Objectives: To provide for a high level of protection of the environment, including health, by inter alia ensuring that environmental considerations are thoroughly taken into account in the development of plans and programs, contribute to the consideration of environmental concerns during the preparation of policies and legislation, establish clear, transparent and effective procedures for strategic environmental impact assessment and provide for public participation therein.
Summary of provisions: Article 2 defines strategic environmental impact Each party undertakes to ensure that officials and authorities assist the public in matters covered by this Protocol (art.3.1) and to provide appropriate recognition and support to associations, organisations of groups promoting environmental protection (art.3.2). The public is to be able to exercise its rights without discrimination (art.3.7). Each Party agrees to ensure that a strategic environmental assessment is carried out for plans and programmes prepared inter alia for agriculture, energy and transport, and which are likely to have significant environmental effects (art.4). Parties are to determine whether plans and programmes are likely to have significant environmental effects through a case- by-case examination and/or by specifying types of plans and programmes (art.5.1). Moreover, each Party is to endeavour to provide opportunities for the participation of the public concerned (art.4.3). Parties are to establish arrangements for the determination of the relevant information to be included in the environmental report (art. 6) which must be prepared for plans and programmes subject to strategic environmental assessments (art.7). The report is to identify, describe and evaluate the likely significant environmental effects of implementing the plan or programme and its reasonable alternatives (art.7.2). Parties are to ensure early, timely and effective opportunities for public participation, in the strategic environmental assessments when all options are open (art. 8.1). Article 10 provides for transboundary consultations under certain conditions. The decision to adopt a plan or programme is to take due account of the conclusions of the environmental report as well as the measures to prevent, reduce or mitigate the adverse effects identified therein and the comments received (art. 11). Moreover, each Party undertakes to monitor the significant environmental effects of the implementation to identify unforeseen adverse effects and take appropriate remedial action (art. 12.1).
Institutional mechanisms: The Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context serves as the Meeting of the Parties to this Protocol (art.14.1). It is, inter alia, to keep under regular review the implementation of this Protocol (art. 14.4). The Secretariat of the Convention is to serve as Secretariat of this Protocol (art. 17).
(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005)