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EIA/IC/S/4 Belarus

Party (State) of origin Affected Party (State)
Belarus  Lithuania
Activity (project)
Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets
Decision IS/1d
Compliance by Belarus with its obligations under the Convention in respect of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets
adopted at the intermediary sessions of the Meetings of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on SEA (5-7 February 2019)
Decision VI/2
adopted by the Sixth session of the of the Meetings of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on SEA, Geneva, 2-5 June 2014
At its twenty-second session (5-7 September 2011), the Implementation Committee took note of the submission by Lithuania (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2011/6, para. 22).

The Committee considered the matter at its twenty-third (5-7 December 2011, ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2011/8, paras. 16-20), twenty-fourth (20-23 March 2012, ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2012/2, paras. 9 and 10), twenty-fifth (11-13 September 2012, ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2012/4, paras. 9-11), and twenty-sixth sessions (26-28 November 2012, ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2012/6, paras. 7 and 8).

Before finalizing its findings and recommendations the Implementation Committee sent its draft to the Parties concerned and invited them to submit their comments or representations (para. 9 of the Structure and Functions of the Implementation Committee and Procedures for Review of Compliance - appendix to Decision III/2). Both Parties responded by 9 November 2012.

At its twenty-seventh session (12-14 March 2013) the Committee finalized its findings and recommendations taking into account the comments and representations from the two Parties concerned (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2013/2, paras. 5 and 6 and Annex). 

In the 2014-2017 intersessional period, the Committee considered its follow-up to decision VI/2 regarding Belarus (paras. 48–64) that followed the Committee’s findings and recommendations at its twenty-seventh session and included additional recommendations made by the Committee after considering extensive documentation submitted prior to the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties by Belarus and Lithuania on steps taken to reach compliance with the Committee’s earlier findings (ECE/MP.EIA/2014/4–ECE/MP.EIA/SEA/2014/4, paras. 53–56). Also by decision VI/2, the Meeting of the Parties requested the Committee to thoroughly analyse the steps undertaken by the two Parties following the adoption of the Committee’s report on its twenty-seventh session, to reflect the conclusions of its analysis in the report of its thirty-third session at the latest, and to report to the Meeting of the Parties at its seventh session on the matter.

In February 2017, based on its thorough analysis of the steps taken by both Parties since the Committee’s twenty-seventh session, the Committee concluded that Belarus had undertaken all the required steps to reach the final decision as provided for in the Convention. However, based on the available information, the Committee could not reach a final conclusion on the compliance of the steps taken by Belarus to reach the final decision with the provisions of the Convention, as the essence of the compliance case was about unresolved substantive aspects of the EIA documentation that could not necessarily be treated separately from the procedural aspects of EIA (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2017/2). The Committee noted that it did not have the capacity or the mandate to examine the unresolved environmental and scientific issues that had been raised in connection with the activity at Ostrovets by both Parties. The Committee thus finalized its recommendations to the Meeting of the Parties, including two concrete proposals for how the expert advice could be provided to the Committee by July 2018 to enable it to conclude whether the EIA documentation constituted a sufficient basis or not for Belarus to take the final decision to proceed with the implementation of the activity (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2017/2). The expert advice to be provided to the Committee through one of the two proposed alternatives should answer five questions on technical and scientific aspects of the EIA documentation that the Committee had put forward at its thirty-seventh session (Geneva, 12-14 December 2016) (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2016/6, annex I).

For the outcomes of the Committee’s deliberations since the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties (Minsk, 13-16 June 2017), please see the Committee’s reports on its forty-second session (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2018/4, paras. 32-40, and annex) and its forth-third session (ECE/MP.EIA/IC/2018/6, paras 75-84)