Annual Report 2002

1. Introduction

2002 was an important year for environmentalists all over the world. In August 2002, world governments, concerned citizens, UN agencies, multilateral financial institutions and other major actors gathered on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg to assess what had been accomplished since the 1992 Environment and Development Conference at Rio de Janeiro. The summit and the preparation process encouraged numerous stakeholders to evaluate the progress made in their own field and environment and it provided an excellent opportunity to push for further action towards sustainable development. The preparation process was used to raise awareness about the principles of sustainable development and to build partnerships between stakeholder groups all over the world. In Hungary, the WSSD was also accompanied with an increased interest in issues of sustainable development in general and it contributed to the start up of the preparation of a national sustainable development strategy.

2002 was an important station in EU enlargement as well. The accession negotiations of ten candidate countries including Hungary have been successfully concluded. Now that legal harmonization has been almost completed, environmental legislation and regulation in Hungary has a capacity to turn to new problems. Now it can give more focus to solutions that prevent high energy, material and transport intensity of production and consumption as well as preserve such advantages as the relatively rich biodiversity. On the other hand, the preparation of the national development plan which also has important environmental components and implications, is still underway.

This way, in 2002 international and domestic policy offered several opportunities for the Center to carry out its mission, to catalyze environmentally friendly restructuring and the Center has met this challenge commensurate to its capacity.

It fostered sustainable development by participating in the preparation of the national assessment for the Johannesburg Summit and the drafting of the national sustainable development strategy. Through its programs, it promoted policies promoting sustainable development on all levels of policy making, including the European, national, regional and local level as well as in the business sector. Its programs helped to transfer and adapt advanced environmental management practices such as EMAS (Environmental Management and Audit Scheme) the environmental management system of the EU, environmental reporting, green purchasing and voluntary environmental agreements between governmental organizations and businesses. The EMAS of the municipality of Miskolc a partner of the CES got certified as the first Hungarian municipality running an EMAS system.

CES projects like the project on Urban Sprawl, the Pesticide Project, the Ecological Agricultural Project of Kisbér or the voluntary environmental agreement projects have facilitated joint participation of several institutions and stakeholders.

In 2002, the CES worked on 14 major research and technical assistance projects (which is more than the number of projects implemented in previous years). It organized 11 events (3 conferences, 2 training courses, 3 roundtables and 3 discussions for specific audience). It prepared 13 studies, most of them already published. Fellows of the CES have lectured on several forums popularising ideas of environmental friendly management, and sustainable development. Media have broadcasted programs related to CES projects 5 times.

CES programs have directly assisted the environmental initiatives of 2 major Hungarian municipalities (Budapest and Miskolc), as well as 2 business organizations. Its conferences and workshops attracted several hundred participants representing various stakeholder groups and organizations, and the presentation and publications made by the staff reached even a much larger group of interested individuals.

2. Projects of the Center in 2002

In accordance with the strategic plan of 2000, projects of the Center comprised a broad array of significant environmental policy issues focused on four major areas including:

Most projects contributed to several or all programmatic areas as indicated by the table below:

ProjectsProject area
EU Local and Regional Issues of Sust. Dev. Sustainable Development Forum Business Contribution to Sust. Dev.
Towards Sustainable Development ** **
SD in the Visegrad Countries ** **
RELIEF ** **
Pesticide Networking *   *
Urban Sprawl  *   
EMAS **  *
Green Purchasing Policy for the Municipality of Budapest  *  *
Rural Sustainability Pilot Project in the Bakonyalja Micro-Region  *   
Voluntary Environmental Agreements     *
Environmental Reporting Manual for SMEs     *
Economic and Social Impact of the Year 2000 Cyanide Spill Tisza  * * 
Green Purchasing Manual for Municipalities  *  *
Participation in the Post Diploma Studies of Miskolc University     *

Project activities and results were as follows:

2.1. Towards Sustainable Development. Support to the Hungarian Sustainable Development Strategy and the WSSD Preparation Process

During the past decade’s fast economic restructuring, little progress was made in Hungary to incorporate sustainability principles in its development strategy. The main goal of the project is to assist Hungary in its transition to sustainable development. More specifically, the project has multiple objectives: (a) to assess Hungarian development of the last 10 - 20 years from the aspect of sustainable development, (b) to contribute with this assessment to the preparation of Hungary to the WSSD, (c) to inform all stakeholders, including decision-makers and the general public about the results of the assessment and (d) to develop a concept of the national sustainable development strategy. It is expected that the project will contribute to an increased awareness related to SD issues, a strengthened partnership of stakeholders for SD and facilitate new efforts and projects promoting sustainability in Hungary.

The project started in February 2002. So far, the assessment of the past 10 years' development has been prepared. It was approved by the Hungarian National Commission for Sustainable Development, published and presented to the WSSD. As a basis of the assessment as well as the SD strategy, a series of evaluation studies and case studies have been prepared. Drafting of the national sustainable development strategy has been started. The strategy and the national consultation process will be completed in 2003.

The Center is acting as a coordinator of the project, working with the Ministry of Environment and several other participants, cooperating with the National Commission for Sustainable Development as the project council and a team of experts from NGOs, governmental agencies and academia as the project committee. The project is financed by the UNDP.

2.2. Sustainable Development in the Visegrad Countries

The project was launched in 2001 as a preparation to the Johannesburg summit. It evaluated progress towards sustainable development in the Visegrad countries. Reports were prepared in 2001.

In 2002, the project was completed by an international conference of stakeholders groups from Visegrad countries titled „10 Years after Rio”. It was jointly organized by four thinktanks including the Prague Institute of Environmental Policy (the main organizer), the Warsaw Institute for Sustainable Development, the Bratislava Society for Sustainable Living in the Slovak Republic as well as the Center. The conference was held at Prague in early April and attended by 80 participants from the Visegrad countries. They approved a memorandum titled the Prague Initiative for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The document included several recommendations for sustainable development both on regional (i.e. for the Visegrad countries) and global level. These recommendations can be utilized by the national SD strategies of the related countries. The proceedings of the conference were published and are available both in printed and electronic format.

The project was financed by the International Visegrad Fund.

2.3. The Pesticide Program of the Center

The Center as the first NGO from the accession countries joined the Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) in 1998. PAN Europe is an international NGO that fosters the cut of pesticide use as well as the replacement of hazardous chemicals with less hazardous ones. To reach its goals, it promotes environmentally sound agricultural practices with special regard to organic farming. The organization has a good reputation, its annual meetings are usually attended by representatives of the EU Commission.

Since 1998, the Center has been actively networking with European organization working with pesticide issues on the one hand and raising awareness about these issues in Hungary. The Center has urged Hungary’s participation in international agreements related to pesticide use. Parallel to this, it also has provided information on pesticide issues to PAN Europe. It has developed a database that includes data on generally used pesticides as well as chemicals allowed in organic farming, on the accumulation of chemicals and POPs in the soil, food and drinking water as well as in human organism, etc. This database includes relevant policy documents as well.

In 2002, the project focused on networking with Hungarian and European organizations. The Center initiated that the year 2002 PAN Europe annual meeting discussed pesticide issues of the accession countries. In December, a workshop was organized for Hungarian researchers, governmental organizations and NGOs to inform participants on PAN Europe activities related to the Comparative Risk Assessment of pesticides on the one hand and to discuss potential actions to reduce the risk related to pesticide use on the other. As a result of the workshop, participants agreed on the structure of a position paper to be drafted by the CES and the set-up of an inter-disciplinary committee on eco-toxicology that will comprise the representatives of researchers, governmental and NGO experts.

Project activities in 2002 were financed from the grant of the Global Green Grant Fund and EU Phare Access.


The project is a cooperation of 13 European cities that help each other to put their sustainable development strategies to work through exchanging experience with development strategies, environmental management, urban regeneration, economic development, social welfare, mobility, etc. as well as promoting modernization of public administration by fostering participation of various stakeholder groups. Each European city is represented in the project by the municipality, a scientific institution and a non-governmental organization. Besides facilitating the exchange of best practices, the project promotes better contacts and co-operation both among European cities on the one hand and the municipal, scientific and NGO representatives on the other.

The Center participates in the project as a partner of the municipality of Budapest and the Budapest University of Technology and Development. It helped to organize the Budapest seminar in January and prepared a case study on the legal context of articulating environmental interests by public administration that was used by the municipality of Budapest in one of the international meetings.

The project is financed by the EU.


The RELIEF project aims to assess the relevance and potentials of public purchasing as a tool for environmental policy of local governments and to develop appropriate strategies to exploit these potentials. On the one hand, it evaluates the environmental and economic benefits of green purchasing by relevant product groups, on the other, it promotes green purchasing both in partner municipalities and other external municipalities through the Buy-It-Green Network (BIG-NET), as well as on EU level. The project is managed by the European Secretariat of the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) a worldwide organization of local governments. It is implemented by a consortium comprising 16 European organizations including academic and research institutions and municipalities. From Hungary, the CES and the municipality of Miskolc participate in the project.

The project started in 2001. By January 2002, the Center, in cooperation with the municipality of Miskolc, has prepared a status report that assessed the potential for green purchasing in the municipality as well as the expected city-specific benefits of green purchasing. The English version of the report is available on the ICLEI website and can be used as an example and encouragement by other cities. The Hungarian version will be published soon and presented to the local decision-makers at Miskolc in order to promote a green purchasing policy of the municipality.

As a potential European green purchasing policy will affect the accession countries as well, the CES has also gathered information on the potential of green purchasing in Poland and in the Czech Republic. The CES report on CEE green purchasing will be soon published by Greenleaf Publishing Ltd.

This project and reports prepared with a contribution of the Center encouraged the municipality of Budapest to launch its own similar green purchasing project.

The project is financed by the Fifth Framework Programme of the EU.

2.6. Effective Policies to Limit Urban Sprawl

The project was launched in February 1999 in order to help Hungary and other CEE countries find long-term solutions to the complexity of urban problems, in particular to urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is accused of degrading quality of life, creating enormous cost through boosting needs for road construction and infrastructure development, threatening farm-land and wildlife and increasing environmental pollution. Recent evidence shows that sprawl has appeared in CEE countries but the trend and the ensuing problem have not received much attention. Solutions need significant intellectual, financial and institutional resources, and the collaboration of national and local level authorities. The CES mission in this process has been to catalyze the collaboration of the interested parties and the start-up of the process that will result in various strategies (local, national and institutional) addressing urban sprawl issues.

In 1999, the first stage of the program, the CES focused on promoting a better public understanding of the problem, directing the attention of stakeholders to alternative solutions. Based on the results of Phase I, Phase II built leadership and consensus on smart growth, i.e. municipal development that both limits sprawl and its negative impacts, and that is environmentally sensitive, economically viable and community oriented. At the same time, it continued to raise public awareness of urban sprawl-related problems and kept the attention of the public aroused. By the end of Phase II, there were several organizations that dedicated a lot of efforts to this issue and urban sprawl was a recurring theme in the media.

2002 activities continued to raise awareness and provide information on urban sprawl issues as well as to build alliance of interested parties for smart growth. Besides making presentations to various stakeholders on issues related to urban sprawl, providing information related to urban sprawl on the CES website, in October the Center organized a brownfield conference that presented US, German and Hungarian brownfield experience. Cooperating with the local television stations, the Center also managed to raise urban sprawl issues in local government election campaigns in Miskolc and Székesfehérvár.

This project was supported by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

2.7. Co-operation of Local Authorities and Companies for Implementing EMAS

This international project is implemented by the municipalities of Agii Anargiri (district of Athens) and Miskolc as well as the London Borough of Sutton with the contribution of Global to Local and the Center as technical advisors. The goal of the project is to exchange knowledge and experience among local authorities and companies in the European Union and those in Central Europe on the implementation of environmental management systems and in particular EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). At local level the implementation of this project is expected to establish a strong partnership between public and private bodies, namely local authorities and enterprises, in the field of environmental protection and implementation of environmental management systems. The experience gained through this co-operation can then be transferred to other sectors.

The project has started in 2000 and by 2002 participating local governments and their companies (in the case of Miskolc, the Miskolc Transport Company) have already prepared their environmental policy, completed the initial review, developed their environmental programme and started to draft their management system. In 2002, the management systems have been completed, the participating organizations have prepared their environmental manual, organized training for the staff, conducted internal audits, issued their environmental report and by the end of the year got certified both according to EMAS and ISO 14001. (In case of EMAS, they received statement of equivalence). This way, Miskolc is the first Hungarian municipality having a certified EMAS system. Besides the certification, the project has brought several environmental benefits as well. It also fostered the introduction of green purchasing at the municipality of Miskolc. Now the municipality is seeking support for the extension of the existing system to further units of the municipality.

The project was financed by the EU.

2.8. Green Purchasing Policy of Budapest

Influenced by the Miskolc green purchasing project, a similar project started at the municipality of Budapest. The project has benefited from the experience and the methodology of the RELIEF project. Within this project, the Center has prepared a status report on the potential of green purchasing (similar to the Miskolc status report) and drafted a green purchasing policy (by this, the Budapest project got further than the Miskolc project). This policy was submitted to the environmental department of the municipality in Septemmber 2002. Due to the elections in October, the policy could not be submitted to the council and the general decision-makers. Hopefully, this will take place in 2003.

The project was financed by the municipality of Budapest.

2.9. Environmental Reporting Manual for SMEs

The project started in 2001. Its goal was to prepare a step-by-step guide to SMEs on how to prepare an environmental report and complete it with a case study that illustrates how this guidance can be used in the practice. The manual prepared by the Center put environmental reporting into a management/environmental management context. It is now available on the Center's website. We have already received several requests for printed copies as well.

The project was financed by the TETRA Foundation.

2.10. Voluntary Environmental Agreements

The project sought to gather relevant international and domestic experience related to voluntary environmental agreements, and examine whether this voluntary management tool could be introduced in Hungary. It was implemented in cooperation with two environmental consulting companies, RADECO and Speeding. The relevant experience was presented to stakeholders and discussed at a conference in March 2002 where there were over 80 participants. The conference started a dialogue on the issue among various stakeholders. The conference was followed by a survey of the opinion of three major stakeholder groups: businesses, environmental inspectorates and NGOs. It investigated if voluntary agreements could be useful in Hungary, which organizations could participate in such agreements, what kind of warranties should be used and other conditions related to the introduction to such agreements. The recommendations made on the basis of the conference and the survey were discussed by the participants of the November workshop before they were finalized and submitted to the Ministry of Environment.

The final report is published (in Hungarian) on this website. It has already been sent to environmental inspectorates and several of them gave (positive) feedback.

The project was financed by the Central Environmental Fund.

2.11. Green Purchasing Manual for Municipalities

This project also builds on the experience gained from the RELIEF project. Its goal is to provide practical guidance to municipalities interested in green purchasing on environmentally friendly products, selecting suppliers, tendering and contracting process. The project started in December 2002 and will be completed in 2003.

2.12. Rural Sustainability Pilot Project in the Bakonyalja Micro-Region

The goal of the project is to promote activities that can be environmentally sustained and that fit into the agricultural policy of the EU. This way, it helps the target region to adapt to the EU condition, to establish a viable economic portfolio. The Center has had a well-established contact with this region since the mid-1990s. It has delivered community building training courses, and it provided assistance to the development of eco-tourism (mostly equestrian tourism). This way the current project is an extension of the previous projects. It will re-develop the traditional products and food processing activities, promote organic and environmentally friendly farming methods and strengthen local food markets as well as to contribute to an increase of the human and intellectual capital of the region. The Center will cooperate with local experts, local government, farmers associations as well as NGOs.

The project is supported by PHARE ACCES and the Central Environmental Fund. It started in late 2002. A status report has been already prepared that will be a basis for project implementation.

2.13. Economic and Social Impact of the Year 2000 Cyanide Spill of the Tisza River

The project is a follow-up to the previous Tisza project of the Center. It investigates the medium term impacts of the cyanide spills. It examines how long the negative economic and social impact lasted and tries to evaluate the total impact. The report was completed in January 2003 and will be soon available on the Center's website.

2.14. Post Diploma Studies

Through the Environmental Training Project, the Center has contributed to the environmental management training of joint Engineer-Manager Program of the Institute of Management the Miskolc University and the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota by teaching environmental policy and economics since the mid-1990s. In 2002, this activity continued. It is well received by both the University of miskolc and the students. The University now wants to develop an MBA program that will also include this module.

Summary of Major Events of the Center for Environmental Studies in 2002

Events Results Sponsors
January 10-11, 2002 - INTERACT seminar CES, as the partner of the municipality of Budapest, gave a summary on downtown traffic limitation practice of Budapest. The seminar series of several European cities serves as a clearing house of best practices in the field of protecting the urban environment. EU
March 18, 2002 - EMAS training for the Miskolc Transport Company The training was organized together with Global to Local and the Miskolc Transport Company as part of the Miskolc EMAS project. It helped the managers of the Miskolc Transport Company to understand their tasks related to the introduction of EMAS. The target audience understood the tasks and accepted them. EU-PHARE
March 25, 2002 - Conference on Voluntary Environmental Agreements The conference summarized international and domestic views and experience related to voluntary environmental agreements. It provided new information for a broad array of interested individuals representing all major stakeholder groups (for over 80 people).. Central Environmental Fund
March 26-28, 2002 - Ennvironmental Economics and Policy module of the Engineer-Manager Course of Miskolc University The Center regularly delivers this course for the Institute of Management of Miskolc University. The Institute of Management plans to maintain and develop this course as well as the cooperation with the CES. University of Miskolc with in-kind contribution of the CES
April 4-6, 2002 - Conference of Sustainable Development of the Visegrad Countries The Center was a co-organizer of this conference that gathered close to 100 participants from the Visegrad countries and made a call to the WSSD. International Visegrad Fund
May 27, 2002 - Forum on Green Purchasing for the Municipality of Budapest The Forum was held to provide information on green purchasing for the staff of the municipality and answer their questions. Municipality of Budapest
July 15, 2002 - Discussion of the study on issues related to the preparation of the Hungarian sust. development strategy The workshop discussed what issues should the Hungarian SD strategy include. Participants basically approved the recommendation made by the study of the CES, and made further recommendations that will be used in the later phases of the project. UNDP
September 12, 2002 - Tisza workshop The CES contributed to a series of discussions that have been organized to foster sustainable land use and water management in the Tisza river valley. The series will hopefully prepare a joint project of several stakeholder organizations. CES
October 7, 2002 - Brownfield Conference The conference has gathered Hungarian experts of governmental organizations, businesses, academia and NGOs, about 50 experts to learn about and discuss the practice and experience of brownfield redevelopment of the US, Germany and Hungary. The co The experience can be applied in the practice of both Budapest and other major Hungarian cities. The German Marshall Fund of the US
November 4, 2002 - Roundtable Discussion on the Applicability of Voluntary Environmental Agreements in Hungary The roundtable was a follow-up to the March conference on voluntary agreements. It addressed specific cases where voluntary agreements could be first applied. Participants made specific recommendations on issues related to the introduction of voluntary agreements that were included in the final report. Central Environmental Fund
December 17, 2002. Roundtable on Pesticide Use in Hungary The workshop was held for researchers, governmental and NGO experts. It made them acquainted with the activitiy of PAN Europe and the results of international Comparative Risk Assessment related to pesticides. It also served as a forum to discuss what further actions should be taken in Hungary to reduce the risks related to the use of pesticides. Participants agreed on the structure of a position paper to be drafted by the CES and the set-up of an inter-disciplinary committee on eco-toxicology that will comprise the representatives of researchers, governmental and NGO experts. PHARE-ACCESS


Studies prepared in 2002

Title Desription Impact Author(s)
How to Prepare an Environmental Report. A Manual for SMEs Manual with step-by-step instructions and a case study, 68 pages (In Hungarian) To be published by the TETRA Foundation K. Skwarek, S. Brookes, V. Éri
Hungary: Basic Features and Indicators of Social, Environmental and Economic Changes and Planning for Sustainability. National Information to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002 The national assessment to the WSSD, 52 pages (In English) The report was well received by the National Commission for Sustainable Development, it was published and submitted to the WSSD CES, Szent István University, NCSD
SD Strategy of Hungary, draft #1 Intermediate report, 22 pages (In Hungarian) The report was well received by the project committee. It serves as a basis for the preparation of the national SD strategy V. Éri
Introducing Voluntary Environmental Agreements in Hungary 57 page project report in Hungarian to be published on the internet (In hungarian) Several positive feed-back from environmental inspectorates with advise and recommendation for further action V. Éri, A. Radványi, J. Kingma
Green Purchasing Status Report, Miskolc 42 pages report (in English) Published on the website of ICLEI ( The Hungarian version will be published by the municipality of Miskolc in 2003 and presented to local decision makers V. Éri, J. Lencsés, A. Sziklai
Green purchasing potential in Central Europe. The case of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland Article, 11 pages (in English) To be published soon. P.Szuppinger, V. Éri
Possibilities for Green Purchasing in the Municipality of Budapest Intermediate report on the status of and opportunities to introduce green purchasing in the municipality of Budapest (in Hungarian) To be published soon. P.Szuppinger, V. Éri
Green Purchasing Policy of the Municipality of Budapest 37 pages policy document, (in Hungarian) Impact is delayed due to the municipal elections in the fall but further actions are expected. P.Szuppinger, V. Éri
Hungary: pesticide problem in a transition country Case study, 10 pages (in English) Published in the Year Book of PAN Europe, 2002, Hamburg F. Laczó
Status report of the Kisbér Micro-Region Intermediate report to be used for the further implementation of the project, 40 pages (in Hungarian) To be used in the implementation of the project. F. Laczó, M. Sógorka
Legal Context of Environmental Public Interest Articulation for Public Administration Case study, 6 pages (In English) Used for the INTERACT project by the municipality of Budapest Zs. Kovács
Biodiesel in Hungary Case study, 6 pages (In English) Prepared at the request of the Austrian Biofuels Institutes (ABI), for the International Energy Agency. To be published in 2003. The ABI is looking for opportunities to cooperate with the Center in the future. P.Szuppinger
Long-term Economic and Social Implications of the Year 2000 Cyanide Spill on the Valley of the Tisza River Study, 36 pages (in Hungarian)   Zs.Kovács

3. Financial Report 2002
Tax registration number: 18058376-2-43
Name of Organization: Center for Environmental Studies
Address of Organization: H-1094, Budapest, Angyal u. 15/b. fszt. 4-5. Hungary



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