On Tuesday 15 April, the results of the first pilot project on post-project analysis under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) will be presented and discussed in a subregional conference in Minsk. UNECE, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has assisted the two countries to monitor and analyse the transboundary environmental impacts of exploitation of the “Khotislavskoye” chalky deposits in Belarus, located just 250 metres from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.
One of the main achievements of the pilot project was the establishment of a bilateral working group for the environmental monitoring of the Khotislavskoye quarry. The countries also agreed to continue the exchange of monitoring data from the same sampling area on an annual basis, and to make this information available to the public on the websites of the Ministries of Environment of the two countries.
During the pilot project recommendations were made for both countries for further improvement of the transboundary EIA procedures, focusing on the post-project analysis. The project also provided for an addendum on post-project analysis to the bilateral agreement being negotiated between Belarus and Ukraine for the implementation of the Espoo Convention.
In the subregional conference, Belarus and Ukraine will share their experience on application of the post-project analysis with other countries in the subregion, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, and the Republic of Moldova, and with neighbouring countries, such as Poland. In addition, the outcomes of the project will be reported to the Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention, to be held in Geneva, from 2 to 5 June 2014. As the implementation of post-project analysis of transboundary EIAs is not yet widespread in the UNECE region, the project outcomes will be beneficial to all the Parties under the Convention.
The project has been implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and is implemented jointly by UNECE, UNDP and UNEP. It is financed through the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC).
The project has also contributed to implementing a large regional project of the European Commission “Towards Greener economies in the Eastern Partnership” (EaP GREEN), implemented by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UNECE, UNEP and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
For further information, please visit www.unece.org/env/eia or contact:
Ms. Tea Aulavuo
Secretary to the Espoo Convention
Tel: +41 (0)22 917 17 23
Note to editors
The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, elaborated under the auspices of UNECE, was adopted at Espoo, Finland, in 1991 and entered into force on 10 September 1997. The Espoo Convention, which has 45 Parties to date, stipulates that its Parties shall assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning. It also requires States to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across borders.
The Espoo Convention contains provisions for a post-project analysis which completes the transboundary environmental impact assessment of a project by providing feedback on the project implementation and allowing Parties to continue cooperating also during the project implementation phase. The concerned Parties, at the request of any such Party, can determine if and to what extent post-project analysis should be carried out. According to the Convention, post-project analysis has to include surveillance of the activity and the determination of any adverse transboundary impacts. It can be undertaken, for instance, to monitor compliance with regulations and mitigation measures, or to verify past predictions in order to improve the EIA process. When post-project analysis gives reasonable grounds for concluding that there is a significant transboundary impact, concerned Parties have to inform each other and to consult on necessary measures to reduce or eliminate the impact.
More information about the Convention can be found at http://www.unece.org/env/eia/
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05
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