GB No. 1(16)/95



A meeting in the Ministry of Environment, Nature and Forest Resources Protection (MO¦ZNiL - Ministerstwo Ochrony ¦rodowiska, Zasobów Naturalnych i Le¶nictwa) was held on 28th December, 1994. Below is a report from the press conference after the first session of the Committee of Sustainable Development.

In the beginning the Minister of Environment Protection pointed out that Poland is the first country in Eastern Europe to create a committee like that. He added that there were various ways of bringing such committees to life in other countries and our committee is Interdepartment, which makes it similar to the German one. In addition, one of the members of the committee said that its structure and possibility to influence decisions of the government had not been defined yet. For example, the Economic Committee of the Cabinet (KERM - Komitet Ekonomiczny Rady Ministrów) or the Social and Economic Committee of the Cabinet (KSERM Komitet Społeczno-Ekonomiczny Rady Ministrów) can strongly influence the government's proposals because some documents have to be opined by these bodies.

One of the journalists brought up a subject of the role of the new Committee. Mr Żelichowski, the Minister of Environmental Protection (Minister Ochrony ¦rodowiska), said "Pollution is being reduced but co-ordination is needed." Professor Nowicki added that the Committee would create "an integrated vision of development" and suggest them to the government. The vision would take into account environmental protection in such branches as agriculture, transport, energetics, industry, etc. Additionally, he emphasized that reforms to the system of education were necessary and more importance should be attached to the departments of health and culture (that is - to the non-productive ones). He said that the media and teachers would be helpful in those reforms. Other statements showed that members of the Committee were not certain what power they would have.

A question about relations between the Committee and the Ecological Council attached to the President of Poland was omitted by Mr Żelichowski: "We will invite members of the Ecological Council to our meetings. Besides, Professor Nowicki is a member of both bodies."

A question about the role of NGOs produced the same response. Then Mr Żelichowski confirmed that the Greens could be invited in accordance with lists which have been made during meetings held in MO¦ZNiL by Mrs Teresa Orło¶ (now the one-person Separate Section of Ecological Education) since 1992. Incidentally, why is this section called "ecological education" while its task is to improve contacts between MO¦ZNiL and NGOs? Are we really needed (for the Minister) only to provide education? Next question referred to the number of women in the Committee (4 out of 29 people). Mr Żelichowski smiled, "I don't want to make a joke of it but it is the man who knows best what women need." And added, "We will try to increase the role of women both in the Committee and in society."(The undersigned, together with Leszek Michno, came to a conclusion that in other country the Minister would have to go into hiding after giving such an opinion the women who were present at the conference were a bit irritated but did not come to blows over it.). "Will there be any fixed dates for realization of particular stages of sustainable development?" asked a BORE representative. (BORE - Biuro Obsługi Ruchów Ekologicznych - the Service Office of Ecological Movements). Mr Żelichowski: "From time to time (?? - DS) the chairperson reports to the Prime Minister about the Committee's work and makes suggestions." Other subjects included harmonizing our regulations with the European Union, installing catalytic converters in cars and filters in electric power stations, etc. In my opinion members of the Committee still think only about "the end of the pipe" (that is, about effects, not causes of destroying environment). The only positive exception was Professor Nowicki's attitude. He notices that people should change their system of values and ways of perceiving the world around. Generally, the Committee of Sustainable Development could be called a facade institution on its present stage. Maybe in future its members will be able to influence permanent politics of Polish government.

Darek Szwed


The following is to be executed:


2. The members of the Committee are:





Mr Marek Haliniak - the Ministry of Environmental Protection;


The Committee's tasks include integrating economical and social development with the needs of environmental and nature protection (ecodevelopment) through co-ordination of undertakings at governmental level; initiating, taking part in preparations and providing co-ordination of ecological projects which protect individual ecological safety of Polish people, and especially:

  1. periodic inspections and evaluation of accordance with requirements of ecodevelopment of: industrial, energetics, transport, agriculture, spacial, municipal, privatisation and health policies, development and restructuring projects, the existing law and fulfilling international requirements,
  2. stating opinions, recommendations, conclusions and projects of the Cabinet's acts by-law within the scope of implementation of ecodevelopment requirements,
  3. co-ordination in preparing reports about fulfilling the resolutions of Global Action Project (Globalny Program Działań) - Agenda 21 for the United Nations and in promoting Polish achievements and needs in this field,
  4. stating opinions on actions which are undertaken within the international conventions and other environmental protection agreements, which were ratified by Poland,
  5. co-ordination in preparing for the National Report on Implementation of Agenda 21, which will have been prepared by 1997.


When performing the tasks from 3 the chairperson of the Committee can:

  1. invite experts and representatives of state organs, financial and economical spheres, self-government and social organisations to take part in the Committee's works;
  2. initiate preparing evaluations and expert's reports, which are essential for the Committee's work.

5. Organisational and technical services for the Committee and means connected with its activities are provided by MO¦ZNiL.

6. The chairperson of the Committee reports on the Committee's work and conclusions to the Prime Minister periodically.

7. The instruction comes into force immediately after being signed.

Waldemar Pawlak
The Prime Minister


  1. Preparing a report for a session of the Committee of Permanent Development (Komisja Trwałego Rozwoju) in April, 1995. The session will touch the following: forest economy, biological diversity, proper spacial planning and counteraction against turning the Earth into a desert.
  2. Climatic convention - strategy of reduction C02, NOx methane, CFCs, halon and main fields of activity in economy.
  3. Financing environmental protection in Poland previous experience and new suggestions: increasing the role of voivodships and territorial districts, tax and duty incentives, reconstruction of the system of ecological fares (ecological surcharge on fuel), etc.
  4. Foundation of a national centre of cleaner production.
  5. Industrial policy with reference to especially harmful branches: energetics; metallurgy; chemistry.
  6. Suggestions of legal solutions which could make it possible to execute Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 within inculcating of international regulations of the Conference of Chemical Safety (Konferencja Bezpieczeństwa Chemicznego) in Stockholm in 1994.
  7. Transport policy.
  8. Conceptions of ecodevelopment in the strategy for Poland (project no.11 of the crucial. programme in the Strategy For Poland).
  9. Conclusions from discussion in the Parliament about executing the act of protecting and shaping the environment.
  10. Directions and foundations of spacial economy planning in Poland with special regard to such investments as highways, railways, gas and oil piping, managing rivers and canals, etc., in the context of inculcating ecodevelopment at regional level.

reprinted from Zielone Brygady 2/95

GB No. 1(16)/95 | Contents