716-i. Georgia Capacity Development
The government of Georgia requested the NCEA to implement a programme for strengthening the country's EIA system and for introducing SEA. The programme was implemented in two phases and finalized in 2011.
Process and activities
Upon request by the Ministry of Environment of Georgia, the NCEA and the ministry developed a multi-annual SEA introduction programme. The first phase of this programme was implemented in 2005 and 2006. It included the following activities:
- Development of (renewed) EIA and SEA law and regulations;
- Development of sectoral guidelines on EIA for roads, waste management and harbours;
- Training of trainers on EIA;
- Creation of an environmental assessment website at the Ministry of Environment;
- Execution of three pilot SEAs;
- Presentations during a regional SEA conference for the three countries of the Caucasus;
- Capacity development to improve skills of members of the SEA task force.
A second phase of the programme started in 2007. It was however temporarily terminated by the NCEA due to a lack of progress in the first half year, caused by major staff shifts at the Ministry and decreasing political commitment to SEA. In 2008, a new 3-year programme was formulated, including an EIA component, an SEA component for the Adjara regional development plan, and an SEA component for sanitary landfills. Some of the NCEA's activities under this second phase were:
- Organization of a seminar on SEA for the waste sector;
- Preparation of SEA guidelines for the selection of sanitary landfill sites;
- High-level and stakeholder workshops and trainings in Adjara;
- Preparation of an advice for an integrated SEA for the Adjara regional landuse plan;
- Mapping of the EIA system and analysis of its outcomes, resulting in a new design for an EIA capacity building programme.
In these programmes, the NCEA has cooperated with the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), REC/Caucasus, Ameco and UNDP.
Other activities in Georgia include independent advice on a ToR for the EIA/feasibility study for rehabilitation of the coast near Batumi.
The new EIA law that was proposed in phase 1 of the programme was not accepted because it was overruled by another, less ambitious proposal. The training of trainers has had positive effects, as EIA follow-up courses were organized by these trainers in cooperation with CENN. The first SEA pilot, for a law on waste management, proved very successful as it convinced stakeholders of the added value of SEA and helped them to openly discuss impacts and alternatives.
Phase 2 of the programme contributed to commitment and capacity of regional authorities to apply SEA. It improved SEA application on various levels and in various regions. Moreover, the EIA mapping generated new insights on the quality of the EIA system.
Members of the working group
Technical secretary: Arend Kolhoff
Last modified: 11 Apr 2017