The Estonian environmental policy takes its basis in the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia1, 1920, in Act 53 which states that every citizen duty is to preserve the human and natural environment and to compensate for damage caused to the environment by him or her.
The environmental legislation in Estonia is based on two main framework pieces of legislation: the Nature Protection Act of 1990 and the Sustainable Development Act of 1995. These Acts provide a basis for the elaboration of more detailed laws and administrative regulations on environmental protection and establish the general principles, aims and objectives of nature conservation, the use of natural resources and pollution control.
Section 2 of the Nature Protection Act provides the main objectives of environmental protection legislation. The task of the legislation is to provide the basis for the minimisation of pollution of the natural environment and the use of natural resources in amounts which maintain a natural balance. These principles are viewed as the fundamental requirements for economic activity.
Information on Estonia’s environmental legislation can be accessed through the Government’s official website.