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Activities under the Espoo Convention focused on Central Asia, for the period between the 6th and 7th sessions of the Meeting of the Parties (2014-2017)

 

Technical advice to Kazakhstan (2015–2018)

Background

The 2014-2017 workplan foresaw the provision of technical advice and support to Kazakhstan to improve its legislation to implement the Protocol. The activity is implemented by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, with the support of the international and national consultants, within the framework of the European Union-funded project “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model”. The activity includes the following components: (a) a review of the national environmental assessment and sectoral development frameworks; (b) recommendations on necessary legislative adjustments; (c) drafting of SEA legislation; and (c) capacity-building for national stakeholders on the practical application of the SEA procedure.

Activities implemented

In September and October 2016 a desk review of the existing legislation and institutional framework for environmental assessment of strategic documents in Kazakhstan was conducted by the international and national consultants based on materials provided by the Ministry of Energy.

On 14 November 2016 an initial round table on the development of the SEA system in Kazakhstan was organized to raise awareness of the national stakeholders about the ECE Protocol and its benefits and to brief the national environmental, sectoral and local authorities on the necessary steps to be taken by the Government to establish a national SEA system in line with the Protocol.

In November 2016 the international consultant made a fact-finding mission to the country to conduct the interviews with the national environmental and sectoral authorities, and to discuss the preliminary findings of the review with the Ministry of Energy.

In the period November 2016 to January 2017 a draft review report was prepared, including an assessment of the existing legislative and institutional framework, recommendations regarding possible amendments to the current law and proposals for new legislation.

On 25 January 2017 a national round table was held to present and discuss the draft report.

Further activities

The international consultant will finalize the review report by end March 2017 considering the feedback from the round-table discussion.

On 6 April 2017 a high-level round table will be held under the auspices of the parliament of Kazakhstan to discuss the feasibility of the development of the national SEA system and select priorities and components for further action. 

Technical assistance to Kyrgyzstan (2014–2015)

Background

The 2014-2017 workplan provided for technical advice and support to Kyrgyzstan in 2014 to improve its legislation and the institutional framework to implement the Convention. The project, financed by Switzerland, was undertaken by an external consultant and a national expert group on EIA.

Activities implemented

Preliminary negotiations about the scope of the proposed assistance took place between the secretariat and the Government of Kyrgyzstan in the course of 2014, followed by a workplan with concrete activities, deadlines and responsibilities in early 2015.

In the meantime, a representative of the Government engaged in impact assessment participated in the study tour to Czechia in December 2014 (see para. 19).

An international expert together with a national consultant conducted an analysis of the existing legislative framework and identified needs so as to provide customized assistance for further legislative development. At that stage, the Government explained that, following the adoption of a detailed EIA regulation in January 2015, its objective was to develop a framework law on EIA that would also consider SEA aspects, at no additional cost. That request was in accordance with the Government’s wish to align the provisions on EIA and SEA in the national legislation with the Convention and the Protocol.

A national expert group was established under the direction of the national focal point to accompany the drafting process and provide feedback. The group consisted, inter alia, of representatives of the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, the State Inspectorate for Ecological and Technical Safety and the Ministry of Health.

Subsequently, the following activities were implemented in 2015:

  1. In May a first draft of the law and a list of legal acts to be amended was developed, and shared with members of the national working group;
  2.  The national round table was organized on 13 May in Bishkek to discuss the draft law and the list of amendments;
  3.  In June consolidated comments were provided by the Government on the draft framework law;
  4.  In July a list of suggested activities to strengthen the capacity of Kyrgyzstan to implement and comply with its obligations under the Convention and to accede to the Protocol was developed;
  5. In the period July-September consultations with the Government were held to review the draft comments from other stakeholders, e.g., civil society;
  6. In October the following texts were prepared:
  • A revised draft framework law, including detailed provisions for transboundary EIA and SEA;
  • Detailed amendments to the Law on State Ecological Expertise (1999) to align it to the new framework law, in particular with regard to SEA;
  • National guidelines on the practical application of the transboundary EIA procedure.

Further activities

In August 2016, the Government of Kyrgyzstan assigned the State Agency of Environment Protection and Forestry to elaborate a draft ecological code. The main provisions of the draft law on environment assessment developed in 2015 are included in the code in a separate section, “Environmental Assessment”, addressing SEA, EIA, transboundary EIA procedure, ecological expertise and public participation. A revised draft code is expected to the submitted to the Government in May 2017.

The existing Law on Strategic Planning also includes provisions on SEA.

 

 


            

This page presents information on activities under the Espoo Convention focused on Central Asia, for the period between 6th and 7th sessions of the Meeting of the Parties (2014-2017):

CountryActivities
KazakhstanTechnical advice to Kazakhstan on improving legislation to implement the Protocol and advice in drafting necessary amendments2015-2017.
KyrgyzstanTechnical advice and support to Kyrgyzstan on improving legislation as well as the institutional framework to implement the ConventionCompleted in 2015.
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan