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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Changes in the political orientation of society after 1989 brought about modifications in sustainable development approaches. The Ministry of the Environment was created to protect the environment, establish zoning and construction procedures, conduct geological research, and provide an integrated information and monitoring system on the environment for the entire Slovak Republic. State administrative bodies established agencies to address environmental concerns at the local level. The Ministry acts as the principal state supervisory body and identifies conservation strategies in collaboration with other state administrative and legislative bodies.

According to the Government, the greatest contribution to the work of state administrative bodies responsible for the environment was the establishment of the Slovak Ministry of the Environment, the Slovak Environmental Inspection, and the eight regional and 79 district administration offices with their environmental branches. These institutions have successfully initiated the resolution of a number of environmental problems at the regional and local level. Their re-organization, with modified jurisdictions, reflects anticipated changes in the territorial organization and division of the Slovak Republic that have been taking place in 1996.

The Ministry of the Environment has the mandate to analyze the conclusions of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and incorporating the principles into the environmental policy of the Slovak Government. The Ministers and Directors of other central administrative authorities were likewise entrusted with employing and incorporating the conference conclusions within the environmental programmes of their respective ministries. The Updated Programme of the Slovak Government, created following independence, was formulated and approved by Slovak Parliament Resolution 202/1993, and recommended that the principles of environmental policy be submitted to Parliament by June 30, 1993.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Progressive transformation of the political system in Slovakia has been reflected in the Constitution of the Slovak Republic adopted by the Slovak National Council on September 1, 1992. The Constitution guarantees all civil rights and freedoms, including the right to environmental and cultural heritage protection. Significant success has also been achieved recently in the establishment of environmental laws. The past and present negative consequences of social and economic influences on the environment are mitigated by approximately 752 regulations of varying legal force.

Air, water, and forest protection regulations have been extensively revised and new regulations concerning waste management, the state administrative system for the environment, and the State Fund for the Environment of the Slovak Republic have been implemented. Some regulations that were difficult to implement and enforce have been already incorporated within legal norms by replacing outdated laws with new ones, for example, the Act on Nature and Landscape Protection of the Legal Codes (No. 287/1994) and the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment of the Legal Codes (No. 127/1994). These cover a number of areas that have not been addressed before and are currently being used effectively.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

Slovak National environmental policy is based on an analysis of the state of the environment and an evaluation of the overall framework for environmental issues. National policy determines areas of National environmental priorities which are subsequently divided into long-, medium,- and short-term sustainable development objectives. The time required to accomplish the long-term objectives to ameliorate environmental conditions and achieve sustainable development in Slovakia may be 20-50 years or possibly longer. Medium-term objectives, obtainable by the period 2000-2010, focus on slowing the processes of environmental deterioration and mitigating the impact of the damaged and polluted environment on life expectancy and public health, as well as eliminating activities that place a burden on the environment. This includes the identification and implementation of legal and economic instruments in the transition from a centrally-planned economy to a market economy. Short-term objectives are to be obtained by 1996 and include addressing those activities that have an immediate adverse impact on the life and health of the people, as well as on the country's cultural and National heritage.

The implementation of a National environmental policy is expected to fulfill the pre-conditions for Slovak convergence with European environmental standards and facilitate admission to European organizations. However, the Government has noted that environmental issues are too complex and responsibilities too divided for the strategy to remain the mandate of a single ministry at the National level. The strategy must be incorporated and defined in the environmental policy provisions of individual ministries and further developed at the regional level with the participation of local governments and citizen groups. This has to be provided through the implementation of the recently developed National Environmental Action Programme (NEAP) approved by the Governmental Resolution No. 350/1996. The Programme defines the concrete conceptual, legislation, organizational, educational, training, and especially the investment measures behind the activities of various legal bodies that aim to reach objectives of the adopted National environmental policy.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

Until November 1989, all social organizations were associated with the communist- controlled National Front. Crucial to the free development of civil life was the founding of new social organizations and especially non-governmental and non-profit organizations that had been deprived the opportunity to flourish under the totalitarian regime. Currently, the institutions of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, as well as a number of sub-ministerial organizations contribute significantly to the development of the environmental field and addressing environmental problems in the country. These include for example, the Soil Productivity Research Institute, the Forestry Research Institute, the Institute for Preventive and Clinical Medicine, the Water Management Research Institute, the Slovak Institute for Preservation of Cultural Artifacts, various universities, and citizen's groups (SZOPK, Tree of Life, the Slovak Society for the Environment, the Association for Sustainable Life, etc.).

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Slovak Republic, as one of the successor states to the Czechoslovak Federal Republic, assumes the obligations deriving from international legislation and will continue to participate in future agreements. In addition, the Slovak Republic will seek to participate in the resolution of environmental problems within the framework of United Nations organizations, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), the European Union (EU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO), the Council of Europe, and other organizations.

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

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Relevant legislation has addressed the following areas: equal rights to education, women's inheritance rights, property rights, and the right to work assistance in maternity. The Government recognizes that disparities in gender-based equality cannot be completely eliminated in a short period of time. The equal status of men and women is enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Slovakia, as well as the protection of human rights and freedoms.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The Government pursues equality for women in National policy, especially in employment, management, education, re-training, work conditions, and remuneration. The Government also promotes the increase of the proportion of women in society's management, especially in the areas of occupational safety, health care, education, and physical training. The involvement of women in management varies quite significantly and is generally higher in lower levels of management.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available 

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges

No information is available 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available 

Information 

No information is available 

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was ratified as Act 62/1987 by the Slovak Republic on 28 May 1993 and is contained in the Statute Book.

 

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

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

State youth policy aimed at safeguarding rights and freedoms of youth focuses on establishing legislative conditions that will enable the participation of youth in democratic society.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

No information available.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Status 

There are a number of institutions in Slovakia that promote human development in various areas of social life. Among them are governmental institutions managed by individual ministries, non-governmental institutions operating in culture, arts, education, social development, and nationwide institutions (the women's movement, youth organizations, etc).

Prior to 1990, nationwide coverage of the network of social care had been a priority of the empowered state authorities. The period after 1990 has been characterized by efforts to promote the role of non-government organizations in the area of providing social services. The state and its institutions no longer exclusively provide social care, and non-government organizations are invited to render social assistance in a greater proportion (for which legislative conditions are being established). Social care includes the care of severely disabled persons, the aged, families and children, the "non-conformable," and citizens requiring special assistance. As of December 31, 1994, 106 non-government organizations had been registered to render social services to 4,811 citizens. Non- governmental entities are allocated financial contributions by the state.

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

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

No information available.

WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

No information available.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

No information available.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COMMUNITY

No information available.

FARMERS

No information available.

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SCIENCE

No information available.

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INFORMATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic is the main responsible agency in decision-making in the area of sustainable development. The Office of Statistics of the Slovak Republic closely co-operates in the area of collection, analysis and distribution of data and creation of a database.

Co-ordination of governmental bodies is ensured through meetings of the Government or relevant council of the Government through approved documents, such as resolutions of the Governments, regulations of the Government, etc.  Through the programme objectives of Agenda 21 a framework for introduction of indicators of sustainable development, exact and transparent definition of their content as well as their comparison and harmonisation within the accession process to the European Union has been established.  In the framework of preparation of statistical investigation for individual years the relevant sectors are addressed to submit required indicators of sustainable development with the aim of their collection, monitoring and evaluation.  The purpose of these activities is elimination of duplicative monitoring.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The Act on access to information on the environment 171/1998 has been passed that implements the basic right of a citizen for information on the environment and on its state that is rooted in the Slovak Constitution. In 2000 a new act on access to information has been passed that will enter into force on 1 January 2001. This act will deal with access to all kinds of information (not exclusively environmental) and therefore will replace the act 171/1998.

Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic 655/1997 lays down system of indicators of sustainable development together with responsibility allocated to individual relevant ministries and governmental bodies.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

One of the Government's long-term objectives includes the completion of an integrated environmental monitoring and information system. Until the end of 1993, there had been no comprehensive system to evaluate the environment of the Slovak Republic that was based on regularly monitored parameters. Through Resolution No. 449 dated 26 May 1992, the Government of the Slovak Republic adopted the Concept of Environmental Monitoring in the Territory of the Slovak Republic and the Concept of an Integrated Information System on the Environment in the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Environment was charged with creating and implementing these systems in cooperation with other ministries and departments.

The first objectives associated with environmental monitoring were completed by the construction and harmonization of 12 partial monitoring systems dedicated to air, water, soil, animal and plant kingdoms, forests, geological factors, radiation and other physical fields, waste, settlement, land use, xenobiotics in food, and the impact of environmental factors on the population. This system has not yet been completed and its full implementation depends on the availability of financial resources. Some regional monitoring systems have been built, such as the comprehensive monitoring system of the Gabeikovo Water Dam.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Structure of the information network is built on the Internet where the individual sectors have their own web pages and the indicators of sustainable development are available in the framework of this information.

Part of data and information on sustainable development is available as printed material various publications. On the basis of special requirements these data can be provided as hard copies or on special required media. At present selected set of indicators according to individual thematic areas public base of data is being made accessible for the general public.

The availability and quality of sustainable development information at the national level can be summarized as follows:

 
Agenda 21 Chapters
Very
good
Good
Some good
data but
many gaps
Poor
Remarks
2. International cooperation and trade
X
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Human health
X
7. Human settlements
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making
X
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Combating desertification and drought
13. Sustainable mountain development
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Biotechnology
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources
18. Freshwater resources
X
19. Toxic chemicals
X
20. Hazardous wastes
21. Solid wastes
22. Radioactive wastes
X
24. Women in sustainable development
25. Children and youth
26. Indigenous people
27. Non-governmental organizations
28. Local authorities
29. Workers and trade unions
30. Business and industry
31. Scientific and technological community
32. Farmers
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Education, public awareness and training
37. International cooperation for capacity-building
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments
40. Information for decision-making

Challenges  

There is a lack of integrated environmental monitoring and information systems by which it would be possible to objectively assess the state of the environment, and an absence of environmental zoning. The Government believes that the establishment of environmental priorities and targets by region would, in turn, increase the effectiveness of resource use. Construction of a comprehensive environmental monitoring system upon which the Government could effectively base environmental policy is a prerequisite for fulfilling the right to timely and complete environmental information as cited in Slovakia's Bill of Basic Rights and Liberties.

The inadequately developed municipal administrative systems and limited municipal participation in solving local environmental problems, combined with the reduction in environmental expenditures for the protection of Slovakia's natural and cultural heritage, all negatively affect the country's environmental situation. Associated with this are generally low environmental awareness levels among the public; a lack of environmental education, and unfamiliarity with environmental concerns, values, and approaches in socioeconomic activities.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

See the rest of the sub-headings.

Research and Technologies   

Introduction and broader use of geographical information systems would be required in the framework of development and implementation of new technologies.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

Co-operation is represented by participation in negotiations of Eurostat, participation and co-operation in pilot programmes covered from PHARE funds, as well as bilateral co-operation with member states of the European Union.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 2001.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Cooperation  

Major agreements and conventions entered into by the Slovak Republic and relevant to Agenda 21 include:

Accession by the Slovak Republic to the following Convention is in preparation:

 

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



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