The Ministry of Environment of Ukraine addressed the secretariat of the Aarhus Convention with a request for clarifications on the procedure of EIA during the war.
The secretariat noted that they are ready to provide the requested recommendations, reports European UN Economic Commission.
Since February 24, 2022, due to the military aggression of the russian federation, martial law was introduced in Ukraine. During this period, the government suspended the operation of the system's information and communication complex, electronic communication systems, state electronic registers, in particular the single register of the EIA.
At the time of martial law, the Ministry of the Environment offered a number of options for implementing public rights to access information and the right to participate in the decision-making process, in particular, in the EIA procedure:
- passive provision of environmental information at the request of a person. Previously, the information in the registry was unlimited and everyone could use it without additional conditions;
- extension of the terms of public discussion of cases related to the EIA, taking into account the period when the activity of the registry was suspended;
- preserving the publication of a notice about the planned activity in mass media and local self-government bodies.
The Ministry of Environment needs consultations on whether the following proposals meet the requirements of the Convention:
- whether the proposed forms of access to information and public participation in the decision-making process in the EIA process will not be considered discriminatory;
- whether the proposed ways of ensuring access to information and public participation in EIA will be sufficient and adequate.
"We also ask you to share your experience and give recommendations on ways and means of observing public rights provided for by the Convention during hostilities," the message says.
The committee urged Ukraine to contact Ukrainian environmental non-governmental organizations and other members of the public to invite them to send any comments by Thursday, July 28, 2022.
The draft recommendation will be posted on the website of the Committee.
As Ecopolitic reported earlier, experts came to the conclusion that the EIA procedure in Ukraine does not achieve the goals declared in the law — reducing the impact on the environment, and funds for its implementation are spent inefficiently.