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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN POLAND

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministery of the Environment is responsible for water management. The subsidiary bodies to the Ministery, are in charge of national water needs and current water resources balance. The subsidiary bodies determine water management concept for each catchment area, inter alia, water availability for irrigation needs.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Act on Protection of Agriculture and Forest Land, of 3 February 1995 defines legal base for arable land protection. The Act restricts the transfer of productive arable land to other uses, and defines several regulations as follows:

In order to ensure safe and appropriate use of pesticides, the Polish Government adopted in July 1995 the Act on Plants Protection, which regulates the methods of handling pesticides in order to assure safety during their turnover and use. The Act underlines importance of pesticides, which are safe for people, flora and fauna, when they are correctly applied. Under this Act, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for giving the permission for admission of pesticides to the market. As the result of new protection approach, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is regarded as the principle method in the protection practice. The Act also regulates principles for use of pesticides, inter alia, on the protected areas, and impose obligation for recording the agrotechnical measures and conducting the training for people who will use pesticides.

Since 1996, Polish Government has elaborated several policy guidelines in order to integrate environmental concerns into agricultural development projects:

The major policy instruments and activities to promote sustainable plant nutrition management introduced in Poland include:

The legal instrument in Polish law which regulates energy matters is the Energy Law Act, of 10 April 1997. Under this Act, the Minister of the Economy is responsible for national energy policy. However, the responsibility for supply of heat, electricity and gas in the municipal area, lays on local authority. The local action plans must be compatible with national energy policy and with the decisions of the local spatial management plan.

In order to enable sustainable energy transition, the Minister of Economy passed in 1992 the executive Act concerning Obligation to Buy Electricity and Heat from Unconventional Sources and Range of This Obligation. The Act imposes the obligation on energy supply companies to buy electricity or heat from domestic energy producers, including also energy generated by hydroelectric power stations, wind power stations, waste land fields, solar collectors, processing the animal and plant residues, and from geothermal heat. The obligation encompass small energy producers, with the power not bigger then 5 MW. However, the main principle of this law is to protect consumers.

The sustainable agriculture management is promoted by the Code of Good Agriculture Practice, introduced in 1999. The Code defines methods of cultivation, fertilization plans, applied technique aiming at reduction of negative agriculture impact on the environment.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In 1999, the Ministers’ Council adopted a document Coherent Structural Policy of Rural Areas and Agriculture Development, which defines a legal base for sustainable development of rural areas, and guidelines for integration process with European Union. The Coherent Policy will be implemented with the assistance of SAPARD Fund (which provides community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the pre-accession period).

According to the Coherent Policy, the goals of rural areas and agriculture sustainable development are:

According to the Coherent Structural Policy of Rural Areas and Agriculture Development, several activities are envisaged for 2000 – 2006:

The assumptions of National Environmental Protection Strategy, which is currently under an amendment process, attach great weight to: environmental education, implementation of the Polish Code of Good Agriculture Practice, increasing the knowledge of ecological agriculture production methods.

Polish Government has adopted two policy documents focusing on increase of employment opportunities in the rural areas, the Pact for Agriculture and Rural Areas and the Coherent Structural Policy of Rural Areas and Agriculture Development. The initiated actions under these policies encompass:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

In Poland, Non-Governmental Organizations are actively involved in the decision-making process particularly related to the promotion of ecological agriculture development: EKOLAND, Polish Ecological Agriculture Association (PTRE), and other small organizations associated with Polish Ecological Agriculture Union. The Polish NGO’s had significant impact on the acceleration of legislative process of the act on ecological agriculture. Farmers’ trade unions and other farmers’ organizations have contributed to the preparation by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, documents concerning agriculture and rural areas, which obligate the Ministry to undertake actions related to: support of agriculture, enterpreneurship development, creation of new jobs, integrated social policy of rural areas, and support of social development of rural area.

Programmes and Projects 

As the result of the World Food Summit in 1996, the Polish Ministers’ Council adopted the National Health Programme 1996-2005. Several activities have been undertaken under this Programme, which include:

According to the National Long-Term Programme for Health Improvement of the Population in Poland 2000-2004, the Polish Government has undertaken several activities aiming at health improvement of the population:

Currently, the Polish Government is implementing programme of iodination of table salt, and long-term programmes for children nutrition in schools, which cover particularly regions of high unemployment rate.

The Polish Government has undertaken several activities aiming at increase equitable access to the production and support services by the rural poor, which include:

Organizations involved in the implementation process of above mentioned programmes are:

In 1996, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development elaborated the Long-Term Programme For Water Melioration Development. Apart from this programme, several regional "small water retention" programmes have been implemented, focusing on water store for agriculture needs. In 1995, the agreement between Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of the Environment was reached concerning "small water retention" activities.

Since 1993, the Polish Government has launched a programme aiming at widening the markets for use of non-food agricultural goods. Currently, ethanol is added to the petrol, and the excise tax for petrol with the content of 4,5 – 5 % of ethanol is lower. Since 1999, the excise tax discount has been applied to all types of petrol. The amount of ethanol added to petrol, amounts to almost half of the whole domestic production of ethanol, which means that 1,4 – 1,7 millions tons of petrol contain ethanol.

Poland has a long tradition of genetic resources activities and established National Programme with well defined co-ordination responsibilities. The institutions involved in plant genetic resources conservation are Government-administrated and funded, and come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture or Education.

In Poland, the National Centre for Plant Genetic Resources at the Plant Cultivation and Acclimatisation Institute is the central long-term storage, documentation centre and co-ordinator of the National Programme that involves 16 institutions.

The new actions undertaken in this area include:

(1) Consolidation of the National Programme:

(2) In situ conservation of PGR:

(3) Ex situ conservation:

(4) Utilisation of plant genetic resources:

Status 

In Poland, agriculture is of great social and economic importance. Rural area inhabitants make up 38,1 % of the whole Polish population and covers 60 % of the country area (statistics of 1996). The constitution of Polish agriculture together with hunting and forestry, amounts to 4,8 % of GHP. Since 1990, this share is decreasing due to low productivity and economic efficiency, and insufficient farms support. 40 % of Polish farms deal with multidirectional and extensive agriculture production.

Polish rural areas are characterized by a weakly-developed technical and social infrastructure, which is caused by low profitability of agriculture and high unemployment rate on these areas. Many of the rural towns have insufficiently developed road system, water-supply and sewage systems, also the access to banks, post offices, schools, health services and cultural institutions is difficult.

The level of mechanization of agricultural production is very low in Poland. At present, the usage of pesticides and mineral fertilizers is decreasing, which has positive impact on nature protection. However, improper farm management of animal excrement remains to be a significant source of nitrate water contamination. Due to traditional model of Polish agriculture, based on family farms, some of the agricultural areas are characterized by high biodiversity. Polish rural areas have good potential conditions for eco-production development.

Table 1 The area of arable land subjected to transfer in Poland

YEAR AREA SUBJECTED TO DECISION [ha] AREA OF POSITIVE DECISION [ha]
1998 2595 2337
till 1.09.1999 2216 1884

 Table 2 The purposes of transfer of productive arable land in 1998 in Poland

PURPOSE OF TRANSFER AREA [ha] AREA OF LAND WITH REMOVED HUMUS

Minerals

252 59

Industry area

198 55

Transport area

86 36

Settlement area

676 356

Water reservoirs

0 0

Other areas

203 2664

TOTAL

1415 3170

 Table 3 The structure of land rehabilitation

TYPE OF LAND TOTAL AREA [ha] [%] AGRICULTURE PURPOSES [ha] FOREST PURPOSES [ha]

Require rehabilitation

74240 100 - -

After rehabilitation

2729 3,7 1269 1125

Developed

1559 2,1 699 621

The achievements in the implementation of IPM in Poland encompass:

Poland has not undertaken any actions related to the use of Global Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Facility.

Poland has developed Integrated Plant Nutrition approach, which is conducted by Chemical and Agriculture Stations and its departments on the whole country. The system was elaborated by the Institute of Cultivation, Fertilizer and Soil Science (IUNG). The main goals of the Stations are: to make available the nutrition advisory system, which determines nutrition dose on the basis of soil richness and nutrition needs of plants research. The process of nutrition dose determination includes: soil production availability, ground permeability, and special requirements concerning protected areas. About 4 millions of nutrition plans are elaborated per year.

The Polish Government has undertaken several activities in order to improve water management.

Regarding the increase of water availability in agriculture the activities include:

Regarding the increase of water use efficiency in agriculture the activities include:

Regarding the restoration of swamped lands the activities encompass:

Activities regarding the prevention of adverse effects of agriculture on water quality are:

In 1992-1998, the area of land with irrigation system has been decreased by about 6 000 ha, and the area of meadows and pastures by about 20 000 ha. This statistic does not include private irrigation systems installed by farmers on their own expense. According to the statistic data of 1998:

(1) Irrigation systems cover:

(2) Drained land cover 6667 thousands ha, which constitute:

There is significant food overproduction in Poland, which is stored as the strategic reserve. The reserve is governed by Agriculture Market Agency. Poverty reduction has been carried out through social assistance in the form of overproduction of food donation.

Table 4 Usage and sale of qualified seeds material in Poland, in 1994-1997

YEAR

Usage of fertilizers in pure component [ t ] Usage of fertilizers in pure component per 1 ha of arable land Sell of qualified seeds of basic crops [ t ] Sell of qualified planting potatoes [ t ]
1994/ 95 1428,9 79,7 179330 56250
1995/ 96 1511,3 84,5 231540 69142
1996/ 97 1575,2 88,3 218196 74772

 Table 5 Supply of pesticides in Poland, in 1995-1997

YEAR Supply of pesticides in tons of active substance Supply of pesticides in tons of active substance per 100 ha of arable land (including orchards)
1995 6962 47,8
1996 9420 66,3
1997 9501 66,3

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Education is the main goal of the National Programme of Polish Country Development Programme, and it is aiming at enhancing the quality of education and at promoting the popularization of secondary and university education, as well as at job creation beyond the agriculture sector.

In order to increase public awareness and participation in promoting sustainable development practices, the Polish Government has initiated following activities:

In 1996, 6500 m2 solar collectors have been registered to generate 4TJ of heat. It is estimated that energy, which come from wind power stations, hydroelectric power stations, combustion of wood and straw, solar collectors and biogas, will be entirely used in the agriculture sector.

Table 6 Characteristic of power stations in Poland

TYPE OF SYSTEM YEAR NUMBER OF POWER STATION INSTALD POWER [MW] SELL OF ELECTRICITY [TJ]
Hydroelectric 1997 1998 295 326 32,17 382,4 435,7
Biogas 1997 1998 10 16 4,83 22,7 44,9
Wind 1997 1998 9 9 2,46 6,1 15,5
TOTAL 1997 1998 314 359 39,46 411,2 495,4

 According to ARE S.A. date base of Petrol and Energy Economy, alternative energy make up 5 % of total energy consumption of the country in 1998. The share of this energy in the total consumption of energy, has displayed a rising trend in the last few years. The Government assumptions envisages a rise of alternative energy up to 6 % of total energy consumption of the country in 2020. There is no national programmes promoting production of agriculture energetic materials. At present, the national policy regarding biomass is focusing on the usage of available energy raw materials produced by agriculture, e.g. straw. The environmental protection funds undertake actions to mobilize energy suppliers to build systems for biomass energy production.

Tabela 7 Alternative energy share in the total energy consumtion of the country in Poland

YEAR 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998
[%] 1,18 1,30 3,96 4,44 4,98

 In order to reduce CO2, Polish Government adopted in 1998 the Act on Support of Thermo-Modernization Actions. The aim of the programme is to reduce consumption of energy raw materials in the heat sector.

The major steps and initiatives taken in order to conserve and make sustainable use of animal genetic resources are the following:

  1. Development of the National Animal Genetic Resources Conservation Programme - The programme was discussed and agreed at two day workshop ( 14-15 June, 1999 ) with participants of the Advisory Board to NFP and invited observers representing Breeders Societies, Central Animal Breeding Office divisions and the Polish Society of Animal Production. The workshop recommended conservation priorities within each farm animal species and developed design for breed specific conservation programmes including formulation of a contract with the stock owner. A draft programme was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Currently, breed conservation programmes are being prepared for 32 breeds, varieties or groups of poultry lines within 8 species or group of species ( cattle-1, horses-2, sheep-13, pigs-3, chickens-1, geese-1, ducks-1, carps-1, rainbow trouts-1, fur animals-5, bees-3 ).
  2. Preparation of a proposal on direct financial support for Animal Genetic Resources in 2000 - The preliminary proposal including list of breeds/ number of females per breed/ amount per head was prepared by Advisory Board to the NFP, according to priorities identified in National Animal Genetic Resources Conservation Programme. In 1999, after continuous efforts of the NFP, the Polish Red cattle was granted state financial support, which will cover 150 cows this year.
  3. Development of National Data Base on Animal Genetic Resources - The development and testing of software of the National Data Base was successfully concluded. At present, the National Database is being completed based on data and information provided by Working Groups.
  4. Mandatory activities of species Working Groups - They included monitoring of the animal genetic resources and analysis of their endangerment status and also development of relevant breed conservation programmes.

Information 

Poland regularly conducts research and analyzes data concerning eco-agriculture. Information on sustainable agriculture is made available to the potential users via professional publications and WWW sides:

In Poland, the Governmental body responsible for the early warning system for monitoring food supply is National Inspection of Agriculture Goods Purchase and Processing (PISiPAR), subordinate to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The early warning system covers: monitoring of home budgets of 30 thousands farms in order to monitor consumption structure, diagnose of health risk related to wrong nutrition. The Inspection has undertaken diagnosis on the base of satellite pictures analyzes. In 1999, Polish Government elaborated multi-sectoral programme, "Improvement of Heath State of Population of Poland Through Food Quality Improvement and Rationalization of Nutrition", which focuses on adjustment of Polish agriculture production and food processing, products turnover and consumption to healthy nutrition model and requirements of European Union. Poland cooperates with WHO and FAO regarding early warning system for monitoring food supply.

The Central Statistic Office (GUS) provides indicators, which might be used for monitoring and evaluating sustainable agriculture practices and rural development. In 2001, the Office will prepare a Common Agriculture List (Powrzechny Spis Rolny), and will contain questions concerning ecological and sustainable agriculture. The economic indicators provided by GUS are: value of agriculture products sold, share of profits from non-agriculture activities in the farmers’ income, the quality equipment of farmers’ households. The social indicators are: education structure, rural infrastructure development; the environment indicators are: usage of pesticides and fertilizers, usage of organic fertilizers and their store, production of fast growing trees, methane production from natural fertilizers, water and soil monitoring.

Research and Technologies 

The main Governmental actions focusing on the implementation of integrated farm management technologies and practices include:

Financing 

Poland is applying financial support instruments related to agriculture and rural areas modernization similar to European Union countries. Nevertheless, the amount of public financial support is several times lower then in EU countries. Since 2000, assistance programme for agriculture and rural areas modernization, encompass funds: ASAL III (World Bank), PHARE, and SAPARD (168 millions/ year). It is planned that agriculture and rural areas modernization programmes should be financed also by domestic resources, accordingly: 20 % by society and economic entities of the rural areas, 20 % by local authority, 45 % national budget, and about 15 % by European Union assistance granted funds.

Polish law related to land conservation and rehabilitation is defied by the Act on Protection of Agriculture and Forest Land, of 3 February 1995. Under this law, the Arable Land Protection Fund was established. The Fund is managed by governors of provinces and is allocated for: land rehabilitation, erosion counteraction, building and modernization of roads, implementation and dissemination of research work concerning above mentioned matters. In 1998, the Fund expenditures amounted to 20 million USD.

The building of main elements of water melioration systems and irrigation systems is financed by budgetary means, and the detailed elements are covered together by budgetary and farmers means.

Several investments have been made in promoting sustainable energy use in the municipalities since credits on the preferential rate for energy development projects has been introduced. Heating power stations have been built thereby using straw, which make additional market for agriculture products.

Polish agriculture is supported by budgetary means through the Agriculture Market Agency (Agencja Rynku Rolnego), Agriculture Restructuring and Modernization Agency (Agencja Rynku Rolnego), National Treasury of Agriculture Property Agency (Agencja Wlasnozci Skarbu Panstwa), and by SAPART fund. The support actions include:

The actions undertaken under the Pact for Agriculture and Rural Areas and the Coherent Structural Policy of Rural Areas and Agriculture Development are financed by the Agriculture Restructuring and Modernization Agency, Labor Fund, and by European Union support funds: PHARE, SAPARD. 

Cooperation

Main part of the Polish trade, according to regional agreements (CEFTA – 1 March 1993, EFTA – 1 April 1993) is carried out with European Union, and CEFTA and EFTA countries. Poland has also signed preferential agreements with: Estonia, Israel, Latvia and Lithuania, Sheep Islands, and Turkey. Due to this agreements turnover of agriculture products trade is mainly based on mutual trade.

Since 1967, Poland has been GATT signatory. As the result of this agreement, Poland has committed to: - tariffs, - maximal fixed duty tariffs, - reduction of duty tariffs about 36 % (minimum 15 %), during the product implementation period, imposition of low duty tariff for quoted products, - specification of products subjected to export subsidies, and its costs decrease of 36 %, and number decrease of 21 %, during product implementation period, - decrease of domestic support of 20 % (green box and blue box category).

According to the Agriculture Agreement, which entered into force in 1995, Poland is not allowed to apply compensatory fee and import limitations. In addition, barriers beyond tariffs have been eliminated, and a new mechanism concerning quota and Special Protection Means have been implemented in the Polish market. However, Poland does not take advantage of all available instruments of domestic support and export subsidies, due to limited budgetary means. As a result of the Agriculture Agreement, domestic support is applied to sugar product.

 

 

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

Click here for information on the agricultural environment.
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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The legal decision making structure on atmosphere in Poland is determined by: the Act on Environmental Protection (1980); the Act on the State Inspection of Environmental Protection (1991); the Order of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry on protection of air against pollution (1990); the National Environmental Policy, adopted by Parliament (1991); the National Environmental Policy Implementation Programme to the year 2000, passed by Parliament (1995); the Parliamentary Resolution on Sustainable Development Policy (1995); the Order of the Council of Ministers on fees for economic use of the environment and introducing changes to the environment (1993); the Order of the Council of Ministers on the level, principles, and procedure for imposing monetary fines for non-compliance with environmental requirements (1995); the Order of the Minister of Transportation and Maritime Economy on technical conditions and testing of vehicles (1993); and the Order of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry on determination of the type of investment hazardous for the environment and human health and environmental impact assessment (EIA) (1995). Implementation of legislation stimulating activities oriented at efficient energy use is being planned. The draft Energy Law is in Parliament and the executive acts are being prepared. A new framework Environmental Protection Act is being drafted.

A formal system was elaborated in 1993 for carrying pre-privatization environmental audits for enterprises subject to capital privatization, according to the procedure of the Ministry of Ownership Transformations. More than 130 enterprises have been subjected to this audit so far. The procedure of tradable permits for emissions is being developed. The National Agency for Efficient Energy Use (1995) and the Polish Power Centre have been established. The National Agency is supported by regional agencies and foundations with a similar profile. The "Assumptions for energy policy in Poland through the year 2010" have been adopted by Parliament. As a result of implementation of the energy and environmental policies, energy consumption related to GDP dropped by about 18% during the period 1991-1995. In addition, hard coal use decreased markedly with its share of the primary energy balance dropping from 79% to about 73% in the same period. However, it will be difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long-term because of the fast growing Polish economy during the transformation period, and the fact that National power production will be based on coal for a long time. This is in spite of improvements in energy efficiency in power production and industry, and changes in the structure of fuel use towards increased use of gas.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Medium-term priorities set by the National Environmental Policy include: a) reduction of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions to 2.9 million tonnes, nitrogen oxide (NOx) to 1.3-1.4 million tonnes, particulate matter by about 50% as compared to the year 1980, and increase of the average efficiency of particulate removal to about 96%; b) reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOC), hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other pollutants; and c) initiation of activities aimed at counteracting global climate change in step with international community efforts. Long-term priorities (until the year 2020) include: a) full elimination of individual coal furnaces in urban areas and health resorts; b) introduction of catalytic converters in all cars produced and used; c) reduction of SO2 and NOx emissions by 80%; d) elimination of freons and halons from use; e) reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the level agreed upon at the international forum.

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. There is an obligation to prepare EIA 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: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in atmospheric protection include: scientific and research entities, parliamentary commissions, associations of enterprises, scientific research associations, non-governmental organizations, environmental foundations, local administration agencies, inhabitants of the most polluted areas, the Polish Environmental Club, the Environmental Movement Service Bureau, and school and academic youth.

Programmes and Projects 

A movement for cleaner production based on the declaration and the letter of intent concerning cooperation signed by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry and the Minister of Industry and Trade is being developed in Poland. So far, 800 persons from about 500 enterprises have been trained in the methodology for conducting environmental audits. The training is prepared and implemented by the Association of Engineers from Norway (NIF). Model projects on cleaner production have already been completed in 200 enterprises. Preparatory work continues on establishing the Polish Forum ISO-14000 Club, with the task to promote environmental management systems as proposed in the International Standards Organization ISO-14000 standard. Initial steps have already been undertaken towards implementation of these systems in selected enterprises. The Responsible Care Programme was launched in 1994 and became operational in 1995 in the chemical industry. Activities aimed at training energy auditors are being carried out, as well as pilot projects and energy saving programmes.

Status  

During the period 1990-1993, particulate emissions dropped by 23%, SO2 by 15%, NOx by 14%. The medium term priorities with regard to the SO2, NOx, and particulate reduction were already accomplished at the end of 1992. The National Environmental Policy Implementation Programme through the year 2000 covers the medium-term priorities. The basic objective of the programme is to ensure visible improvement of the state of the environment and to create conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development. It will be achieved through consolidation and acceleration of the existing trend towards reduction of particulate and gas emissions, reduction of the growing nuisance of transportation, investment activities (modernization of particulate removal facilities, construction installations for coal enrichment and desulphurization, activities promoting efficient energy use), and non-investment activities (maintaining custom reductions on equipment for environmental protection and reductions of the tax on goods and services for environmental protection). The programme envisages that by the year 2000, SO2 emissions will drop by 1.0 million tonnes a year, NOx by 0.13 million tonnes a year, and the emission of particulates by 0.7 million tonnes a year due to improvement of coal quality, modernization of combustion technology in coal-fired power plants, change to fluidized combustion and low-emission burners, restructuring of production processes, construction of flue gas desulphurization and particulate removal installations, elimination of low emissions, use of unconventional energy sources, and improvement of existing legal and economic instruments. The programme is consistently being implemented. The process of environmental degradation has been slowed down. Emissions of pollutants are decreasing, but the simple reserves for emission limitation are being used up.

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 basic sources of investment expenditures for environmental protection in Poland in 1991-1993 were: the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, provincial environmental protection and water management funds, resources of enterprises, communal budgets and expenditures of the population, the State budget, external aid [PHARE, The World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and others], EcoFund, a Polish foundation implementing the debt-for-nature swaps programme, and supporting investments which are considered a priority on the European and global scale (through payments from the state budget). Since 1992, the EcoFund has spent US$ 24 million for projects selected by the inter-sectoral and international council supervising its activity. Credits and grants are derived from the World Bank Environmental Management Strategy project and from the GEF grant for conversion from coal-to-gas heating. The Polish-German Co-operation Foundation provides financial support for environmental protection projects implemented in Poland. In the course of the privatization process, investors declare so-called investment packages, earmarking substantial means for environmental protection in their plants. In 1995, these means exceeded US$ 10 million. The following amounts have been spent for air protection: in 1991 0.44% of GDP; in 1992 0.47%; in 1993 0.47%; and in 1994 0.44%.

Cooperation

Poland is party to the following conventions on air protection:

1. The Geneva Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (1979) was ratified by Poland in 1985. The Geneva Protocol of 1984 was ratified in 1988. Poland measures air pollution at three stations of the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP), and contributes to financing three EMEP coordination centres. The protocol on reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions was signed by Poland in 1988. Poland was not a signatory to the protocol on sulphur emission reduction or the reduction of their transboundary flow by at least 30%, signed in Helsinki in 1985, but it conforms to its provisions. In 1993, Poland reduced emission by 33.5% compared to the base year, 1980. The Second Sulphur Protocol was signed by Poland in 1994. It has not come into force yet, but Poland committed itself to implement its provisions on the basis of a special declaration of ministers adopted before the signing.

2. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was signed by Poland in 1994. A National economic long-term policy is required for Poland to meet the requirements of the UNFCCC. The process of economic transformation which is still in progress hampers a genuine evaluation of the Convention's implementation and the determination of the acceptable level of future reductions of greenhouse gases. The first governmental report on implementation of the obligations of the Convention was developed according to the guidelines of the Conference of the Parties and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat in 1995.

3. The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer has been binding on Poland since 1990. Poland takes measurements of and pursues research on the ozone layer at two stations and transmits the results to the international centres with which Poland cooperates. The Montreal Protocol (1987) has been binding on Poland since 1990. Poland signed the London (1990) and Copenhagen (1992) Amendments in September 1996 and ratified them in October 1996. Three months after submission of the suitable documents to the UN, Poland will become a party to these amendments. The last report for the Secretariat of the Montreal Protocol was prepared in 1996.

Poland conducts bilateral cooperation with Germany, Finland, Norway, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Sweden, Lithuania, and Belarus. The country also participates in the work of the UN Economic Commission for Europe on energy.

 

 

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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.

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Poland, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Economy, and the Ministry of Transportation and Maritime Economy are responsible for decision making on biodiversity at the central level. Coordination work on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity is carried out by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. The regional environmental protection authorities (provincial environmental protection departments, departments of agriculture, provincial offices of nature conservators), local (territorial) self-governments in communities, and planning services also have responsibilities towards biodiversity.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Existing Polish law provides the rational foundation for the protection of a large part of biological diversity. The key legal acts of essential importance for biodiversity protection are: the Act on the Protection and Management of the Environment (January 31 1980, Official Journal No.3, item 6 with subsequent amendments, unified text 1994; Official Journal No.49, item 196); the Act on Nature Protection (October 16 1991, Official Journal No.111 item 492 with subsequent amendments), together with the orders of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry on the protection of plant species (April 4 1995, Official Journal No. 41 item 214) and animal species (January 6 1996, Official Journal No.13, item 61); the Act on Forests (September 29 1991, Official Journal No.101, item 444); the Act on Protection of Agricultural and Forest Grounds (February 3, 1995, Official Journal No.16, item 78); the Act on Physical Development (July 7 1994, Official Journal No.89 item 415); the Order of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry for determining the types of investments potentially hazardous to the environment and human health, and on environmental impact assessment; and the Hunting Law (December 18 1995, Official Journal No.147, item 713).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In order to implement the principles of sustainable development in Poland and to meet the Convention on Biological Diversity obligations (including the inventory of biological resources, expansion of protection beyond protected areas and species, development of a strategy for biological diversity protection), a number of projects and studies have been undertaken, and documents have been prepared. These include: a) the National Environmental Policy passed by Parliament in 1991 (prior to the Earth Summit in Rio) which adopted the sustainable use of biological resources; promotes activity to stop the degradation process of the natural environment; and implements the Convention on Biological Diversity and other environmental conventions in Poland; b) work has been ongoing on the National Strategy for the Protection of Biological Diversity since 1994 (a draft version of the National Strategy has already been prepared); c) a Polish Study of Biological Diversity was completed in 1993; d) a Strategy for the Protection of Living Natural Resources in Poland was developed in 1991; e) the National system of protected areas, covering about 24% of the country's territory in 1995, included 20 National parks, 102 countryside parks, and 1,122 reserves, with further development to achieve a full coverage of the natural assets of the country; f) the concept of the National Environmental Network (ECONET) was established in 1995; g) the Policy of Comprehensive Protection of Forest Resources was enunciated in 1995; h) a Technical Report on the Project for Protection of Biodiversity of Forest Areas was prepared as a World Bank document within the context of the Global Environmental Facility Programme; i) the National Programme for Expansion of Forest Cover was adopted by the Council of Ministers on June 23-24, 1995 and implementation has started; j) "nature conservation" annexes to forest management plans of forest inspectorates has been established; k) Promotional Forest Complexes have been designated as forest areas representing the various natural forest conditions of Poland with a view to running a model forest economy in accordance with the principles of sustainable development (Order No. 30 of the General Director of the State Forests dated December 19, 1994); l) the establishment of further Promotional Forest Complexes is planned; m) expansion of existing and the establishment of new gene pools; n) a new "Forest Management Instruction" (1994) is being drafted containing a number of components important for the protection of biodiversity in forests; o) forest management is being enhanced based on environmental fundamentals (Order No 11 of the General Director of the State Forests dated February 14, 1995); p) Polish Red Lists are being prepared according to World Conservation Union (IUCN) recommendations for plants threatened by extinction; and q) the "Monitoring of living nature: Programme with the instruction for the years 1994-1997" was issued in 1993.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in biodiversity decision making include: central, regional and local authorities; the technical and scientific community; business; local communities; and non-governmental organizations.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

With regard to climatic and geographical conditions, Poland is located in the zone of rich flora and fauna. Due to the relatively low level of transformation of the landscape, the rank of biological diversity of Poland as compared to Europe is high. There is also a large diversification of flora and fauna: from mountain areas, through non-mountain areas to coastal zones, as well as from Atlantic species to sub-continental species. Maintaining traditional forms of individual agriculture in large areas of the country has enabled the survival of many primitive species of crop plants and farm animals. Since 1990, the number of protected nature areas has increased almost twofold, and the surface area increased by 50%.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Capacity building and technology issues on biodiversity conservation relate to: initiation of implementation of the sustainable development principles in Poland according to National Environmental Policy of 1991; progressive implementation of the environmental approach in forestry and agriculture; National and countryside parks and Forest Promotional Complexes as testing grounds for the application of sustainable development principles; planned development of the system of environmentally friendly economic solutions and incentives; planned development of environmental education (the Strategy of Environmental Education was prepared in 1996); and continuation of the inventory of natural resources and extension of data bases.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

There is a lack of detailed financial information on biodiversity conservation due to the absence of the relevant category in statistical reports.

Cooperation

Poland signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and ratified it in 1996. It has also signed a number of other environmental conventions of significance for the protection of biodiversity. These include: the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals; the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Wildlife Habitat.

In terms of regional and international cooperation, Poland participates in the organization of National and international conferences on biological diversity; the development of international exchange of information; and cooperation with neighbouring countries along the eastern and southern borders to plan and establish transboundary protected areas.

 

 

*  *  *

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 information on the decline of biodiversity.
Click here for information on protected areas.
Click here for information on Poland's conservation derived from the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Poland.
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.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

In Poland, voivodships, communities, and basin water authorities are responsible for drought on a regional level. The National priority is the prevention of regional and seasonal disturbances of the water balance.

One of the negative characteristics of the climate in Poland is the frequent occurrence of droughts. They tend to occur periodically in different seasons of the year and may sometimes cause serious economic losses. The direct result of drought is a disturbance of the natural water balance in a given area. This, in turn, leads to excessive soil over-drying, lowering of the underground water table, and a decrease of the water flow in rivers. In comparison with countries having similar climatic conditions, Poland, with relatively poor natural water resources in relation to its economical requirements, is faced with much more serious negative effects during the occurrence of post drought periods.

Regions with the longest duration of drought are situated in the zone stretching from Podlasie Lowland in the north-east, through Central Poland, Great Poland down to the Silesian Lowland in the south-west. Such a spatial distribution of drought is unfavourable from the point of view of the Polish economy, particularly agriculture. The regions that are threatened with the possibility of drought are also where the major part of Polish farming potential is situated. On average, droughts occur in Poland once every three years. During the last 50 years, droughts with the largest territorial range were those which occurred in 1959, 1969, 1982, and 1992.

Investigations are being carried out to determine the effects of the occurrence of drought. Studies are also conducted to improve the methods of research. A lack of separate resources exists for preventive procedures against drought. When drought threats occur only local decisions are taken. Voivodship offices act on a temporary basis and only when a drought already occurs.

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

Poland is not a party to the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa.

There is no international or regional cooperation with respect to droughts in Poland.

 

 

* * *

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 access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The National Agency for Efficient Energy Use (1995) and the Polish Power Centre have been established. The National Agency is supported by regional agencies and foundations with a similar profile.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Poland, implementation of legislation stimulating activities oriented at efficient energy use is being planned.  The draft Energy Law is in Parliament and the executive acts are being prepared.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Assumptions for energy policy in Poland through the year 2010 have been adopted by Parliament.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

In 1993, a Programme for the Restructuring and Saving of Heat Energy was launched. This programme covers the conversion of coal to gas in 52 boiler plants throughout the country. 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). Simulation activities have been implemented for the limitation of energy consumption for heating.

Status 

As a result of implementation of the energy and environmental policies, energy consumption related to GDP dropped by about 18% during the period 1991-1995. In addition, hard coal use decreased markedly with its share of the primary energy balance dropping from 79% to about 73% in the same period. However, it will be difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long-term because of the fast growing Polish economy during the transformation period, and the fact that National power production will be based on coal for a long time. This is in spite of improvements in energy efficiency in power production and industry, and changes in the structure of fuel use towards increased use of gas.

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

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, for example, the implementation of energy saving production technologies. The EcoFund supports the transfer of technologies and techniques for the use of non-conventional renewable energy sources.

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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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for forest policy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Poland is currently implementing many changes in the forestry sector. The range of issues that have been dealt with has been the widest since the UNCED Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is a result of a new legislation, which has been passed between 1992 and 1999. Due to the recent development in legislation, Poland has become one of the leading countries in the formulation of sustainable forest management in Europe. Polish forest legislation respects all documents defining global forestry policy which include: Forestry Principles adopted in Rio de Janeiro (1992), Agenda 21 (1992),the IPF/IFF process (1995-1999), the Strasbourg Resolution S1-6, Helsinki Resolution NO 1 and NO 2 developed and adopted on the III Ministerial Conference in Lisbon (1998).

In 1996, amendments of several technical-economic documents have been started: (1) Principles of Forest Management, (2) Principles of Forestry Growing, (3) Instruction of Forest Organization, and (4) Instruction of Forest Protection. Numerous groups of specialist from scientific institutions, not only from the forestry sector, have taken part in the process. The work resulted in the elaboration of Codes of Forest, which includes general principles and directions of forest development, and conditions of sustainable forest management.

The main goal of the Polish forestry policy is in the harmonization of sustainable forestry management with whole economic development, and adjustment to the new institutional and organizational changes in Poland.

The Proposals for Action, agreed at the IV Session of IPF, presents very important instrument for forest policy development in Poland. The issues confined in the IPF documents make foundation for further development of the policy. Several documents, based on the IPF agreements, have been already elaborated: (1) Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management, (2) Forest Biodiversity Protection Strategy, (3) Research Programme Concerning Basis of Forest Sustainable Management in the Promotional Forest Complexes, (4) National Programme of Afforestation, (5) introduction of new ecological elements (soil, biodiversity) into biological forest monitoring.

The recently passed (1992 – 1999) Polish legal policy related to forestry consists of:

Polish tenure legislation allow free entrance to the state owned forests with the exception of protected areas and during emergency situations. The local society is allowed to pick up forest fruits for their use and in a small extend for sell. The land owners are however entitled to the introduction of "no entry" rule to their forests areas.

The forest certification in Poland has been initiated by foreign investors and reached between Regional Directorate of the State Forests (Regionalna Dyrekcja Lasów Panstwowych) and the investor. The certificates has been issued by Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) in United Kingdom. The SGS certificate system is based on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) criteria. The forest area covered by FCS certificate in Poland amounts to 2,7 million ha and embraces six Regional Directorates of the State Forests. The Polish Government is in the process of suggesting a new forest certification on the base of Pan-European Forest Certification agreements. There is also a social legislative proposal to provide Polish forest certification system.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The new policy and trends of forest management are incorporated into new ministerial executive acts and decisions. The new policy is implemented into the state forest holding known as the State Forests management (organizacja gospodarcza Lasy Panstwowe), which covers 6,8 million ha. (80%) of forests areas in Poland. The new actions concerning forestry research are taken at the Forest Research Institute and forest divisions at Polish universities. The new initiations concerning forest monitoring are implemented by the National Monitoring of the Environment with financial support of the Inspection of the Environmental Protection, Department of Forestry, Nature and Landscape Protection in the Ministry of the Environment and the State Forests.

Polish forest policy provides compensation for forest owners who provide non-market environmental benefits. These instruments consists of (1) tax relief for 40 years old forests registered in historic register, (2) subsidies for afforestation of new areas, (3) budgetary support for the reduction of pests and diseases actions.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Poland has not yet elaborated a National Forestry Programme (NFP). The present Polish forest policy corresponds to the goals set out in the Agenda 21 and Forest Principles, and is in line with the national sustainable forest management and development. However, in the nearest future Poland is planning to elaborate National Forestry Programme (NFP). The NFP will aim at harmonization between forest economy sector and other economic sectors, in particular with agriculture, energy, transport, industry, the environment protection, national spatial policy and programme for country areas development. The NFP will define the role of forest in the climate change process, and will define principles of forest resources use.

Main Governmental programmes recently launched include the following:

Status 

In 1999, Polish Government excluded state forest areas managed by the State Forest Enterprise from the reprivatization process. The state forests will not be transferred to private owners in a form of compensation. There is also a social legislative proposal regarding forests as a national strategic natural resource.

There is no direct relationship between forest economy and poverty in Poland. The social and economical differences in the society result from transformation process started in 1989, especially from industry and agriculture restructuring. The forest sector has positive impacts on the country areas. Due to privatization of forestry service new jobs are created as well as possibilities to establish private business. The National Programme of Afforestation has also increased local employment.

Recycling of forest products is currently provided on the small scale.

Action promoting forest products use is not sufficiently undertaken in Poland. At present, the national usage of forest resources amounts to 57 % of forest increase. The access to media in order to promote the use of forest products in place of products made of non-renewable materials has been made difficult after campaign concerning forest role in nature protection. Further implementation of Kyoto Protocol documents is needed in order to change consumption and production patterns regarding forests resources. The Polish Senate Commission of Nature Protection has already initiated a discussion on the forest product management in relation to economic development of the country and wood processing.

Poland has introduced a new concept of implementation of sustainable forest management in a form of Forest Promotional Complexes (FPC). According to the Regulation No 30 on Promotional Forest Complexes of 1994, FPC are regarded as a one of the main elements in the National Forest Policy. The main goal of FPC, determined by the Regulation No 30, is research work and gathering the experience in order to provide methods of sustainable forest management implementation on the whole the State Forests area. Since now, it has been established ten FPC, which covers 7 % of the State Forests. The Promotional Forest Complexes fulfil requirements set out in the Montreal process concerning Model Forests promoting sustainable forest management.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

The main achievement of the Pan-European Process is the adaptation of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, and Implementation Principles on the operational level (resolution L2: Pan-European Operational Level Guides for Sustainable Forest Management) by the Ministers on the conference in Lisbon, in 1998. Poland, on the base of Pan-European documents, has elaborated National Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (KiW). The National Criteria and Indicators gives wider control and advisory rights to forest inspection and has significant impacts rather on forest policy development then on reporting and policy monitoring.

In the opinion of Polish experts all Pan-European criteria and indicators are useful to assess progress towards sustainable forest management. However, the criteria and indicators need to be dealt with as separate issues and need to be applied accordingly to social, economic and natural conditions.

Information on sustainable forest management is made available via Polish forest publications, experts articles in scientific magazines and Information Bulletin of State Forests. Information can be also accessed via the Internet, at the following address: http://www.lasypanstwowe.gov.pl

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Poland played an active role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF). Polish delegation has taken part in all sessions of IPF and is currently actively participating in the discussion within International Forest Forum (IFF) on the global forest policy problems. During sessions Polish delegation addressed the following issues:

In 1997, Poland took a stand on sustainable management of forest gene resources during the COFO in Rome. On the V Session of UNCSD and II Session of IFF, Poland in cooperation with Hungary presented Regional Framework Convention on Forests. Poland has also actively participated in the implementation of H3 Resolution of Pan-European Process and chaired a working forest economy group of the countries in transition.

Poland is one of the leading countries of the Pan-European Process. Since 1990, Poland has been a member of a Coordinate Committee together with France, Finland and Portugal (Ministerial Conference in Strasbourg, 1990). In 1993 and 1998, the Committee consisted of Poland, Finland, Portugal and Austria (Ministerial Conferences in Helsinki, 1993 and Lisbon, 1998). Currently, Poland together with Austria, Portugal and Norwegian is responsible for organization of the next conference in Vienna.

 

 

* * *

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

For information on forests in Poland, click here.
For information on forest resources in Poland, click here.
For additional information on forests, click here.
Click here for the UN ECE Timber Data Base.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry, Department of Water Management is the agency responsible for coordinating water resource management and development.

The Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry has established 7 Regional Water Management Boards for the implementation of water resources management strategy in geographically determined river basins. Regional offices of the State Inspectorate of Environmental Protection for enforcement of water law and water quality have also been established. The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management finances or co-finances capital development and other projects in water management, at the regional and national level.

The mandate of the Department of Water Management includes among other things, the creation and implementation of state policy regarding water resources management and flood prevention, initiation and evaluation of research and development programmes, international co-operation, determination of principles of water protection and consumption (in the form of executive regulations) as well as promotion of advanced techniques and technologies.

Co-ordinating at the state or district level are:

- voivodes, acting through their environmental offices issue permits for water extraction, waste water discharge and other types of use of water resources and decisions on fees for water usage;

- voivodeship inspectorates of environmental protection which are subordinated to the State Inspectorate of Environmental Protection;

- voivodeship funds for environmental protection and water management - financing projects of a voivodeship importance;

At the local level, local authorities (communities) issue permits for regular water consumption and co-ordinate water consumption policy in their respective territory.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The "Polluter pays" principle was adopted as the base for water resources protection. Individual and institutional users of water supply systems bear operational costs. For municipal systems, water tariffs are set by municipal councils within the limits defined by the law. In most cases, municipal tariffs for households include also waste water treatment costs. If financial means collected in this way do not cover the costs of operation, municipal councils are allowed to subsidize water supply system operators.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In general, principles of sustainable water management and protection of water resources are dealt with in the National Environmental Policy adopted in 1991 and the Executive Programme of this Policy until the year 2000, adopted in 1995. Development of a detailed sectoral programme - e.g. Water Management Strategy, is currently being consulted with sectoral ministries.

One of the basic targets set in the National Environmental Policy is to improve quality and rationalise consumption of water resources.

There are action plans for flood control and drought fighting programs at the voivodeship and municipal levels. Plans are currently under review as a result of a disastrous flood which occurred in the southern and western parts of Poland in July 1997. In particular it is considered necessary to improve monitoring and early warning systems, and municipalities. Voivodes should also have larger responsibilities in order to act in natural disasters. A draft of an act on natural disasters also includes extreme threats to the environment.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

A procedure of consultations and collecting opinions on governmental documents exists and includes circulating documents for opinions to interested institutions and non-governmental organisations (including trade unions, technical associations, economic self-governments, environmental organisations, etc.). Mechanisms for the resolution of conflicts also exist at different levels:

- mechanisms are developed for submission of applications and protests at the stage of co-ordination of physical management plans, which also includes water management;

- a regulation is being drafted and will determine a procedure to develop, consult on and co-ordinate conditions of usage of waters in a basin;

- regulations on water permit hearings have existed in Poland for many years. It is a compulsory procedure, in which all interested parties are present to discuss the conditions of water permit to be issued. There are also general regulations on appeal and complaints procedures regarding administrative decisions, including the granting of water permits.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Poland's priorities for freshwater are: ensuring healthy and safe water for drinking and municipal use; limiting industrial water use and protection of underground waters against pollution; protection of waters susceptible to eutrophication; protection of lakes, inland water reservoirs, estuaries, and Baltic water bays; protection of the open waters of the Baltic Sea against pollution, including from the point of view of their recreational use; limiting the impact of salt water from mining on the purity of water; meeting the commitments resulting from the international conventions signed by Poland; and increasing reservoir retention of surface waters and use of water for energy production.

Poland's inland water resources of both surface and underground waters are small with 1,600 m3/year on average. In most cases, these resources are derived from the territory of Poland. Surface water run-off is stabilized at 43-90 km3/year, that is 1,100-3,000 m3 per inhabitant, depending on annual precipitation (data for the 1980-1995 period). Exploitable resources of underground water were 12.1 km3 in 1995. Impoundment reservoir capacity is about 3,000 km3, that is about 5% of the annual run-off. Water intake or consumption in the National economy was 12.1 km3 in 1995, of which industry used 67.9%, agriculture 10.3%, and the municipal economy 21.8%. In comparison with the maximum consumption of 15.6 km3 in 1985, water intake has dropped by about 30% as a result of measures taken. Water consumption for municipal use has dropped by about 15%.

Up until 1990, water was a resource which was freely accessible or available for a token fee. The implementation of more realistic operational tariffs and fees since the early nineties has resulted in considerable rationalisation and decrease in water consumption especially for commercial purposes. From 1990-1996 water consumption per inhabitant decreased by 16%, and total water consumption in industry decreased by about 10%, with a simultaneous increase in production volume. In 1996, the fees for water usage and fines for infringement of waste water discharge requirements amounted to 14,9% of the total outlays for water protection and management borne by industries, local authorities and governmental agencies.

An outline for a new system of fees has been drafted, incorporating the "polluter pays" principle to a higher degree, encouraging better environmental behaviour from users and increasing the funds coming from environmental fees, which are allocated mainly to finance protection of water resources. This new system relates specifically to the municipal and agricultural sectors. Allocation of water resources at the national level is not being considered at present. Problems of elimination of water deficits, occurring locally are considered on a local or voivodeship level. In the case of water transportation, fees have not been increased.

In Poland, charges for water intake and sewage discharge are being collected which go to the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund. For several years, a monitoring system for surface waters, both for running and stagnant waters, as well as for underground waters has been operating through the services of the State Environmental Protection Inspectorate and scientific institutions. Compliance with the terms of licences for water intake and sewage discharge is controlled by the State Environmental Protection Inspectorate's regional services. Infringements may result in high fines and in legal action. The exemption is the discharge of saline mine water from hard coal mines which has a negative impact on the water quality of the two biggest rivers of Poland, the Vistula and the Oder. Fees and fines for this discharge are not enforced because of the difficult economic situation of the mines. This is an additional form of subsidizing hard coal mining in Poland.

In total 91,2% of the Polish population is supplied with water from municipal systems and an estimated 87,9% is served by sewerage systems. There is, however, uneveness in this supply given that 98% and 97% of the urban population are served with water and sewerage systems respectively as compared to 80,4% and 73,5 % respectively for the rural population. Thus, from the beginning of the 1990's, a program of construction of rural water supply and waste water treatment systems has been implemented aggressively and its achievements have been considerable. Between 1990-1996, over 900,000 rural households were connected to water supply systems; In 1996 alone, I33,752 households were connected and 210 water conditioning stations began operation. This is part of an integrated governmental program entitled "Development of rural areas" which also covers sanitation of villages and health protection in rural areas. Environmental policy and development strategies of the country assume, that in the first decade of the 21st century, water supply and sewerage systems will cover 100% of the population.

In order to prevent pollution, the Council of Ministers issued a regulation in 1991 on principles of establishing protection zones around water sources and intakes (Official Journal No. 116/91). The provisions have been enforced by the State Sanitary Inspection and the State Inspection for Environmental Protection.

Increase in capital outlays and better enforcement of legal requirements since 1990 has resulted in a considerable decrease in the load of pollutants discharged into surface waters and consequently in an improvement in their quality. Volume of untreated waste water discharged to the environment dropped from 1342,6 hm3 to 610,8 hm3 between 12990-1995. A program of construction of municipal waste water treatment plants is being continued as one of the priorities of the State Ecological Policy. The last amendment of the Water Law Act undertaken in 1997, introduced protection of groundwater reservoirs in the form of protection zones. They are financed from governmental sources and take precedence over local physical development plans.

The provision of water supply for inhabitants and economic sectors is one of the major tasks of local self-governments. Outlays for water intakes and supply systems as well as for water conditioning stations amounted in 1996 to almost 77% of total outlays for water management. Expenses covered by local self-governments reached 57% of the country water management outlays. Investments and non-investment actions implemented between 1990 and 1996 increased the capacity of water supply systems by almost 5 hm3/day (water demand of households reaches 4 hm3/day).

The private sector in Poland is a recipient rather than a creator of water resources management policy. In terms of investment role of this sector, which generates over 60% of GDP is not significant. According to available data, outlays of the commercial sector (not distinguishing private and state owned units) for construction of water supply systems and water conditioning stations have not exceeded 24% of the total. Industry is, however, the third major user of freshwater resources (after agriculture and municipalities). Draft amendments to the Water Law, aimed at increasing social participation (including representatives of industries) in creating and implementing water management policies at the basin level are being prepared. These steps are important because industry is also responsible for major water quality problems i.e. coal mining - for salination, energy sector - for heated water discharge, chemistry - for chemicals, including organic and non-organic pollutants, pulp and paper industry, food production other than agriculture. The negative role of industry is, however, gradually being decreased thanks to a special program directed at the "80 major country polluters". This programme includes specific monitoring and inspection sub-programmes as well as specific economic instruments to encourage industries to undertake necessary measures to reduce water consumption and to limit pollutant concentration and the volume of waste water discharge. Water use and the discharge of wastewater to the surface water are two of the major parameters considered in the process of Environmental Impact Assessment and in the process of granting permits.

Drinking water standards are set by Regulations of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare. These define the bacteriological quality and 43 physical and chemical indicators of water quality, including 23 parameters of organic compounds (eg. benzene, chloroform and other chlorinated compounds, chloramines, DDT and its metabolites, -HCH, phenols etc.).

Water quality analyses are conducted by the State Sanitary Inspection using modern laboratory techniques based on Polish Norms (PN), ISO standards and EC Standards, and in case standards are lacking based on approved methodologies.

The capacity for treating waste water is as follows:

Waste water 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
requiring treatment 3461,3 3151,4 3183,0 3019,6 2913,8
including: domestic 2075,3 1981,4 1999,2 1852,4 1751,8
treated 2466,4 2307,5 2373,7 2319,4 2303,5
untreated 994,9 843,8 809,3 700,2 610,8
% of untreated waste water 28,7 26,7 25,4 23,1 21,0

Approximately 367 hm3 of cooling water is recycled (in closed cycles). Reuse of other types of waste water happens only occasionally.

Approximately 71% of sewage discharged to the environment through municipal sewerage systems is treated to some degree.

According to the requirements of Polish law, municipal waste water discharged to fresh waters requires biological treatment at the minimum. For newly constructed treatment facilities with capacity of over 2000 m3 per day, increased nutrient removal is additionally required (nitrogen and phosphorus). This is usually achieved through separation of denitrification zones or stages and phosphorus precipitation. Designers and constructors of treatment facilities have at their disposal efficient and up to date technologies. A full range of technologies is also available on the market for the treatment of industrial waste.

Challenges

The major constraints faced in the area of water management are:

a lack of adequate financial resources (outlays for water management amounted to about 2,2% of total capital outlays in the national economy in 1996, and expenses per inhabitant are estimated at 13 to 15 USD equivalent);restructuring and changes in ownership of economic enterprises as well as changes in ownership structure of waters and lands;low level of awareness and discipline of water users despite extended educational programmes and economic instruments.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Among the educational programs and campaigns geared toward promotion of sustainable usage of water resources the following are cited:

the Program "Clean Water in Pommerania Rivers". The draft program was awarded with the European Ford Prize. The program included over 100 schools. In its implementation media were involved - cyclical radio and television broadcasts are emitted, press articles are published. The Regional Krosno Environmental Education Centre is a leading organisation in this program.the project "Save Water Campaign". A nation-wide campaign aiming at promotion of economical and rational water consumption. Radio and press are involved in the campaign, information and leaflets were disseminated, television will join the campaign soon; ."Blue Thumb" - nation-wide educational program of caring for water resources. It was primarily addressed at school children, but is currently also engaging adults. Polish-American program co-ordinated by the Regional Environmental Education Centre in Kraków.Action "Now Vistula Time" in benefit of conservation of the natural course of the river - arranged by the Gaia Club", carried out mainly by means of happenings, andnumerous local actions carried out by self-governments and non-governmental organisations regarding economies in water consumption and minimisation of waste generation.

Information

Information on water management is collected by:

- The Central Office of Statistics - information and annual reports of a national range on environmental protection, including water protection and water management, taking into account information from different sectors - agricultural, industrial and household sector; this is published as statistical information and annual reports;

- The State Inspection of Environmental Protection - co-ordinates and conducts the state environmental monitoring system, including water quality sub-system and publishes periodical reports and publications;

- The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management - conducts hydrological monitoring and water resources registers - publishing data in monthly and annual bulletins distributed throughout the country. It also publishes periodical publications e.g. the Hydrological Atlas of Poland.

This information is only partially available electronically.

Environmental education of the public at large and the professional milieu is at a very advanced stage. Institutional and legal conditions have been created allowing the participation of the public and non-governmental organizations in protection and management of regular waters. Especially noteworthy is the participation of engineer's associations, economic chambers, associations, designing units, etc.

Research and Technologies  

Water quality standards were set in 1991 by Regulations of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry on classification of water quality and conditions which should be met by waste water discharge to waters and to the ground. These conditions impose limitations on 57 physical, chemical and microbiological indicators of water quality, including 11 indicators classified as Hazardous organic compounds" (e.g. acrylonitrile, volatile phenols, insecticides, caprolactam, oil derivative substances, etc.).

Water extracted for drinking purposes has to meet severe bacteriological, physical and chemical limits and controls. Drinking water quality inspections are carried out regularly by the State Sanitary Inspection; in larger urban areas waterworks have their own laboratories. A majority of water intakes operated for commercial purposes have appropriate facilities for water conditioning.

In municipal and industrial water supply facilities, practically 100% of water for drinking purposes is - for safety reasons - disinfected. It does not concern household installations and dug wells. Other processes are applied when needed and according to regulations of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The Water Management Strategy in Poland has been drafted with the involvement of science representatives. At the same time research programs financed by the government are conducted such as: the Strategy of Water Resources Protection against Pollution, considering health and nature protection as well as economic needs, and Water and Waste Water Management Program. In March 1997 the Program of Protection of the Aquatic Environment of the Lower Odra River Course was accomplished. Also in 1997 the next research program financed by the government started: 'Principles and Guidelines of Usage of Water Resources in Poland in Order to Supply the Population and the Economy.

Financing 

The estimated cost of investments in water supply and sewerage systems till the year 2010 (1996 prices) will be:

- in urban areas: 2 billion PLN (source: the Housing Office)

- in rural areas:

- water supply: 7,8 billion PLN

- sanitation: 18,6 billion PLN (plus 30% of own contribution of communities)

(source: the Ministry of Agriculture)

From 1991 - 1996, the value of external assistance allocated to water management and water protection was approximately USD 56 million. No data is available to specify structure of the assistance (distinguishing technical assistance, grants, loans, private flows). This amount represented about 2% of the total expenditures for water resources management and development.

Cooperation

Poland is a signatory to the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea (Helsinki 1974, Helsinki 1992); and the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Waterways and International Lakes.

Poland has concluded agreements on water management of boundary waters with all neighbouring countries. Poland cooperates with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE), and also within the framework of international conventions signed by Poland. Many projects have been completed with the support of foreign aid. The main contributions have been made by: the European Union (the PHARE fund), Denmark, Japan, and Sweden. The projects served predominantly to implement water resource prospects.

 

 

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

For information on the hydrological conditions in Poland, click here.
For information on groundwater in Poland, click here.
Data on conditions of the environment in Poland, including water resources, water usage, threats to waters, water quality, development constraints for development etc.
For information on surface waters, click here.
For information on all water resources, click here.
Click here for information on Poland's freshwater derived from the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Poland.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Poland, State administrations are responsible for decision making on protected areas, state forests, protection of mineral resources; while territorial administrations are responsible for protection of resources at the local scale. The basic role of local governments in the decision making system hampers the extension of protected areas. Poland's priorities for land resources: protection of environmentally valuable areas; expansion of forest cover; reclamation of degraded land; rational use of non-recyclable resources; and counteracting environmental crises.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

From the legal point of view, protection of the earth's surface resources and their rational use can be provided through the application of National law (for example, the Mining Law, the Nature Conservation Law) and physical planning which constitutes the basis for enacting local law within communities. Modern legislation, in particular the Act on Physical Planning (1994), and the Acts on Nature Conservation and on Forests (1991), have contributed to capacity building.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy, the areas where environmental pollution indices have been exceeded (the 27 so-called environmental hazard regions) monitoring of the state of the environment has been conducted continuously. In these areas, the most serious environmental problems occur as a result of atmospheric pollution, excessive exploitation of raw materials, and the concentration of post-mining and post-industrial waste. Because these regions cover about 10% of the country's territory, Poland believes they require careful examination to identify the areas which require reclamation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in integrated land resource planning and management include interested local communities, non-governmental groups, experts, nature conservation administrations, etc. Comprehensive planning and management of the earth's resources in Poland includes: legal protection of areas of particular natural values; sustainable management in forested areas including regular expansion of forest cover in the country; rational use of mineral resources; and reclamation of degraded areas and contaminated soil.

Programmes and Projects 

Protection areas of particular natural value constitute one of the largest programmes in a spatial and essential sense. A programme called the Environmental System of Protected Areas or the Large Scale System of Protected Areas has been implemented in Poland since the mid-1970s. Its principal idea was the creation of a coherent, interconnected system of protected areas.

Status 

Diversified protection regimes for individual elements of the system, and the existence of key areas and their interlinkages through environmental corridors have been reorganized. Currently the system includes 22 National parks covering almost 1% of Poland's territory, 102 countryside parks which occupy about 6.5% of the territory, and 1,150 natural reserves covering 0.4% of the territory. Areas of protected landscape occupying almost 16% of the country's territory have been designated in the area of 35 voivodships (provinces). All together over 23% of the National territory is protected on the basis of the Nature Conservation Act. It should be emphasized that in the majority of cases such protection is of a comprehensive character which means that both the values of living and non-living nature, including surface features and geological resources are protected. Under the Act, protection of objects of local importance is also possible. This includes the so-called environmentally valuable sites, geological sites, etc. Protection, in each case, means at least a ban on changing the form of use. In the case of areas of higher protection standard (National parks, reserves), efforts aiming at naturalization are also important.

About 48% of the area of State Forest is subject to protection. Such areas are located mostly around large cities, in health resort areas, along rivers and the sea coast, in dune areas, and others types. Management in protected forests is governed by the special functions performed by these forests (water protection, soil protection, etc.). In the field of forestry, activities are aimed at increasing the forest coverage of Poland from the current 28% to over 30%. This will be achieved through afforestation of farmland which is not presently used for agriculture.

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

Protected areas are financed from the resources of the State budget or from voivodship (provincial) budgets. The tasks of reclamation activities rest to a considerable extent with the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund. Reclamation of damages which occurred as a result of exploitation of rocky mineral resources rests with the enterprises which obtained licenses for their exploitation.

Cooperation

International cooperation with regard to protected areas is maintained, for example, within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Man and the Biosphere Programme (UNESCO MAB) in the border areas. In the so-called Carpathian Euro-region co-management in the Middle-Carpathians is envisaged by several countries. Cooperation also takes place in determining and exploiting protected regions in the border areas, such as in the Lower Oder River at the Polish-German border, or the concept of protected areas of a tourist character at Poland's Eastern border. Joint German-Czech- Polish reclamation undertakings are carried out in the area of the so-called Black Triangle.

 

 

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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.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The following groups are involved and responsible for sustainable mountain development: local communities; the forest administration; the National parks administration; tourism organizations, for example Polskiego Towarzystwa Turystyczno-Krajoznawczego (PTTK); economic federations; non-governmental organizations, including the Polish Society for Development of Mountain Areas; and the Committee for Management of Mountain Areas of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Act on Local Government (1990) allows for the development of inter-community unions for the conduct of common spatial policy and common use of natural resources. This approach is often used to establish bodies responsible for the management and protection of water, waste management, and the conduct of common actions to increase public ecological awareness.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In Poland, the policy of protection of mountains is part of the guidelines of the National Environmental Policy. Strategic decisions are taken in accordance with the Act on Nature Conservation of October 16, 1991. For example, decisions regarding the establishment of National parks and reserves are made at the central level by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry, and decisions on establishing other spatial forms of protection are taken at the level of provincial administration and by National Forests. Regional Water Management Boards supervise activities in the field of water protection. The National priority for mountain areas is: nature and landscape protection; water protection; sustainable forest management; and development of the recreational function.

The plans of local spatial planning authorities constitute the basis for the implementation of the mountain areas protection policy. Local communities make the local law in order to stimulate local development and protective actions. They also appoint the persons responsible for the implementation of each task and define the level of financial resources for their implementation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Among the programmes of mountains protection, the programme of nature and landscape protection should be distinguished. The policy of protection of mountain areas currently covers a significant part of the mountains. Within the mountains area, the changes in the forms of management manifest themselves in the decay of traditional agricultural and breeding works. The growth of tourist services is significant.

Status 

The mountains of Poland are covered by many protective programmes: protection against erosion, protection of head-streams of rivers, and protection of areas of therapeutic mineral water occurrence. Mountain forests are protected as soil and water protection forests and recreational forests. Currently, there is no danger of excessive deforestation of the mountain area. Part of the mountain area, for example West Beskidy, is covered by special zones of sustainable development of forests, the so-called Forest Promotional Complex.

Out of 22 Polish National parks which meet the second category of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) classification, nine are located in mountain areas. Currently there are six National parks in Karpaty (Babiogorski, Gorczanski, Pieninski, Tatrzanski, Magurski, and Bieszczadzki), two in Sudety (Karkonoski and Gor Stolowych), and one in the Saint Cross Mountains (Swietokrzyski). While the total area of National parks in Poland covers about 1% of the State area, National parks cover 4% of the total mountain area. Additionally in the mountains, 16 landscape parks (forth category of IUCN) exist out of a total of 120 in Poland, together with about 100 nature reserves. The mountain area is especially attractive for tourism. The most attractive areas are visited all through the year. The highest attendance is noted in Tatrzanski National Park (about 3 million tourists) and Karkonoski National Park (about 2.5 million tourists).

Mountains in Poland are defined as areas higher than 350 m above sea level. This area covers about 8% of the country, and includes the Sudety and Karpaty Mountains in the South, and the Saint Cross Mountains in central Poland. It is estimated that the mountain area in Poland are the source of about 30% of all water resources. Forests cover about 40% of the mountain area. Mountains, especially the Sudety and Saint Cross Mountains, constitute the area for mineral and rock exploitation. Half of the rural population of mountains works in agriculture. The type of small-commodity, low effective farming predominates. In many regions, clear agricultural decline and the growth of other forms of farming (for example, tourist services) have been observed. There are mountain areas in Poland, for example the east part of Karpaty and certain regions of Sudety, where a significant reduction of settlement networks has been observed during the last 45 years.

Challenges

The main hazards to mountain forests are the following: a) acid rains and industrial dust, which have caused forest dieback and an increase of erosion and water flow in Sudety (the famous Black Triangle on the border area of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany), West Karpaty, and the region of Saint Cross Mountains; b) excessive development of settlements and recreational areas in the West region of Karpaty, especially visible in the region of Podhale, at the foot of the Tatry, the highest mountain in Poland; and c) mineral resource mines mainly in Sudety Mountains.

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 activities of the National parks and other protected objects are financed from the State budget. Investment activities in the field of environmental protection are financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, provincial funds, the EcoFund, and by the funds of enterprises and local communities.

Cooperation

The regional and international cooperation in mountain areas is conducted under the framework of common protection of areas of outstanding natural values. This includes, for example, the framework of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Man and the Biosphere Programme (Karkonosze, Babia Gora, Tatry, Bieszczady). Cooperation in these regions is conducted on the basis of bilateral relations: Poland-Czech Republic, Poland-Slovak Republic, and tripartite relations (Poland, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine). A very interesting initiative is the Karpaty Euroregion, covering areas of East Beskidy in Poland and Slovak Republic, the Karpaty region in Ukraine, and the northern regions of Romania and Hungary. Cooperation in this region is wide ranging. In 1992, the Polish-German-Czech Euro-region Nysa was established, covering the whole western Sudety mountains. The gene bank in the Sudety Mountains was established with co-financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, and the EcoFund.

 

 

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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.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Maritime Offices subordinate to the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy form the decision making structure regarding the protection of the seaside and navigation; while Provincial Offices and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for prevention of water pollution and nature protection.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Conventions are also implemented in the following fields: a) the proper management of the coastal zone, for which the obligatory proceedings are defined in the Act on the Marine Areas of Poland and Maritime Administration (March 21 1991); b) the first regional programme for Integrated Management of Coastal Zones was established on the west coast in 1996; c) prevention, reduction, and control of degradation of the marine environment caused by human activity at sea; d) the MARPOL Convention 73/78, the Helsinki Convention 1974, and the London Convention on dumping of waste were fully incorporated into the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships of 1995 with the decisions of the Act rigorously executed by the Polish maritime administration; e) prevention of marine environment pollution from drilling platforms is regulated by the Geological and Mining Law of February 4 1994; and f) Poland, as a party of both Helsinki Conventions was one of the initiators and a co-author of the Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Action Programme to protect sea water from waste derived from the land which was adopted at the meeting of the Ministers of the Helsinki Convention (HELCOM) in April 1992.

The executive acts of the Water Law of 1995 have established standards for emissions of biogenic pollution to inland waters, of which 97.7% by area flow to the Baltic Sea.

In 1996, the Act on the Protection of Crop Plants was put into effect. It determines the use of plant protection chemicals in Poland and the assessment of their ecological harmfulness, inter alia, in water environments. The system of ecological safety certification of products has been in place in Poland since 1995. The certification covers waste water treatment plants, the elements of water supply, and sewage discharge systems.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in ocean and coastal area protection include: communal authorities; Association of Engineers and Technicians; ecological non-governmental organizations; Regional and Seaside Town Unions; and the National Chamber of Tourism. In Poland, there is high activity with the participation of foreign partners to promote technological solutions and systems of protection; and in developing public awareness regarding water protection. In 1994, from the 1% GDP allocated to the protection of the environment, about 4% was spent on water protection. 

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Poland fulfils the obligations and recommendations resulting from the above conventions and international agreements. The priority is the protection of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Gdansk, and Puck against eutrophication. The special obligations for Poland are included in the Helsinki Conventions on the Baltic Sea as this forms 528 km of the borderline (15% of the total length of the country's border). The Baltic coastline is 788 km, and 99.7% of the country is situated within the Baltic Sea drainage area. Protection of the environment of the Baltic Sea is conducted for the whole drainage area.

In the period 1990-95, the volume of untreated sewage decreased by 50%. Activities have been initiated towards implementation of best available practices to reduce agricultural pollution. In 1994, the Minister of Industry and Trade issued the regulation on the limitation of phosphorus content in washing agents.

Challenges

The major sources of land-based pollution of the marine environment are agriculture, natural waves and municipalities. The primary source of coastal and off-shore sources pollution of the marine environment are ships and shipyards.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

In 1996 Poland launched "Sea Mammals Protection Project", which is a local NGO - "Friends of Hel Peninsula" initiative educational project supported by GEF/SGP.

Major current users of the coastal areas in Poland are fishing sector, tourism and shipyards. Methods in place to encourage sustainable use and conservation of marine environment are National Parks and Demonstration Projects.

Information 

The State Inspection is responsible for a surveillance system in Poland to monitor implementation of laws and regulations. In order to facilitate monitoring system Geographic Information Systems has been implemented in Poland.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Regional and international cooperation consists of: sub-regional cooperation under the framework of the Helsinki Convention, including the executive body to the Convention; cooperation within the framework of the MARPOL Convention; and bilateral cooperation with the Baltic Countries.

In Poland, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982; the ratification is under preparation. Poland has also signed and ratified the first and the second Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea (Helsinki 1974, Helsinki 1992). Poland is engaged in the protection of seas and oceans on the global scale and is a party to many conventions in this field including: the International Convention on Intervention on the High Sea in Case of Oil Pollution Casualties (Brussels 1969) and Protocols to this Convention; Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London 1971, Mexico, Moscow, Washington 1979); MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (London 1973) and Protocols to this Convention; and Agreement on Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Sea.

Poland actively participated in negotiations of the "Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Sea" (Food and Agriculture Organization), the Code of Conduct of Responsible Fishing, and the "Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea". Poland is a member of international fishery organizations, controlling the rules of fishery resource exploitation, namely: the International Commission for the Maintenance of Antarctic Living Resources (CCAMLR); the International Commission for the North-west Atlantic Fishery (NAFO); and the International Commission for the Baltic Sea Fishery.

 

 

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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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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Responsibility for chemical management lies with several sectors, including: the Ministry of Health and Social Care which supervises the State Sanitary Inspection (trade in poisons, harmful substances, common use chemicals, industrial safety); the Ministry of Industry and Trade (trade in chemicals, chemical safety, control of Polish standards); the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Economy which supervises the State Inspection for Plant Protection (protection of plants, food, sanitary supervision); the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy (transport of hazardous materials); the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (industrial safety, standards for pollution in the work environment); and the Ministry of Internal Affairs which supervises the State Fire Brigade Headquarters; (chemical rescue service, border guards, National rescue-fire extinguishing system).

The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry coordinates activities of the State administration in the field of environmental protection and exercises control of compliance with the provisions of the Framework Act on Protection and Managing of the Environment. It supervises the State Inspectorate for Environmental Protection. Control organs: the State Sanitary Inspection, the State Labour Inspection, the State Institute for Hygiene, the State Inspectorate for Environmental Protection, the State Inspectorate for Plant Protection, the Main Customs Office, and the Police. Regulations in force include: plant protection chemicals, consumer goods and cosmetics, hazardous substances transportation, introduction of chemical substances for production and use (toxic substances), use of chemical substances in the work place, use of materials in buildings, chemical rescue and accidental threats, and testing and certification of chemical substances hazardous in the environment.

The Minister of Health and Social Care, in co-operation with other ministers, is obligated to implement a chemical safety system in Poland. Setting up an interdepartmental institution coordinating chemical substances management is being planned. The new regulation will create a legal basis for pursuing regular research on chemical substances (previously conducted informally) taking into account the principles of Good Laboratory Practice and will allow the elaboration and implementation of risk reduction programmes.

The State Inspectorate of Environmental Protection coordinates State environmental monitoring, including accidental threats to the environment.

The Programme Council for the "Data base on elementary requirements for safety, health protection, and the environment at the stage of production, transport, and use of chemical materials, in accordance with EU and UN requirements" was established in 1994. It prepares hazardous substance characteristic charts, in line with the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention. The Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture and the Agency for Engineering and Technology were established in 1996.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Regulations on the transportation of hazardous materials in force in Poland are based on the requirements of international conventions on rail, road, maritime, and air transportation to which Poland is a signatory, as well as the Basle Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. These transportation conventions or their organizations are: Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), SMGS, ADR, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Convention (IDMG), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Foundations have been created to implement the Convention of the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents and the Convention on Environmental Impact in a Transboundary Context.

A chronological list of major acts in the domain of toxic chemicals includes: the Act on Poisonous Substances (1963); the Act on State Labour Inspection (1981 with subsequent amendments); the Act on the State Sanitary Inspection (1985); the Act on the State Inspection for Environmental Protection (1991); the Act on Testing and Certification (1993); the Act on Protection of Crop Plants (1995); and the Act on the State Fire Brigades. New requirements concerning pesticide management were introduced by the Act on Protection of Crop Plants.

At present there is no legal procedure in Poland that would allow registration of all chemical substances appearing on the market. Another unambiguous criteria is the lack of classification of chemicals. In the foreign trade area, there is no separate National system to register trade in chemical substances especially in exports. The imports are connected with licencing procedures. Currently Poland controls the export of certain chemical substances on the basis of the Act on the principles of special control of foreign trade in goods and technologies in connection with international agreements and obligations (1993). The Institute of Organic Industry carries out risk assessments and keeps registers for certain chemicals (with the use of the International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC)).

The draft Act on Chemical Substances is now in the final legislative process. It assumes the introduction of principles for control of the use of chemical substances, in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and with EU legal acts, mainly in the area of research, classification rules, risk assessment, package labelling, and registration. This Act will impose a duty to inform the importing country about an export of a substance, in accordance with the London Guidelines.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Environmental Policy of 1991 is the basic document determining the directions of environmental activities in Poland. Accepting sustainable development as its underlying principle, it points out the necessity to restructure agriculture and industry, including the chemical industry, to implement safe technologies, low- and non-waste technologies, setting up a chemical safety system, an early warning system and a system for counteracting chemical accidents, and to unify legislation and to harmonize it with European Union (EU) laws and the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The National Environmental Policy Implementation Programme through the Year 2000 assumes, inter alia, the creation of the National chemical safety system, a hazardous materials control system, liquidation of outdated chemicals for plant protection, and the implementation of a "cleaner technologies programme". Work has been undertaken on amendments to existing legislation and on drafting new legal acts concerning chemicals.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in toxic chemical decision making include: central and local authorities, parliamentary commissions, local communities, business groups and associations, environmental organizations and foundations (the Polish Ecological Club), scientific-technical associations (the Chief Technical Organization), and scientific-research institutes.

Programmes and Projects 

Preventive action in case of an accident are now taken by chemical industry plants, within the Responsible Care Programme coordinated by the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry.

The Cleaner Production Movement continues to be developed. Pilot projects have been implemented in over 200 facilities. A ban on the use, trade, and transport of certain chemical substances was introduced in 1996, and a list of units was published which are authorized to test materials and technologies from the point of view of their harmfulness. Restructuring of agriculture, currently ongoing, is targeted at, inter alia, elimination of highly toxic crop protection chemicals, and elimination of food production on the soil contaminated with toxic substances. A requirement to provide opinions on safety for health and the environment for plant protection products, before admitting them for trade and use has been introduced this year. This requirement was prepared by the Plant Protection Institute, the State Hygienic Institution, and the Institute of Environmental Protection

Status 

The refinery and petrochemical industry; the organic and inorganic industry; the plastics industry; the artificial fibre, paints, and lacquers industry; and the rubber and pharmaceutical industry are the dominating branches of the Polish chemical industry. Its activities constitutes about 17% of the total imports and 12% of the total exports of Poland.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Capacity building and technology issues include: the draft act on chemical substances and the draft act on preventing major chemical accidents serving as the basis for implementation of the National chemical safety system; setting up the Technique/Engineering and Technology Agency in 1996 (information systems on technologies, scientific-research activities, technical and economic consulting, transfer of and trade in technologies); implementation of the Responsible Care Programme in chemical industry plants; implementation of the Cleaner Production Programme (pilot projects); establishment of the Commission for Sustainable Development in 1994 (supervision of implementation of the sustainable development policy); establishment of the Environmental Management Centre in the Chemical Industry (promotion of "good management practices", educational activity); educational information activity (training, conferences, seminars); research and development activities; and creation of information background and data bases.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

A binding system of fees and fines (in accordance with the "polluter pays" principle) specific for certain installations is in effect depending of the degree of hazard they constitute. It is planned to introduce charges for products harmful to the environment; tax reductions for waste recycling and raw material recovery, and licence fees for products introduced to the market containing hazardous substances. Detailed data on expenditures or estimated outlays on the National scale for the safe management of chemicals is lacking.

Cooperation

International cooperation in Poland takes place mainly in the implementation of the obligations stemming from conventions and international agreements in the area of chemical management and environmental protection. Poland participates actively in the work of UN agencies, including the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); as well as with the Chemical Substances Group of OECD, the Council of Europe, the EU (the PHARE programme), the World Bank, and the work of monitoring networks. Examples of specific international activities include: the UN ECE seminar on "Low-waste technologies and environmentally safe products" (1993); the European Communities Conference "Co-operation and sustainable development in the chemical industry" (1993); the Third World UNEP Seminar on Cleaner Production (1994); the OECD Workshop on "Good Laboratory Practice" in the light of OECD Requirements (1995); and cooperation with Norway within the Cleaner Production Movement.

 

 

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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.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

At the central level the main body responsible for environmental policy implementation, including protection of the environment against waste is the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. The State Inspectorate of Environmental Protection is the main executive body subordinated to this Ministry. Also responsible for waste management are: the Ministry of Physical Planning and Building (communal sewage, waste); the Ministry of Industry and Trade (reconstruction of industry, "cleaner production"); the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Management (sewage and rural waste); and provincial Divisions of Environmental Protection and local governments (in communes).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In 1997, the Parliament adopted the Act on Waste which, in a comprehensive manner, determines the legal framework and obligations of users of the environment in the area of waste management. Executive regulations are under preparation by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. This Act covers, among other concerns, issues of packaging management, usage, combustion, composting, and safe disposal of waste. Designed executive regulations cover, among other items, model documents with regard to keeping inventories of waste. Introducing a "green waste list" is envisaged. The list will include waste which does not require a license for import.

A list of other important legal acts pertinent to waste management includes: the Environmental Protection and Management Act (1980 with amendments); the executive regulation on protection of the environment against waste, and other pollution and maintenance of cleanliness and order in towns and villages (1980); the Act on Local Government (1990); the Act on Physical Development (1994); the executive regulation on determination of the types of investment harmful for the environment and human health and on assessment of environmental impact (1995); the executive regulation on fees for economic use of the environment and introducing changes to the environment (1995); and the executive regulation on the level, principles, and procedure for imposing monetary fines for non-compliance with environmental requirements and indexes differentiating the level of monetary fees (1995).

According to the Act on Local Government, districts are responsible for ensuring the organization and technical conditions for the protection of the environment against waste and for the maintenance of cleanliness. The Act on Maintenance of Cleanliness and Order in Communities does not satisfactorily cover the problem of municipal and other solid waste management. According to the "polluter pays" principle, producers of waste are obliged to pay for waste disposal and to pay fines for non-compliance with environmental protection conditions.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Environmental Policy adopted in 1991 is a basic document for pro-environmental activities describing, inter alia, priorities in the field of waste management based on the strategy of sustainable development. These principles are as follows: minimisation of industrial waste production by implementation of non-waste or low-waste technologies (reconstruction of industry); increase of waste usage in the economy; creation of pre-selection and recycling systems for municipal waste and their composting; and harmonization of Polish environmental law with European Union legislation.

The National Environmental Policy Implementation Programme through the Year 2000 calls for the following investment tasks with regard to municipal waste: construction of several incineration and composting plants, regional and local dumping sites, and implementation of selective waste collection. Installations are being anticipated at mines for the disposal of waste from mining and power plants, and for binding saline mine water with fly-ash from power plants. There are ongoing activities under the programme to use waste for road and highway construction. The basic elements of municipal waste management were accepted in the 1996 guidance document Municipal Policy Assumptions.

Implementation of the targets is linked with changes necessary in manufacturing processes, recycling and waste neutralisation. Among various priorities related to waste management the following are defined, concerning necessity of ESTs promotion:

- in the short term (3-4 years) - closing down or changing production profiles in industrial plants, which store hazardous waste, directly threading the environment and the population;

- in the medium term (10 years) - decrease by at least 20% the total volume of industrial and domestic waste, which require storage, through a gradual implementation of technologies generating small volumes or no waste;

- in the long term (25-30 years) - introducing a compulsory application of upgraded production processes, environmentally sound, including first of all use of "clean technologies".

Aspects of ESTs development are included every year in a specification of priorities among developments financed from sources of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water management and voivodeship funds.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in waste management include: local and central authorities, parliamentary commissions, business groups, associations of entrepreneurs, environmental organizations and foundations (the Polish Environmental Club, the Foundation "Clean Water"), the Union of Polish Metropolitan Areas, technical and scientific associations, and scientific research institutes.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Poland is among the group of European countries leading in the amount of produced and accumulated industrial waste. Almost half of the overall amount is mining waste. Furthermore, there are floatation failings, fly-ash, slugs from heat and power stations, blast-furnace slugs, and phosphogypsium. The low level of economic reuse of solid waste (54.5% in 1995; only 1% increase of economic reuse of solid waste between 1990-95), as well as a marginal range of other forms of waste utilization (0.2%) causes increases in the volume of solid waste accumulated in the environment. In 1995, almost 2,000 million tonnes of solid waste were accumulated (during 1990-95 increased by 2%). Also, the situation of municipal waste management is not satisfactory. Only 55% of the population is served by garbage collection services which results in many "wild" waste dumps. Their number was estimated at 10,000 in 1995. There is a growing problem with packaging materials that create waste.

There are ongoing activities on comprehensive recovery systems for waste paper, rubber waste, plastics, glass, and aluminum cans. Efforts are being made to introduce selective waste collection and recycling. A "Study on possibilities for regionalizing the management of waste from health service entities" was prepared in 1995. It suggests the construction of about 20 combustion plants for these wastes. Activities in the field of monitoring are implemented by the State Inspection of Environmental Protection. The electronic data system on waste (SIGOP), managed by the Institute of Waste Management, has been implemented in all provinces.

There are ongoing activities on the reclamation of degraded areas of former military bases of the Russian Federation. Restructuring of industry covers the introduction of low-waste technologies and higher use of waste as recyclable material. The "cleaner production" programme is being implemented: in over 200 plants pilot projects have been implemented.

In 1995, almost 10 million m3 of wastewater were discharged into surface water, including about 7 million m3 of cooling water. During the period 1990-95, the quantity of wastewater discharged into water bodies decreased by 14% as a result of transformation, economic recession, and effective implementation of the polluter pays principle. Of the total quantity of wastewater which requires treatment (3 million m3), biological or equivalent treatment is applied to about 47%, while 23% is discharged without any treatment. Municipal wastewater constitutes 42% of the total wastewater requiring treatment; half of it is subject to biological treatment. Serious problems result from municipal wastewater from towns with over 100,000 inhabitants. This constitutes almost 60% of the total quantity of municipal wastewater and only 13% undergoes biological treatment.

Very clear progress has been achieved in the construction of wastewater treatment plants in municipalities with less than 100,000 inhabitants. From 1991-94, 1,303 wastewater treatment plants were completed with a total capacity of 2.8 million m3/day. This significantly influences the improvement of the state of water purity. Among the 334 wastewater treatment plants completed in 1994, 34 were constructed with significant financial support from the EcoFund in provinces around the Baltic Sea. In Poland, a licencing system is functioning for all wastewater discharges and fees for wastewater discharge are being collected. The rate is set according to the degree of impact on the water environment. Saline mine waters from hard coal mines located in the upper courses of the Vistula and Oder rivers constitute a serious problem.

Challenges

The polluter pays principle is in force, according to which fees are collected for waste disposal and fines for violation of environmental protection provisions. However, there is a lack of detailed data at the National scale for expenditures and expected outlays for waste management.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity building and technology issues related to solid waste and sanitation include: the Waste Law and the Act on Maintenance of Cleanliness and Order in Communities; development of the Cleaner Production Movement; promotion of packaging for multiple use and sorting of waste; creation of the Agency for Engineering and Technology in 1996 (data bases on technologies, research studies, technical and economic consulting, transfer and trade in technologies); creation of the Commission for Sustainable Development in 1994; educational and information activities (training, seminars); creation of information background (data basis on waste, disposal sites, low waste technologies); development of the state environmental monitoring system; and research and development studies.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

International co-operation in Poland is shown mostly in the implementation of Polish commitments resulting from conventions and international agreements in the field of protection of the environment against waste. Poland actively participates in the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the framework of the Committee for Environmental Policy and the Group for Waste Management Policy; UN bodies and programmes, for example, the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the activities of the Council of Europe; the European Union (in the PHARE programme); and World Bank programmes. The following are specific examples: the UN ECE Seminar "Low waste technologies and environmentally safe products" (1993); the Third World UNEP Seminar on Cleaner Production (1994); and cooperation with Norway under the framework of the Cleaner Production Movement.

 

 

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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.

Click here for information on solid waste.
Click here for information on Poland's waste management derived from the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Poland.

 

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The main control agency is the State Environmental Protection Inspectorate which also runs the State environmental monitoring system. The Chief Environmental Protection Inspector is the "competent authority" for transboundary traffic in waste and hazardous waste management under the meaning of the Basel Convention.

At the central level, the main agency responsible for implementing ecological policy in the area of waste management is the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry which exercises supervision over the activity of its subordinate units (State Environmental Protection Inspectorate, scientific research institutes). To a lesser extent, responsibility for waste management rests also with: the Ministry of Physical Planning and Building (waste storage, physical planning); the Ministry of Industry and Trade (restructuring of the industry, low-waste and non-waste technologies); the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Economy (restructuring of agriculture, low-waste technologies); the Ministry of Transportation and Maritime Economy (protection of the Baltic Sea, transportation of hazardous materials); the Ministry of Internal Affairs (technical and chemical rescue services, industrial and transportation accidents); voivodship (provincial) Environmental Protection sections; and local (territorial) self-government communes.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In conformity with the requirements of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the export of hazardous waste is allowed with a permit from the importer's country. Poland signed the Basel Convention in 1990 and ratified it in 1992.

hronologically, the main legal acts pertaining to hazardous waste are: Environmental Protection and Management Act of 1980 (with subsequent amendments); Territorial Self-government Act (1990); the order on the compilation of the hazardous waste list (1993); the Physical Development Act (1994); the order on determining the type of investment hazardous to the environment and human health, and on environmental impact evaluation; the Cultivable Plants Protection Act (1995); the order on the charges for the economic use of the environment and introducing changes to the environment (1995); and the executive regulation on the level, principles, and procedure for imposing monetary fines for non-compliance with environmental requirements and indexes differentiating the level of monetary fees (1995).

The Waste Law and the Act on Maintenance of Cleanliness and Order in Communities were adopted by Parliament in 1996. Draft executive acts to the Waste Act call for, inter alia, introduction of a new waste classification, model documents with regard to keeping inventories of waste, and model documents used for international traffic of waste.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The basic document for pro-ecological activity in Poland is the National Environmental Policy adopted in 1991 which defines short, medium, and long term priorities. In the area of hazardous waste management until the year 2000 these priorities include: reduction of the overall volume of industrial waste in need of storage by implementation of low-waste and non-waste technologies by at least 2005; increase of waste reuse for economic purposes; increase of waste recovery from the stored waste; rendering harmless or installing safe storage of all hazardous waste; reclaiming degraded land; production of machinery and equipment for, inter alia, incineration plants; and harmonization of Polish law with European Community.

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).

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Major groups involved in waste management include: local and central authorities, parliamentary commissions, business groups, associations of entrepreneurs, environmental organizations and foundations (the Polish Environmental Club, the Foundation "Clean Water"), the Union of Polish Metropolitan Areas, technical and scientific associations, and scientific research institutes.

Programmes and Projects 

The program of regional hospital waste incinerating plants is being implemented. In 1995, a Burial Grounds Liquidation Programme was prepared for overdue storage sites of plant protection chemicals. Within the framework of the PHARE program, the Program of Waste Management of the Waste Hazardous to Poland is in preparation. The reclamation of degraded land of former military bases of the Russian Federation is in progress. The building of a "Regional system of industrial and hazardous waste management" for voivodships (provinces) in South-eastern Poland has commenced. The work on a comprehensive recycling system for, inter alia, waste oils, accumulators, and batteries is in progress. Pilot projects for over 200 enterprises have been implemented under the Cleaner Production Program. "Good management" practices are being promoted in industry. Introduced technological changes focus mainly on the use of waste as secondary raw materials and on modernization of technology to allow reduction of the hazardous waste volume.

Status 

Activity in the area of hazardous waste monitoring is carried out by the State Environmental Protection Inspectorate. In 1993, an inventory of hazardous waste landfills was completed and a computerized data system on waste (SIGOP), run by the Waste Management Institute, was put in operation in all voivodships (provinces). A concept for the rating of hazardous waste landfills has been created. In 1996, a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) inventory program commenced.

 

Challenges

A hazardous waste management system is lacking in Poland and management is not conducted in a suitable manner. So far no legal regulation exists in Poland pertaining to hazardous waste management. General rules for handling such waste are laid down in the Environmental Protection and Management Act and, in part, in a few other acts. Only the conditions for import, export, and transit of hazardous waste have been determined, with a list with 106 items compiled. In 1993, a ban on the import of hazardous waste was introduced, and the duty to obtain a permit to import all other waste earmarked for recycling from the Chief Environmental Protection Inspector. Permits for export and transit of waste were also introduced. In order to counteract illegal trade in waste, the Chief Environmental Protection Inspector cooperates with the Chief Sanitary Inspector, the Chief Customs Office chairman, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guards. Effectiveness of control of waste shipments transported across the territory of Poland is deemed very high. According to the "polluter pays" principle, enterprises are charged for storage of industrial waste depending on their type (there are 4 categories) and volume, and they pay fines for non-compliance with the environmental protection conditions.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Capacity building and technology issues related to solid waste and sanitation include: the Waste Law and the Act on Maintenance of Cleanliness and Order in Communities; development of the Cleaner Production Programme; establishment of the Chemical Industry Ecological Management Centre; creation of the Agency for Engineering and Technology in 1996 (data banks on technologies, scientific research, technical and economic consulting, transfer and trade in technologies); creation of the Commission for Sustainable Development in 1994; educational and information activities (training, seminars); creation of information background (data basis on waste, disposal sites, low waste technologies); and research and development studies.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

Charges for hazardous waste storage and fines for infringement of environmental protection regulations are in effect. There are planned charges for products creating environmental nuisance, and tax exemptions for the secondary use of waste and raw material recovery. However, there is a lack of detailed data on the National scale for expenditures and expected outlays for safe management of hazardous waste.

Cooperation

International cooperation in Poland is shown mostly in the implementation of the country's commitments resulting from conventions and international agreements in the area of protection of the environment against waste, including hazardous waste. Poland actively participates in the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the framework of the Committee for Environmental Policy and the Group for Waste Management Policy; UN bodies and programmes, for example, the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the Council of Europe; the European Union's PHARE programme; and World Bank programmes. The following are specific examples: the UN ECE Seminar "Low waste technologies and environmentally safe products" (1993); the Third World UNEP Seminar on Cleaner Production (1994); the OECD Workshop on "Hazardous Waste Management in Light of OECD Requirements" (1995); and cooperation with Norway under the framework of the Cleaner Production Movement.

 

 

* * *

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 information on hazardous waste.
Click here for information on Poland's waste management derived from the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Poland.
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

Radioactive Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The general supervision of radioactive materials used and transported through Poland belongs to the Chief Inspector of Radiological Inspection Central Laboratory of Radiological Protection (CLOR). The laboratory carries records and controls of radioactive material, dosimetric measurements, calibration of instruments and equipment, radio-chemical analysis, and training necessary to obtain a licence to work with radioactive materials. The Radioactive Contamination Measurement Service, located in CLOR, conducts measures on radioactive fallout (air, water, soil, plants) through a network of measurement units.

The State System of Environmental Monitoring is capable of detecting early radioactive contamination. The Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection issues daily announcements on the radiological situation. The State Atomic Agency elaborates the "screenplay" of activities in the case of a radiological emergency. An organized nuclear waste dump is being operated.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Poland, the problem of radioactive waste is of minor importance due to the lack of nuclear power plants. The principles of handling radioactive materials (buying, transport, storage, disposal, neutralization) are determined by the Nuclear Law Act of 10 April 1986 (Official Journal 1986, No 12, item. 70) and its executive regulations. These regulations establish conditions under which buying and possessing of radioactive material is possible; as well as their storage, transport (including transit), conditions for location, construction and supervision of nuclear building structures, laboratories and institutions using radioactive material, etc.

The rules of classification and treatment of radioactive waste are determined by the Executive Regulation of the President of the State Atomic Agency on the guidelines for classification of radioactive waste, their evaluation and recording, as well as conditions of their neutralization, storage and dumping dated 19 May 1989 (MP 1989, No 18, item 125). The executive order of the President of the State Atomic Agency dated 25 February 1988 on the export, import and transport of nuclear materials across Polish territory, bans transportation of radioactive waste produced abroad except for materials derived from the treatment of Polish nuclear materials and radioactive sources (Monitor Polski 1988, No 9, item. 82).

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 

Radioactive waste have been divided into several groups: beta and gamma radioactive (low activity, medium activity, and high activity); alpha radioactive; and used up, closed radioactive sources. Radioactive wastes according to their concentration (liquid - inorganic sorbent treatment method, solid-compression) are subject to a solidification (liquid) or fixation (solid) process. Transformed into the proper shape of a solid body, wastes are placed into a container, most often a zinc-plated steel drum of 200 litre capacity. In case of higher radioactivity, wastes are placed within radiation shield containers. Radioactive wastes are deposited at the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Site in Rózan.

Neutralization and disposal of radioactive waste is financed from sources which are partly covered by waste producers (health service, industry, science), and partly by the State budget in the form of donations (the executive order of the Council of Ministers of December 6 1994, Official Journal on the kinds and scope of activity connected with a safe use of nuclear energy and financed from the state budget as well as detailed principles and procedure of co-financing; O.J. No 131 item 661).

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.

For information on radioactivity, click here.
Click here for information on Poland's waste management derived from the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Poland.


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