The Environmental Policy Strategy is a national cross-sectoral strategy of Latvia for the period 2009-2015. Its main objective is to provide the public with the opportunity to live in a clean and well-arranged environment through sustainable development, preservation of environmental quality and biological diversity, sustainable use of natural resources, as well as participation of the public in the decision-making and its awareness of the environmental situation. The Strategy is guided by the following principles: principle of sustainable development; principle of assessment; prevention principle; precautionary principle; “polluter pays” principle; and principle of public awareness and participation.The Strategy aims to make use of natural resources more productive and sustainable. To this end, it is planning to address five thematic sections: air, water, land, nature, and climate. For air, the document aims to ensure air quality in compliance with the requirements provided for in the legislation through involvement of local governments, businessmen and the public; to reduce air pollution; to ensure that radioactivity level does not exceed the acceptable standards; to provide the public with the operational information on volumes of air and radioactive pollution; to identify environmental noise levels and stipulate the measures for their reduction; to inform and involve the public about the air quality; and to reduce air pollutant emissions in the sectors of energy, manufacturing, transport and agriculture, as well as in households. For water, the Strategy targets to ensure water quality in compliance with the legislative requirements, to reduce eutrophication of inland waters and to ensure quality of water services; to improve the quality and accessibility of water services; to reduce water consumption; to ensure that water quality is not compromising human health; and to increase public awareness on importance of water resources. For land, the document provides for ensuring sustainable use and protection of land resources by encouraging implementation of the principle of sustainable consumption and production; to ensure rational, environmentally sound and sustainable use of land resources, subterranean depths; to ensure safe management and storage of radioactive substances; to reduce industrial accident risks; to limit transmission of pollutants from polluted sites; and to increase the public awareness of sustainable use of natural resources. For nature, the Strategy aims to ensure balance between nature conservation and economic interests; to maintain biological diversity; to grant a favorable conservation status to at least 60% of habitats and species of EU importance; and to increase public awareness of importance of the natural assets.In order to increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters, the Strategy aims to provide contribution of Latvia to prevention of global climate change by ensuring balance between environmental and economic interests. Namely, the Strategy aims to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions do not exceed commitments set for Latvia; to develop stronger scientific knowledge base on the aspects of mitigation of climate change and adaptation to it; to increase public awareness of climate change; to coordinate measures in order to ensure harmonised reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; to coordinate participation of Latvia in the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol; to support efficient and rational use of energy; to promote scientific studies on mitigation of climate change and adaptation to it; to ensure communication for informing all groups of society about climate change and for increasing public participation, to encourage initiative at local level; and to develop the Adaptation Concept envisaging the inclusion of climate change related impact assessments and risk management in the policies of the respective sectors of national economy.Each thematic section of the Strategy outlines specific actions to be taken, the responsible institutions and an implementation timeframe for achievement of the objectives. In order to meet the objectives defined in the Strategy and to solve the identified problems, the Operational Strategy of the Ministry of Environment of Latvia 2010-2012 will be drafted establishing the priorities in achievement of objectives set in this Strategy. Reporting on implementation will be done in the middle and end phase of application of the Strategy. The Ministry of Environment of Latvia must, by 1 December 2012, submit to the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia an informative report on the implementation progress of the Strategy (midterm report) and the required complements to the Strategy. By 1 December 2015 the Ministry of Environment must prepare and submit to the Cabinet an informative report on implementation of the Strategy and draft proposals for development of environmental policy for subsequent years.
Implements: Environmental Protection Law. (2006-11-02)