The Espoo Environmental Impact Assessment Convention sets out the obligations of parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning, and to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries. The Convention was adopted in 1991 and entered into force in 1997.
The Kiev Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment, which was adopted in 2003 and entered into force in 2010, augments the convention by requiring countries which are party to the protocol to evaluate the environmental consequences of their official draft plans and programmes. Strategic environmental assessment is undertaken much earlier in the decision-making process than project environmental impact assessment, and it is therefore seen as a key tool for sustainable development. The protocol also provides for extensive public participation in government decision-making in this area.
Cyprus formally ratified the protocol in December 2016, by means of the Ratification Law of the SEA Protocol, Law 29(III)/2016, which was published in the government gazette on 23 December 2016. The English text of the protocol is set out in Part 1 of the Annex to the law, with a Greek translation in Part 2. In the event of discrepancy between the two, the English text prevails. The competent authority appointed for application of the provisions of the law is the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, except for matters concerning ionizing radiation, for which the appointed competent authority is the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. The law gives the Council of Ministers power to issue regulations for the better application of the provisions of the law and to determine any issue arising under the law.