Supervision – who and what is it for?
Although the state of the environment in Estonia can generally be considered good and most people do their best to protect nature of their own free will, state checks are still needed.
To ensure the sustainable use and protection of natural assets, the state has established both legal acts and a system of supervision.
The Environmental Board carries out supervision of the use of the environment and natural assets in almost 20 different fields, from the protection of forests and fish stocks through waste management to problems related to air and packaging. Supervision is designed to monitor the fulfilment of the requirements established to protect the natural environment.
The Environmental Board has the right to apply national enforcement measures in regard to those who break the law: imposing fines, demanding compensation for environmental damage caused, issuing cease-and-desist orders in regard to illegal activities that have a negative impact on the environment and demanding and monitoring the implementation of mandatory measures designed to protect the environment.
Access to protected areas is generally unlimited, with the exception of strict nature reserves and zones subject to temporary access restrictions. Information on restrictions can be found in the Nature Conservation map app. Photo: Maris Sepp
Supervision frequently means maintaining law and order
Checks are often preventive in nature. This helps to forestall breaches or to uncover them at an early enough stage to avoid more extensive environmental damage.
A significant proportion of the resources used for supervision are utilised for the maintenance of law and order in the fields of the protection of fish stocks and nature conservation, since they involve a large circle of people, from recreational fishermen to hunters and holiday-makers.
Supervision is mostly planned, but reports and complaints from the public about environmental breaches are addressed on an ongoing basis.