Environment in emerging and transition economies

Peer Review of Environmental Enforcement Agencies in Armenia

 

This peer review was conducted at the request of the Ministry of Nature Protection immediately after the enactment of the Law on Environmental Enforcement of the Republic of Armenia and will constitute a baseline to monitor progress in implementing this law. The review was carried out by a team of experts from Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden, as well as from the Regional Environmental Centre for CEE and the OECD/EAP Task Force Secretariat. Funding for this was mainly provided by the Netherlands.

The members of the REPIN discussed and agreed upon the findings and recommendations of the review at their Seventh Annual Meeting (17-18 October 2005, Moscow). Representatives of EECCA countries, some OECD countries (Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States), NGOs, and international organisations attended this meeting.

 
As in the case of Kyrgyzstan, the review underlined that Armenia’s Republican State Environmental Inspectorate should focus on environmental results rather than revenue-raising. It should apply the available compliance assurance instruments in a more consistent and comprehensive manner taking account of social and economic considerations; increase the knowledge and skills of staff, modernise facilities; carry out a systematic dialogue with the regulated community, and engage in result-oriented cooperation with other authorities and NGOs.

The review recommendations were officially approved by the government. After the review, the State Environmental Inspectorate has seen an improved support from the Ministry of Nature Protection, including an increased budget to upgrade facilities, and remunerate and train staff. Donor aid was provided to procure office equipment and train staff. As a result, the Inspectorate has increased its capacity to prevent and reveal environmental violations.