OSCE assists Kazakhstan in implementing Aarhus Convention on public participation in environmental decision making


OSCE assists Kazakhstan in implementing Aarhus Convention on public participation in environmental decision makingAn OSCE-supported roundtable discussion on the further adaptation of the national legislation to the requirements of the Aarhus Convention took place on Tuesday in Astana.

The Aarhus Convention (the UN Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) links environmental rights and human rights, and establishes that sustainable development can only be achieved through the involvement of all stakeholders, the press service of the OSCE Centre in Astana reports.

Some 40 representatives from the Environmental Protection Ministry, non-governmental organizations, Aarhus centres based in Kazakhstan and a number of environmental, economic and legal national experts participated in the event, which was organized with the OSCE Centre’s support. Participants analyzed the correspondence of Kazakhstan’s legislation to the commitments of the country as a party to the Aarhus Convention, and drew up recommendations on bringing the legislation closer in line with international commitments.

“The Aarhus Convention is an important means to protect the environment and enhance civil society’s participation in environmental governance and justice,” said Jeannette Kloetzer, the Acting Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana. “For this reason we support Kazakhstan’s efforts to monitor, assess and improve the application of the Convention’s principles in political and legislative decision making with broad public participation.”

“The implementation of the Aarhus Convention is important for Kazakhstan and this workshop aims to facilitate the discussion of future steps and draft recommendations for its implementation,” said Anatoliy Dernovoy, Executive Secretary of the Environmental Protection Ministry.

The event is a part of the Centre’s activities conducted in close partnership with the Ministry, local administrations, academia and environmental NGOs to promote the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Kazakhstan.