02-605 WARSAW

Rising standards of environmental impact assessments as indispensable means for sustainable development implementation in Poland

Addressees: Public opinion, officials responsible for environmental protection

Aims: The aim of the project was to eliminate bad practices in the field of environmental impact assessment, and so to minimize environmental losses; to reduce conflicts and eliminate procedural errors.

Methodology: The project was conducted under support of Institute of Environmental Economy (Instytut Ekonomii Środowiska) and it took on watchdog – educational character.
Along with data analysis and publication of the report, WWF – Poland conducted trainings for NGO activists.
From May till August, 2006, reports concerning quality of environmental impact assessment procedure had been collected among chairmen of all Provincial Environmental Impact Assessment Commissions (PEIACs) in Poland.
A questionnaire was created on the basis of previous error analysis, which had been detected in official documents reviewed by National Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment. Particular Province Governor’s Offices were requested by telephone to render available contacts with chairmen of provincial environmental impact assessment commissions. All chairmen were addressed via e-mail to take part in an opinion poll concerning activity of PEIACs. Chairmen answered the questions via telephone. Every respondent was asked to answer the same set of questions during a half an hour discussion.
The set of questions can be divided into 3 groups:
– in relation to functioning of PEIACs;
– in relation to quality of given environmental impact assessments;
– in relation to reports concerning enterprises located within the limits or in the vicinity of protected areas Natura 2000.

Results of the project:
As a result of the project, WWF – Poland issued a report that was sent to public institutions, which deal with environment, transportation, water management, and agriculture. The report is also distributed among NGOs. Furthermore, the results and recommendations of the report are passed on during meetings related to the subject matter. Within the scope of the project European Union Guidelines, which had been handed over to Ministry of the Environment and province governor’s offices, were translated – thanks to that, these institutions received means for monitoring an investment process within the limits of protected areas Natura 2000.
28 NGO’s activists were trained for active participation in decision-making processes related to investments, which potentially influence natural environment. These actions are continued in extended form within the framework of EU Funds for Sustainable Development Project – A role of involvement of society and environmental impact assessments.

The report is available in Polish on: http://www.wwf.pl/informacje/publikacje/fundusze_ue/jakosc_oos.pdf
Project name: Rising standards of environmental impact assessments as indispensable means for sustainable development implementation in Poland
Country/ countries: Poland
Executed by: WWF Poland
Grant donor: Stefan Batory Foundation
Addressees: Public opinion, officials responsible for environmental
Time: 2006

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