“Building Effective Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context” in Bulgaria Institute for Ecological Modernisation.
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Presentation on theme: "“Building Effective Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context” in Bulgaria Institute for Ecological Modernisation."— Presentation transcript:
“Building Effective Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context” in Bulgaria Institute for Ecological Modernisation
General information on the project Project duration: 12 months Financing organisation: The Governance Support Program for Romania and Bulgaria of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Implementing organisations: Environmental Experts Association – Romania Institute for Ecological Modernisation – Bulgaria
Project Goal To stimulate the transboundary cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria in improving the capacity of the Romanian and the Bulgarian civil society and local authorities for participation in the process of environmental protection
Target groups Representatives of the governmental authorities Local authorities Competent authorities Public organisations (NGO) Experts and consultancy companies in the field of EIA Research facilities and universities Media
Project objectives To improve the process of providing access to information and involving the public in environmental decision-making To support the implementation of the Espoo and the Aarhus Conventions in Romania and Bulgaria To improve the capacity of the local authorities, the NGOs and the civil society for effective participation in the EIA procedures in a transboundary context
Project objectives To support the efforts of both countries to harmonize their legislation according to the EU requirements and to improve their access to European funding To create a model for cooperation and compliance with environment protection rules between the two countries, separated by the Danube river.
Project activities A need assessment study of the different public sectors in relation to the transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment procedure Publishing a guidance and developing a web page in order to disseminate information among the public on methods and tools for conducting transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment. Organizing training sessions for consultation between the representatives of the target sectors. Building up an informal network for exchange of information and know-how and for coordination of the efforts for environment protection in the lower Danube region.
Need assessment study Topic of the study: Practical application of the EIA procedures in Romania and Bulgaria. Goal of the study: Identifying the need for information and capacity building among the representatives of the different public groups in relation to involving the public in transboundary EIA procedures.
Need assessment study Analysis of the existing legislation in Romania and Bulgaria Conducting a survey among representatives of the stakeholder groups Organizing workshops with representatives of the stakeholder groups
Workshops Objectives of the workshops Defining the main problems for the public groups related to the implementation of the Espoo convention Promoting public awareness of EIA procedures Sharing experience in methods for involving the public in the EIA procedure Sharing experience in including the EIA procedure in the development of national and regional plans and programs
Conclusions and recommendations Conclusions Low level of public interest in the topic as a whole: Only 32, or less than 21% valid questionnaires 34.37% of the respondents cannot mention an example of a transboundary EIA Lack of interest in the public hearings Lack of familiarity with the transboundary EIA procedure: 38% of the respondents are not acquainted with the Convention on transboundary EIA Only 15% of the respondents have participated in the transboundary EIA procedure
The respondents realize the need for and the benefit from public involvement both in the country of origin and in the affected country Both genders have equal opportunity to participate in the EIA procedures. Almost all of the respondents consider training as one of the most suitable methods for improving the EIA procedure. The most frequently used information channels are: the Internet, the press, meetings and seminars. Conclusions and recommendations
Recommendations: Methods for improving public awareness of the principles of transboundary EIA: Promoting the involvement of the general public in the procedures, related to environmental protection Increasing the knowledge in the specifics of the transboundary EIA procedures Involving representatives from the smaller settlements in the activities
Conclusions and recommendations Developing a web page that contains information on the principles of transboundary EIA and their practical application Organizing seminars in order to present the key stakeholders in the EIA procedure Building up an informal network for exchange of information between the authorities, the NGOs, the media and EIA specialists from Bulgaria and Romania
Guidance on the practical application of the Convention... “Guidelines on the practical application of the Espoo Convention and maximizing the benefits of public involvement in the lower Danube region" Objectives: Providing information to the project proponents, the experts, the local authorities and the NGOs about the Espoo Convention and the practical instruments for its application in Bulgaria and Romania Promoting the use of best practices in EIA procedures in Bulgaria and Romania Improving the coordination in the development of transboundary regional programs and policies
Guidance on the practical application of the Convention... Describes the main stages of the procedures, stipulated in the Convention Presents methods for public involvement that have been applied worldwide
Guidance on the practical application of the Convention... Objectives: To present the main stages of the procedure, stipulated in the Convention To provide the practical instruments for its application To promote the application of best practices in EIA procedures in Bulgaria and Romania To identify methods for public involvement that have been applied worldwide
Guidance on the practical application of the Convention... Target groups: EIA experts Project proponents Public/non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Bulgarian and Romanian competent authorities Other national, regional and local authorities
Guidance on the practical application of the Convention... Contents of the guidance: Brief overview of the main stages of the procedure according to the Espoo Convention Practical benefits of involving the public in the EIA process Public participation in EIA in a transboundary context, as outlined in the Espoo Convention Methodological and procedural aspects of the joint implementation of the Espoo Convention and the Aarhus Convention Practical aspects and guiding principles for successful public involvement Annexes
Training sessions Topics of the training sessions in Bulgaria and Romania: Theoretical and practical aspects of the EIA procedures Practical benefits of public participation in the EIA procedures Techniques for involving the public in the EIA procedure
Web pages Web pages in Bulgarian and Romanian providing access to: Up-to-date information on human rights, environment protection, health and sustainable development Materials on the Espoo Convention and the Aarhus Convention Information about the Lower Danube Region Materials related to the methods for Environmental Impact Assessment
Regional seminar and a press conference Objectives: Presenting the results from the need assessment study Presenting the guidance on the practical application of the Espoo Convention in the countries of the Lower Danube Region Presenting cases, conclusions and best practices for EIA from the transboundary region along the river valley of the Danube