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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Estonia

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ESTONIA

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

No information is available.

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TRADE

No information is available.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Consumer Protection Board is the Government body entitled to protect main consumer rights, including the right to a safe environment.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Law on Protection of Consumers stipulates sustainable consumption by Article 4 Section 2, where it is stated that one of the basic rights of a consumer is to be protected from goods or services that might endanger his life, health, property and environment as well as from goods or services the use or possession of which is prohibited. 

Estonia adopted the Packaging Act in 1995 to regulate the manufacture and use of packaging, the management of packaging waste and the marking of packaging. In 1996 , it adopted the Packaging Excise Act.

The Series of ISO 9000 related to product quality and ISO 14000 related to environmental management systems have been adopted by the Estonian Standard Board.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The responsible administrative bodies at the local level are the Local Consumer Unions.

A number of Major Groups are involved in decision-making in this area. Consumer Unions of different counties and bigger cities have organised children's camps with major topics about the environment, including, for example, practical actions for cleaning up artificial waste from nature.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Consumer education about sustainable and environmentally-friendly consumption also takes place in ordinary schools. There are consumer campaigns for taking into use new water cleaning equipment with an optimal price. Efforts are also made in promoting cooperation projects through local Government, science and state institutions, for using the local fuel instead of the distance fuel all over Estonia.

Information   

The Ministry of Economy has issued Guidelines for sustainable energy use, and, in 1997, on the Day of Sustainable Consumption, the Consumer Protection Board published Guidelines on how to use energy most efficiently at home.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

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This information is based on Estonia's submission to the 7th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 1998.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status

The Estonian Ministry of Environment receives 222.6 mil. EEK (Estonian Kroons) from the national budget for the implementation of policies and strategies for nature protection and sustainable development. Eight percent of state investment programmes supports local environmental infrastructure for the building and reconstruction of various environmentally important developments. Pollution charges and resource taxes are the most important economic instruments used for promoting sustainable development.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

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This information is based on Estonia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:
For information about issues and projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia from the World Bank, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Package Law, issued on 3 May 1995, prescribes the implementation of Estonian third-party certified environmental labels, which were to be established by the end of 1996. The main goal of this law is the propagation of environmental labeling among producers and customers, as well as training the label jury and criteria commission for European eco-labeling strategies. There have been some cases of ad hoc environmental labeling in Estonia, mainly in the field of soft agriculture. In order to promote environmentally-friendly tourism, the Hiiumaa Green Label was established by the Hiiumaa Centre of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.

Environmental management system standards ISO 14001:1996 and ISO 14004:1996 were to be adopted by the Estonian Standardization Board (EVS) at the end of 1996. The adoption of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Environmental Auditing Act by Parliament is expected to take place at the beginning of 1997. Estonia has translated the first ISO auditing standards ISO 14010:1996, ISO 14011:1996 and ISO 14012:1996 and intends to implement these standards in the beginning of 1997. The accreditation of certification bodies is provided by EVS according to the Minister of Finance's Regulation No. 45 (25 February 1994) based on the working document CEN/CLS TC 1/WG 2 N17 "General Criteria for the Assessment of Certification Bodies" and on the CEN standard EN 45002.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

A few enterprises, notably small subsidiaries of large foreign firms (e.g., SADOLIN), have begun to adopt environmental management systems. 

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

A training program for environmental (ISO) auditors has begun. 

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

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This information is based on Estonia's submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

Biotechnology

No information available.

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Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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INDUSTRY

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TRANSPORT

No information is available.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Economy and Estonian Tourist Board are responsible for decision-making for sustainable tourism. Local authorities and Tourist Information Offices of the Estonian Tourist Board are responsible at the local level.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation relating to sustainable tourism includes the Act on Sustainable Development, the Planning and Building Act, the Republic of Estonia Land Reform Act, the Water Act, the Act on the Protection of Marine and Freshwater Coast, Shores and Banks, the Act on Protected Natural Objects, and the Law of Property. A separate Tourism Law, which directly addresses sustainable development in tourism, is currently being developed.

The established standards and guidelines for sustainable tourism are the following: national minimum standards for accommodation establishments (mandatory), the Green Label Project in island Hiiumaa (guidelines, voluntary), and the Blue Flag Project for small ports. During the next years, the Estonian Tourist Board, in cooperation with industry and its representative organisation and the Estonian Ecotourism Association, are planning to work out and launch sustainable tourism guidelines to the hotels and criteria for the tour operators in developing ecotourism products. Both industry and consumers have reacted positively to these codes and guidelines.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Sustainable tourism is one main principle of the National Tourism Master plan for 1995-2000. Presently, several strategic plans covering sustainable tourism development are being developed: the National Tourism Development Plan to the year 2010 with an Operational Plan for 1999-2003; the Environmental Action Plan to the year 2010 where one of the proposed activities is to work out a National Strategy for Recreational Areas and Ecotourism, and a Biological Diversity Strategy. Ecotourism and nature-based tourism is a part of the National Tourism Strategy and Plan. The specific strategy and plans for these areas are planned to be worked out during the next years.

The issues relevant to sustainable tourism in these policies and plans are strategic planning, cooperation among stakeholders, marketing to attract environmentally friendly tourists, certifying and labelling, awareness campaign, investment promotion (at the national level), land use planning and zoning, infrastructure development and influencing tourist behaviour (at the local level).

Based on the Agenda 21 for Baltic Sea Region Tourism, monitoring procedures are going to be worked out in the coming years. There do presently exist monitoring procedures in the national parks, nature parks and nature reservation areas. A control system and penalties are regulated by law.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Estonian Ecotourism Association was established in 1996 as a non-governmental organisation. ESTECAS' activities to promote ecotourism development in Estonia include organizing of workhops and seminars at the local level, organizing annual conferences on ecotourism or nature tourism and promotion of ecotourism through media.

Non-governmental organizations (eg. Estonian Association of Travel Agencies, Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Estonian Ecotourism Association, Association of Estonian Guides), local authorities, and county governments are involved in the decision making process. Also active are the European Cyclist Federation Estonian Branch, Estonian Ramblers`Association.

Programmes and Projects   

See under Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations.

Status

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Estonian economy, and its further development is encouraged. Exports of tourism services form 18% of total exports of Estonian goods and services. The total contribution to GDP in 1997 from expenditure by foreign visitors was 15 per cent (including secondary effects) and has doubled since 1994. When secondary effects are taken into account, the number of jobs stimulated by international visitor expenditures have doubled between 1994 and 1997, reaching 100,000 in 1997.

The statistics indicate that the number of international visitors will reach three million in 1998 (and of them 850 thousand will stay overnight) which, for the third consecutive year, exceeds the highest figure of visitors so far, dating back to the early 1990s. The revenue from international tourism is expected to be nearly USD 690 million. The medium-term objective of the Government's tourism strategy is to increase foreign exchange earnings from tourism to US$ 1.5 billion by 2005, increasing the level of value-added by tourism to GDP and stimulating balanced regional development at the same time.

There have been no major negative environmental and cultural impacts from tourism. The development and establishment of a cooperation network and new institutions (e.g. Tourist Information Offices between 1996-1997, local tourist organizations) have had a positive effect on sustainable tourism development.

Challenges  

Constraints to pursuing sustainable tourism include a lack of education and training programmes on sustainable tourism, lack of information exchange among stakeholders, insufficient capacity at national level to coordinate activities, and a lack of funding.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No special programmes have been identified. Under the Phare National Tourism Development Programme in 1993-1998, some courses on sustainable tourism have been organised. (See also under Challenges)

Partners responsible for carrying out awareness campaigns are local and regional tourism authorities. One example of a consumer campaign is the following: Tourist Information Offices and Visitor Centres in the national parks, nature parks and nature reservation areas are influencing tourist behaviour routes through information leaflets and signs. Other efforts to use tourist centres or literature to promote sustainable tourism include the Estonian Tourist Board's newsletters, the Internet site of the Estonian Ecotourism Association (http://www.ee/ecotourism ), and published articles in local media by Tourist Information Offices. In general, marketing of tourism is specifically geared toward attracting environmentally-conscious tourists.

Information   

Information is available to assist both decision-makers and the tourism industry from visitor surveys and statistics, national and cultural resource inventories, and tourism development plans. Natural resources and ecosystem characteristics in tourist areas have been inventoried under the development of county development plans, development plans for national parks, nature parks and nature reservation areas. The relevant development plans are available to the public (printed materials).

Based on the report of Agenda 21 for Baltic Sea Region Tourism, the development of indicators is planned for the coming years. Cooperation between the Ministry of Environment, the Estonian Tourist Board, the Estonian Ecotourism Association and resource managers (e.g. national parks, nature parks, nature reservation areas) would be required.

Research and Technologies   

Environmental management systems are not applied in hotels and other tourist establishments.

Financing

Fixed costs (e.g. administrative costs, salaries for public personnel, operational costs in national nature areas) are covered by the state budget. Development activities (e.g. strategic plans, investments for product development) are financed by the State budget, the Environmental Fund and external assistance (e.g. Phare, bilateral projects).

Cooperation

There are no model destinations for sustainable tourism. In the overall tourism development, Estonia has accepted the Irish model on product and regional development. The main reasons for that are quite similar climate and socio-economic conditions. The Estonian Ecotourism Association has identified Australia and in some areas also Sweden as the model countries in ecotourism development

Estonia cooperates with ten Baltic Sea countries through the Baltic Tourism Commission. Main outputs include Agenda 21 for Baltic Sea Tourism Region, international seminars and conferences.

Cooperation also takes place between the Estonian Ecotourism Association and the Swedish Ecotourism Association. Main outputs are the creation of an ecotourism network, product and market development projects, and conferences.

At the regional level, there are four-to-five bigger bilateral or international projects for the development of sustainable tourism (e.g. B7, the Blue Corridor, the Tourism Development Programme for South Estonia and North Latvia, Sustainable Tourism Development in West Estonia and Southern part of Finland).

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This information is based on Estonia's submission to the 7th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: November 1998.



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