UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release

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Central Asian workshop will help mainstream environmental concerns in Government plans and policies

Geneva, 23 March 2011 --

A subregional workshop to enhance understanding of and strengthen capacity for the implementation of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, and in particular the Convention’s Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment, will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 28 March to 1 April 2011. The workshop, which will bring together 25 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will focus on the water sector.

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) offers a promising methodology to promote and improve planning processes in general, and the integration of environmental aspects into policies, plans and programmes in particular. The objective of the workshop is to help participating countries to apply SEA methodology effectively and to demonstrate how SEA will apply to policies, plans and programmes on diverse topics, and with differing sizes and local conditions. The workshop also aims to facilitate better implementation of the Convention and transposition of the SEA Protocol provisions into the national legal systems.

To enhance cooperation between authorities from the central and local levels and to foster dialogue with stakeholders, participants representing a wide range of stakeholders from central and local governments, including local planners, environment, health and water sector representatives, and representatives of civil society have been invited.

On the first day of the workshop, Governmental representatives from all participating countries are expected to present their national environmental assessment systems. Representatives from Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will share their countries’ experiences in the practical application of the Convention. To promote sharing of good practice in SEA, case studies of successful application of SEA in the Crimea (Ukraine) and Belarus will also be introduced. 

The remaining four days are designed to improve the actors’ capacities to transpose and implement the international principles, standards and good practice in SEA based on practical exercises. Participants will themselves apply SEA to the hypothetical case of a spatial development plan for a river basin.

The workshop is organized with the support of the UNECE-GTZ Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management Programme, in cooperation with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, Almaty.

For further information, please visit www.unece.org/env/eia or contact the secretariat at: eia.conv@unece.org

Ref: ECE/ENV/11/P10