The environmental law is a relatively recent area that has rapidly developed during the last 50 years. It took place mainly by developing international environmental protection instruments, various inter-state agreements that were later implemented and adjusted to the specific needs of individual countries.
Environmental law regulations may generally be divided into the following areas:
- Regulations protecting certain parts of the environment (e.g. air, water, soil, cultural heritage, etc.);
- Regulations governing subjective environmental rights (right to environmental information, participation in environmental proceedings, right to access to justice in order to exercise environmental rights, right to compensation for damage to the environment, etc. );
- Regulations governing the implementation of environmental policies (various plans and programs, tax legislation, subsidies, etc.).
This program area provides support in the development of environmental policies and laws, the implementation of national and international regulations, the monitoring of progress and compliance, the transposition and implementation of EU environmental legislation and combating environmental crime.
The following are the core activities conducted within the Environmental Law program:
- Providing support and technical assistance to the Ministries of Environment in effective development of a comprehensive legislative framework in line with EU legislation for Chapter 27 by applying a strategic approach that encourages dialogue and cooperation by exchanging results and solutions as well as through joint activities;
- Providing support in the implementation of multilateral agreements within the environmental sector;
- Providing support in the practical application of environmental regulations by strengthening the capacities of agencies for enforcement of legislation, and inspectorates;
- Providing support in the implementation of legislation relating to the environmental crime by strengthening the capacities of law enforcement units, prosecutors and customs officers and by raising the awareness of the courts;
- Improving the exchange of experiences and knowledge with EU member states through stronger cooperation with networks for implementation of legislation, and through trainings and exchange programs;
- Strengthening the capacities for the implementation of legislation with the purpose of reducing environmental crime incidents;
- Strengthening regional and international networking between environmental inspectors, judges, prosecutors and police units by establishing new regional networks to combat illegal deforestation and environmental crime.