The results presented are based upon investigation of 38 case-studies of environmental decision-making in Soviet Union and Russia.
Russian legislation provides possibilities for public participation in strategic decision-making. Institutional forms of public participation in Russia are linked to two administrative procedures – assessment of environmental impacts and environmental review. These procedures are conducted not only for project-level activities but for strategic actions as well.
Only one of 38 considered cases demonstrated public participation in strategic decision-making on level higher than «informing». Good practices of NGO participation in law-making in St.Petersburg and Irkutsk were revealed.
Many conflicts in considered cases resulted from lack of public participation at strategic stages.
Main reasons for poor public participation in SEA are:
often no environmental assessment procedures were conducted for strategic actions at all;
strategic decision-making is not a transparent process;
project-level activities often do not correspond to strategic plans or are implemented in differing conditions, which leads to conflicts and environmental violations;
state authorities lack institutional and professional capacities to provide for PP in strategic decision-making.
Recommendations to improve the situation are given, including legislation development and increasing institutional capacities both of public and state power bodies.
Research was carried out by the international team under the grant from Volkswagen Foundation.
Technical University Berlin
Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
Franklinstr. 28/29, FR 2-6 10587 Berlin