Albania: Participatory society in decision making!
decision-making: The right to make a decision. The role of civil society is consistently complemented by the legal framework to increase the impact on the decision making process in the environmental sector. The legal framework in this sector is supported actively by the Law 119 "On the right to information" https://goo.gl/CmtTDp or for the process of Environmental Impact Assessment with DCM "On the definition of rules, requirements and procedures for informing and involving the public in environmental decision-making ". http://akm.gov.al/assets/vkm_nr_247.pdf
EDEN Center together with the 4 partner organizations are the implementing organizations of the project "Participating Society in Decision-Making" https://goo.gl/L2eAKP and have intensively pursued 20 public hearings in 5 cities of Albania during March 2017- September 2018 (7 hearing for Environmental Impact Assessment reports, 7 environmental permits hearings and 6 Environmental Strategic Assessment). It is appreciated, all the efforts of paying attention to public consultation according to the legal framework, but the process has many shortcomings, both in the way of notification, the development of the public consultations, and the content of report presented in this hearing. In order for the process to be of the highest quality and to strengthen the implementation of the relevant legal framework, during the participation of the organizations to the public hearings are observed some key moments for which a rapid intervention is needed.
Notification approach: electronic forms cannot be considered as one of the main way of notification, all other means must be used to reach the public; the Regional Environment Directorates (DRMs) website should contain all correct information on public hearing about the exact location of the hearing and the accompanying documentation for the hearing should be easily downloaded from their website.
Development and quality of the reports: EIA reports should increase the quality of their content both in writing and in content. The language should be easily from the public. To read and made sound comments to an EIA report it can be used the "Checklist for review of environmental impact assessment studies" https://goo.gl/T4BEN7 developed under the CO-SEED project. The AKM (National Environment Agency) website should make transparent the minutes of the DRMs and also make transparent and the arguments for not taking into account the comments sent for the consulted reports.
These are some of the key issues raised that were addressed to the National Environmental Agency on 31/10/2018 by a letter.
For more information, read: "Summary of Project Implementation Cases and Letter to the National Environment Agency" https://bit.ly/2QljwpR and you can watch the video in TV "The silent public" chronicle https: // bit. ly / 2SSe3bI.
The project "Participating Society in Decision Making" November 2016 - October 2018 has been implemented in Albania by the Environmental Center for Development, Education and Networking (EDEN) in Tirana; Elbasan Ecological Club (KEE) in Elbasan; For Social and Environmental Welfare (PMSM) in Berat; Aarhus Information Center (AIC) Shkodra, in Shkodra; Center for Research, Collaboration and Development (CRCD) in Vlora. The project is supported by the project " Civil society acts for environmentally sound socio-economic development (CO – SEED) " http://co-seed.eu/ with EU funds and implemented by INCA http: /www.inca-al.org/sq/.