March 24, 2010—On March 19, at a recognition ceremony held at Hotel Arena Di Serdica in Sofia, the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) and the Institute of International Education (IIE) honored 20 Bulgarian professionals from the environmental sector who were selected to participate in the Junior Environmental Professionals Training Program (JEPTP).
In its inaugural year, the Junior Environmental Professionals Training Program, a component of the Bulgarian Young Leaders Program, was established to deepen Bulgaria’s commitment to sustainable development by training future leaders in best practices from the United States.
JEPTP’s goal is to identify talented Bulgarian professionals who are involved with environmental management, protection and policy, and provide them with a 21-day leadership training experience in the United States so that they can further develop their skills and capabilities. Specific objectives of the program are to:
- Explore the role of government agencies in developing environmental policy and the methods used to build public support.
- Examine current trends in U.S. environmental policy and law that support sustainable economic development.
- Demonstrate how the U.S. National Park Service interacts with state and local authorities on the management of public spaces and national parks.
- Explain the role of the U.S. non-profit and private sectors in national park and wildlife management; and examples of successful public-private partnerships in sustaining the environment.
- Expose the participants to the U.S. structure and process of governing at the local, state, and federal level, with an emphasis on the federalist system and separation of powers as defining aspects of American democracy.
JEPTP’s training will kick off with a visit to the EPA in Washington, DC in May.