Environment in emerging and transition economies

Guiding Principles for Reform of Environmental Enforcement Authorities in Transition Economies of EECCA adopted at the Ministerial Meeting in Kiev


Environmental Ministers from the whole Europe, the US and Canada in their Declaration adopted at the Conference in May 2003 in Kiev, Ukraine adopted "Guiding Principles for Reform of Environmental Enforcement Authorities in Transition Economies of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA)" as a basis for true institutional restructuring and rebuilding enforcement and compliance assurance systems following the crisis that touched the region in the 1990s.

Despite major changes in social and economic conditions following the disintegration of the Soviet Union environmental inspectorates in the newly independent states continued to replicate the "centrally planned" model that included maintaining the authoritarian culture, inconsistent and discretionary enforcement, and unchanged arsenal of enforcement instruments. Creating deterrence and changing the behaviour of the regulated community were neglected. The inspectorates were deprived of considerable authorities as well as of adequate human and financial resources. Their situation has been even more aggravated by very frequent organisational reforms that occurred without having improved the methods of operation. All these factors led to a loss of integrity and credibility and lack of effectiveness.
The Guiding Principles include six categories of recommendations:

  • Fundamentals of enforcement;
  • Responsibilities, powers, and organization of environmental enforcement authorities;
  • Role of the general public and the regulated community;
  • Working methods, strategies, and tools;
  • Resources, budget, and financial management;
  • International cooperation.

The Guiding Principles also encourage national enforcement agencies to utilize guidance provided by UNEP, UNECE, and other international organisations to improve their compliance with and enforcement of Multinational Environmental Agreements.

The "Guiding Principles" represent a non-binding reference that aims at helping governments to identify key features of an effective and efficient system of environmental enforcement and to create a framework for international co-operation and support. The NISECEN, within which the Guiding Principles were developed, provides its Members with the opportunity to learn good international practices, develop new reference models and tools, and apply them. In addition, a number of specific tools have been developed to support the implementation of the Guiding Principles, including a review of enforcement, permitting and compliance promotion systems, training toolkit, and the glossary of terms. The Network will continue pursuing its goals with its new work programme will be discussed at the Fifth Annual Network Meeting on 16-18 October 2003 in Kiev.

For more information contact:

Angela Bularga
Envrionment and Globalisation Division
Environment Directorate
Fax: (33 1) 44 30 61 83