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Another environmental impact assessment procedure may appear for business

25/ 02/ 2021
  At the end of 2020, the draft Law №4461 “On the Territories of the Emerald Network” was registered in the Verkhovna Rada. In Europe, there are special protected areas that together form the NATURA 2000. An analog for the NATURA 2000 in Ukraine is the Emerald Network. The business community supports the need to regulate the management of the Emerald Network in Ukraine, which is provided by the draft law, namely: the creation of the National Register of Emerald Network areas with geographical boundaries, creation of the conservation status monitoring system for natural habitats and fauna and flora species, development of Emerald network national management plans, etc. Meanwhile, companies are concerned about the introduction of tanother impact assessment procedure on the territory of the Emerald Network to make decisions on the implementation of planned activities, similar to the existing requirement for environmental impact assessment (EIA). Thus, companies will have to obtain an additional permit for economic activity - the territorial impact assessment conclusion. It means that the business has to carry out a procedure that aims to assess and reduce the negative impact of planned activities on the environment twice. Moreover, this will increase the financial costs for companies and will delay the implementation of projects. Keeping in mind the position of all stakeholders, in 2001, the European Commission proposed to include the Emerald Network impact assessment as a separate component of the overall EIA procedure. This proposal was made in the framework of special recommendations for impact assessment of planned projects in NATURA 2000 protected areas. Besides, the draft law contains several other provisions that do not fully comply with European practices and may complicate the implementation of business investment projects: 1. The decision on the absence of the need to conduct an impact assessment on the Emerald Network territory will be made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. According to business, this could lead to differences in the interpretation of the draft law and lead to corruption risks. 2. The procedure for obtaining a decision on the absence of negative impact on the Emerald Network territory may lead to an increase in the implementation of projects by approximately 50-60 working days. 3. The need to conduct an impact assessment on the Emerald Network territory as a part of the land management process, in practice, may lead to the need to conduct such an assessment several times to implement one project. This approach is not fully in line with Directive 92/43/EEC, which proposes to analyze the impact on the territory for plans or projects, and not of any intermediate actions that may be relevant to the plans and projects. 4. Lack of clarification on whether the Emerald Network impact assessment is required for companies that have already received all permits and passed the EIA procedure. Thus, it would be expedient to clarify the absence of a need to conduct an additional territorial impact assessment in case the EIA conclusion has been obtained before the entry into force of the Draft Law. 5. Lack of certain consequences of obtaining a negative conclusion on the Emerald Network impact assessment results. 6. Lack of a transition period for the entry into force of the Emerald Network management plans, which are developed over 6 years and establish measures for the conservation of biodiversity, as well as bans and restrictions on certain activities. According to business, such a transition plan should be tied to the date of approval of the Emerald Network management plans. Therefore, the business community appeals to the MPs to revise the draft law №4461, taking into account the comments and suggestions of the European Business Association.   For reference:  Draft Law №4461 is designed to fulfill Ukraines obligations under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention), Directive 92/43 / EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora and Directive 2009 / 147 / EU on the Conservation of Wild Birds. The above-mentioned directives are aimed at defining sites of Community importance and special areas of conservation which, together with special protected areas form the NATURA 2000 network. An analog for the NATURA 2000 in Ukraine is the Emerald Network.   Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel – EBAUkraine.

At the end of 2020, the draft Law №4461 “On the Territories of the Emerald Network” was registered in the Verkhovna Rada.

In Europe, there are special protected areas that together form the NATURA 2000. An analog for the NATURA 2000 in Ukraine is the Emerald Network.

The business community supports the need to regulate the management of the Emerald Network in Ukraine, which is provided by the draft law, namely: the creation of the National Register of Emerald Network areas with geographical boundaries, creation of the conservation status monitoring system for natural habitats and fauna and flora species, development of Emerald network national management plans, etc.

Meanwhile, companies are concerned about the introduction of tanother impact assessment procedure on the territory of the Emerald Network to make decisions on the implementation of planned activities, similar to the existing requirement for environmental impact assessment (EIA). Thus, companies will have to obtain an additional permit for economic activity – the territorial impact assessment conclusion. It means that the business has to carry out a procedure that aims to assess and reduce the negative impact of planned activities on the environment twice. Moreover, this will increase the financial costs for companies and will delay the implementation of projects.

Keeping in mind the position of all stakeholders, in 2001, the European Commission proposed to include the Emerald Network impact assessment as a separate component of the overall EIA procedure. This proposal was made in the framework of special recommendations for impact assessment of planned projects in NATURA 2000 protected areas.

Besides, the draft law contains several other provisions that do not fully comply with European practices and may complicate the implementation of business investment projects:

1. The decision on the absence of the need to conduct an impact assessment on the Emerald Network territory will be made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. According to business, this could lead to differences in the interpretation of the draft law and lead to corruption risks.

2. The procedure for obtaining a decision on the absence of negative impact on the Emerald Network territory may lead to an increase in the implementation of projects by approximately 50-60 working days.

3. The need to conduct an impact assessment on the Emerald Network territory as a part of the land management process, in practice, may lead to the need to conduct such an assessment several times to implement one project. This approach is not fully in line with Directive 92/43/EEC, which proposes to analyze the impact on the territory for plans or projects, and not of any intermediate actions that may be relevant to the plans and projects.

4. Lack of clarification on whether the Emerald Network impact assessment is required for companies that have already received all permits and passed the EIA procedure. Thus, it would be expedient to clarify the absence of a need to conduct an additional territorial impact assessment in case the EIA conclusion has been obtained before the entry into force of the Draft Law.

5. Lack of certain consequences of obtaining a negative conclusion on the Emerald Network impact assessment results.

6. Lack of a transition period for the entry into force of the Emerald Network management plans, which are developed over 6 years and establish measures for the conservation of biodiversity, as well as bans and restrictions on certain activities. According to business, such a transition plan should be tied to the date of approval of the Emerald Network management plans.

Therefore, the business community appeals to the MPs to revise the draft law №4461, taking into account the comments and suggestions of the European Business Association.

 

For reference: 

Draft Law №4461 is designed to fulfill Ukraine’s obligations under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention), Directive 92/43 / EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora and Directive 2009 / 147 / EU on the Conservation of Wild Birds.

The above-mentioned directives are aimed at defining sites of Community importance and special areas of conservation which, together with special protected areas form the NATURA 2000 network. An analog for the NATURA 2000 in Ukraine is the Emerald Network.

 

Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel EBAUkraine.

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