On the 15th of May 2020, the workshop on the participatory process for just transition planning took place for Estonian stakeholders. The workshop concentrated on how to design a participatory process for the preparation of a territorial just transition plan for the Ida-Viru region. In a web-based workshop participants learned about Slovakian experiences and discussed what is important in the Estonian context. The workshop was divided into three parts: challenges, how to motivate stakeholders to participate, and what are expectations towards the process.
In many of the group discussions, transparency and clarity of the process came out as key indicators for success. Discussion results were made available for all the participants after the workshop. Among other stakeholders, two main partners responsible for designing the process took part and contributed also in preparing the workshop: Ida-Viru Union of Local Municipalities and the Ministry of Finance. These key partners can take workshop recommendations into account when designing the participatory approach. Owing to the workshop, stakeholders have a better idea of what to expect from a participatory point of view. This was confirmed in the feedback questionnaire where participants expressed that they have ideas what to do next (e.g. contacting their local municipality, sharing information with colleagues etc.).
The workshop timing was excellent as the planning of the participatory process was just started during that time. Hopefully, decision-makers take the input seriously and design the process keeping in mind all aspects that are important for stakeholders which came out from the workshop. Estonian Fund for Nature, being one stakeholder, will continue to do its part to ensure the process will be as participatory as possible.