Coalition 27: Repeat the process of amending the Law on Nature Protection | WWF

What would you like to search for?

Our News

Coalition 27: Repeat the process of amending the Law on Nature Protection

Coalition 27 and over 40 civil society organizations have submitted a request to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to re-initiate the procedure of amendments to the Law on Nature Protection

Belgrade, April 9th - Coalition 27 and over 40 civil society organizations have submitted a request to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to re-initiate the procedure of amendments to the Law on Nature Protection. Numerous omissions have been identified in the drafting procedure, public debate and content of amendments, which is why Coalition 27 called on the Ministry to conduct the repeated procedure transparently, in accordance with the law and in consultation with all interested parties.

"We’ve been waiting for the Changes on the Law for years, with confusing and contradictory information constantly reaching us. The working group that was supposed to participate in the drafting of amendments has not been convened since February 2019. At the end of March, we found out, quite by accident, that this process was accelerated and that the Draft Amendments to the Law are under public discussion. The documentation was extremely difficult to find on the official Ministry’s website, which we know very well. The link for access to the online presentation of the Draft was not even published, but sent by e-mail to certain organizations ", says Milica Radanović from Coalition 27.

When it comes to the draft amendments to the Law on Nature Protection, some changes, apart from not being in line with the existing legislative framework, are not formulated understandably neither to those who need to implement the Law, nor to the professional public and citizens. Although the Draft foresees solving the problem of building small hydropower plants in protected areas, at the same time it leaves enough room for this practice to continue if a certain project is declared "of general interest and national importance".

"We find this disturbing, since there are no clearly defined criteria for determining the general interest and national significance, and that opens space for decision-making without public participation. Not only is this a bad practice, but it can result in projects dangerous to nature conservation in Serbia. That is why such formulations are an inadmissible part of the Law, at least until clear criteria for determining the general interest and national significance are defined ", warned Milica Radanović.

Due to the manner in which the procedure of drafting the Amendments to the Law on Nature Protection was conducted, including the public debate, Coalition 27 considers that this procedure is not in accordance with the legislative framework of the Republic of Serbia, principles of good practice and international conventions ratified by the Republic of Serbia. Civil society organizations request the Ministry to declare the drafting process invalid and reorganize the entire procedure. This includes reorganizing the working group, which would bring together representatives of other relevant sectors, including the civil sector, with regular meetings that will contribute to the timely adoption of one of the key documents for the protection of natural values ​​in Serbia.

You can find the list of organizations that sent the Request for suspension of the procedure for drafting the Law on Nature Protection to the competent ministry, as well as the complete text of the request, at this link (Serbian language).

Share This!

Help us spread the message