Mindful of the need for and importance of the enhancing of international cooperation in assessing the transboundary environmental, including health, impact of the proposed plans and programmes, and, to the extent appropriate, policies and legislation, states of the Central and Eastern Europe have signed the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment In a Transboundary Context.
The objective of this Protocol is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment, including health, by establishing clear, transparent and effective procedures for strategic environmental assessment; providing for public participation in strategic environmental assessment; contributing to the consideration of environmental, including health, concerns in the preparation of policies and legislation.
A strategic environmental assessment shall be carried out for plans and programmes which are prepared for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, including transport, regional development, waste management, and any other projects listed that require an environmental impact assessment under national legislation.
Each Party ensures timely and effective opportunities for public participation in the strategic environmental assessment of plans and programmes.
This Protocol was opened for signature in Kiev in May, 2003. Ukraine signed it in May 2003, but have not ratified it.
Protocol entered into force in July, 2010.
In accordance with p.12 and 19 of the «Action Plan on Implementation of the State Program of Adaptation of Ukrainian Legislation to the EU Legislation in 2013», approved by the decision of the Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine on 25 March, 2013, № 157-р, the Ministry of Environment prepared draft laws «On ratification of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment In a Transboundary Context» and «On Strategic Environmental Assessment».
In accordance with art. 9 of the Law of Ukraine “On state regulatory policy in the sphere of commercial activity», for the provision of comments and suggestions from citizens and legal entities, and members of the public the drafts were posted on the web-site of the Ministry of Environment on 22.04.2013.
The Law of Ukraine “On main directions (strategy) of the state environmental policy until 2020” in chapter А. Instruments of the national environmental policy, pp. “4.2 Assessment of the impact of strategies, plans and programs on the environment” mentions about the necessity to improve environmental legislation to stipulate application of SEA as obligatory instrument of strategic planning at national, regional and local levels.
Strategy also stresses that SEA should be used as important instrument of the environmental impact assessments, including in transboundary context.
For more information on SEA Protocol and recent news on its implementation please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/eia/sea_protocol.html
EPL experience in conduct of SEA could be found at EPL web-site in Publication section.