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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN LITHUANIA

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Coordination of international cooperation responsibilities are with the Ministries of:   Agriculture; Economics; education and Science; Environment; Foreign Affairs; Health Care; Social Security and Labor; and Transport and Communications

The National Commission on Sustainable Development was established and approved by the Government on 28 July 2000. Representatives of 10 ministries are members of the Commission. Several senior officials from the ministries are included in activities of the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region – Baltic 21.

Active international relations and cooperation are realized between some local governments with their foreign partners regarding local Agendas 21 which are under responsibility of municipalities. Some local governments are included in activities at the national level regarding international cooperation as well.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Activities in the Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region – Baltic 21 are organized according to Decision of the Government. Lithuania works in 8 sectors of the Baltic 21. It is a lead party in two Sectors: Forestry (together with Finland) and Education (together with Sweden).

Legal measures to promote an open, non-discriminatory and multilateral trading system is ensured by the Law on Trade adopted by Lithuanian Parliament on 12 February 1995.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Lithuania is one of active members of the Baltic Sea regional Agenda 21 – Baltic-21, is a Lead Party in Forestry and Education Sectors, cooperates with other countries of the Baltic Sea area as a member of Helsinki Commission, country of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, and a member of Programme Implementation Task Force (PITF) created for the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme of the Baltic Sea area.

Lithuania cooperates with other countries has ratified many conventions important for sustainable development, e.g. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer with the Montreal Protocol, Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, etc.

In addition, Lithuania has signed bilateral agreements on cooperation in various fields of activities, including transfer of environmentally sound technology and know-how. Close cooperation is also with some international organisations such as UN/ECE, ENEP, UNDP, UNESCO, FAO, WHO, OECD, the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Easter Europe, the Baltic Environmental Forum, Committees of Senior Officials of the Baltic Council of Ministers, etc.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Scientific and technological experts, Individual farmers , local authorities, NGOs, business and industry are involved mostly and participate as:  advisers; working group experts in preparation of some programmes, projects of the new legal acts and discussions on some documents, etc.

Private sector is also involved into international cooperation activities and programmes. Representatives of the private sector are involved as consultants as well as partners of implementation of some programmes.

Programmes and Projects 

GEF granted 6.9 mill USD for Kretinga geothermal station, and 4.2 mill USD for implementation of new technologies decreasing ODS which were used in Lithuanian chemical and refrigerators industry.

 The major bilateral cooperation programmes or activities involving provision of financial resources for sustainable development between Lithuania and EU; and Denmark;  and Scandinavian countries in form of subsidies or soft loans (Denmark), and with some IFIs (loans). The EU PHARE programme granted 36.6 million EUR in 1993-1999 (9.8 mill EUR for technical assistance and 26.8 mill EUR for investments). As an example could be presented additional foreign investment sources for WWTP construction in Lithuania during the same period: only for WWTPs in three Lithuanian cities (Klaipeda, Kaunas, Siauliai) Sweden granted 13.1 mill USD, Finland – 6.6 mill USD, Norway – 1.5 mill USD. Denmark assigned approximately 28 mill USD in form of soft loans for smaller WWTPs in Lithuania.

 Plenty of various technical assistance programmes in different fields have been implemented in Lithuania. Their implementation are with technical and financial support according to bilateral agreements with foreign countries. 

Status 

Lithuania has been cooperating at different levels with (bilateral; regional; and international) in gathering and sharing information on sustainable development. Lithuania is one of 11 member-countries of the Project Baltic 21 – an Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region. The emphasis of Baltic 21 is on regional cooperation and on the environment and its bearing on economic and social aspects of sustainable development. The work focuses on seven sectors of crucial economic and environmental importance in the region. Lithuania and Finland are the lead parties in Forests sector. Lithuania and Sweden were appointed as lead parties in the development of an Agenda 21 for Education.

Challenges

Some challenges in building multi-stakeholder partnerships are in development of legal system for industry, waste management, energy efficiency, management of natural resources, combating against crimes, etc. Capacity building is most needed for project administration and management at the time being (e.g. preparation of applications for ISPA funding and further management of projects.

Development of integrated Environmental Management Information system is the most urgent need for Lithuania.  A lot of small IS in different areas are developed without any vision of systems integration.  The most immediate attention for bilateral or multilateral cooperation require various social and some economic issues. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising    

A lot of different programmes and projects for capacity building related to improving the collection, assessment, management, and dissemination of information have been implemented in Lithuania, e.g. with the assistance of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency - the projects: “Technical assistance for the development of an information system on waste management in Lithuania”, “Long Term Assistance on Information and Reporting. Information Management Programme”, etc. The public awareness on the need for closer international cooperation for sustainable development.

The Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (Country Office Lithuania) implement the Project “School Agenda 21”, the Ministry of Environment constantly provides information on the state of environment, the Ministry of Economy organizes campaign “My house. Energy saving”, etc.

Plenty of various educational and training programmes in different fields of activities have been implemented in Lithuania. Their implementation are with technical and financial support according to bilateral agreements with foreign countries. For example  training courses organized by Baltic Environmental Forum, and educational programmes for Local Agendas 21 for Lithuanian municipalities organized by Environmental Center for Administration and Technologies (ECAT).

Information

The Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania is responsible for general statistical information management and dissemination at the national level. Other public authorities, e.g. the Ministries of; Environment, and  Economy, and Social Security and Labor, etc. are responsible for the collection, analysis, management, and dissemination of information and data.  

The integrated information network related to sustainable development is not developed in Lithuania yet. There are systems of information in environment, energy, transport and some other sectors.  Potential users of the information and data on bilateral, sub-regional, regional, or multilateral/international cooperation can use the Internet. Every Governmental institution has its own World Wide Web Sites, e.g.:

Government documents (decisions, other legal acts) are published in the special newspaper “The State News”. Some newsletters, bulletins are published by ministries, other governmental institutions, NGOs. There are organized open discussions in some cases.

Research and Technologies  

Best available technologies in industry, energy efficiency, natural resources management, etc.  There are plenty of very qualified consultative companies working in promoting environmentally sound technologies financed by Lithuanian budget or IFIs.

Government is regulating technology flows in promoting environmentally sound technologies receiving information from foreign environmental ministries and other environmental institutions (companies), and taking legal requirements regarding implementation of technologies in Lithuania.

Joint research or other activities related to sustainable development between experts at ministerial level, scientific institutions, private sector are developed in Lithuania by organizing of working groups, national and international conferences, workshops.

Financing

Investment grant support from the European Union through ISPA fund at about 50 million US$ per year (25 million for Environment sector and 25 million for Transport) for 2001-2006.  In 1997 and 1999, some 60 US$ million from public sources were invested in the environmental field, in particular water treatment facilities. The total allocation for environmental protection to be made from various sources in 2000 amounts to about 100 US$ million. A National Environmental Financing Strategy provides for investment projects up to the year 2015. To enable Lithuania to fulfill the EU environmental requirements, yearly allocations totaling US$ 50-60 million for investment projects in the water and waste sectors will have to be made. The biggest part of investment will be earmarked for the construction of drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities, to build distribution and collection networks and the implementation of waste management projects.

Sustainable development related activities are external financed by bilateral agreements, by creating joint ventures, by using some multilateral sources (e.g. GEF, etc.).

Domestic and external financial resources for implementation of sustainable development are mobilized according to bilateral agreements with developed countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, etc.) in form of subsidies or soft loans, and with IFIs (GEF, World Bank, EIB, NIB, EBRD, NEFCO, etc.). A great technical financial assistance and assistance for investments for Lithuania from EU (PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD and other programmes) as well.

Cooperation

 Recently Lithuania joined the WTO. There are elaborated Local Agendas 21 for the main cities of Lithuania (Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda), for 12 smaller and medium municipalities. Plenty of other Local Agendas 21 are under preparation. Educational programmes for Local Agendas 21 for Lithuanian municipalities are organized by Environmental Center for Administration and Technologies (ECAT-Lithuania). Technical assistance was received also from some municipalities in Finland, Sweden. Preparing of Local Agendas are organized with financial support of UNDP, EC, etc. The Information Center on Sustainable Development is created in Lithuania at the National office of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe Countries with financial support of UNDP.

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This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: March 2001.

For Trends in Europe and North America: ECE statistical data base, click here.

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is no any specific agreement on environmental legislation or regulations as an inducement to foreign direct investment made, except for the State investment Program for the 1999-2001 period and the Law on Investment (passed on 7 of July, 1999). The latter law generally sets investment rules, legal procedures, conditions and the means of all kinds of investment protection in Lithuania.

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 

No information is available.

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.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 8th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 29 October 1999.

For Trends in Europe and North America: ECE statistical data base, click here.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministries of: Economy; Agriculture; and Environment are the responsible government bodies for sustainable consumption and production patterns.

At the local level, eight regional environmental protection departments and environmental protection agencies deal with environmental protection matters related to consumption and production.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Lithuania is in a process of  harmonizing national legal acts in accordance with the directives of the European Union. The following laws seek to promote sustainable consumption and production: Environmental Protection Law, Law on Water, and Law on Waste Management, and the Law on Environmental Monitoring (1998). There is an international project underway on to strengthen the framework and administration of Lithuanian legislation on waste management and on environmental management of industry (1997 – 1999). In addition the Law on Atmosphere Protection is being prepared.

The following instruments are aimed for the activities of industry to discourage unsustainable practices and promote sustainable production patterns: The HELCOM Recommendations to Reduce Pollution from Industrial Discharges and Emissions from Industrial Plants that are determined as mandatory for Lithuanian industrial enterprises; the Maximum Permissible Concentrations in Emissions to the Air from Combustion Plants 1998; Guidelines for Waste Water Pollution 1997; Guidelines for Usage Sewage Sludge 1997; Manual on Ecological Management of Industry, Pollution and Waste Minimization 1995; and the Manual on Cleaner Technologies in Electroplating. The guidelines have been established by the Government and are mandatory. The manuals were prepared during the international cleaner technologies projects and they are voluntary. There are also some normative environmental documents that promote sustainable practices.

In response to the directives of the European Union, the Ministry of the Environment adopted the Order on Eco-labeling of Products in 1995 (No 81 of 15/05/1995). By this environmental protection measure, the Ministry is attempting to stimulate design, production, marketing and use of the products with the least impact to the environment during the whole life-cycle with producer interest protection and product usability warranty. The Order is applied to all products produced in or imported to Lithuania except food products, beverages and pharmaceuticals, medicines, and chemical materials. A new structure to organize eco-labeling in Lithuania was established in 1996, and the main product groups which can be selected for eco-labeling (building materials, ceramics, technological machinery, electro- technical equipment such as refrigerators, paper, textile, leather, fertilizers, and chemical substances) were determined.

In attaining the goals of the environmental strategy, economic instruments are necessary to encourage pollution minimization and prevention, waste minimization and preservation of natural resources. Economic instruments encompass taxes on state natural resources, pollution charges, user charges, tax waivers, tax differentiation, subsidies, loans and funds. Implementation of environmental protection measures are very much dependent upon the availability of financial resources.

According to the Law on Taxes on Environmental Pollution (1998), Article 4, juridical and physical persons who implement the pollution abatement techniques at their own expense and reach at least a twenty-five percent rate of pollution reduction shall be exempt from taxation of reduced pollutants not longer than three years.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Lithuania has an Environmental Strategy Action Programme (1996 – 2000) that touches upon the concerns of sustainable consumption and production patterns. Furthermore, these issues are addressed in the National Quality Programmes (1996 – 1998) and (1999 – 2001), Programme for Ecological Farming, National Energy Efficiency Programme (1996 – 2000), Programme for Development of Environmental Industry and Cleaner Production (1999 – 2001). The Frame of State Waste Management Strategy is under preparation. These instruments address, inter alia, increasing energy and material efficiency in production processes, reducing wastes from production and promoting recycling, promoting use of new and renewable sources of energy, using environmentally sound technologies for sustainable production, reducing wasteful consumption, and increasing awareness for sustainable consumption.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

NGOs, local authorities, industry, and scientific and technological communities participate in working groups, steering committees and other activities related preparing legal acts and guidelines. The Ministry of Environment is creating the Council of Advisors, members from NGOs. 

Programmes and Projects 

The major programmes in this area are the Programme for Development of Environmental Industry and Cleaner Production (1999 – 2001) that focuses on environmental, economic and social aspects by minimizing the waste and emission treatment and disposal costs, minimizing input material costs, and improving product quality; Proposals for Renovation and Building Small Hydroelectricity’s (1998); and the Programme for Production and Usage Biofuels and Bioenergy that is under preparation.

The Environmental Monitoring Programme (project) and the normative documents about emissions and waste water monitoring procedures aim to oversee enforcement of relevant laws, regulations and standards.

Status 

The consumption of fuel and energy in 1997 was 22 % in industry, 34 % in households, and 28% in transport. The trend of consumption of fuel and energy has been increasing in transport and decreasing in industry over the last five years.

The Permits system for Usage of Natural Resources and for Discharge of Pollutants to the Environment, and the National Environmental Health Action Plan set national targets for enhancing energy and material efficiency, waste reduction, recycling, public transport and quality of life.

Industry seeks to attain more sustainable production e.g. by cleaner production assessments and projects that were adopted in enterprise. International standard ‘ISO 14040: Environmental management systems, Life-cycle assessment, Principles and Structure’ is going to be adopted as the national standard. These approaches are adopted on a voluntary basis.

The following projects are implemented to enhance cleaner production: the Norwegian-Lithuanian Cleaner Production Training Programme 1998-1999, Cleaner Production in Lithuanian Tanneries 1996-1998, Cleaner Production in Lithuanian Textile Industry 1996-1998, and Cleaner Technology Demonstration Projects in Lithuanian Plating Industry 1995-1997. A project for Cleaner Technology in Food Industry is planned for 1999-2001. After the implementation of cleaner technology projects in three Lithuanian plating shops the usage of water in these shops decreased from 300 litres to 10-15 litres per m2 of covered surface of details. Heavy metal compounds are not discharged into sewage system, they are reused in technological process.

Since restoration of independence of the Republic of Lithuania in 1990, consumers have greater confidence than before in their ability to influence producers and suppliers in environmental matters.

Challenges

One of the future challenges and priorities is the creation and implementation of a new integrated pollution permit system where emission limit values are based on the best available techniques.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Some of the above mentioned programmes include education and awareness-raising aspects related to sustainable consumption and production patterns such as the Programme for Development of Environmental Industry and Cleaner Production in Lithuania 1999-2001. During the Cleaner Production Training Programme, approximately 100 local experts were trained. The Norwegian-Lithuanian Cleaner Production Training Programme 1998-1999 addressed production and consumption options that promote sustainability.

Media is involved in the Environmental Education Strategy and Action Programme of Lithuanian Society (1998-2002).

Information

National seminars on ecological agricultural products have been held; efforts to raise public awareness on consumption and production patterns and their consequences have been undertaken.

Information on demonstration projects is disseminated in seminars. Preparation of manuals of cleaner technologies in industry is going on. These all seek to assist both decision-makers and industry managers to plan and implement appropriate policies and programmes

The relevant information on consumption and production patterns can be accessed via the Internet. 

Research and Technologies  

Clean and environmentally sound technologies are promoted and applied in production by an integrated pollution permit system, demonstration projects, education, training, and by creating an infrastructure for promotion of cleaner production.

The Government is stimulating the interest of enterprises to introduce environmental management systems (EMS).

Financing

The activities aiming at promoting sustainable production and consumption are financed by the private sector in partnership with the State budget, State Fund for Nature Protection, and international assistance. One of the primary sources of financing is revenues from the environmental taxes.

The majority of environmental investments are allocated from the State Budget. Other sources are loans and subsidies from foreign countries and international donor organizations, municipal funds and companies own resources. The system of granting subsidies to municipal institutions does not encourage implementation of environmental projects thus it is necessary to develop a more effective mechanism for granting funds. The system should also be consistent with the "polluter pays" principle.

Subsidies support environmental research, monitoring and preparation of legal documents and programmes. Construction of waste water treatment plants is also subsidized from the national budget. EU requirements for governmental subsidies are taken into account. There are no major subsidies either in the transport or in the energy sectors to improve environmental issues.

Cooperation

The Governmental policy towards EU integration foresees the possibility to review Government subsidies including the elimination of environmentally unfriendly subsidies.

Government participates in international cooperation with Denmark, EU (PHARE), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Sweden, World Bank, NEFCO, Norway, and the US EPA. Lithuania participates also in the work of the Baltic Council of Ministers, the Nordic Council of Ministers, OECD, and UNEP in the area of changing consumer patterns.

Bilateral and multilateral donors provide important financial support. Funds that could play a role in the future include the Environmental Investment Fund and the Energy Efficiency Fund. In order to provide incentives for waste and pollution minimization and to accumulate additional funds, the Environmental Investment Fund was established to support projects aimed at resource saving or minimization of industrial pollution. After project implementation, revenues would be used to repay loans to the environmental investment fund.  

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

Click here to access the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Lithuania

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Amendments and supplements of the Law on Pollution Charges was passed on 13 of June, 1999, which foresees the setting of the charges on specific products such as batteries, tires, oil filters and mercury lamps. The goal of establishing such charges on above-mentioned products is to accumulate funds for waste management and to stimulate the interest of producers and importers of the goods to take care of the waste when the life cycle of these goods is over.

In the case of subsidies of environmental protection the basic principle is to support environmental research, monitoring, preparation of legal documents and programmes.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Concerning foreign direct investment issues in environmental and another fields, the Strategy of Lithuanian medium term economy of integration into EU context was approved by the Governmental resolution 923-2p in 1999 which established the investment plan of measures for years 1999 to 2010.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The Government has also established a fund to support the Karst region programme for the development of ecological agriculture and to stimulate environmentally sound agriculture production. There are no major subsidies in either the transport or the energy sectors to improve environmental issues. Construction of waste water treatment plants is subsidized from the national budget.

Status 

No information is available.

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

The majority of environmental investments are allocated from the State Budget. Another sources are loans and subsidies from foreign countries and international donor organizations, municipal funds and companies' own resources.

In order to provide incentives for waste and pollution minimization and to accumulate additional funds, the Environmental Investment Fund was established. It is aimed at providing additional funds to cover economically feasible costs for resource saving or industrial pollution minimization on projects. After project implementation, revenues would be used to repay loans to the environmental investment fund, thus enabling it to operate on a revolving basis.

Economic instruments encompass taxes on state natural resources; pollution charges; user charges; tax waivers; tax differentiation; subsidies, loans and funds. Implementation of environmental protection measures will be very much dependent upon the availability of financial resources.

The current system of granting subsidies to municipal institutions does not encourage implementation of environmental projects, and it has therefore become necessary to develop a more effective mechanism for granting funds. Efforts should be made to change the currently existing system when all tax payers, via the State Budget, cover costs of users/polluters to a system based on the principle of polluter-pays.

Cooperation

The new Governmental policy towards EU integration foresees the possibility to review Governmental subsidies, including the elimination of environmentally unfriendly subsidies. EU requirements for governmental subsidies shall be taken into account in this regard.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 27 October 1999.

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

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In 1995, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Lithuania issued "The Order on Environmental Labeling of Products" (No 81 of 15 May 1995) on the basis of EEC Regulation No 880/92 (23/05/1992) on a Community eco-labeling award scheme. By this measure, the Ministry of Environmental Protection attempts to: stimulate design, production, marketing and use of products with less impact to the environment during the whole life-cycle, and provide information about the environmental impact of products to users; create favorable circumstances for products made in Lithuania in the EU market and other countries, as well as limit hazardous products, beverages and pharmaceutical preparates, medicines.

The new organizational structure to organize eco-labeling in Lithuania was established in the beginning of 1996 by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

At the end of 1995, a Technical Committee for Standardization No 36, on Environmental Protection, was established. The efforts of this Committee are focused on the adoption and implementation of ISO Standards in several areas, including environmental management systems (ISO 14001,14004), environmental auditing (ISO 14010-14012), environmental labeling (ISO 14020,14021 and 14024), environmental performance evaluation (ISO 14031) and environmental life cycle assessment (ISO 14040-14043). In December of 1996, the Lithuanian national standard, Environmental Management System: Terms and Definitions, was adopted, based on the British Standard BS 7750: 1992.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has developed a National Environmental Strategy (NES) for Lithuania with PHARE support. One of the main principles of the NES is the Use of Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Costs (BATNEEC). For the implementation of NES, an Environmental Investment Fund was created.

Initiatives have already been taken to further cooperation in the transfer of experience and technology between business in Western Countries and Lithuania. These include both process and product technologies for the prevention of pollution and also "end of pipe" technologies for treatment of pollution after it has been generated. Introducing environmental auditing is probably the best example of recent practical and cost effective initiatives.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

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.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Cooperation

Other projects to transfer EST's include the following: a Danish project on Implementation of Demonstration Projects in Cleaner Technology in the Lithuanian Galvanic Industry; a PHARE project on Strengthening Water Utilities Management; a Norwegian project on Capacity Building Program in Cleaner Production in Industry in the Baltic Region; and a Danish EPA project on Environmental Efficiency in the Lithuanian Food Processing Industry. The Project involved environmental auditing in seven companies from different food industry sectors of Lithuania.

UNEP agencies such as the Industry and Environmental Office (UNEP IE) in Paris and UNEP IETC in Japan, international institutions such as HELCOM and UN ECE, and other, bilateral, organizations as USA EPA and Danish EPA help to exchange experiences, build up technology, assessment capacities and develop existing national information networks.

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This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Though the Scientific Advisory Committee has not been officially confirmed in Lithuania yet, the organization of the Advisory Committee on Genetic Manipulation has been working since 1996 on the basis of the Society of Genetics and Breeders of Lithuania. International and regional cooperation on safety in biotechnology would help to prepare and adopt the full value regulation according to international standards. Lithuania joined the ROCEED.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Development of legislation and policies related to environmentally sound management of biotechnology are in the primary stage only. Health, food and drugs are controlled by the Ministry of Health Care, the State Specialized Center of Hygiene and the National Nutrition Center. The Law of Health Protection was adopted by Parliament in 1994. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is responsible for releases to the environment in the country. The Ministry of Health Care and the Ministry of Agriculture are also involved. The Law of Environmental Protection was adopted by Parliament in 1992. This Law includes the regulations for manipulation, multiplication and utilization of microorganisms. The additional rule, Procedure for registration, use, storage, introduction and transportation of microorganisms and other sources of biological pollution, was confirmed in 1993, and both the Procedure to register means for chemical and biological protection of plants and the Rules for chemical commission for state protection of plants, in 1996. There are no special rules concerning use and introduction of recombinant plants and animals. The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Biochemical Research Ethic is under confirmation of the Parliament. Each biotechnology institution in Lithuania has Regulations which are prepared according to the laws valid in Lithuania and EEC recommendations (Council Directive on the protection of workers from risk related to exposure to biological agents at work).

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   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

The largest part of the biotechnology potential in Lithuania was created in the 1960s and 1970s with the foundation of the biology institutes of the Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Applied Enzymology "Fermentas" (recently the name was changed to Institute of Biotechnology) and with launching the plants for technological production of enzymes of modern biotechnology. There are over sixteen factories and institutes in all (with production facilities) involved in manufacturing the products of classical biotechnology and four in modern biotechnology. The total number of employees is about 2,000. The number of active scientific personnel (including research and development) involved in biotechnology, is about 400. Consequently, biotechnology as a branch of industry and R&D has accumulated a certain production basis and numerous scientific personnel. 

The analysis of the structure of industrial production reveals that the amounts of products manufactured in food industry (yeast, ethanol, vinegar, beer) in Lithuania is less than enough for home consumption. At the same time, enzyme preparation both for technological and pure grade as well as preparations for medical use are produced for export, and local demand does not exceed ten to twenty percent of the production volume. Recent political and economic changes create a new situation in Lithuania. It could be predicted that some of the biotechnology potential will be unavoidably lost. One possible way to cope with arising problems might be the deeper involvement of Lithuania's biotechnology in world cooperation. For this reason it is important to prepare the laws and regulations according to European standards.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Lithuania to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

Click here for the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages
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.

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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Action Programme of the Lithuanian Environmental Strategy (approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania; Decree No 1-1550 of 25 September 1996) sets the national policy for ecologically sustainable industrial development. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is responsible for the implementation of the Programme of Action, the main objectives include the following::

- creation of a waste management system;
- reduction of environmental contamination caused by industrial and hazardous waste;
- reduction of surface water pollution from municipal and smaller settlements waste waters;
- reduction of pollution from transport exhaust gases.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status   

The principal sources of pollutant emissions in Lithuania, as in many other countries, are transport, industry and energy sectors. The main pollutants of the atmosphere are: SO2,, CO, NOx, CxHx, particles; the main contaminants into surface water are BOD7, suspended substances, N total, P total, oil products.

According to the Statistics Department's data, industry consumed 0.8% of the total freshwater amounts in 1996. This percentage is less than in previous years due to the recession Lithuania has been experiencing. The main consumer of fresh water is the energy sector which consumed 94.28 % of the 5271.2 million m3 of total freshwater

The National Council for Sustainable Development is not yet approved by the Government. However the proposal being considered includes 5 representatives of the industry sector (approx. 15 % of total representation).

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.

 

* * *   

This information is based on Lithuania's report to the 6th Session of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development, April 1998. Last update 30 January 1998.

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The main responsible body for the transport policy forming is Ministry of Transport and Communications.  In addition, the Ministries of:  Finance; Foreign Affairs; Environment; Social Affairs and Labor; and Economy are also responsible for decision-making in the transport system.

The main responsible body prepares draft legislation and co-ordinates it with other ministries, and presents to the Government for approval.

Local public authorities are responsible for local transport issues such as development of local public transport including infrastructure.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Main laws regulating the activities of different modes of transport were adopted in 1996-1997. They include the following:

National Environmental Standards LAND 2000 – 14, LAND 2000 – 15, Transport.  inister Orders on Technical Regulation to Road Transport and Periodical Testing

 Law on New Economy Activity’s Environmental Impact Assessment

Law on Municipality

Law on Public Information 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The goals and objectives of the national transport policy are defined in the Programme of Government, in the National Programme for the Adoption of the acquis, and in the National Transport Development Programme. The main objectives include:

·        encouragement of transit transport, giving priority to comprehensive development of transport technologies and services;

·        reduction of the negative impact of transport on the environment;

·           ensuring safe traffic of transport;

·           liberalization of transport activities and ensuring equal conditions for competition.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Lithuanian laws ensure that the public e.g. people living in rural areas with limited mobility also participate in the decision-making process.

Most of transport operators belong to various associations and decision-making, planning management, etc. are also coordinated and discussed with these associations.

Programmes and Projects 

1992 State Programme “Transport and Environmental Protection”,

1996 National Environmental Protection Strategy,

1997 PHARE Study ,,Lithuania. Transport and Environment: Comprehensive Strategy”,

1999 PHARE. ES Multy-Country transport Programme “Transport and the Environment. A Multy- Country approach”, 

1992 National Energy Use Efficiency Improving Programme, revised 1996, 2000,

1998 Bio-fuel Programme,

1996 Traffic Safety Programme. 

Status   

The principal sources of pollutant emissions in Lithuania, as in many other countries, are transport, industry and energy sectors. There are no major subsidies either in the transport or in the energy sectors to improve environmental issues.

The quality and regularity of transport services only partly meet needs/demand of people in rural areas.

Lithuania has a well-developed transport network and it is accessible for users except railway transport which is under restructuring.

 

Data, thous. T

1998

1999

Gasoline

617.3

481.4

Heavy fuel oil

1

0.1

Diesel oil

578.9

551.3

Kerosene

26.5

25.3

Liquefied gas

38.5

69.9

 Since January1998 leaded gasoline use was banned in Lithuania.

 See in Tables 1 and 2:

Table 1. National annual emissions 1990-1999. Road transport.

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

SOx(as SO2)

6.0

7.0

4.0

3.0

3.0

1.0

2.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

NOx(as NO2)

53.0

57.0

29.0

21.0

21.0

23.0

25.0

28.0

30.0

28.0

NMVOC

45.0

46.0

23.0

17.0

17.0

33.0

37.0

37.0

37.0

30.0

CO

450.0

494.0

301.0

251.0

260.0

195.0

214.0

219.0

214.0

173.0

CH4

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

CO2

3.1

3.4

2.2

1.7

1.4

2.6

2.9

3.4

3.6

3.3

 SO2, NO2, NMVOCs, CO and CH4 - in thousand tones per year;

CO2 - in million tones per year.

 Table 2. National annual emissions 1990-1999. Other mobile sources and machinery

 

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

SOx(as SO2)

3.0

3.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

8.0

7.0

0.4

0.2

0.1

NOx(as NO2)

28.0

29.0

18.0

12.0

12.0

15.0

14.0

5.0

4.0

4.0

NMVOC

4.0

5.0

3.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

1.0

1.0

0.9

1.0

CO

12.0

17.0

8.0

7.0

8.0

4.0

4.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

CH4

 

1.0

 

 

 

0.04

0.04

0.02

0.02

0.02

CO2

3.5

3.8

3.8

3.3

3.6

1.0

0.9

0.4

0.4

0.3

 

SO2, NO2, NMVOCs, CO and CH4 - in thousand tones per year;

CO2 - in million tones per year.                                    

Challenges

With regard to efficiency – rail transport; With regard to traffic safety and damage to environment – road transport.  Lack of investments and limited financial resources.

Financial problems – vehicles fleet is quite old and renewal of it is not sufficient.

Pedestrians and cyclists.

 Not sufficient statistical data regarding EU requirements nowadays. In 2001, the Project

“Forming of statistical environmental data in the transport sector according to the

Eurostat requirements” together with Danish Transport Ministry is starting.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

May 2001 – “Secure Young Life on Roads”

         September 2001 – “Safe to School and Safe to Home”

          October – “See and Be Seen”

State Road Transport Inspection, State Railways Inspection, State Water Transport Inspection, Civil Aviation Inspection and Educational Centers for experts, technical staff and service agents together with foreign technical assistance too in various modes of transport.

Information   

Some scientific data and information on vehicle emissions have been selected only on the main road of Lithuania Vilnius-Klaipeda. Electronic billboards with information about traffic conditions are installed also on this road.

Information on traffic conditions is broadcast everyday on: TV, Radio and in newspapers.

Research and Technologies   

Lithuanian scientists and experts are interested in participation of implementation of the EU 5th Framework Programmes transport research works. Research activities in Lithuania related to the implementation of the National Transport Development Programme are co-coordinated by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC). The funds from the state budget are allocated for these purposes on the annual basis. Various transport modal institutions (road and seaport administrations, national associations, Lithuanian railways, etc) also order the projects related to the transport research studies. The main priorities of the research activities undertaken in all transport modes are as follows:

·         strategic analysis of the transport activities and forecasts of traffic flows;

·         improvement of legal and institutional environment regarding adoption of the acquis;

·         interaction between modal networks and infrastructure elements;

·          optimization of traffic flows and simulation of multimode transportation;

·         interoperability of the transport modes, improving the efficiency of multimode transfer points and networks, development of logistics and regional distribution centers and more efficient equipment;

·        pre-investment studies for transport infrastructure projects, transport environmental impact assessment and traffic safety issues;

·         development of transport information systems;

·        transport infrastructure and operating costs;

·         application of new and efficient technologies in infrastructure maintenance and reconstruction.

Taking into account the capability of Lithuanian universities, research institutes and consultant firms, Lithuanian experts and scientists could contribute to the common European transport research activities. The total number of principal researchers and experts within the main Lithuanian Transport research organizations is 138, out of which 120 are doctors and professors. MoTC has already proposed the Lithuanian representative to the COST Technical Committee on Transport and contact persons for research projects in separate transport modes.

2000 Biofuel Production Industry Programme.

1996 Traffic Safety Programmed

Financing   

Cooperation

In 1992, Lithuania acceded to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and implements Annex 18 of this Convention concerning the transportation of dangerous goods by air transport. In 1995, Lithuania also acceded to two other conventions: (1) the Convention on the International Marine Organization, including implementation of the code for the transportation of dangerous goods by sea (IMDG-Code), and (2) the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). At the same time, Lithuania began to apply the regulation on the international carriage of dangerous goods by railway (RID), which is a part of the annexes of the Agreement on International Railway Transport (COTIF). At present, the procedure on carriage of goods by road and railway which is harmonized according to EU Directive 94/55/EC and 96/49/EC, is under preparation.

Lithuania has close cooperation and special Committees and programmes in Transport sector with the Baltic Sea Region countries (Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Scandinavian countries), West and East European countries including CIS countries.

Lithuania is a member and participates in activities of ECMT (European Conference of the Ministers of Transport), United Nations, IMO (International Maritime Organisation), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), etc.

The EU ISPA fund.

 

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This information is based on Lithuania's report to the 6th and 9th Session of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development. Last update:  March 2001.

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