Source and full text: ECOBUSINESS magazine. Ecology of the enterprise
Author: Alexander Ignatenko, Senior Expert in Intergovernmental Cooperation and Economic Development, PLEDDG
On March 20, 2018, Ukrainian parliament adopted the law “On strategic Environmental Assessment” No. 2354-VIII, which is one of the key requirements of the Association Agreement. The law establishes the procedure for the implementation of strategic environmental assessment, the mechanism for conducting cross-border consultations, informing about the decision and monitoring the impact of the implementation of the state planning document on the environment.
Since 2015, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, with the financial support of the Government of Canada, has been implementing the international technical assistance project “Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance” (PLEDDG) in Ukraine.
One of the Project activities is to support the processes of decentralization and integrated development planning at the local, regional and national levels.
The project also provides assistance to improvement of the institutional capacity of local authorities, formation of a policy of cooperation between different levels of authorities for the development of decentralization.
Project’s cross-cutting topic is the integration of environmental sustainability issues. Therefore, all PLEDDG initiatives are analysed to determine whether they will have a negative impact on the environment, how to limit such negative impact and how to maximize possible positive impact.
During 4 years of the project, experts and consultants helped partner cities, representating four regions of Ukraine, in preparation of city development strategies and plans for their implementation.
The participating cities are: Ivano-Frankivsk, Yaremche, Kolomyia, Dolyna (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast); Vinnytsia, Zhmerynka, Khmelnyk, Ladyzhin (Vinnytsia oblast); Poltava, Kremenchuk, Myrgorod, Komsomolsk (Poltava oblast); Zaporizhia, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Energodar (Zaporizhia oblast).
Strategic environmental assessment (hereinafter — SEA) has become an important aspect in the preparation of city development strategies and plans for their implementation.
It should be noted that the elaborations of PLEDDG regarding strategic environmental assessment of city development strategies and plans for their implementation were included in the Law “On Strategic Environmental Assessment”, which was adopted in March 2018, No. 2354-VIII (hereinafter-the Law). This legal act defines SEA, in particular in:
From the procedural point of view as the procedure for determining, describing and assessing the impact of the execution of state planning documents on environment, including public health, effective alternatives, the development of preventive measures, reducing and mitigating possible negative impacts, which include:
- definition of SEO scope,
- preparation of the SEO report,
- running public discussions and consultations (cross — border consultations, if necessary),
- taking into account SEA report in the state planning document,
- results of public discussions and consultations,
- informing about the approval of the state planning document;
Substantive definition as a systematic process of identifying the likely environmental impacts of proposed strategies, plans and programmes and taking them into account when making decisions relating to these strategies, plans and programmes.
From the above, it is possible to point out that the purpose of the SEA is to promote the integration of environmental considerations in the preparation and adoption of strategies, plans and programs to ensure a high level of environmental protection and promote balanced (sustainable) development.
In other words, the purpose of SEA is to develop strategies, plans and programs to be more “green”, that is, to reduce their negative impact on the environment, public health, and to increase the positive impact (to improve the environment and public health).