Albania: CSOs practicing EIA in all phases

After a two-year work for the implementation of the project, " CSOs practicing EIA in all phases " in the frame of CO-SEED - " Civil Society Acts for Environmentally Sound Socio-Economic Development ", Milieukontakt organized the final conference with the findings and the results achieved during two years of the project.

RIA, new practice (expert impact assessment of the regulatory framework) specifically related to the Ex-Post impact assessment of the law "On Environmental Impact Assessment" is a necessity of the process of improving public policies and legislation in the context of integration in the European Union and constitutes a significant change in the work of the Albanian Government. The implementation of the RIA is also a requirement of the European Union, where for the changes applied, to be communicated openly and transparently, to create and receive broad support for reforms from civil society organizations and Albanian citizens in general.

At the conference were presented project findings from Milieukontakt, a project that has had a wide territorial extension, at time and subject scope too. CSOs involved in the project, but not only, have been actively involved in the public hearings of various enterprises and projects that directly or indirectly influence negatively at the environments where they are implemented.

An important element of the conference was the new edition on the checlist for the review of the environmental impact assessment. This material provides for the wider community to evaluate and control the Environmental Impact Assessment reports. The publication of the checlist for control evaluation is a practical and very useful publication for stakeholders interested in EIAs controlling.

Public hearing cases of EIAs of various projects monitored from CSO were around 300. During the monitoring of the entire process, starting from the announcements, dates and place for public hearings, there were many deficiencies, which if improved according to the recommendations issued at the conference, will improve the process, and will fulfill the legal obligation of public information or their qualitative achievement.

At the conference, the findings and the results obtained during the implementation of the project were divided between civil society organizations, representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the National Environmental Agency.

The implementation of this project has improved the capacity of civil society to evaluate and monitor EIAs, set up bridges of communication and cooperation among state institutions also offering recommendations to improve their work. The work done during the project implementation encourages CSOs to continue the process further, being supportive and facilitating to the interested community.

This activity is financially supported by the project "Civil Society Acts for Environmentally Sound Socio-Economic Development" (CO-SEED) funded by European Union and implemented by Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania.