OSCE Supports Armenian Environmental Book

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The OSCE office announced that a new directory containing a comprehensive contact list of 70 government structures and institutions that provide ecological information has been published in Armenia.

The directory was prepared by the Center for Regional Development/Transparency International non governmental organization–with financial support from UNEP and OSCE.

This source book was inspired from the requiremen’s of Article 5 (a) of the UN ECE Convention on Access to Information–Public Participation in Decision-Making–and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention of 1998) ratified by Armenia last year–which says the government should provide "sufficient information to the public about the type and scope of environmental information held by the relevant public authorities–the basic terms and conditions under which such information is made available and accessible–and the process by which it can be obtained."

According to Sona Ayvazyan–an expert in charge of preparing the directory–"the publication contributes to the process of implementation of the Aarhus convention in Armenia. In particular–it can serve as a practical tool for NGOs–media–and the public at large–to be able to obtain the required ecological information."

The official launching of the publication took place on July 15 in the newly created Public Environmental Information Center in Armenia (Armenian Aarhus Center)–which was established under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Ministry of Nature Protection in March 2002.

Members of the Board of Experts who run the Center attended the event and emphasized the importance of the directory as a tool to start implementation of the Aarhus Convention–and to increase transparency of Government operations in this field.

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