Upgrading of vaziani gombori telavi road

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Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia
Roads Department of Georgia





September 2009


Annex 1. Environmental and Resettlement Related Legislation of Georgia and WB Regulations


Annex 2. Baseline Environmental Conditions


Annex 3. Social Baseline Information


Annex 4. Analysis of Alternative Routes


Annex 5. Air Quality: Baseline, Project Impacts and Mitigation


Annex 6. Noise Factor: Baseline, Project Impacts and Mitigation


Annex 7. List of References


Annex 8. List of Contributors to EIA




Bank Procedures


Center of Archaeological Search of the Ministry of Culture and Sports


European Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Environmental Impact Assessment


Environmental Management Plan


Environmental Management System


Geographical Information Systems


Good Practices


Global Positioning System


Health, Safety and Environment


International Financial Institution


Maximum Admissible Concentrations


Millennium Challenge Corporation


Municipal Development Fund of Georgia


Ministry of Agriculture


Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources


Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Protection


Ministry of Interior


Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sports


Management Unit for Food Safety and Risk Analyze of the Ministry of the Agriculture


Operational Policy


Project Implementation Unit


Personal protective equipment


Road Department of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure


Right of Way


World Bank


Environmental and Resettlement Related Legislation of georgia and Wb regulations


This Annex presents the review and analysis of the environmental and resettlement legislation of Georgia and the procedures for ensuring full consideration of WB environmental safeguards and the WB environmental assessment and resettlement guidelines in the implementation of projects financed under the WB loans. It describes existing in Georgia environmental regulations relevant to the project, provides guidance on the measures required for ensuring consistency with environmental assessment and makes reference to institutions at the local and national levels responsible for issuing permits, licenses, and enforcing compliance of environmental standards.

1. Environmental REgulations
1.1. Legislation and administrative structure in georgia

      1. Administrative Structure

Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources (MoE). MoE has the overall responsibility for protection of environment in Georgia. The Service of Licenses and Permits of MoE is responsible for reviewing EIAs and for issuance of the Environmental Permits. The MoE Inspectorate is responsible for compliance monitoring, including monitoring of construction activities and auditing of all kind of entities. Regional services of MoE are involved during agreement on Terms of Reference on architectural design of a project and in commissioning of completed facilities. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia (MoE) is the main state body pursuing state policy in the sphere of environment. Their functions for regulating economic or development activities with regard to environmental protection include:

  1. Issuing permits for project development (Environmental Impact Permit)

  1. Setting emission limits and issuing surface water intake and discharge consents

  1. Inspection of operating plants

  1. Responding to incidents and complaint

  1. MoE is responsible for monitoring air pollution and noise levels (especially near residential areas)

  2. Regional services of MoE will agree upon the sites for disposal of the spoil and construction wastes.

The Ministry defines and evaluates real and possible risk of impact on natural environment during implementation of different types of activities. Accordingly the Ministry has been assigned as responsible body for making decision on granting permission to the proponent on implementation of projects, which require Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Granting procedures slightly differ for different type of projects.

For the projects, which do not require Construction Permit, the Environmental permit is being issued by the MoE on the ground of State Ecological Examination. State Ecological Examination is carried out by MoE upon official submission of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) prepared by project developers.

For projects requiring Construction Permit, no special permit is issued by MoE (according to “One window principle”, only one permit shall be issued for each activity). The Construction Permit is issued by the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia, but the issuance of the Permit is subject to the consent of the MoE in a form of Conclusion of Ecological Expertise, as well as the Ministry of Culture (Center of Archaeological Studies, Department of Monuments protection). Consent of the MoE in such cases should be issued according to the same procedures (EIA, public consultations; SEE etc.) as for issuing Environmental Permit. The Ministry of Economic Development as an administrative body issuing a permit ensures the involvement of the MoE as a different administrative body in the administrative proceedings initiated for the purpose of permit issuance, in accordance with Georgia’s Law on Licenses and Permits.

Project screening (definition of the project category and necessity for preparation of EIA) and scoping (definition of set of environmental issues and Terms of Reference) is carried out by the project implementing agency and its consultants (in this case Municipal Development Fund (MDF) and its consultants). Scoping and screening do not represent mandatory procedures according to Georgian legislature although review of scoping/screening outcomes and agreement of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources is considered a desired practice.
As a rule, EIA permitting conditions contains requirement for informing MEPNR regarding fulfillment of the EIA permit conditions. This basically means giving information regarding implementation of Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans.
The Ministry of Economic Development (MoED). MoED is responsible for carrying out the review of technical documentation (including conclusion of an independent experts) and issuing Permits on Construction for projects classified as the projects of Special Importance, as well as for supervision over constructing activities and for arranging Acceptance Commission after completion of construction.
State supervision of construction and compliance monitoring is provided by the Main Architecture and Construction Inspection (MACI), which is operating under the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia
The Roads Department of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (RDMRDI). RDMRDI is responsible for elaboration of policy and strategic plans related to developing motor roads, management of road and traffic related issues and construction, rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance of the roads of public use of international and national significance, utilizing funds from the state budget, lawns, grants and other financial sources.
RDMRDI Responsibilities and Capacity Analysis

Within the frames of the programs and projects, where the RDMRDI is appointed by the Government as implementing agency, the RDMRDI is responsible for the procurement of design and EIA studies, as well as works on construction and rehabilitation of roads of international and national significance, and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Georgian legislation and environmental and social requirements of the relevant donor organizations. Control of implementation of the EMP is direct responsibility of the RDMRDI.

The RDMRDI should have adequate capacity to ensure due consideration of environmental and social concerns at the stages of strategic planning, project development, design and environmental studies and construction or reconstruction activities.
The RDMRDI is supposed to review the EIAs and EMPs related to the RDMRDI projects and perform monitoring of compliance of the contractor’s performance with the approved EMPs, EIAs, environmental standards and other environmental commitments of the contractor.
Internal resource of the RDMRDI is estimated to be sufficient for execution of project administration and overall environmental management. For the environmental monitoring of concrete projects, including the Vaziani – Gombori Motor Road project, RDMRDI shall procure technical and environmental supervision services.
Constructing Contractor

Constructing Contractor should provide Constructing Contractor’s Environmental Management Plan developed on the basis of the present EIA. The necessity to develop Contractor/s management plan should be fixed in the Construction Contract. The Constructing Contractor has following obligations:

  • to employ Environmental consultants (persons or company) responsible for developing and implementation of construction phase EMP and for provision of corresponding information to the MDF

  • to develop, if required, Spoil and Rock Disposal Plan and Construction Waste Disposal Plan agreed with the MoE and its regional services.

  • Reforestation and/or Biorestoration Plan or Compensation Plan agreed with the MoE (Forestry department; Biodiversity department) to be developed after final determination of the road alignment and pre-entry survey in the RoW

  • Schedule

  • The EMP implementation costs should be included into the construction budget.

The Contract should also indicate that the Spoil and Rock Disposal Plan, as well as Reforestation Plan, should be agreed with the Regional Services of the MoE, while the rest chapters of the Constructing Contractor’s Environmental Management Plan should be reviewed and accepted by the MDF.

Other Responsible Governmental Institutions:

The Ministry of Culture and Sports. The ministry is responsible on supervision of the construction activities in order to protect archaeological heritage. In case if construction is to be carried out in a historic sites or zones of cultural heritage, consent of the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport is also required for issuing construction permit.
Management Unit for Food Safety and Risk Analyze of the Ministry of the Agriculture (MUFSRA). MUFSRA is responsible for implementation of complex sanitary protection measures in case of identification of burial sites during earthworks. Information about suspicious burial sites should be delivered to the “MUFSRA” of the Ministry of the Agriculture by the Constructing Contactor (field environmental officer) and RDMRDI field officer.

[Note: Governmental institutions responsible for technical supervision and compliance with the design documentation and construction standards are described in Design Documentation and are not subject for EIA or EMPs]

1.1.2 Framework Legislation

The basic legal document is “The Constitution of Georgia”, which was adopted in 1995. While the Constitution of Georgia does not directly address environmental matters, it does lay down the legal framework that guarantees environmental protection and public access to information with regard to environmental conditions.

Article 37, Part 3 states that “any person has the right to live in a healthy environment, use the natural and cultural environment. Any person is obliged to take care of the natural and cultural environment.” Article 37, Part 5 states that “an individual has the right to obtain full, unbiased and timely information regarding his working and living environment.”

Article 41, Part 1 states that “a citizen of Georgia is entitled to access information on such citizen as well as official documents available in State Institutions provided it does not contain confidential information of state, professional or commercial importance, in accordance with the applicable legal rules.
Legislative execution of constitutional requirements in the sphere of environmental protection is implemented through framework Georgian “Law on Environmental Protection” (1996, as amended) and the set of specific laws developed on its basis. The framework law regulates the legal relationship between the bodies of the state authority and the physical persons or legal entities (without distinction-legal form) in the scope of environmental protection and in the use of nature on all Georgia’s territory including its territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and special economic zone. The law deals with education and scientific research in the scope of environment, environmental management aspects, economic levers, licensing, standards, EIA and related issues. Considers different aspects on protection of ecosystems, protected areas, issues of global and regional management, protection of ozone layer, biodiversity, protection of Black Sea and international cooperation aspects. In particular, the law addresses broad spectrum of issues, like environmental management, environmental education and awareness building, licenses and permits, fines and enforcement, environmental impact assessment, which should be further regulated by specific laws. According to the requirements set forth in the framework law, numerous laws and normative–legal documents were adopted to regulate specific environmental issues in Georgia. Further below the environmental regulations most relevant to the project – and first of all, to the permitting process - are described.

1.1.3 Legislation Related to Environmental Permitting

At present, the environmental permitting procedure in Georgia is set out in three laws:
The project proponent, in implementing projects, will comply with (i) The Law on Licenses and Permits (2005); (ii) The Law on Environmental Impact Permits (EIP), and (iii) The Law on Ecological Examination (EE) 2008.
The Law on Licenses and Permits was adopted by Parliament of Georgia, on June 24, 2005. The new Law regulates legally organized activities posing certain threats to human life and health, and addresses specific state or public interests, including usage of state resources. It also regulates activities requiring licenses or permits, determines types of licenses and permits, and defines the procedures for issuing, revising and canceling of licenses and permits (Article 1, Paragraph 1).
The Laws on Environmental Impact Permit and on Ecological Examination have been published on 14.12.2007 and entered in force on 01.01.2008. These new laws integrate all the amendments introduced in legislation of Georgia during recent years.

The Law of Georgia on Environmental Impact Permit determines the complete list of the activities and projects subject to the ecological examination (clause 4 p.1) and the legal basis for public participation in the process of environmental assessment, ecological examination and decision making on issuance of an environmental impact permit.

Under the “activities” subject to the ecological examination the law considers construction of new or upgrading of existing facilities imposing change of technology and operational conditions for the projects and activities included into the list. The routine maintenance works in relation with the same facilities do not require ecological examination and permit.

In case if the activity included into the list given in clause 4 p.1 at the same time requires Construction Permit, the administrative body responsible for issuance of the Construction Permit ensures involvement of MoE, as a separate administrative body, in the administrative procedures initiated for the purpose of issuing Construction Permit, as it is envisaged by the Law on Licenses and Permits. In such cases the MoE is issuing the Conclusion on the Ecological Examination of the project based on the documentation provided to MoE by the administrative body issuing the Permit. The Conclusion on the Ecological Examination is adopted by the administrative (executive) legal act of the MoE and compliance with the conditions of the Conclusion is obligatory for the project proponent. The conditions of the Conclusion on Ecological Examination is a part of conditions of the Construction Permit.

In case if the activity included into the list given in clause 4 p.1 does not require Construction Permit, based on the Conclusion on the Ecological Examination the MoE will issue the Environmental Impact Permit, supported by the administrative (executive) legal act issued by the minister. The ecological examination is carried out in accordance with the law of Georgia on Ecological Examination and the conditions set forth by the Conclusion present the Conditions of the Permit.
The aforementioned laws do not provide details of screening procedure and do not define responsibilities of parties. According to the practice, the screening of project proposals and the preliminary assessment of their environmental impact and proposed mitigation measures (scoping) are being carried out by the project proponent in consultation with the MOE.
Public Consultation Procedures.

The 6th clause of the law of Georgia on the Environmental Impact Permit provides detailed requirements and procedures for conducting public consultations and established timeframes for information disclosure and discussion, namely:

According to article 6, developer is obliged to carry out public discussion of the EIA before its submission to an administrative body responsible for issuing a permit (in case of activity requiring construction permit before initiating stage 2 procedure for construction permit issuance).

Official Submission of EIA to MoE
Article 8 of the Law specifies the documents to submit to receive a permit:

  1. An operator, in order to receive a permit, shall submit a written statement to the Ministry. A statement to receive a permit is submitted, considered and processed under the rule established by the ‘Law of Georgia on Licenses and Permits’.

  2. An operator is obliged, in addition to the information specified by the ‘Law of Georgia on Licenses and Permits’, to submit the following documents:

  1. An EIA report drawn up under the standards specified by the legislation of Georgia (in 5 hard copies and 1 soft copy)

  2. A situation plan of the planned activity (with the indication of distances)

  3. Volume and types of the expected emissions (a technical report of inventory of the stationery sources of pollution and emitted/discharged harmful substances and project of maximum permissible concentrations of emitted/discharged harmful substances (in 4 copies))

  4. A brief description of the activity (as a non-technical summary)

  5. A statement about the confidential part of the submitted statement.

  1. An operator is obliged to submit a full diagram of the technological cycle to the permit issuing body even if the given activity contains a commercial and/or state secret. This part of the statement, according to sub-clause ‘e’ of clause 2 of the given Article should be submitted separately by the operator.

Issuance of the Permit on Environmental Impact

The article 9 of the law describes the procedures of issuing the Environmental Impact Permit. The same issue is addressed in the laws of Georgia on “Licenses and Permits” (2005) and “on Ecological Examination’ (2008).

  1. According to the law on “Licenses and Permits,” the MoE takes decision on issuing Permit within the 20 days after submission of request on permit by the project proponent.
  2. MoE, in accordance with the law on Ecological Examination, ensures expertise of the submitted documentation and issuance of Conclusion on Ecological Examination.

The Permit (Environmental Permit, or Construction Permit when the latest is required) is issued only in case of the positive conclusion of the Ecological Examination.
1.1.4 Other Environmental Laws
The Law on the environmental Protection Service (Agency). In accordance with the ‘Law on the environmental Protection Service of 2008, an environmental protection control system has been established to ensure the following: (a) state control in the field of environmental protection and ecological systems safety, (2) observance of the proper laws by the subjects of regulation, (3) population’s trust in the mentioned system and in state organs, generally in respect of performance of state obligations and transparency in the field of environmental protection. Under the same Law, there has been an environmental protection agency established (on the base of a former environmental protection inspection) and the functions of its employees specified. In particular, they are authorized to accomplish an environmental inspection of the objects of regulation (physical and legal entities, state authority and local self-governing bodies) and monitoring of their activities. Besides, the prerogative of the environmental protection agency is to calculate the damage to the environment to compensate it to the state, put forward the requirement to the objects of regulation to compensate the damage, and in case of non-meeting such a requirement, file a proper appeal before the court.
For the road project, a subject of inspection and monitoring may be the process of building (legal use of resources; environmental pollution, noise and vibration, etc.) and exploitation-related activity (waste management, emissions; safety etc.).

Waste Management. The following acts of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection of Georgia define the waste management rules to be met during the road rehabilitation projects:

The act on “Approval of the rules of collection, storage and neutralization of the wastes of preventive treatment establishments” 16 August of 2001, 300 (“Georgian Legislative Messenger” N90 24/08/2001);
The act on “Approval of arrangement of polygon/grounds for disposal of solid household wastes and adoption of sanitary rules and norms” 24 February, #36 (Georgian Legislative Messenger #17, 07.03.03);
The “Georgian Law on Ambient Air Protection” was put into effect from 1 January 2000.

The scope of the “Georgian law on Ambient Air Protection” is to protect ambient air on the whole territory of Georgia from harmful human impact. This law does not govern the field of air protection in work places. Main competences of governmental authorities in the field of ambient air protection (a) Development of environmental monitoring (observation) system; (b) Development and implementation of common policies and strategies; and (c) Development of integrated ambient air pollution control.

Types of harmful human impact include:

  • introduction of pollutants into the ambient air;

  • radioactive impact on ambient air;

  • ambient air pollution with micro-organisms and microbial toxins;

  • physical impact of noise, vibration, electromagnetic field etc on ambient air.

Types of ambient air pollution are specified:

  • emission of pollutants into the ambient air from stationary pollution source;

  • emission of pollutants into the ambient air from mobile sources of pollution;

  • emission of pollutants into the ambient air from non-point sources of pollution;

  • emission of pollutants into the ambient air from small-scale sources of pollution.

According to the Article 291, the inventory on emissions of air pollutants from stationary pollution sources is obligatory for physical and legal entities. The special inventory report is to be prepared for 5 years for each source of the atmospheric air pollution and each type of a harmful substance.

At preparing the EIA project, a full inventory on emissions (in case of existence) is to be carried out and maximum permissible concentrations or temporarily agreed permissible concentrations of the emitted harmful substances for stationary pollution sites are to be set. Maximum permissible concentration is an amount of permitted emissions of air pollutants from stationary pollution sources. Temporarily agreed permission concentrations can be approved for five years (maximum) without prolongation. The Maximum permissible concentration of the emitted harmful substances for stationary pollution sites is approved for 5 years for each source of the atmospheric air pollution and each type of a harmful substance.
Registration of emissions from stationary pollution sources comprises:

  • self-monitoring of emissions;

  • state emission registration system.

Self-monitoring of emission of pollutants from stationary pollution sources means that economical actor (operator) shall conduct adequate self-monitoring of pollutant emissions from stationary pollution sources. It includes:

  • emission measurements (assessment)

  • registration of emissions

  • reporting of emissions

State emission registration system is a system of compilation, processing and analysis of emission reporting documentation. The Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia conducts state registration of emissions.

The Law on Minerals of 1996 provides provisions for the mineral resource exploration and management and establishes the requirement to obtain a license according to the procedures established under this law. The Law on Licensing and Permits (June 25, 2005) establishes the most recent regulations for licensing. According to the current legislation all quarries and borrow pits require to obtain a license.

The Wildlife Law of 1996 mandates the MoE to regulate wildlife use and protection on the whole territory of the country. The law empowers the MoE to issue hunting permits and licenses, declare hunting areas, control poaching, etc. Potential poaching by the workers should be controlled also during construction works, especially in sensitive ecological areas.
Forestry Code of Georgia (1999, including effective amendments)

The Forestry Code of Georgia regulates the legal relations connected to looking after, protection, restoration and application of the forest fund and its resources. The aims of the Forestry Code of Georgia are as follows:

Looking after, protection and rehabilitation of forests aiming at conserving and improving their climatic, water-regulating, protective, cultural, health, medicinal and other mineral wealth, conservation and protection of original natural and cultural environment and its individual components, including the vegetation cover and fauna, bio-diversity, landscape, cultural and natural monuments in the forests, rare and endangered plant species and others and regulation of their interaction in the benefit of the future generation.

Article 38 of the Forestry Code establishes the modes of protection of the state forest fund:

  1. Aiming at protecting the present state of the state economic forest fund and its biodiversity, originality of intact forests and relict, endemic and other valuable plant species, the general or special mode of protection of the state economic forest fund has been introduced by considering the priority functionality, historical, cultural and other values of the forest

  2. The mode of protection of the protected territories of Georgia is defined under the Georgian Law ‘On the system of protected territories’.

Article 41 defines the modes of protection to be used for different categories of the state economic forest funds:

  1. The mode of special protection applies to the resort and green zones of the state economic forest fund, as well as flood-plain forests and forest sub-alpine zone.

  2. The mode of general protection applies to the soil conservation and water-regulation forests under the rule provided by Article 42 of the present Code.

Article 39 specifies the special limitations to certain types of activity defined by the special mode of protection:

(1) The following activities are prohibited in the state economic forests and lands where a special mode of protection is applied:

  1. Cutting of a principal use;

  2. Activities of the first and second categories as defined by the Law of Georgia ‘On environmental permits’, except the programs for rehabilitation of the protected areas and founding the hunting firms (02.03.2001 749).

Law of Georgia ‘On the system of the protected areas’ (1996)

The Law defines the categories of ‘protected areas’ and specifies the frames of activities admissible in the given areas. The permitted actions are defined by considering the designation of the areas and in accordance with the management plans and provisions of the international conventions and agreements to which Georgia is a party. As a general requirement, the following activities are prohibited in the protected areas:

  1. Disturbance or any other changes of the natural ecosystems

  2. Demolition (destroy), arrest, disturbance, damage (invalidation) of any natural resource with the purpose of its exploitation or any other purpose

  3. Damage of the natural ecosystems or species by reason of the environmental pollution
  4. Bringing and breeding foreign or exotic species of living organisms

  5. Bringing explosives or toxic materials to the area.

According to the above-mentioned Management Plan, all kinds of economic and entrepreneurship activities are admissible in the support zone provided they do not hamper the functioning of the protected areas.

Law of Georgia ‘On the Red List and Red Book’ (2003)

The Law regulates the legal relations in the field of developing the Red List and Red Book, protecting and using the endangered species, except the legal issues of the international trade with endangered wild animals and wild plants, which within the limits of the jurisdiction of Georgia are regulated by virtue of the Convention ‘On the international trade with the endangered species of wild fauna and flora’ concluded on March 3 of 1973 in the city of Washington.

According to Article 10 of the Law,

any activity, including hunting, fishing, extraction, cutting down and hay-mowing, except particular cases envisaged by the present Law, Law of Georgia ‘On animal life’ and legislation of Georgia, which may result in the reduction in number of the endangered species, deterioration of the breeding area or living conditions, is prohibited.

Possible harmful effect of anthropogenization on the endangered species should be taken into account when issuing the permit on environmental impact during the ecological expertise.
The Red List of Georgia was approved by the Presidential Decree No. 303 ‘On approving the Red List of Georgia’ (May 2, 2006)
In case when the road rehabilitation project is to be accomplished within the resort zone accordingly, the Law of Georgia ‘On Tourism and resort’ and Law of Georgia ‘On the zones of sanitary protection of resorts and resort areas’ should be considered.

Decree No. 538; There is a chance that the project activity may cause harm to the environment, which will be impossible to mitigate even through planning and realizing the preventive measures. The rules to estimate and compensate for the environmental damage have been developed for such cases under the Decree No. 538 ‘On approving the methods to estimate the environmental damage’ of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia adopted on July 5, 2006. Below we site the clauses, which may be useful to estimate the damage within the limits of the project.

Article 2. The rule to estimate the damage caused by the harmful anthropogenic action on the atmospheric air

Article 3. The rule to estimate the environmental damage caused by the soil pollution

Article 4. The rule to estimate the environmental damage caused by the soil degradation

Article 5. The rule to estimate the environmental damage caused by illegal action with forest resources

Article 6. The rule to estimate the environmental damage caused by damaging the green plantations in the capital of Georgia, other cities and towns, regional centers and settlements

Article 7. The rule to estimate the damage caused by damaging the fish reserve and other biological forms

Article 8. The rule to estimate the damage caused by illegal acquisition of the animal life objects Article 9. The rule to estimate the environmental damage during the fossil exploitation

Article 10. The rule to estimate the environmental damage caused by the pollution of water resources.

International Commitments

International cooperation is a dominant feature and driving force for environmental reforms in Georgia. Setting the goal to preserve its biological diversity and realising the importance of international cooperation, Georgia signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, thus accepting responsibility to safeguard the nation’s rich diversity and of plant, animal, and microbial life to begin using biological resources in sustainable way, and to ensure equitable sharing of benefits from biodiversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the first global agreement, which, along with biodiversity conservation, necessitates the sustainable use of biological resources Georgia has been recognised as holding an important reservoir of biodiversity and is very important in the global context – according to the surveys and assessments conducted at an international level Georgia, as a part of the Caucasus, is recognized as:


1. One out of 25 biologically richest and endangered land ecosystems (Conservation International);

2. One out of 200 vulnerable ecoregions (WWF);

3. One out of 221 endemic bird habitats (Bird Life International);

4. One of the World Agrobiodiversity Centres.
Georgia has implemented a number of measures on fulfillment of the guidelines defined by the International environmental treaties which is party to, in particular:

  • The country acceded the most important international treaties on biodiversity, such as Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (the Bonn Convention) and its Agreements;

  • A number of national legislative acts has been adopted in the field of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity since 1996;

  • Georgia conducted biodiversity assessment studies (National Biodiversity Assessment Program, UNEP, 1996);

  • Strategy and Action Plan on conservation of Georgia’s biological diversity was elaborated and approved (2005);

  • With the financial support of the German Government and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Protected Areas - the Borjomi-Kharagauli and the Kolkheti National Parks were established; with the support of the German Government, new protected areas

are planned to be established on the Javakheti Plateau in southern Georgia;
  • With the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Project on Development of Protected Areas in Georgia is being implemented. The aim of the project is to elaborate management plans for three protected areas in eastern Georgia (Lagodekhi, Vashlovani and Tusheti), to develop infrastructure necessary for their effective management and to strengthen the State Department for Protected Areas in terms of improving skills for protected areas management;

  • With the financial support of the World Bank, the forestry development project is under implementation in Georgia to promote conservation and sustainable use of Georgian forests.

Though the development of protected areas is the major strategy for protection of biodiversity in Georgia, some other priority directions in this field have emerged:

  • conservation – preservation of rare and endangered species in bio-reserves;

  • creation of genetic fund of wild nature;

  • sustainable use of renewable natural resources;

  • reproduction – breeding of rare and endangered species and their introduction in the nature.

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS or Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It has been signed in 1979 in Bonn (Germany.) Georgia ratified the treaty in 2000 together with its three agreements:

  • Agreement on “Protection of Populations of European Bats” (EUROBATS);

  • Agreement on “Conservation of Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area “ (ACCOBAMS );

  • Agreement on “Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds” (AEWA).

Taking into account, that the Agreements have been initially designed as an instrument for facilitating the implementation of the CMS, the compliance with and enforcement of CMS in Georgia is mostly reflected in implementation of the Agreements.

1.1.5 Environmental Standards and Norms
Environmental Quality Regulations and Standards

Within the context of the road project, the environmental quality standards and norms are of primary importance. They define the quality of ambient air, admissible levels of surface waters pollution and measures of their protection including the zones of sanitary protection. The mentioned standards are considered under a separate clause (Clause 2.1.4). The maximum admissible levels of atmospheric air pollution and noise are also of a certain importance to the stage of building. Noise and atmospheric air pollution pose be a certain problem during the building operations (mainly, as the building techniques emissions and welding emissions) and exploitation of the rehabilitated objects (e.g. in case of operation of diesel-generators).

In accordance with the ‘Law on public health’, the environmental qualitative norms are approved by Decrees of the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Security of Georgia (Decrees Nos. 297/N of 16.08.2001, including the changes made to it by further decrees of the Ministry Nos. 38/N of 02.24.2003, 251/N of 09.15.1006, 351/N of 12.17.2007).

Ambient Air Quality Norms. The provisions for the protection of ambient air against contamination and the values of Maximum Admissible Concentrations of the harmful substances in the ambient air in the vicinity of the settlements is provided in the Environmental Quality Norms approved by the Order #297N (16.08.2001) of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection (as amended by the Order No 38/n of the same Ministry of 24.02.2003). The quality of atmospheric air (pollution with hazardous matter) is also defined by the order of the Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources (#89, 23 October 2001) on approval of the rule for calculation of index of pollution of atmospheric air with hazardous pollution.

Maximum Admissible Concentration of Pollutants (MAC) in Ambient Air mg/m3



N according to CAS


MAC (mg/m3)

Class of harmfulness

Maximum fugitive

Average Daily









Nitrogen (IV)
















Carbone Oxide







Soot (Carbone black)






Noise Standards. The Georgian standards for noise control are approved by the Decree of the Minister for Health, Labour and Social Affairs (297n of August 16, 2001) on the ‘Approval of Environmental Quality Standards’, which specify the tolerable and maximum admissible levels of noise for different zones.
Table 2.5.1 Georgian Noise Quality Standards in Residential Areas


Indicative Level La dBA

Maximum Admissible Level La max dBA

7am – 11 pm



11pm – 7am



1.1.6 Construction Permits
Terms and procedures for obtaining Construction Permit, as well as issues related to the State supervision are mostly covered by the following legal acts of Georgia:

  • The Law of Georgia on Construction Permit 25.06.2004

  • Decree No 140 of the Government of Georgia on the Rules and Conditions for Issuing Construction Permit (11.08.2005) with amendments introduced by Government Decrees of 09/01/2005 N 151; 12/01/2005 N 214; 01/23/2006 N 16; 06/20/2006 N 115; 08/23/2006 N 160 and No 101 of 16.05.2007

  • The Law of Georgia on State Supervision over the Architecture and Construction Related Activities (14.11.1997) with amendments introduced by Government Decrees of 06/22/2001 N 992; 12/29/2004 N 857; 12/22/2005 N 2405

We will briefly review Construction Permit related procedures to address the environmental aspects of these procedures.

In case if the construction is carried out by a Ministry of the Government of Georgia or its structural unit, the preparation and agreement with the authorities of the project documentation should comply with the requirements stipulated in the Decree No 101 of 16.05.2007. In particular, the project documentation and its review procedures should comply with the requirements set forth for phase I, II and III of permitting cycle by the Decree No 140 of the Government of Georgia on the Rules and Conditions for Issuing Construction Permit. This provision is applicable

Phase I. Pre-Design Stage

  • Confirmation of the land plot ownership and preparation of related documents

  • Agreement on SoW and ToR for the Architectural Design with the Architectural Department of local administration

  • Preparation of the Design in accordance with the aforementioned SoW and ToR.

Phase II. Consent of the Architectural Department of local administration

Phase III. Application for acquiring Construction Permit and permitting procedures

I. Pre-Design Phase
To obtain Construction Permit the project proponent should provide documents confirming land plot ownership or right for land use – extracts from the State Register or agreement with the land owner. This is relevant also for the construction activities to be carried out by the central or local governmental bodies.
Terms of Reference for Architectural Design is a complex of requirements determined by normative acts and defines:

  • destination (residential building; industrial etc.)

  • parameters (number of floors, dimensions etc.)

  • layout

  • List of Technical Requirements - environmental, technical and organizational conditions for design and construction. Each of these conditions should be agreed with the appropriate service agencies and should be supplemented to the technical documentation.

Terms of Reference for Architectural Design should comprise requirements related to urban development planning; environmental protection and hygiene and sanitary safe conditions; protection of cultural heritage and historical sites etc. TOR for the architectural design should be issued by the Architectural Department of local administration and Project Design documentation should be prepared by the project proponent in accordance with this TOR..

II. Design Phase

Design should be prepared in accordance with all requirements set forth within the Terms of Reference for Architectural Design and in compliance with the relevant design and construction standards.

Design should be cleared by the Architectural Department of a local administration. In case if construction is to be carried out in a zone of cultural heritage protection, consent of the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport is also required.
Phase III. Construction Permit
In case if the project is to be implemented in territories with special regime, appropriate consent of the relevant governmental body is required. This requirement is relevant for:

  • protected areas

  • State border zone

  • sanitary protection zones of resorts

  • coastal zone

  • Right of Ways of highways, railways, pipelines and electro-transmission lines

  • Sanitation-protection zones of water supply headworks, water reservoirs, hazardous waste disposal facilities etc.

  • Zone of historical or cultural heritage protected in accordance with the law of Georgia on Cultural Heritage Protection

The ‘Law of Georgia on Cultural Heritage’ was approved in May of 2007. Article 14 of the Law specifies the requirements for ‘large-scale’ construction works. According to this Article, a decision on career treatment and ore extraction on the whole territory of Georgia, as well as on construction of an object of a special importance as it may be defined under the legislation of Georgia, is made by a body designated by the legislation of Georgia based on the positive decision of the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport of Georgia. The basis for the conclusion is the archeological research of the proper territory to be carried out by the entity wishing to accomplish the ground works. The entity wishing to do the ground works is obliged submit the Ministry the documentation about the archeological research of the territory in question. The preliminary research should include field-research and laboratory works. In case of identifying an archeological object on the territory to study, the conclusion of the archeological research should contain the following information: (a) a thorough field study of the archeological layers and objects identified on the study territory by using modern methodologies, (b) recommendations about the problem of conservation of the identified objects and planning of the building activity on the design territory, on the basis of the archeological research.

Georgian Law on Regulation and Engineering Protection of Coasts of Sea, Water Reservoirs and Rivers of Georgia (27.12.2006, No. 4131)
Article 9. Rules regulating the economic activity within the coast protection zone

    1. The body issuing a building permit within the zone of coast engineering protection is obliged to engage the Ministry in the permit issuing process as a concerned administrative body and send it proper documentation for the obligatory conclusion.

    2. The construction project of buildings and premises within the zone of coast engineering protection should envisage the compensation amounts for the expected coastal damage.

    3. Extraction of inert material within the zones of strict supervision of sea, water reservoir or river is prohibited, unless this is done for the purposes of coast-formation or control of streams.

    1. Environmental and social requirements of the WB

1.2.1 The World Bank Policy, Safeguards and Environmental Guidelines
WB Environmental Guidelines
All projects funded by WB must comply with the WB Safeguards and Environmental Guidelines. The purpose of these guidelines is to establish an environmental review process to ensure that the projects undertaken as part of programs funded under WB loans are environmentally sound, are designed to operate in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements, and are not likely to cause a significant environmental, health, or safety hazard.

WB is committed to program design that reflects the results of public participation in host countries during all phases of the program, integrating governmental interests with those of private business and civil society.

Finally, WB is committed to the principles of host-country responsibility for measures to mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts. WB funded projects shall therefore comply with host-country laws, regulations and standards, as well as requirements by which the host country is bound under international agreements.

The WB Bank Procedures, Operational Manuals and Good Practices having regard to the Road infrastructure rehabilitation projects are listed below:

  • BP/OP/GP 4.01 Environmental Assessment

  • WB BP/OP/GP 4.04 Natural Habitats

  • WB OP 4.11 Cultural Heritage

  • WB BP/OP 4.12 Involuntary Resettlement

  • WB BP/OP 4.36 Forestry

  • WB BP 17.50 Disclosure of Operational Information

EIA and Environmental Screening under WB Guidelines
The Bank undertakes environmental screening of each proposed project to determine the appropriate extent and type of EA. Screening principles and procedures, as well as other conceptual and procedural details of EIA process, are described in BP/OP 4.01 Environmental Assessment. The Bank classifies the proposed project into one of three categories, depending on the type, location, sensitivity, and scale of the project and the nature and magnitude of its potential environmental impacts. The Bank establishes following three categories:

Category A is assigned to a proposed project if it is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented. These impacts may affect an area broader than the sites or facilities subject to physical works. Full scale EIA and relatively longer period for public discussions (e.g. 120 days for projects implemented by WB in USA) is required in this case. EA for a Category A project examines the project’s potential negative and positive environmental impacts, compares them with those of feasible alternatives (including the “without project” situation), and recommends any measures needed to prevent, minimize, mitigate, or compensate for adverse impacts and improve environmental performance. For a Category A project, the Borrower is responsible for preparing a EIA report.

Category B is assigned to a proposed project if its potential adverse environmental impacts on human environment are less adverse than those of Category A projects (e.g. insignificant impact on sensitive area or medium grade impact on less sensitive area). Like Category A EA, category B EA examines the project’s potential negative and positive environmental impacts and recommends any measures needed to prevent, minimize, mitigate, or compensate for adverse impacts. The findings and results of Category B EA are described in the project documentation (Project Appraisal Document and Project Information Document). The EA for B category projects could be provided in a form of Environmental Management Plans (EMP) or Environmental Review (ER), which includes EMP.
Category C is assigned to a proposed project if it is likely to have minimal or no adverse environmental impacts. Beyond screening, no further EA action is required for a Category C project.
As additional criteria in support for screening procedures the GP-4.01 Annex B provides – “Types of Projects and Their Typical Classifications” with following comment: “Bank and international experience shows that projects in certain sectors or of certain types are normally best classified as illustrated below. These examples are only illustrative; it is the extent of the impacts, not the sector, that determines the extent of the environmental assessment and, hence, the category”.

EIA evaluates the potential environmental risks and impacts of a specific project in its area of influence, examines alternatives to the project, identifies ways of improving project selection, siting, planning, design, and implementation by preventing, minimizing, mitigating, or compensating for adverse environmental impacts and enhancing positive impacts. EIA includes the process of mitigating and managing adverse environmental impacts during the implementation of a project.

EIA should:

  • be initiated as early as possible in project development and be integrated closely with the economic, financial, institutional, social, and technical analyses of a proposed project

  • examine a need for resettlement, mplications for indigenous peoples and cultural property, and trans-boundary global environmental aspects.

  • take into account specific host-country conditions – the findings of environmental studies, National Environmental Action Plans, national legislation, the capabilities of the entity implementing the project, as they relate to managing environmental and social impacts, and obligations of the country under relevant international environmental treaties and agreements.

EIA report should include:

  • Executive summary – significant findings and recommended actions

  • Policy, legal and administrative framework within which the EIA is carried out

  • Project description

  • Baseline data

  • Environmental impacts

  • Analysis of alternatives (including mitigation measures)

  • EMP including associated costs

Consultation - lists and describes consultation meetings, including consultations for obtaining the informed views of the affected people, local NGOs and regulatory agencies.
Public consultation

Consistent with WB principles of host-country ownership of the projects implemented under its loans, the porject proponent will ensure meaningful public consultation in the development of WB loan-related EIAs and make public the results of EIAs. Public disclosure and consultation procedures are defined in WB BP 17.50 – “Disclosure of Operational Information” and described in details in WB Environmental Sourcebook Vol. I chapter 7 and Updates #5 - “Public Involvement in

Environmental Assessment: Requirements, Opportunities and Issues”. The Bank requests consultations for A and B Category projects. For the category A projects WB requires two consultation meetings (one at scoping, and one on draft EA) and disclosure of draft and final documents in country and through WB website.

1.2.2 Comparison of the National legislation and WB requirements
Environmental assessment established under the Bank’s Operational Policies (OP 4.01) and Guidelines (BP 4.01) is analogous to the EIA provided under the legislation of Georgia.
The Bank’s guidelines provide detailed description of procedures for screening, scoping and conducting EIA and explain a complete list of stages, which are not envisaged under the national legislation.
Considering an ecological risk, cultural heritage, resettlement and other factors, the Bank classifies projects supported by them under categories A, B and C. As mentioned in the Georgian national legislation review section, EIA is carried out only if a developer seeks to implement projects listed in the Law on Environmental Impact Permit. This list is compatible with the category A projects of the Bank classification. According to the Georgian legislation EIA is not required in other instances, while World Bank guidelines may require limited EA or Environmental Reviews for the B category projects, as well.
Georgian legislation does not specify format of environmental management plans (EMPs) and stage of their provision for the projects requiring EIA and do not request EMPs for the projects not requiring EIAs. The World Bank guidelines request EMPs for all categories of the projects and provide detailed instructions on the content.

According to the Georgian legislation, MoE is responsible for monitoring of project implementation on compliance with the standards and commitments, provided in the EIA, and less clearly is defined role of EMPs. The PIU or “Project Proponent” is responsible for implementing “self-monitoring” programs for the projects requiring EIA. The WB guidelines stress the role of EMPs, which are important for all categories of projects and Project Proponent (in our case – MDF) is requested to ensure inclusion of monitoring scheme and plans into EMPs. Monitoring of performance compliance against EMPs is important element of WB requirements.

The above considerations reveal major differences between the Bank guidelines and the national legislation.
Some of the specific issues are considered below:
The most significant difference between the Bank’s approaches on one hand and the national legislation on the other is that the latter does not take into account the issue of involuntary resettlement at any stage of environmental permit issuance. The Georgian legislation considers social factor only in regard with life and health safety (e.g. if a project contains a risk of triggering landslide, or emission/discharge of harmful substances or any other anthropogenic impact). Thus, the national legislation does not consider resettlement as an issue in the process of issuing environmental permits, unlike the Bank which takes a comprehensive approach to this issue.
While the Bank’s document establishes the responsibility of a Borrower for conducting an environmental assessment, the national legislation provides for the responsibility of a project implementing unit to prepare EIA and ensure its consultation.
The role of the Ministry is restricted to the participation in EIA consultation and carrying out state ecological examination required for the adoption of a decision on issuing an EIA permit as established under the legislation of Georgia. WB provides oversight on the entire EIA process from initial screening/scoping till the review of drafts and approval and public disclosure of the final EIA.

In regard with consultation: The Bank requires consultations for A and B Category projects (at least two consultations for Category A projects) from the Borrower. The national legislation until recently contained only a brief reference to this issue without providing real tools of its fulfillment. The amendments to the Governmental Decree On the Procedure and Conditions of Environmental Impact Assessment established the requirement of public consultation of the EIA, which obligates a developer (i) to ensure public consultation of EIA, (ii) publication of information, (iii) receive comments within 45 days, (iv) arrange consultation not later than 60 days from the date of publication, invite stakeholders and determine the place of consultation).

Table of Activities



Georgian Legislation

WB Requirements



Project Proponent in consultation with MoE

Bank and Consultant hired by Project Proponent



Not required. Could be conducted voluntarily by Project Proponent.

Obligatory. Bank and Consultant hired by Project Proponent


Draft EIA

To be prepared by Environmental Consultant.

To be prepared by Environmental Consultant.


Public Consultations

The EIA should be available for public review during 45 days. Publication of information in central and regional mass-media. Arrange consultation not later than 60 days from the date of publication.

At least two consultations for Category A projects – one at the scoping stage and one for the draft EIA.


Final EIA

Consider all comments received during public consultations, incorporate accepted remarks and explain rational when the comments are disregarded.

Consider all comments from Bank and public. Agree with the Bank on each raised point.

Incorporate accepted public comments and explain rational when the comments are disregarded.


Management Plans

No clear guidelines on format, content and timing

Incorporate Monitoring and Management Plans in the EIA.


Review and Approval


Bank and separately - MoE (if the EIA is required by Georgian legislation)


Disclosure of final EIA

Not requested

Publication (mainly electronic) of the final EIA.

Harmonization of the WB and Georgian Legislation requirements
In order to comply with the both regulations – the WB and Georgian legislation – the content of the EIA should comprise issues requested in both regulations, - thus complementing each other. I.e. the EMPs should be elaborated in details as requested by the WB regulations. The assessment of the stationary sources of emission (e.g. diesel generators) should be executed according to Georgian regulations: “Inventory of the Stationary Sources of Emission” and “Approval of the Emission Limits”. The first public consultation (requested by WB guidelines but not by Georgian regulations) will be held at the Scoping stage. The second one will be executed according to Georgian requirements as described in p.2.1.2.

2. Legislation of Georgia and WB Guidelines Related to Land Acquisition and Resettlement Issues
2.1. Legislation and administrative structure in georgia
2.1.1 Institutional Responsibilities

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