SEA Protocol: Initial Capacity Development in Selected Countries of the former Soviet Union

TitleSEA Protocol: Initial Capacity Development in Selected Countries of the former Soviet Union
Publication TypeConference Paper
AuthorsCherp, A.

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This paper summarises the key lessons that emerged from the initial capacity development for the implementation of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment to the UNECE Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context — known as the “SEA Protocol” — in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.This capacity development initiative was implemented in 2003-2006 by the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and through the related activities of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Part of the initiative has been implemented under the framework of Environment and Security Initiative supported, in this case, by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It highlighted some quite fundamental challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for the establishment of effective national SEA systems in these former Soviet Union countries. The priority issues of concern are:• limited capacity of the responsible national environmental authorities to work on the SEA Protocol’s transposition and preparation of the methodological guidance;• limited experience with strategic environmental assessment that would provide examples of effective procedures and analytical approaches, which would meet the requirements of the SEA Protocol; and• limited openness of the planning system, which poses obstacles for carrying out assessment and consulting relevant authorities and the public during the elaboration of plans and programmes.