Töpfer lauds EU deal on strategic assessment

UNEP chief welcomes European initiative to integrate environment as a "major milestone"

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) chief Klaus Töpfer yesterday praised the EU following environment ministers' first reading adoption of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) directive, which will require a wide range of plans and programmes to be submitted to a form of environmental impact assessment (ENDS Daily 14 December) . In what is a highly unusual move where a piece of domestic legislation is concerned, Mr Töpfer said that the agreement was a "major milestone in the process of integrating environmental considerations into other policies". Industrialised countries have a major responsibility to solve international environmental problems, he continued. Monday's deal on the SEA directive showed a "strong commitment" by Europe to a long-term strategy for environmental impact assessment, and this plus the fact that ministers adopted their position on the directive unanimously "should strengthen Europe's contributions to environme ntal action".

Follow Up:
UNEP, tel: +254 2 623 084. References: UNEP press release.

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