The case studies below highlight the best practices and negative examples on how new Member States used Cohesion and Structural Funds in the previous financing period and how biodiversity proofing of projects were used/should have been used to avoid negative impacts.

Good examples

The reconstruction of the Aruvalla-Kose section of the E263 Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa main road in Estonia included several biodiversity measures: acoustic barriers, planting grass and bushes, building tunnels for amphibians and small mammals and building the first ecoduct for large mammal migration in Estonia over the road. Read more>>>

The road reconstruction in the Marijampole region in Lithuania included the installment of amphibian fences along the road, where it intersects and borders a Natura 2000 site. Based on the cooperation with nature conservation organisations and institutions long term and effective solutions were found, and the impact on  amphibians was reduced. Read more>>

The retrofitting of 20 kV power line stretches in order to improve bird-safety on the territory of the Hevesi Füves Puszták Nature Reserve in Hungary is a good example of the use of Structural Funds for more reasons.  It has a positive impact on biodiversity during the entire life cycle of the project, not only at the time of installation, and taking into account the ecological conditions of the project’s impact area, it does not change these conditions, but instead adapts to them. Read more>>

The public campaign in the project “With open eyes in Hungary” financed from the Structural Funds  aimed to strengthen harmonic and sustainable relationship between the local society and the local natural environment using community programmes, school awareness raising programmes, and public events. As a result of the project the behaviour patterns linked to natural values  become more sustainable with several positive impacts on biodiversity.  Read more>>

The construction of the Lugoj-Deva highway was partially delayed due to environmental objections in Romania. The original EIA was incomplete because it was based on erroneous assessments – for example, the monitoring of large carnivores was done in winter, when bears hibernate. After intensive consultations initiated by environmental NGOs, the project has been improved through incorporating Green Infrastructure elements, such as five wildlife over-passes, two viaducts and three tunnels. Read more>>


Bad examples

In the development project of the unique Narva-Ivangorod fortresses ensemble in Estonia, the construction activities in and around the Narva Victoria fortification affected important bat habitats, which are also under protection. Even though the EIA pointed out to the need for a bat inventory and appropriate mitigation measures, the realised activities did not take into account the inventory outcomes. Many bats were frozen to death or sealed alive into the walls during the construction in the wintering period, and important holes in the walls were closed during the reconstruction. The environmental inspection also started a criminal proceeding. Read more>>

In the LitPol Link project the establishment of the power link connection between Lithuania and Poland is planned, which includes construction works near Natura 2000 sites. However, the insufficient EIA was not able to prove that the project would not affect these sites negatively, and thus NGOs filed a complaint to the Bern Convention’s Standing Committee. Even though extra study was carried out following the recommendations of the Convention’s Bureau, the preparatory works  started  on the field even before the study was made. Read more>>

The green field investment project of the Knorr Bremse Ltd. in Hungary had a severe negative impact on biodiversity through the irreversible land use change, soil loss and the disruption of the ecological network. However, no EIA was required for the project and thus the cumulative environmental, biodiversity and social impacts have not even been analysed properly. Read more>>

The project to widen and canalise the Görbepatak stream in Harghita County, Romania with the intention of flood prevention is likely to have both severe environmental and social consequences for the wildlife and the local population. However, no EIA was required for the project, and no public consultations were organised. The whole project lacks transparency. NGO representatives try to gather information and still influence the process. Read more>>