sets of indicators, criteria and methods for monitoring, mapping, and research in general. However, the transfer of expertise has not been balanced, and not always did the expertise and policy innovation fit the context of the areas it has been transferred to.

This conference aims at presenting a comprehensive overview of the challenges in environmental knowledge transfer between the EU and its Eastern neighbour region, and to discuss the implications for environmental management, governance, research and education in Eastern Europe and Russia. It will also reflect on how global policies on sustainable development, like the Sustainable Development Goals impact the transfers or context.

In addition to knowledge and policy transfer processes affecting the EaP region and Russia, the Conference will explore the issues of knowledge and policy transfer related to EU enragements. Central European countries that joined the EU in 2004, 2007 and 2013 are still very much in the process of transition in terms of natural resource governance, and in many instances and in many sectors they have striking similarities to the EaP and Russia. The lessons Central European countries have learned (and still learning) are, therefore, extremely important for Eastern neighbours.

Keynote speakers (more information is here)

  • Elena Bukvareva, Biodiversity conservation center, Russia
  • Daniele La Rosa, University of Catania, Italy
  • Ruben Mnatsakanian, Central European University, Hungary
  • Aleh Cherp, Lund University, Sweden
  • Alexander Prischepov, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Alexander Sergunin, St.-Petersburg State University, Russia
  • Malte Timpte, Institute for Biodiversity - Network e.V. (ibn)., Germany

Sessions (detail programme is here)

  1. Governance of urban nature-based solutions: challenges and opportunities in policy, planning and practice (chaired by Attila Katona, Central European University, Hungary)
  2. Bottom-up governance in the cross-border contexts (co-chaired by Dr. Marcin Spyra, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, and Dr. Anton Shkaruba, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia)
  3. Wildlife governance between East and West (chaired by Dr. Krzysztof Niedzialkowski, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)
  4. The European continent as a time machine for knowledge production and learning towards sustainable landscapes (co-chaired by Prof. Per K. Angelstam, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, and Prof. Mariia M. Fedoriak, Chernivtsi National University, Ukraine)
  5. Energy transitions between the West and the East (chaired by Prof. Aleh Cherp, Lund University, Sweden)
  6. Land use transitions in northern Eurasia, implications for economy, environment and livelihoods (chaired by Dr. Alexander Prischepov, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. Science-Policy discussion panel What can the Arctic learn from the European Union’s Resilience Strategy? (co-chaired by Prof. Alexander Sergunin, St.-Petersburg State University, Russia, Prof. Sergey Nikonorov, Moscow State University, Russia, and Prof. Ruben Mnatsakanian, Central European University, Hungary)
  8. Science-Policy discussion panel Florence Convention: mechanisms for good landscape and biodiversity governance (chaired by Prof. Kalev Sepp, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia)
  9. Science-Policy discussion panel Pan-European Experiences in International Biodiversity Governance: Implementation of and contribution to international processes such as CBD, RAMSAR and IPBES (co-chaired by Lennart Kuemper-Schlake, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Germany (tbc), Malte Timpte, Institute for Biodiversity - Network e.V. (ibn)., Germany, and Dr. Anna Sidorovich, National Academy of Sciences, Belarus)

The Conference is endorsed by


The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.