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Project Outline

Objectives of the project

The two main objectives are: to develop a common approach to SARM across SEE, and ensure a SSM in SEE based on fair distribution of costs and benefits of aggregate production, use, waste disposal and recycling, so as to enhance resource and energy efficiency and quality of life. Objectives comprise: coordination in managing aggregate resources, increasing the transfer of know-how, and supporting capacity building in firms, government and civil society; develop a unified information infrastructure and common understanding of aggregates based on EU guidelines and directives, including those in protected areas, potential secondary supply, and transnational transportation networks; and to prepare for Regional Centre on SARM & SSM. Activities will connect institutional actors, decision makers, policy implementers, economic sector, quarry operators, civil society, and NGOs through workshops and targeted results.

Local: a) Optimise the efficiency of primary aggregates production, b) prevent or minimize environmental impacts of quarrying and improve reclamation, c) minimize illegal quarrying by improving knowledge, d) promote recycling (construction, demolition & quarry waste), e) increase interested and affected groups˘ capacity.

Regional/national: a) assess and quantify aggregate resources and relevant transportation links, b) develop strategies for sustainably managing aggregate resources, including in protected areas, considering aggregate resources in land management and use planning, and harmonizing policies across regions, c) develop guidelines and procedures for SSM planning.

Transnational: a) recommend methods for harmonizing SARM & SMM transregionally and transnationally, b) design a multi-purpose and multi-scale Aggregates Intelligence System (AIS) as a long-term tool for know-how transfer.

Follow-up: prepare plan for a Regional Centre on SARM & SSM, to increase capacity of all interested and affected groups through workshops training and educational materials.

Transnational approach

SEE countries manage aggregates inconsistently, sometimes without considering resource or energy efficiency, or alternative material sources. The project˘s bottom-up approach (local > regional/national > transnational levels) addresses issues by spatial scale and in different countries. The transnational partnership of experts and multi-level institutional actors will transfer knowledge from more experienced zones to those with underutilized resources or lower capacity. Partners will adopt and adapt relevant EU documents to coordinate policies, and work with stakeholders to define transnational, sustainable management and supply. Participating decision making bodies will pilot-test recommendations and their integration into development and spatial planning. Outcomes will be applicable across SEE, enabling countries to implement harmonized approaches, thus increasing sustainable quality of life, resource efficiency, and long term cooperation. Approach will be applicable beyond SEE.

Expected results and durability

Results of SARMa will include:

Local: a) More efficient aggregate extraction to maximize net benefits and achieve sustainable quarry life-cycle, b) More frequent adoption of best practices, c) Fewer illegal quarries and use of databases to track illegal activities, d) Increased extraction and demolition waste/by-products recycling to be used as aggregates, and wider use of life cycle analysis.

Regional/national: a) More policies and legislation that incorporate principles of SARM and SSM, b) More consistent management of aggregates and recycling across SEE regions/nations, c) Greater recognition of need to plan for SSM supported by planning actions, d) More effective, consistent and timely dissemination of information to interested and affected groups, e) Wider adoption of GIS structures to support SARM and SSM, f) More regions/nations creating maps and databases of aggregates & transportation patterns

Transnational: a) Increased capacity through knowledge transfer; b) Greater policy coordination on SARM and SSM among SEE nations, c) More energy efficient aggregates transport, d) Addition of data and materials to AIS and its utilization by SEE nations, e) Continuing partnership among project members and observers representing ministries in charge or mining, regional authorities, chambers of commerce and industry.

These results of SARMa are applicable in wider EU and beyond, and will continue to be transferable via the manuals that describe best practices, tools and methods, as well as through results of pilot studies and content of the AIS. Promotion of project by partners through their networks will lead to increased use. Interest in manuals and recommendations is sustainable because best practices are cost effective for firms and acceptable to communities, mplementation of SARM increases effectiveness of government, and SSM is a direct response to concerns about raw material availability. Regional Centre can provide knowledge development and transfer, and long term monitoring.

Capitalisation of the results

This is first transnational project proposal in SEE area focused on SARM and SSM. Aggregate management takes place in all partner areas (region, country), but nowhere is every aspect of management or supply planning at sustainable, best practice levels. Project builds on previous projects, studies, and on current best practices and programmes of partners and their networks. Past work was done (and funded) within regional and/or national frameworks. Transfer to policy level on local/regional and national level is guarantied with national (HR, AL, HU), regional (Emilia Romagna, Styria) and local (Pella, Parma, MGK10) authorities as project partners. Project outputs will be disseminated at expert and public events, and will be available in electronic and printed versions of project manuals, and through the multi-scale Aggregates Intelligence System. Regional Centre will monitor results and transfer knowledge to industry, government, and civil society thereafter.