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Welcome to the last CHAMP project newsletter!

After three years and a few months, CHAMP is now coming to an end. The project has raised a lot of attention and interest among local authorities all over Europe. The message is clear: this common journey will continue after the project lifetime in many ways.

During the past years the CHAMP consortium has carried out over 20 training workshops with 58 municipalities in Finland, Hungary, Italy and Germany. The workshop series in each country equipped local authorities to use the Integrated Management System in their local response to climate change. Developed and tested with our pilot cities, the online Capacity Development Package for Integrated Climate Change Management offers cities, trainers and auditors practical guidance in form of a hands-on guidebook.The European Partnership gathered for a workshop in Freiburg, October 2011 Several of the CHAMP partners have already received requests for additional training on the topic.

The idea of CHAMP was to look beyond a three-year project, and make sure that the achievements are carried on and further developed. In fact, one main project action focused on establishing the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management. Interested organizations were found easily to establish National Training Hubs under the Partnership; 11 organizations from 8 European countries will work closely with their local authorities towards a sustainable urban future.

The Capacity Development Package for Integrated Management – the first of its kind

Climate change is a cross-cutting issue and due to its nature, it presents a new challenge for local governments. Experience has shown that the traditional management style, that focuses on different sectors individually, does not enable local governments to effectively deal with climate change. This is where Integrated Management System (IMS) comes in – it helps local governments to address climate change in a holistic and effective way, while ensuring sustainability at the same time.

In order to enable European local governments to actually apply this new management form and as the main output of the CHAMP project, we developed the the Capacity Development Package (CDP), to answer the need for training, knowledge and capacities to apply integrated management for local climate change response.

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The Capacity Development Package (CDP) is the first training kit in Europe to support capacity development for local governments to combat climate change through an integrated management system. In detail, the CDP provides hands-on guidance, good practice examples and tools to establish an integrated management system in your city or municipality. It is designed for three different types of users: local and regional authorities, trainers or consultants and auditors. While local and regional authorities will learn everything about the IMS from scratch and can look at practical case studies as well as benefit from supporting tools, trainers will have access to a complete set of training material for the IMS, including presentations, learning material, trainer’s handbook and much more. Auditors on the other hand learn more about the characteristics of the IMS.

The CDP was developed and tested with 58 piloting municipalities from Finland, Hungary, Germany and Italy, and besides English, it is available in German, Italian, Finnish, Swedish and Hungarian.

With this comprehensive capacity development package, CHAMP offers a first step of mainstreaming IMS throughout Europe. It provides a solid basis for further development of more European local authorities that are managed in a more integrated way.

Enter the CDP here.

Text: Claudia Kiso


European partnership – working together to mainstream integrated management of sustainable cities and regions

The European Partnership is a platform for cooperation for organizations that are willing to contribute to the implementation of the EU sustainability policies. The European Partnership serves cities and regions that are aiming at sustainable growth and thus require new skills and capacities. In other words, European Partnership is seeking to find synergies between different initiatives on sustainability and climate change.

The European Partnership consists of several National Training Hubs in different countries throughout the EU-27. These National Training Hubs (NTH) may consist of either one or several organisation. They represent the partnership on the national level and are responsible for training cities and regions as well as trainers to implement and mainstream Integrated Management System and EU sustainability policies. At the same time partner organizations (universities, think tanks, and research institutions) could also become the part of the National Training Hubs. It is important to underline, that cities and regions are the main clients and beneficiaries of the National Training Hubs. Within this view, every organization that is related to the implementation of the EU sustainable policies can find its place for cooperation within the European Partnership.

The Partnership supports the member organisations to organise nationally localised training programmes and awareness raising campaigns. This is done by promoting and developing mutual learning possibilities and exchange of experiences between the member organisations and keeping them aware of current developments on relevant EU policies and initiatives. We are looking forward for the interest from different stakeholders to cooperate within the European Partnership and work together for better and more sustainable cities and regions. See the European Partnership page for more information if you’re interested in joining us!

Text: Hanna Radzko


The European Climate Champion – Virtually

During the past 3 year CHAMP has been managed as a low-carbon footprint project. For minimizing the GHG-emissions the project consortium has strived to travel less and for example tested online meetings for trainings and new use of social media. Newsletters and brochures have not been printed apart from very small amounts. As a final new practice, example and inspiration, the CHAMP project consortium set up the final conference virtually in form of an online conference.

Alan AtKisson The European Climate Champions conference was finally online in December 2011. The two-day conference gathered physically project partners from Germany, Hungary, Italy and Finland in Turku (Finland). Speakers had been invited to introduce and discuss solutions for integrating climate change into local strategies.

The first day concentrated on City solutions and presented examples from Turku and from the Province of Siena in Italy. Before a panel discussion took place, Alan AtKisson, a renowned sustainability consultant presented the ISIS Method for accelerating integrated planning for climate progress. The speakers gathered to ponder around the question How to keep up the local climate work in times of crisis. The second day focused on the newly launched European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management that is to continue the work of CHAMP.

Birgit Georgi from the European Environmental Agency initiated the day by discussing support and cooperation modes to strengthen the role of local authorities in European response to Climate Change. Karolina Maliszewska from Sendzimir Foundation gave a Polish perspective onto bridging the way from EU policies to local climate work. The partnership theme was finalized by comment speeches from various organisations and initiatives with similar aims: Union of the Baltic Cities, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, and the Covenant of Mayors Office.

The conference reached much more people than it would have, if organized in the traditional way. During the event days the web‐site got 657 visits, of which more than half surfed on more pages on the same site. Social media was used actively for commenting on the content and the blog posts on the conference website functioned as a core for discussion and reflection on material and speeches from the webpage.

One of the main aims and certainly a big curiosity of the conference were the CO2 savings. Comparing the travel emissions of the 13 people that travelled physically to the European Climate Champions conference, and a hypothetical number of 70 people at a traditional conference, according to the Climate Care calculator we reached more than a 70% cut in CO2-emissions. Furthermore CO2-emissions were considered in all elements of the conference, from eco-labelled hotels to speaker presents in form of planted trees, not to mention the printed paper savings.At the backstage of the online conference

It was a challenge to the project team to manage all elements in a functional way, actively taking part of discussions and at the same time encouraging conference guests to participate. Project partner Orsola Bolognani from Ambiente Italia describes: “The final on-line conference has been a new exciting experience! I would have never thought that a virtual conference could have been so effective in delivering the project concept and know-how to our target audience”. This experiment did not only prove to be friendlier to our environment, but also an efficient way to reach much more people to take part in the work around a specific topic. We can be pleased with the organization, result and learning outcome of the conference and we encourage others to use the opportunity of eco-efficiency in the form of Online Conferencing.

All the conference materials are available at

Text: Anna Stenberg
Photos: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila and Kaj-Michael Lang


The best memories of CHAMP

We compiled some best bits of the project from our consortium. By having a look at the first things that came to the mind of different partners, you can get an impression how diversified project CHAMP actually has been!

The positive feedback gotten from the Finnish cities during the IMS workshops was overwhelming. I can warmly recommend new organisations to join the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management and start using the CHAMP training materials in similar workshops with their local authorities.

Pekka Salminen, CHAMP Project Manager, UBC Commission on Environment

In June 2011, I was invited to the first IMS workshop in Sibiu, Romania. 35 representatives from 14 Romanian municipalities were there to hear about IMS. They told me about the severe challenges they are facing, which seemed very basic problems such as appropriate management of waste and waste water, lack of all types of infrastructures, high unemployment rate, illiteracy, very young experience of democracy…

One moment I was asking myself if it is yet appropriate to discuss about sustainability management. But then they all presented their activities to change towards an integrated and participatory approach – some first step activities, others more experienced. It was really good to hear that environmental protection and sustainable development is not only a luxury and something to work on in good (economic) times.

Marion Hammerl, Managing Director, Lake Constance Foundation

Through the CHAMP project we had opportunity to work together municipalities which are located out of the Lake Balaton Recreational Area. It was inspiring for us that for example the notary of Local Government of Taktaharkány, located 320 km from Siófok participated in the whole CHAMP training series. In the last few years the local government introduced several local regulation on environmental protection, solid and liquid waste management, land and soil protection, nature preservation and protection of biodiversity and it is committed to continued efforts in these fields and climate change related issues.

Zita Egerszegi, Project Manager, Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency

The atmosphere in the CHAMP online conference was memorable. For two days the steering group worked intensively in one room and broadcast the conference online to many different countries and to countless participants. The feeling during those days was great!

Maija Hakanen, Manager for environmental affairs, The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities

This project has given a further support to the local action for authorities and communities that committed themselves for common goods. We have worked intensively trying to offer a stimulus and tools for a change in quality in trainings for public authorities, aware of the difficulties and of the new needs arising from the climate change that modifies our territories and lifestyles. We have accompanied our cities in this and supported them in introducing innovative, feasible and useful changes.

Marzio Marzorati, Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane

I found the trainings for Finnish municipalities interesting, useful and also fun. It was really important to get an overview on how climate work is progressing in Finnish municipalities. I was lucky to have a possibility to join this discussion. Open and positive atmosphere remained in the trainings until the very last step of the IMS cycle.

Lotta Mattsson, Adviser, The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities

Compiled by Kirsi-Marja Lonkila


New publication: IMS as a tool for more coherent regional planning

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What is the secret behind successful and competitive cities and regions? What makes some places more attractive than others? It is the combination of people who feel happy and thrive in their living environment and a city that takes care of the citizens. “Planning Together for Better Quality of Life – Guide for Integrated Management of Urban Rural Interaction” is one of the final outputs of the NEW BRIDGES project promoting a more integrated approach to regional planning.

In order to build attractive regions, cooperation over municipal borders is necessary. This guide will introduce the IMS model as a useful tool facilitating the integration of the decision making and planning processes of neighbouring municipalities across administrative borders and sectors: How to get started with the common planning process; how to involve necessary actors and finally how to implement the plan successfully. The various steps of the model enable common development visions and goals to be formulated together with different stakeholders.

More information can be found at


Publication details

UBC Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat
Vanha Suurtori 7
FIN-20500 Turku
Fax: +385 2 262 3425

Project contact persons:
Mr. Pekka Salminen, Project Manager
Ms. Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, Project Officer

Editorial team: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, Anna Stenberg, Pekka Salminen, Esther Kreutz and Hanna Radzko (UBC) with support from: Claudia Kiso (ICLEI), Zita Egerszegi (Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency), Marion Hammerl (Lake Constance Foundation), Marzio Marzorati (Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane), Orsola Bolognani (Ambiente Italia), Maija Hakanen and Lotta Mattsson (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities). If the author is not indicated, the texts are written by the Editorial Team.

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