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   Course Title    Environmental Policy of the Countries Bordering Russia
Lecturer    Nina Alexeeva
Institution    Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University
Country    Russia

  1. Aim of the course: To gain understanding of the linkages between undergoing changes of the state of environment and policy responses in the countries adjacent to Russia to discern the key priorities for action in the near future.
  2. Role of the course in the overall degree curriculum: The revised course is a part of the course "Environmental Policy" for the 4th-year students of the Department of World Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University. This course is forwarded by the introduction on basic concepts of environmental policy and characteristics of environmental policy of Russia and European Union.
  3. Methods used: This course will be run as series of lectures and seminars on detailed case studies concerning environmental policy of different states of EU, former CIS, Mongolia, China and Korea, in total 13 states. There are no practicals, weekly 2 hours seminars following each lecture topic are proposed.
  4. Course content


    1. Post-Soviet space: An introduction to the background of major environmental issues since 1991. Positive and negative aspects of environmental policy in the former Soviet Union. Social and economic transformations, political changes in CIS republics, Mongolia and China. Shift from centralized economy and command-and-control methods to market economy and its impact on state of environment.
    2. Outline of most crucial problems linked with environment and resources, i.e. reduction of industrial activities in CIS countries, resource export, radioactive wastes import as well as major environmental issues: degradation of land and water resources, loss of forests and biodiversity, industrial pollution, etc. in geographical context. Countries with heavy, medium and little toll on environment. Emergence of transboundary issues (Kolsky peninsular – Finland, China – Russian Far East, etc).
    3. Regional multilateral environmental agreements of the countries bordering Russia. Convention on the protection of marine environment of the Baltic Sea (Helsinki, 1992) and activities of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission. Convention on protection and management of transboundary streams and lakes (1992). Black Sea Environment Programme (1996, 1997). Negotiation process on the status of the Caspian sea.
    4. Policy responses of different countries. North-western countries (Norway, Finland, Baltic States). Role of Espoo Convention on EIA in a transboundary context (Espoo, Finland, 1997). Adopting legislation and institutions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to EU standards. Major Programs and activities in the region.
      Public participation. NGOs.
    5. Ukraine. Law "On the Protection of environment" (1991) as the basis of environmental policy. Development of laws and regulations since 1991. National Environment Action Plan. National Program of improvement of the state of environment of the Dnepr basin, 1997. Project of "Concept of sustainable development of Ukraine". Functions and activities of the Ministry of nature protection and nuclear security of the Ukraine. Economic instruments. Cleaner production incentives. Role of NGOs. Environmental information.
    6. Republic of Belarus. Legal basis of environmental policy: laws "On the Protection of environment" (1992) and "On national EIA procedure" (1993). Development of the "Environmental Code of Belarus". Functions and activities of the Ministry of natural resources and environment protection. Economic instruments (pollution charges, charges for overuse of natural resources, etc.). National Strategy for sustainable development, 1997. Public participation, NGOs.
    7. Caucasian Republics: Georgia and Azerbaijan. Law "On the Protection of environment" of Georgia (1996). Functions and activities of the Ministry of environment protection and natural resources of Georgia. Development of National Environment Action Plan in Georgia and changes in environmental institutions. Activities of the Azerbaijan State Committee for the environment. Political and environmental issues raised from the management of shared resources of the Caspian Sea (oil, fisheries).
    8. Republic of Kazakhstan. Legal basis of environmental policy: laws "On Environment Protection" (1995) and "On the Environmental Expertise in the Republic of Kazakhstan" (1997). Activities of the Ministry of ecology and bioresources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Economic and financial instruments, public participation. Joint Russian-Kazakhstan environmental issues (shared river basins, Baikonur site).
    9. Mongolia, China, Korea. Transboundary issues in North-East Asia. "China’s Agenda-21" and environmental policy in China. Environmental Protection Law, 1997. Standards of environmental quality in China. Economic instruments and command-and-control regulations. Changes in environmental policy of Mongolia since 1991. User-pay principles in resource use in Mongolia. NGO in Mongolia
    10. Donor environmental commitments to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Role of assistance programmes for countries under transition (TACIS) in financing environmental actions under lack of traditional sources of support (state budgets). Role of Russia in the regional environmental negotiations and agreements.

  1. Readings

    A. Mandatory

    Problems of friendly environmental development of the countries with transition economy (2001). Moscow: Moscow State University/UNEP.

    Global Environment Outlook 2000 (1999). UNEP, London

    Evaluation of progress in developing and implementing action programmes in Central and Eastern European New Independent States (1998). OECD, Paris

    Mnatsakanian R. (1992). Environmental Legacy of the Former Soviet Republics. Center for Human Ecology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburhg

    Use of economic instruments in environmental policy in Central and Eastern Europe (1994). REC, Szentendre

    B. Recommended

    Emerging Asia: Changes and Challenges (1997). ADB. Manila

    Environmental Protection in the Ukraine 1994-95 (1997). Kiev

    National Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Republic of Belarus (1997). Minsk

    Geoinformation and Geoecological Studies in CIS Countries (1999). Moscow

    Guseinova F. State of the Environment in Azerbaijan (1997). Report prepared by the Green Movement of Azerbaijan in 1997. Baku

    Introduction to China’s Agenda 21 (1994). Beijing

    National Report in the State of Environment of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1996 (1997). Ministry of ecology and bioresources, Almaty

    State ot the Environment: Country Overview – Belarus TACIS (1998). Ministry of Natural resources and Environment Protection of Belarus, Minsk

    State ot the Environment and Activities in Ukraine (1994). Ministry of Nature Protection, Kiev

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