The Committee of the Espoo Convention Implementation (on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context), acting under the UN Economic Commission for Europe, identified violations, committed by Belarus in the planning of nuclear power plant's construction. In this regard, the international committee recommended the authorities to suspend the NPP construction.
The Ukrainian environmental organization Ecoclub complained to the international commission about Belarus’ disregard of the convention while planning NPP. The Committee opened its consideration of the issue and filed a request to the Government of Belarus in September 2009. The Committee considered the response of the Belarusian government, as well as additional information on the necessary legal and administrative measures, taken by the State to implement provisions of the convention at the 20th session in Geneva on January 11-13, 2011, reports BelaPAN.
Having considered all the documents, the committee noted that «the final documentation of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was significantly different from the preliminary one.» According to the committee, it may indicate «more general systemic inconsistencies between the Convention and the environmental assessment within the ecological expertise of the state.»
UN Committee Recommended Belarus to Provide Other Countries with NPP Documentation
The Committee recommended the authorities of the country to provide the final EIA documentation to the involved countries and give them the necessary time for comments before making a final decision on NPP construction.
In addition, the Secretary of the Espoo Convention Nick Bonvoza says that the committee intends to hold a closed meeting in the presence of official representatives of Belarus in Geneva in June 2011.
The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context was adopted on February 26, 1991. Belarus signed the convention as well, but it came into force only on February 8, 2006.