The Government of Montenegro is undertaking finalization of the draft and process of adopting the Energy Development Strategy by 2030 (EDS), for which Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is being prepared simultaneously. The new Energy Policy, adopted in 2011, defines objectives of the energy development in Montenegro up to 2030, along with the main priorities and key strategic directions.
The SEA Law is relatively new for Montenegro (Official Gazette of the Republic of Montenegro No 80/05) and came into force on 1 January 2008. The SEA Law closely follows the EU Directive 2001/42/EC and sets out the guidelines to undertake a strategic environmental impact.
SEA is required under Montenegrin law and needs to be included as part of the decision-making process and to be prepared in parallel with the draft EDS.
The fundamental objective of conducting the SEA is comprehensive consideration of all the issues of environment, human health and socio-economic status of the population during preparation of the EDS for the purpose of providing sustainable development, public participation and improvement of the level of protection of environment and society. The SEA also needs to integrate the socio-economic and bio-physical segments, in order to connect, analyse and evaluate the activities of different stakeholders and to guide the EDS towards solutions that serve primarily to the benefit of the environment and society. Hence, the SEA is an instrument that helps to integrate sustainable development objectives and principles in decision-making by recognising the need to avoid or limit negative impacts on the environment, health and socio-economic status of the population, and to enhance positive impacts on them.
The SEA will enable an estimation of possible negative and positive impacts on environment and society and will suggest adequate measures to be undertaken in order to prevent or mitigate negative impacts, and enhance positive impacts, through activities which are foreseen by the EDS. Consequently, results of the SEA will greatly contribute to adequate and necessary decision-making in the process of EDS implementation.