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UNECE helps Georgia amend law on environmental assessment

UNECE helps Georgia amend law on environmental assessment

Georgia is preparing draft legislation on environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in accordance with the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention), its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment and relevant EU legislation.

The first draft of the law on “Environmental Impact” was discussed at the public hearing held on 20 May 2015 in Tbilisi. Representatives of relevant ministries, NGOs, international organizations as well as consultants and private sector representatives attended the event. The public hearing aimed at introducing a new draft law on EIA/SEA to the interested public and get recommendations and suggestions for its further improvement. The new draft law envisages the introduction of screening, scoping and public participation procedures in line with international requirements, the extension of the list of activities subject to EIA as well as the introduction of transboundary procedures for projects likely to have transboundary impact on the environment. Plans and programmes which are likely to have a significant impact on the environment will be subject to strategic environmental assessment procedures in accordance to a new law as well.

The adoption of the new law will reinforce the capacity of national and local authorities to implement new EIA and SEA procedures. This will contribute to foster Georgia’s transition to a green economy, improve planning and programming, reinforce public trust in decision-making, and save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes and severe environmental effects.

UNECE is supporting Georgia in this endeavour, in the framework of the Espoo Convention capacity-building and technical advice programme, which is funded by the EU “Greening Economies in the European Neighbourhood” (EaP GREEN) programme.  
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