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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN POLAND

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

There are no integrated decision-making structures for development assistance within the Polish governmental structure. At present the organization of Polish development assistance is at an initial stage. Consultations are being held within government structures in order to set necessary guidelines for the creation of an integrated system, which will allow the classification and monitoring of development assistance. The preparatory work is being conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with scientific and research institutes, the OECD Secretariat in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the Committee of Scientific Research (KBN), and the Main Statistical Office.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

It is necessary to launch more effective cooperation with non-governmental organizations in matters of development assistance.

Programmes and Projects 

Polish experts and volunteers take active part in different development assistance programs throughout the world. Apart from typical humanitarian aid, Polish experts and volunteers participate in projects and programs related to environmental issues, domestic economic policies, building of local government structures, food processing, etc.

Status 

Together with accession to the OECD, Poland is changing its status from a beneficiary of international assistance to a potential donor of aid and support.

At present, the basic tasks concerning the creation of a development assistance system for developing countries in Poland include: creation of an integrated system of developing assistance monitoring and coordination; identification of areas in which Poland could offer development assistance; identification of Polish assistance capacity and potential; identification of developing countries' real needs; full utilization of existing assistance capacity; and enhancement of development assistance cooperation with non-governmental organizations and scientific institutions.

Potentially, Poland would be ready to assist developing countries in the areas of environmental protection, health, agriculture, food processing, industry (chemical, steel, machinery, coal mining), local and economic management, education, and strengthening of democratic structures.

Polish experts and volunteers participate in different development assistance programs and activities in all parts of the world. The fields of their activity include, among others, industrial training programs, women entrepreneurs, food technologies, environmental programming, industrial pollution abatement, industrial economics, household energy, etc.

As an example, 48 Polish volunteers were active in different assistance programs operated by the United Nations Volunteers in 1996. Twenty-two of them participated as observers in the elections in Bosnia.

The recruitment of Polish experts for UNIDO is operated directly from Vienna with some technical support from the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, which informs candidates on the availability of posts (UNIDO Experts Roster) and supplies them with the necessary application forms. The candidates are selected by UNIDO headquarters in Vienna. The recruitment of UN Volunteers in Poland is handled exclusively by the UNDP Office in Warsaw. Steps are being taken to create a special roster of Polish experts working with UNIDO development assistance projects. This project is being prepared by the Warsaw UNIDO Office and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations.  

Challenges

In some cases, especially for humanitarian aid, decisions are taken on an ad hoc basis to meet the requirements of existing situations in some regions of the world. Such actions include measures undertaken by the world community in order to minimize the results of natural cataclysms, famine, and war. Polish participation in programs and operations is minimal because of the lack of funding for such purposes.

Changing of status from a beneficiary to a potential donor of aid and international assistance make it necessary to create an organized system of development assistance in Poland aimed at developing countries and the least developed countries. Currently, such a system does not exist, making it impossible to calculate the financial value of aid and assistance offered by Polish experts and volunteers.

It has also been recognized, that knowledge of ongoing activities on the part of Polish experts and volunteers in different United Nations programs and projects is insufficient and does not allow a fair calculation of Poland's engagement in international development assistance to developing countries. Due to the lack of a Polish coordination mechanisms (such as roasters and lists), for example, it is not possible at the moment to give the number of Polish experts registered in UNIDO and actively participating in the organization's development assistance programs.

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 was provided by the Government of Poland to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on Poland's economy, click here.
For Trends in Europe and North America: ECE statistical data base, click here.

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Polish Ministry of Economy is responsible for trade-related decision-making structure.

The Ministry continuously introduces new legislation in order to assure sustainable trade development. The decisions concern particularly: taxes, spatial economy, consumers’ rights protection.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Polish trade policy is defined by the following:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Concept of Middle-Term Country Economic Development until 2002 adopted by the Ministers’ Council in 1999, describes the vision of Polish economic development in all economic sectors. The document determines the directions of country economic development in respect to sustainable development principles. The main tasks needed for execution of above goals include: (1) creation of effective mechanisms in order to respect environmental protection, (2) rationalization of natural resources use and consumption balance, (3) creation of mechanisms aiming at building producer responsibility for impact of product on environment during its whole live cycle.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Poland has lately launched several national programmes in order to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns:

  1. Several programmes in energy sector concerning reduction burdensome elements to the environment – 1990 – 1992,
  2. Programme for Cleaner Production – since 1991,
  3. Programme for Quality Promotion – since 1992,
  4. Programme for Responsible Care – since 1994,
  5. Formation of Polish Forum ISO 14000 – 1996,
  6. Formation of Cleaner Production Club – 1997,
  7. Programme for Support of Regional Institutions Development Acting for Technology Transfer – 1997,
  8. Introduction of new legislation concerning unconventional energy sources – amendments to Energy Law Act – 24 July 1998,
  9. Programme for Polish Economy Innovation till 2006 – under preparation,

Assumptions of Polish Energy Policy until 2010 – under preparation.

In order to increase competitiveness of Polish small and middle enterprises, the Polish Ministers’ Council adopted in 1999, Directions of Governmental Actions Towards Small and Middle Enterprises until 2002. The main goals of the programme are to create conditions for development and make use of potential of small and middle enterprises sector. The goals will be achieved through increase of competitiveness, export, and investment outlays in this sector.

Status 

Since 1989, Poland has transformed its economic system. Central planning has been replaced by indirect governmental control of the economy by means of the budget, tax mechanisms, and monetary policy. The private sector has been growing rapidly, and in 1995 embraced over 62% of total employment. Small enterprises and trade have been privatized quickly, while privatization of large enterprise proceeds at a slower pace.

Since 1989 also, competitiveness and technical improvements became an indicator of the economy development. Currently employment reduction has been increasing as the result of decrease in production outlays. In order to overcome this problem the Ministers’ Council adopted in 1999, Actions Towards Formation Conditions for New Job Creation, focusing on unemployment reduction. Polish Government attaches great importance to economic development and increase of society wealth as a vehicle for new work places creation especially in service sector: marketing, hotel industry, tourism, consulting. Increase of export is also regarded as one of the most important driving force for production and employment development. Nevertheless, import of investment and foreign capital inflow in a form of direct investment is necessary for further economic development and new job creation in Poland.

During transition period, Poland has significantly reduced export and import of goods based on raw materials especially from European Union countries.

In 1992-1998, the share of raw materials absorptive goods in Polish export has been reduced about 10 %, from 32 % to 22 %, and the export to European Union has been reduced about 13 %, from 31 % to 18 %. However, there is still a high level of export of low-processed wooden goods. This trend causes hot spots problems especially on the local level.

In 1992-1998, there has been also reduction of import of goods have been reduced by 12 % from 32 % to 20 % due to the high usage of raw materials in Poland. There has been 10 % reduction (from 20 % to 10 %) of the import from European Union countries.

No established institutional measures exist to date to identify integrated problems of trade impact on natural environment.

The problem related to utilization of disposable packaging arose in connection with the high level of import of consumer goods.

No changes in Polish trade policy regulations have been identified in relation to foreign investments. The national policy defines equal principles for domestic and international investment.

The Office of Competitiveness and Consumer Protection (Urzad Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów) analyses changes in production and consumption patterns related to trade changes. The information is also provided by the Institute of Domestic Market and Consumption (Instytut Rynku Wewnetrznego i Konsumpcji), e.g. in the publication: European Standards of Consumer Behaviour and Strategy of Domestic Entrepreneur Development. According to the analysis Polish consumers’ behaviour does not differ form international standards and is related to the transformation process of the country economy.

The Institute of Domestic Market and Consumption conducts research on behavioural changes and customs changes of Polish consumers. The research are conducted in individual market segments and according to group age. There is also analysed changes among consumers in relation to the globalization of trade and introduction of foreign trade firms into the Polish market.

In Poland, several changes in production and consumption patterns have been noticed recently, including: (1) modernization of production, management organization and sale in the privatized enterprises operated with foreign capital share, (2) introduction of new technologies (at not sufficient scale yet), (3) introduction of new products, especially consumer goods, (4) changes of the work relations.

Polish domestic trade is characterized by a high share of small enterprises. Current changes in the Polish market are created by foreign enterprises, which by establishing chains of huge stores contribute to progress and modernization of the Polish market. On the other hand investment of the foreign enterprises becomes a risk to Polish dispersed domestic market based on traditional forms of trade. Small enterprises in Poland require legislative regulations concerning the establishment of large stores in order to protect its own market.

There is a need to consolidate and integrate Polish small and middle trade enterprises in order to enable them to compete with economically strong and modern foreign trade firms. This process is under way and proceeds very slowly due to several problems (lack of capital, luck of knowledge about modern trade).

Challenges

Unfair practices by foreign trade enterprises in the Polish market have been recognized. The unfair terms include: (1) forcing long payment period for delivered goods, (2) demanding significant price discount and participation in expenditure of goods promotion, (3) demanding from producer to take back unsold goods. Also sale without margin or below purchase price has occurred. Currently, the Polish Ministry of Economy is conducting analysis in order to provide principles of fair competitiveness in carrying on a trade.

The violation of labour legislation by foreign distribution network is also recorded in Poland. The violation concerns, in particular, working hours, work shift system, employment on Sundays and employment of under-age young people.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

The Polish Ministry of Economy issues annual Report on Domestic Trade State. The Report provides statistical information, analysis and opinions concerning: the place of the domestic trade in the economy, changes in the trade structure, the state and changing trends of the material and technical resources, consolidation process of the trade in Poland vis-ą-vis European Union countries. The Report is addressed to the ministers, central offices, Polish National Bank, Parliament, Senate, President’s Office, regional authorities, trade organizations, university libraries, Polish business establishments. The Report is made available for the public in the library of the Ministry of Economy and in the Institute of Domestic Trade and Consumption. It is also available to everyone at a charge.

Information related to trade is also made available to potential users via various publications: Statistical Yearbook, monthly bulletins and annual bulletins entitled "Domestic Trade" issued by the Central Statistical Office.

The national World Web Site is being created and information related to the above mentioned issues will be provided in the nearest future via the address: http://www.mg.gov.pl

The information provided via Internet will contain date concerning: (1) domestic market: inflation, unemployment rate, GNP, industry sold production, enterprises profitability rate, investment outlays in macro scale, and macroeconomic prognosis for the nearest periods, and (2) international trade: data concerning turnover according to continents, groups of countries and main countries within these groups, turnover according to geographical and trade structure of export and import, data concerning the ranking of countries according to export and import, and the list of 30 commodities of the highest turnover as regards export and import value.

Information related to foreign investment is made available via Internet site of the National Agency of Foreign Investment (PAIZ): http://www.paiz.gov.pl.

The provided data contains: scale of investment, trade and geographical structure, and information about main investors according to the country of origin.

The Polish Ministry of Economy issues four reports concerning trade, and investment and economic growth: (1) Economy State Report, (2) Industry State Report, (3) International Trade State Report, (4) Domestic Trade State Report. These Reports are addressed to central administrative bodies on the national, regional and local level. The reports are made available in the National Library and in the university libraries.

Since January 2000, the short English versions of the Economy State Report and Industry State Report, and full English versions of the International Trade State Report and Domestic Trade State Report are made available via national WWW site in the Internet: http://www.mg.gov.pl

Information on above mentioned issues, related to little and middle enterprises, can be accessed via Polish Fund for Promotion of Little and Middle Enterprises Development at the following WWW site: http://www.msp.org.pl.

Research and Technologies 

In 1995, the research concerning new technology application showed that new equipment and technologies had been applied in majority of enterprises operated with foreign capital share. The equipment 1-5 years old has been applied in 63 % examined enterprises, 10 years old equipment has been applied in 28,6 % enterprises. The new technologies have been applied mainly in trade lines: computer science (94,1 %), hotel industry (78,8 %), publication and printing (83,3 %), and machines and instruments (73,5 %).

The trade globalization process and competitive power forces domestic enterprises to modernize technologies and apply environment friendly technologies.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Poland is striving for political and economic integration with Western European countries and with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member-states.

In 1991, the Association Agreement with the European Community set a framework for the gradual development of free trade in goods and services and in the flow of capital.

Poland, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), supports the measures suggested by the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) aimed at liberalizing trade in all fields, including environmentally sound technologies. Such a trend in the world market is favourable for the enhancement of sustainable development in developing countries.

At the WTO forum, Poland stands in favour of domestic economic policies which aim at a complete integration of developing countries with the world market. This includes, among other matters, export oriented policies, tariff and other trade barrier reductions, and open policies towards investment. Full implementation of WTO rules ensures sustainable development in all fields in a modern world economy. At the same time, Poland recognizes that developing countries, and especially the least-developed countries, may face severe problems in the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreement. In addition, their economies will require some time to create the ability to completely encompass the opportunities offered by a liberalized and global world economy.

Being an active participant in the work of the economic organizations of the United Nations System [such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)], Poland always stresses the need of supporting sustainable development in developing countries. Polish aid is especially noticeable in the activities of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), supporting development in the areas of agriculture management, culture, and education.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Poland to the eighth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: August 2000.

For information on Poland's economy, click here.
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 decision-making structure in Poland for this issue includes the following:

1. Committee for Regional Policy and Sustainable Development of the Ministers’ Council- national level,

2. Provincial Administrative Bodies – provincial level.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The legal policy related to sustainable consumption and production patterns is incorporated into several separate acts:

Industry sector in Poland promotes sustainable production patterns through methods and procedures defined by Cleaner Production Programme and Polish Forum ISO 14000. Economical obligatory instrument introduced in order to discourage unsustainable practices consists of decisions, levies and charge systems. Other instruments focusing on promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns include: introduction of environmental management systems ISO 14000, which is implemented on a voluntary bases; introduction of Cleaner Production Programme; introduction of tax relief for ecological activities; systems of loans and subsidies from National Fund for Natural Protection and Water Management.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Poland has not formulated a National Strategy for Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns but the relevant issues are incorporated in the following documents and programmes:

In the future, strategies and polices concerning sustainable consumption and production patterns in Poland will consider the following issues:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Several programmes and activities have been initiated, focusing on the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns, e.g.: Environmental Protection Programme in the Country Areas, selection of domestic waste in several Polish cities, promotion of multiple-use packages, introduction of ecological substitute products, e.g. unleaded petrol U95 instead of petrol E94.

The major governmental programmes carried out with cooperation with industry sector are the following:

  1. Programme for Hard Coal Mining for the years 1996 - 2000 – one of the major tasks of the programme is to reduce elements burdensome to the environment through:
  1. Programme for Oil Sector Restructuring – one of the tasks of the programme is petrol quality improvement with regards to customers and environment through:
  1. Programme for Oil Mining and Gas Sector Restructuring – the aim of the programme is changing petrol consumption patterns in favour of gas consumption through:
  1. Programme for Energy Sector Restructuring – the main goal of the programme is reducing sulphur dioxide emission.
  2. Programme for Steel Industry Restructuring – implementation of the programme will result in:
  1. Programme for Cleaner Production – since 1991; the main element of the programme is implementing of the cleaner production into technological process, and prove better economical and ecological effects due to applied cleaner production.
  2. Programme for Quality Promotion – since 1992; the program is aiming at dissemination of quality and environment systems management compatible with ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards, and getting certification for these systems.
  3. Programme for Responsible Care – since 1994; the aim of the program is modernization of energy sector in order to reduce energy-use and water-use, and to reduce pollution emission.
  4. Programme for Support of Regional Institutions Development Acting for Technology Transfer – 1997; programme is aiming at modernizing small and middle enterprises through new and ecological technology transfer.
  5. Programme for Polish Economy Innovation till 2006 – under preparation; the programme is aiming at creation conditions for development of Polish economy competitiveness. The priority of the programme is (1) cleaner production programmes support, (2) preparation of national environment protection technologies data base, (3) development of effective energy use certificates, (4) development of local initiatives concerning renewable energy sources.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

The main obstacles in the process of sustainable consumption and production patterns promotion are related to: (1) limited financing resources, (2) insufficient political elite’s awareness on sustainable development issue and its influence on country development, (3) limited industry managers’ awareness of sustainable production and its influence on product and service competitiveness on the open market.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Several training, seminars and conferences directed towards awareness-rising for sustainable consumption and production have been launched by Polish NGOs, including on: (1) the concept of Cleaner Production Programme, (2) cooperation between local authority and municipalities aiming at preparation and execution of environmental protection programmes (Polish Centre for Cleaner Production, functioning within Federation of Scientific-Technical Associations (NOT) and National Centre for Cleaner Production Implementation, functioning within Main Institute of Mining in Katowice), (3) training concerning quality management system ISO 9000 and the environmental management ISO 14001, organized within the Quality Promotion Programme of the Institute of Industry Organisation and Management (ORGMASZ) and the Institute of Research and Certificate (ZETOM) in Katowice, Regional Centre of the Quality Promotion Programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Polish Forum ISO 14000, Polish Forum ISO 9000).

Information 

Different types of information assisting decision-makers and industry managers to plan and implement polices and programmes related to sustainable production and consumption patterns have been developed and provided. The National Information Supporting Sustainable Development includes three databases provided by the Agency of Technique and Technology (Agencja Techniki i Technologii), the Waste Management Institute (Instytut Gospodarki Odpadami), and the Scientific Research Committee (Komitet Badan Naukowych). There has been also organized the Information Bank of New Technology, as a part of the Cleaner Production Programme, by the National Centre of Cleaner Production Implementation (Centrum Wdrazania Czystszej Produkcji), functioning within the Main Institute of Mining (Glówny Instytut Górnictwa).

The Inspection of Environmental Protection (Inspekcja Ochrony Srodowiska) is responsible for monitoring environmental trends in Poland. The monitoring system includes supervision and survey of the implementation of environmental laws and regulations, audits compatible with ISO 14000 and ISO 9000 certificates. There have been also introduced National Monitoring of the Environment (Panstwowy Monitoring Srodowiska).

Information on sustainable production and consumption are available through:

Research and Technologies 

Environmentally sound technologies are promoted and applied in the production process through:

Other activities related to sustainable production promotion include:

Financing 

The Agriculture Restructuring and Modernization Agency Budgetary provides main resources required for carrying out sustainable development activities.

Other financial resources including credits and funds are provided by:

Cooperation

The Polish Government is involved in several international cooperation related to 1992 HELCOM Convention, UNFCCC, Montreal Protocol, and Sulphur Protocol I and II to the Geneva Convention. Poland is also involved in several bilateral agreements concerning environmental protection and eco-transfer.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Poland to the fifth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: August 2000.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Polish legislation does not define any environmental taxes. The environmentally scaled economic instruments are based on tax relief system for environment friendly goods as follows:

  1. Lower excise tax for unleaded petrol,
  2. Lower excise tax for sulphur less-content diesel oil,
  3. Lower excise tax for engine oil produced with min. 10 % of components extracted from used oil lubricants,
  4. Tax relief for plastic goods produced from polythene and polypropylene in 90 %, and polycarbon, polystyrene, polytereftalan, ethylene in 80 %,
  5. Tax exempt has been introduced since 1999 for 98-octane petrol and 94-octane petrol up to fixed amount of PL.

Currently, Polish Government is in the process of suggesting new Act concerning product fee and deposit fee, which is expected enter into force in 2000. The new Act is aiming at harmonizing of Polish environmental protection policy with European Union legislation regarding especially: waste, diesel oil, used batteries and accumulators, quality of petrol and diesel oil. The main principle of the Act is imposing the product fee and deposit fee on producers, importers and entrepreneurs introducing to the market goods burdensome to the environment. The product fee will be, in contrast to deposit fee, non-returnable. The product fee will be imposed on: packaging, printed paper, carbon and carbon originated petrol, accumulator registers, galvanic batteries and connector cells, lubricating oils, discharge lamps, tires, air-conditioning equipment and refrigerators. The list of products related to the deposit fee will be widened and currently include leaded accumulator registers (acid accumulator registers). The regulations concerning product fee related to petrol will enter into force in 1 January 2003, after implementation of Programme for Hard Coal Restructuring.

According to the Act on Income Tax of Private Persons of 26 July 1991, the groups of people subjected to tax relief are: (1) veterans and war victims from 1939-1945, and their families, (2) orphans, pupils of public and non-public orphanages and foster families, (3) handicapped, (4) pensioners, (5) pupils and full time day students, (6) unemployed. The income tax relief concerns only several payments. Additionally, in case of difficult economic situation of above listed persons, tax relief concerns other payments, which are assessed by responsible body accordingly to the regulations. In individual cases when tax charged may cause serious economic problems in the situation of the individual person, Polish legislation envisages partly or whole tax relief.

According to the Act on Social Support of 29 November 1990, social welfare is entitled to persons and families accordingly to their income per person. The amount of the received benefit is subjected to valorization determined by the Minister of Work and Social Policy.

The Act on Employment and Combating the Unemployment of 14 December 1994, defines the amount of unemployment benefit and the list of cases when the individuals are entitled to receive it. The unemployment benefit is valorized every quarter accordingly to price and service costs increase.

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 

Polish legislation concerning direct taxes defines two financial mechanisms used to combat poverty in the country: (1) a mechanism friendly to new job creation, and (2) direct tax relief for persons in difficult economic situation. The first mechanism is focussing on decreasing of taxes for producers in order to stimulate investments and creation of new job places. The second one is focusing on gradual decreasing of income tax of legal entities: 40 % in 1996, 30 % in 1997, 36 % in 1998, 34 % in 1999, and for next years: 30 % in 2000, 28 % in 2001 and 2002, 24 % in 2003, and 22 % in 2004 and further years.

Polish economy is characterized by large convergence between tax depreciation and economic balance depreciation. This relationship should lead to quicker real property amortization and as a consequence of it, investment increase.

Polish tax system envisages also tax relief for taxpayer in regions with a high unemployment rate and recession.

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 Poland to the fifth, sixth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: August 2000.

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is no separate legislation related to transfer of technologies. These aspects are regulated indirectly in regulations on industrial property (inventive laws).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In Poland, national priorities for technology transfer are determined by the National Environmental Policy and primarily address reductions of energy use, water and material consumption in industrial production, modernization and reconstruction of existing energy sources, reduction of solid waste, and the development of material recovery and recycling. Transfer of environmentally friendly technologies and licenses for their introduction into the Polish economy have been implemented in order to reconstruct and modernize the economy and to upgrade its effectiveness; to reduce energy, water, and material consumption; and to reduce emissions of pollutants into the air and water, and reduce waste generation.

ESTs are most urgently needed in sectors which are causing most harm to the environment, namely: mining, energy generation, ferrous and steel metallurgy and chemical industry. In activities undertaken up to date, priority has been given to implementing environmentally sound technologies in all of these sectors.

National industry policy, which among others matters, proposes environmentally friendly production technologies, is determined by the following documents: "Assumptions of industrial policy", adopted by the Council of Ministers in 1993; and "Programme of the industrial policy for the years 1995-1997", adopted by the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers in December 1994. The National industrial policy focuses on: a) assistance in providing information and training in the field of modern, environmentally friendly technologies; b) implementation of programmes for compliance with the legislation and standards of the European Union (EU) including quality systems (Poland's system of certification of products with a safety label, for example, addresses safety for the environment of products and technologies); c) introducing cleaner production principles into programmes of production and development, d) introduction of voluntary eco-labelling; and e) activities to implement the International Standards Organization ISO 14000 standard in Poland starting in 1996, including the establishment of the association of units promoting implementation of this standard and the EU regulation of 1993 on the Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in enterprises on a voluntary basis.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The following are organisations/mechanisms that bring together stakeholders with a view to promoting and improving the transfer and applications of ESTs in Poland:

The Agency of Techniques and Technologies (ATT), established according to the Parliamentary Act of 1996, conducts activities in support of a) implementation of the state policy in the field of application of new technologies and techniques, including: promoting and supporting implementation of modern, environmentally sound techniques and technologies, particularly in small and medium enterprises; b) commercial application of results; c) participation in implementation of government programmes covering development and use of the new, environmentally safe technologies; and d) development of proposals to stimulate innovative activity of economic entities;

The Central Technical Association (NOT)-gathers technical and engineering environments. Activities of NOT focuse on cleaner production programs, best available technologies programs, transfer of technologies, and international co-operation.

The Central Mining Institute (GIG) - engineering, development of technologies, assistance at technology selection, implementation of undertakings in the mining sector, patronage of the Cleaner Production Movement.

The Institute of Ecology of Industrialised Areas (IETU).

POL-EKO - annual international fairs focus on trade and education, including presentation of state of art technologies. Other sectoral fairs promoting environmentally sound technologies such as the Technology for the Environment" in Kielce, and the Katowice Fairs. There are also seminars, training programs for engineers and for future Cleaner Production experts.

Programmes and Projects 

Within the above-mentioned policy, the following programmes of action are being implemented:

1. The program of Cleaner Production was initiated in 1991, and is intended to impact on applied technologies, achieve lower consumption of raw materials and energy, eliminate use of toxic raw materials, and reduce emission of pollutants. Its implementation is supervised by two Cleaner Production Centres affiliated with the Central Mining Institute and under the auspices of the Federation of Scientific and Technical Associations. A letter of intention has been signed by the Minister of Environmental Protection and the Minister of Industry and Trade in order to co-operate in the area of Cleaner Production.

2. As of 1996 the organisation of the national system of implementation of best available technologies and techniques (BAT), has been under development and implementation. The major targets in the development of the BAT system include:

- establish regional education and information BAT centres - June 1997,

- identify specific needs regarding BAT in individual sectors - March 1997,

- develop implementation program related to valorisation of techniques and technologies (in order to identify the best ones ) - Sept. 1997,

- develop a proposal of organisation and functioning of a national BAT centre - March 1997,

- draft cleaner production implementation program for individual sectors - March 1997.

- draft education program - Dec., 1997.

A Program Board has been established, in order to co-ordinate the organisation of the BAT implementation system. The Council consists of representatives of Ministries, the Scientific Research Committee, the Polish Centre on Research and Certification, Central Technical Organisation and non-governmental environmental organisations

3. In 1992 Poland joined an international movement "Responsible Care", which is aimed at promoting voluntary environmental activities in the chemical industry. By upgrading processes in the chemical industry it is the intention to reduce raw energy and water consumption levels as well as the the emission of pollutants. The program is co-ordinated by the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.

4. Since 1992 a Program of Minimisation of Industrial Waste has been carried out by the World Environmental Centre (WEC).

5. Since 1992 hazardous waste monitoring system has been in operation, conducted by the Waste Management Institute and co-ordinated by the State Inspection of Environmental Protection.

Status 

Activities as well as economic and educational instruments have been implemented to promote the reduction of water and energy use. Since 1994, the Polish National Agency for Energy Saving has promoted efficient use of energy, particularly in small enterprises. It also implements projects in this field. The Centre for Testing and Certification has undertaken work on introducing voluntary eco-labelling. The Bank of Environmental Protection grants preferential credits for projects promoting energy efficiency both in industry and in housing. The Institute of Environmental Protection operates a data base on environmentally friendly technologies and cleaning technologies (end of pipe).

The introduction of the ISO 14000 into the Polish standard system has been initiated. The Centre for Testing and Certification has established an association of enterprises and institutions interested in the implementation of the ISO 14000 standard and the EMAS system. The first Polish enterprises to undertake activities to implement this system, the Ostrowiec and Czestochowa Steel Mills, and ABB Zamech, obtained a certificate according to British standards in 1997 thus confirming reduced environmental impact.

Investments in the technical equipment of industry are being developed. In 1995, expenditures on industrial plant equipment increased by 132.3%, as compared to 1992.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

The Agency of Techniques and Technologies has just established the Internet Site: www.att.gov.pl. The Central Mining Institute intends, in the first quarter of 1998, to establish a Web Site including a data base on all Cleaner Production projects.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing 

Implementation of environmentally friendly technologies is financially supported by the National Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management. This Fund, together with the Bank of Environmental Protection, has established special credit lines supporting the implementation of energy saving production technologies, savings in housing development, etc. The EcoFund supports the transfer of technologies and techniques for the use of non-conventional renewable energy sources. The EcoFund is an example of the integration of environmental and financial policy of the State because it is administered and financed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry.

Cooperation

Foreign assistance has been largely used for the transfer of technology, including 14% for training in this field, 12% for purchase of available technical solutions for environmental protection ("end of pipe" technologies), 8% for development of promotional programmes and projects, and 3% for purchase of licences. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) have transmitted information and convened training on best available technologies for implementation of the obligations resulting from the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Japan, Germany, and Sweden are particularly active in this field. Poland, in cooperation with international organizations, has undertaken work on the transfer of environmental technologies to the countries of Central Europe. Initiated by the Government of Norway, the Cleaner Production Programme is operational in over 200 enterprises in Poland.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Poland to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last Update: 10 March 1998.

 

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The issue of environmentally sound management of biotechnology is covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity, which has been ratified by Poland. There is a lack of statutory regulations in this area, although this issue is covered by the Strategy for the

Protection of Biological Diversity in Poland. The work on legislation regarding safety for the environment and health management of biotechnology was initiated in 1995.

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 

In Poland, biotechnology is applied in agriculture, the food economy, industry, forestry, health and environmental protection, and other areas. The priorities for biotechnology are the completion of the work on Polish regulatory legislation and harmonization with European Union legislation regarding the management of biotechnology; and development of a system for implementation. In 1993-94, biotechnology, including safe biotechnology management, was introduced into the programme of education of a number of universities and technical academies.

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 Poland to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Click here for the International Centre 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   

The following institutions are responsible for implementation: the Ministry of Economy,the Ministry of National Treasury, the State Agency for Technics and Technologies, the State Center for Information on Environmental Protection Technics, and the Industrial Chambers of Commerce.

Environmental considerations have been included in the Industrial Policy (1993).

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 

Specific action programmes are under investigation and drafting.  In 1994, the National Environmental Policy Implementation Programme through the Year 2000 was prepared which determined the investment and non-investment tasks for achieving medium-term priorities. With regard to hazardous waste, the Policy called for the construction of regional plants for the treatment of industrial waste and for the organization of regional systems for the treatment of hospital waste (incinerating plants). The Cleaner Production Programme is being implemented: in over 200 plants pilot projects have been implemented. Elements of sustainability have also been introduced to the Programme for International Competitiveness of the Polish Industry, Programme for the development of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Programme of Support for the development of regional institutions for technology transfer, Assumptions for Long-Term Industrial Policy (until 2010), Assumptions on the Restructuring of the Chemical Industry, and are included to the reprivatisation processes.

Status 

Investments in the technical equipment of industry are being developed. In 1995, expenditures on industrial plant equipment increased by 132.3%, as compared to 1992.

The major threats to human health and the environment associated with industrial activity are cased by the energy sector and its emission (low and high) sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and dust as the effect of coal combustion. Coal still remains the major (more 80%) energetic fuel in Poland, however some measures have been recently undertaken to reduce its use i.e. fuel conversion from coal to gas and oil, development of renewable energy sources (mainly hydro-power and geothermal resources) and energy conservation programmes. The other threats are caused by the coal mining sector, namely salination of surface water and solid waste production.

Poland is among the group of European countries leading in the amount of produced and accumulated industrial waste. Almost half of the overall amount are mining wastes. Restructuring of industry covers the introduction of low-waste technologies and higher use of waste as recyclable material. Industry is being privatized and there is a gradual decrease in the importance of heavy industry in the economy.

There is no specific Green Industry" programme in Poland. Some industries have started their own ISO 14000 and the EMAS standard programmes and two of them have received the adequate certificates. More than one thousand have been involved in the cleaner production" programme.

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 Poland to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last Update: 10 March 1998.

For information on industry in Poland, click here.
For information on privatization in Poland, click here.

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There is an obligation to prepare environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for investments related to transport infrastructure, to tighten the requirements for reduction of exhaust gas emissions, to increase power efficiency, and to set new standards for fuels with a lower content of hazardous substances. However, a large increase in the number of motor vehicles in Poland during the last few years causes significant increases in the emission of transport pollutants.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Environmental considerations have been included in the Transport Policy (1994) and the Industrial Policy (1993). Reduction of nuisance caused by transportation applies to infrastructure, means of transport, and fuels.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Several activities have been initiated, focusing on energy efficiency in the transport sector (stimulation of transport facilities less burdensome for the environment, technical improvement of vehicles, introduction of low-emission fuel, and improvement of transportation systems). In 1995, the import of vehicles without catalytic converters, as well as the import of old vehicles (1993) and two-stroke vehicles, was prohibited. A graduated vehicle tax has been introduced, dependant on the engine cubic capacity and fuel consumption. Simulation activities have been implemented for the limitation of energy consumption for heating. In the process of assigning concessions on international road transportation, trucking companies are being certified as a "green lorry" company. Electric traction is used in 90% of rail transportation. The public roads system and organization of transportation are being improved. Polish aviation has replaced its old aeroplanes with new ones characterized by lower fuel consumption.

The fast developing market economy causes the consumption model in Poland to proceed in an improper direction. This is particularly visible in the example of transportation. Significant deterioration of the transport situation in towns has occurred due to the very dynamic growth in ownership of individual cars, which reached about 250 cars/1000 citizens in 1996. Development of public transport in towns is too slow because of the lack of financial resources. These trends are continuing and cause a growing threat to the environment. The share of individual traffic (in passenger-kilometers) has increased from 40% in 1990 to 62% in 1995. At the same time, the number of rail carriages has decreased by 50% and use of public transportation by about 30%.

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 Poland to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Polish governmental bodies responsible for tourism are:

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The National Acts related to tourism are as follows:

The Act on Natural Protection of 16 October 1991

The Act on Spatial Management of 1 July 1994

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Poland has not formulated a National Strategy on Sustainable Development. The Master Plan for Tourism in country and forest areas was elaborated within PHARE – TOURIN II Programme.

The defining policy and strategy of tourism development are elaborated by Office of Physical Culture and Tourism in the following:

 Main goals of tourism management development are the following:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Organizations involved in decision–making for tourism include:

Programmes and Projects 

Green Lungs of Poland Programme

The State Programme for Domestic Tourism Product Development, particularly concerns the development of Active Tourism and Tourism in Rural and Forest Areas, executed by Tourist Development Fund in 1996 – 1997. The programme consisted of three separate subprojects: (1) Main Plan of Country Tourism Development – executed by TDI Ireland, (2) Development of Public Accommodation Base Service in Country Areas – executed by DG Agroprogress International GmbH Germany/ Advisory and Educational Centres for Agriculture, Department in Krakow, (3) Active and Special Interests Tourism – executed by L&B Great Britain.

The promotion programme covers the following:

Status

Poland is located on the 8th position of the WTO list of the most visited countries of the world, with 18,8 million visitors who spent at least one night in Poland in 1998. Since 1990 the number of tourists from abroad has raised five times. In 1997, arrival tourism foreign exchange income amounted to 8,7 billion USD and placed Poland on the 14th position in the world.

It is estimated that in 1999 the number of foreign visitors will decrease.

The number of people employed in hotels and restaurants amounted to:

Challenges

The main obstacles to pursuing sustainable development include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The Office of Physical Culture and Tourism cooperates with the Ministry of the Environment and organises the Programme of Ecological Education. Ecological Education which is reflected in:

Since 1992, the Provincial Advisory Centres for Agriculture (Wojewódzkie Osrodki Doradztwa Rolniczego) have been organizing training programme concerning agro-tourism, e.g.: the Provincial Advisory Centre for Agriculture – SIELINKO (Wielkopolskie Province), organized in 1998 training for country inhabitants planning to organize and already having organized agro-tourism farms; training programmes contained issues: agro-tourism and economy, marketing, promotion, advertising, law, financial resources, customer service, environmental protection, sanitation, nutrition, field trips; training was partly financed by governmental resources and by Agriculture Development and Food Economy Foundation (Fundacja Rozwoju Rolnictwa i Gospodarki Zywnosciowej).

In 1997, Strategy for Training of Country Public Accommodation Base Service was elaborated within PHARE – TOURIN II Programme.

Professional training for nature-based tourism is also organised by Agro-Tourism Associations, Major Agriculture Fund, FAPA and postgraduate academic centres.

Information 

Central Statistical Office of Poland provides information concerning:

Information available to customers via Internet is available only by private WWW Site, e.g.:

1. http://www.agrobochenscy.xxl.pl/deutsch/index.html – description of one of the Polish agro-toutism farms (in Polish and German language);

2. http://195.205.14.133/eceat-poland/adresy.html – description of 90 Polish eco–tourism farms (in Polish);

3. http://www.zetozg.pl/firmy/zir/MENU2.HTM – description including prices of agro-tourism farms service, in Lublin region, in Poland.

4. http://www.most.org.pl/eceat-poland/home.html – ECEAT Poland www site.

Research and Technologies 

The infrastructure in the country areas is not sufficiently developed. The ISPA Programme is launched in order to facilitate the execution of joint projects between several municipalities, because 5 million Euro threshold value of the project exceeds financial abilities of Polish small municipalities to start the project.

Financing 

Nature-based tourism development and promotion is supported through:

Budgetary means:

Foreign means- credits:

Credits for economic entity are also available from:

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Poland to the fifth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: August 2000.



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