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EECCA report - Отчет ПДООС – №10

As it can be seen throughout this report, good environmental policy benefits society by protecting human health and the environment. But for progress to be made across environmental policy areas (whether air quality, water, waste or biodiversity) cross-cutting, systemic flaws need to be addressed. Laws and regulations need to be clear, feasible and enforceable. Policy instruments need to be well designed and packaged. Implementation needs to be supported on adequate compliance assurance strategies. All this requires effective supporting institutions.
Good environmental regulation has also important consequences in terms of achieving political, economic and public administration goals. For those countries aspiring to EU membership, environmental legislation is a major area for convergence. For those countries looking to make the most of globalisation, environmental regulation plays an increasingly important role in guaranteeing a level-playing field for businesses in the global marketplace. For those countries seeking to strengthen the rule of law and improve governance, effective environmental compliance assurance systems help to reinforce the credibility of regulation in general.
Moreover, in coming years the bar for governments in general and for environmental regulators in particular will increase – the public will demand better environmental performance, while businesses will expect policy solutions that minimise compliance costs and bureaucracy.  
As of early 2007, EECCA countries still face a large environmental policy and institutional reform agenda. Institutions suffer from weak authority, scarcity of resources, out-dated management, high turnover of professionals and frequent restructuring, thereby lacking both the incentives and means toe ensure the achievement of environmental results. Policies are not generally aimed at achieving specific targets, rely on unreformed or poorly combined instruments and are often dominated by revenue-raising objectives. Environmental legislation is extensive but inconsistent and unenforceable. And compliance levels are very low – almost every on-site inspection discovers one or several violations of varying severity.
This chapter discusses recent progress with environmental policy and institutional reform in EECCA. It has been prepared on the basis of dedicated input by EAP Task Force Secretariat staff. It also draws on the most recent UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews of EECCA countries.  
Since 2003 strategic environmental planning has been less of a priority in EECCA countries than in the 1990s, when most countries developed major environmental policy documents such as National Environmental Action Plans (NEAPs). Belarus has developed a National Strategy on Sustainable Development (what can be considered a “second generation NEAP”) and Georgia is about to launch a similar process. At the same time, numerous thematic strategies have been formulated, but often in an uncoordinated manner and largely driven by the international agenda and donor support. As a result planning frameworks are still largely unsystematic and incoherent. Local environmental planning is limited to individual initiatives.
In the new policy papers, there has been a clear shift from detailed descriptions of environmental conditions to suggested mitigation measures. However, they are still mostly declarative, rarely establish targets or prioritise planned actions, do not include realistic financial plans and lack evaluation arrangements. At the same time, environmental issues have found their way into other strategic policy documents – in most Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) environmental protection is featured as a key policy direction.
The ambitious environmental lawmaking kept its pace. Substantive reforms are being guided by international benchmarks, including European legislation (see box 1.1). Lawmaking practices are evolving and include now broader stakeholder consultations in the drafting phase as well as clearer transitional provisions in laws and regulations. But legislative frameworks remain for the most part unsystematic. The development of implementing regulations has been slower and even more inconsistent. The complexity and incoherence of the regulatory system undermines its effectiveness, as the regulated community often does not know and understand the requirements.
In recent years, the idea of reforming environmental quality standards has become politically acceptable. The reform process has started in several EECCA countries – including Armenia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation. But reforms are not always coherent – for example, Kazakhstan is trying to combine the EU water quality classification with the old system without turning water quality objectives and standards into management tools.
Progress is also finally taking place in environmental permitting. Environmental authorities have come to realise the deficiencies of the Soviet-legacy permitting system and most countries have started a process of permitting reform, often with industry’s support. Ukraine is planning to align its system with the European norms and will mandate a phased transition to integrated permitting based on best available techniques for large industry and simplified permit requirements for small and medium enterprises. Kazakhstan has consolidated separate medium-based permits into a single document and plans to introduce full cross-media integration of permit requirements for large industry in 2008. But the countries may lack the capacity to implement these are radical short-term change. Several countries (including Armenia, Belarus, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation) are drafting regulations to replace environmental quality-based permit requirements with uniform technology-based emission/effluent limits values (ELVs), thereby limiting the discretion of permitting authorities but also eroding the level of environmental protection and the incentives for innovation.
Box 1.1 Convergence with EU Environmental Legislation in EECCA
Within the framework of the new European Neighbourhood Policy, action plans for enhanced cooperation were signed with Moldova and Ukraine in 2005 and with the three Caucasus countries in 2006. Their environment sections, fairly similar in content, emphasise further regulatory reforms, compliance assurance, public participation and implementation of regional and global environmental agreements. Although gradual convergence with key principles and standards of the EU environmental Directives has been largely accepted as a policy direction in many EECCA countries, neither EECCA governments nor the donors have a clear sense of priorities for the convergence efforts, which are hardly coordinated, leading to a waste of time and technical assistance funds. The first steps towards convergence have been taken in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia but the process is very slow due to the limited institutional capabilities of the environment ministries.
Source: EAP Task Force Secretariat staff

Box 1.2 Lessons from the Kazakh Environmental Code
Several EECCA countries have decided to address legislative shortcomings by introducing Environmental Codes. The only document of this kind that has been enacted so far – the Environmental Code of Kazakhstan – seeks to incorporate all existing environmental laws and minimise the need for implementing regulations. It resolves many discrepancies in the preceding legal acts (albeit some contradictions remain within the Code) and advances important new concepts and instruments. Unfortunately, the analysis of regulatory impacts, most importantly of the potential costs and benefits of many new legal provisions, had not been carried out prior to the adoption of the Code, and questions remain about the feasibility of a number of its requirements. With Belarus, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation also actively developing their environmental codes (and several other EECCA countries likely to follow) there is a real risk that new Environmental Codes in EECCA countries will turn into symbolic actions rather than bring regulatory and environmental improvements.
Данный отчет свидетельствует о том, что соответствующие природоохранные стратегии являются важными и оказывают положительное воздействие на общество посредством защиты здоровья населения и окружающей среды. Однако, для достижения прогресса в данной области (неважно, говорим ли мы о качестве атмосферного воздуха, воды, управлении отходами или биологическом разнообразии), необходим конструктивный подход к решению многосторонних проблем и наболевших вопросов. Законодательство и нормативная база должны быть более четкими и практичными для реализации. Инструменты экономической политики должны быть комплексными и четко сформулированными. Их реализация должна основываться на соблюдении стратегий по обеспечению соответствующего исполнения норм законодательства по охране окружающей среды. Для осуществления данной деятельности требуется эффективная поддержка природоохранных учреждений.
Надлежащее законодательство по охране окружающей среды также играет важную роль при достижении целей в области политики, экономики и государственного управления. Для стран, стремящихся вступить в ЕС, такое законодательство является одним из основных условий для сближения. Для стран, стремящихся извлечь максимальную пользу от процесса глобализации, природоохранное законодательство также играет немаловажную роль в обеспечении равных условий для ...