The consultation on the new proposed EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) legislation is soon coming to an end. The new EIA law is the result of the need to transpose into national legislation the Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014, which amends Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. The new Directive needs to be transposed into the national legislation of all Member States by 16 May 2017, at the latest.
The Department of Environment, as the competent authority, started consultations on the new legislation over a year ago. Before its final phase, two public hearings took place, one in Nicosia on 26 May 2016 and a second one in Limassol on 30 May 2016. A number of stakeholders were invited to these consultations and all participants had the opportunity to comment on the new legislation and to present their points and possible objections. An additional series of consultations with different groups of stakeholders (Government authorities, NGOs and others) will be organised mid-June for a more in-depth discussion. All stakeholders will have to submit their final positions on the proposed legislation, by the end of June.
BirdLife Cyprus has been actively involved in this process from the very beginning. We have submitted our written comments from the very first phase of the consultation and by the end of June, a detailed position paper on the proposed legislation will be submitted. There are a number of issues that concern us relating to how the Appropriate Assessment will be integrated in the new Directive, the new rules on public participation and access to justice, the role of NGOs, and other.
Our wish is for the new legislation to ensure that the highest environmental standards are enforced and to therefore fulfil our expectations for better protection of nature and the environment in general.