In 1999 the Task Force for the Implementation of the Environmental Action Programme for Central and Eastern Europe (EAP Task Force) undertook a Survey on enforcement and compliance capacity in the NIS. This formed the basis for discussion at the inaugural meeting of the NIS Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (NISECEN) in Moldova in September 1999 and resulted in a document presented to a mid-term review meeting of the EAP Task Force in October 2000 in Almaty, Kazakstan. It also served as a basis to develop the Work Programme of the NISECEN for 2001-2003 and to identify technical assistance required at country level.
The second NISECEN meeting Baku, Azerbaijan in 2000 agreed, inter alia, that the review of used practices required regular updating every 2-4 years. This is necessary for three main reasons:
- to remove some errors in the earlier reports;
- to take account of some significant changes that might have taken place in the NIS;
- to explore some issues in more detail than was previously possible.
As decided by the officials present at the third NISECEN meeting in St Petersburg, Russia in September 2001, the EAP Task Force has drafted a document on the Guiding Principles for Effective Environmental Enforcement in the NIS. This document was discussed with representatives from NISECEN in Paris in late May 2002. The meeting agreed to revise the document and circulate it for comment to all of the NIS enforcement authorities. It was also agreed that a new review of practices should build on these principles, using them as the basis for seeking more in-depth information on the current practices.
The preliminary results of this new review were discussed at the NISECEN meeting conducted on 7-9 October 2002 in Almaty, following which it will be finalised. It can then form the basis for future discussion within the network and to form the work programme of the network and EAP Task Force. Besides, it will be instrumental to work out recommendations to improve environmental enforcement systems in the NIS and contribute to the development of national action plans.