Environment in emerging and transition economies

Side-event: Better Environmental Regulation: Making Law Work


Since 2003, many OECD countries launched initiatives to strengthen the implementation of their environmental laws and policies. Getting better environmental outcomes through improved efficiency of regulation and reducing administrative burdens are the key objectives of such initiatives. At the same time, a series of tools have been developed to strengthen environmental regulation and compliance with requirements in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA). This side event was designed to share country experiences in better environmental regulation and identify possible further initiatives to promote this concept in EECCA countries.

The event was chaired by Mr. Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Director International Affairs of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment. He gave an introduction to the concept of better regulation, providing examples of the Dutch approach to reducing administrative costs of regulation and the Netherlands’ efforts to promote a similar reform process at the EU level.

Mr. Brendan Gillespie, Head of the EAP Task Force Secretariat/OECD, talked about the general trends in better regulation in OECD countries, the Secretariat's work in this area in EECCA, and put forward some ideas on continued policy dialogue with EECCA countries in this area.

Mr. Zaal Lomtadze, Head of Department, Georgian Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources, focused on the implications of the government’s reform and development programme on the institutional aspects of environmental regulation in Georgia. He highlighted both progress and new risks resulting from the reforms and draw some lessons that could be useful across the EECCA region.

Mr. Ramil Dissembayev, Kazakhstan Business Council for Sustainable Development, presented industry’s perspective on environmental regulatory reforms in Kazakhstan, including the need for compliance incentives and for reduction of administrative burden from environmental regulation.

Mr. Martin Quinn of the Environment Agency of England and Wales shared with the audience the principal directions of reforms implemented by the Environment Agency designed to modernise its regulatory practices and reduce the administrative burden on the regulated community.