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DEVELOPMENT OF THE GUIDANCE ON PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
IN A TRANSBOUNDARY CONTEXT

General Information

The importance of public participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in a transboundary context (a transboundary EIA) and the need for guidance on it were recognised by the Parties to the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context at their first two meetings (ECE/MP.EIA/2, annex VI, item 4) and (MP.EIA/2001/3, decision II/3).

At the first meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Oslo, 18-20 May 1998), it was agreed that the work-plan for the implementation of the EIA Convention for 1998-2000 should include work to prepare guidance on public participation in a transboundary EIA. A first version of the guidance was developed by the Russian Federation, as lead country, with financial support from Italy.

The second meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Sofia, 26-27 February 2001) welcomed the work carried out by the Russian Federation in developing the first version of the guidance (decision II/3). This meeting recommended the Parties to develop this guidance further, inter alia on the basis of case studies, and to put forward proposals for consideration at the third meeting of Parties. Further work has been carried out by the Russian Federation as lead country with financial support from the United Kingdom and with the practical support of the Secretariat of the Convention. The Russian Federation nominated the Agency for environmental assessments “EcoTerra” to co-ordinate the practical work on this issue.

The first step in collecting and analysis of case studies was the development of the format for the description of these case studies. A first version of a format was developed by the Russian Federation with assistance of the United Kingdom and twice (in February and June 2002) was sent by the Secretariat of the Convention to the focal points of the Convention for comments. In addition, draft of the format was presented for comments in the meetings of the Ad-hoc Working Group on SEA Protocol in Warsaw (February 2002) and in Oslo (May 2002). Second version of a format was developed according to recommendations of the meeting of the UNECE Task Force on public participation in environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force) in Moscow (25-27 September 2003).

A number of descriptions of case studies of public participation in a transboundary EIA (Azerbaijan-Georgia, Bulgaria-Romania, Estonia-Finland, Finland-Russia, Finland-Sweden (2 examples), Hungary-Croatia, Italy-Croatia, Kyrgystan-Kazakhstan, United Kingdom-France) was presented by experts from 13 countries.

The authors of the case were invited to be members of the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force and to take part in the meeting of the UNECE Task Force in Moscow (25-27 September 2003) at which the case studies and draft guidance were discussed.

The final (January 2004) draft of the guidance was adopted by the 7th meeting of the Working Group on EIA and recommended to adoption by 3rd meeting of the Parties to the Convention (decision III/8) . This final draft of the guidance was adopted by 3rd meeting of the Parties to the Convention 04 June 2004 (please, see the site of the Meeting (http://www.unece.org/env/eia/privet.html)). This draft of the guidance based on the third draft (December 2003), which was sent by Secretariat to all focal points of the Convention and on the comments of the focal points received before 22 December 2003. The third draft of the guidance was based on the second draft (November 2003) and on the comments on the second draft received from the members of the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force. The second draft of the guidance developed as result of the discussion on the first draft carried out at the meeting of the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force (Moscow, 25-27 September 2003).

First draft of the guidance (August 2003) was based on analysis of case studies of public participation in a transboundary EIA and previous activity of the Russian Federation (in particular, outcome of the workshop in Moscow in 2000) and first version of the guidance , prepared with financial support of Italy and approved by workshop in Moscow (2000) and by international NGOs: International Social-Ecological Union and European ECO-Forum .

The final version of the guidance has been developed by Russian Federation (the Agency for Environmental Assessments “EcoTerra”, Nikolay Grishin*) with support of United Kingdom (Jim Burns* and Roger Gebbels*), Secretariat of the UNECE EIA Convention (Wiek Schrage*), European Commission (David Aspinwall and Thisvi Ekmektzoglou*) and other members of the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force (Tatyana Javanshir (Azerbaijan), Jacquelina Metodieva and Katya Peicheva* (Bulgaria); Nenad Mikulic (Croatia); Veronika Versh* (Estonia); Leena Ivalo* and Ulla-Riitta Soveri (Finland); Georges Guignabel (France); Gia Zhorzholiani* (Georgia); Foris Edina (Hungary); Federica Rolle and Carmela Bilanzone (Italy); Gulfia Shabaeva* and Tatyana Filkova (Kyrgyzstan); Daniela Pineta (Romania); Sergey Tveritinov (Russia).


* members of the UNECE PP-EIA Task Force - participants of the Moscow meeting of this Task Force (25-27 September 2003), where participated in addition: Vladimir Markov and Zinaida Muzileva (Russia), Olga Razbash (Russian Regional Environmental Centre) and Olga Tokmakova (International Public Network for Environmental Impact Assessment).