Summary of seminar
Workshop on elaboration of indicators
for monitoring implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Kazakhstan
From October 28-30, 2003 a workshop took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on
elaboration of indicators for monitoring implementation of the Aarhus Convention
"On access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to
justice in environmental matters" in Kazakhstan.
The workshop organisers were the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and
Co-operation in Europe) Centre in Almaty and the Greenwomen Public Association (Kazakhstan).
Financial support was provided by the United States government.
In addition to Greenwomen, workshop participants included officials from
Kazakshtan's Ministry for Environmental Protection, deputies from the ecology
committee of Kazakhstan's Parliament, personnel from the OSCE's Almaty mission,
representatives from European ECO-Forum, World Resources Institute, UNEP/GRID-Arendal,
IUCN Central-Asian Regional Office, Regional Ecological Center for Central Asia
(REC) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs representatives included
the International Experts Network for Sustainable Development in Central Asia
and EcoForum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also participating were NGOs
representatives from several regions of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The purpose of the workshop was to elaborate a detailed methodology by which
society and the government might assess implementation of the Aarhus convention
in relation to access to information, decision-making and justice in the
environmental sphere in the Republic of Kazakhstan. A further purpose was to
establish a course of action for improving the environmental situation based on
results of this monitoring.
The workshop carried out within the framework of project on elaboration of
indicators for monitoring of the Aarhus convention implementation in Kazakhstan.
The project is managed by the OSCE Center in Almaty, the Greenwomen Public
Workshop participants used materials from the Access Initiative research group
and the Washington-based World Resources Institute. The Access Initiative is a
global coalition of civil society organizations, who promotes access to
information, participation and justice in decision-making. The coalition has
developed and pilot tested 9 countries around the world a methodology for the
development of national indicators monitoring access to information,
participation and justice. Findings from the research were presented accompanied
by practical proposals on how to involve the public in decision-making in the
Workshop participants used research materials provided by Access Initiative to
assess levels of implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Kazakhstan and to
form plans of action for improving the environmental situation at regional and
national levels. The World Resources Institute provided methodological support
and guidance in adapting The Access Initiative methodology for the development
of indicators in Kazakhstan.
Especially the workshop participants work out the following subjects:
- assessment situation in kazakhstan on access to information, public
participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters;
- elaboration of indicators on 4 categories:
1. on public access to ecological information.
2. on public participation in decision-making.
3. on access to justice in environmental matters.
4. capacity building with the aid of institutional base improving.
- measuring: with what periodicity and who must measure of the indicators.
- discussion preferences to found coalition on monitoring implementation
of the aarhus convention in kazakhstan.
- from results to practice: to form plans of action for improving the
environmental situation at regional and national levels (on indicators basis).
- ellaborate action frameworks for governmental and non-governmental
structures on monitoring implementation of the aarhus convention in kazakhstan
and make efforts to improve the environmental situation.
The workshop participants tried to assess implementation of the Aarhus
Convention in Kazakhstan and to form plans of action for improving the
environmental situation at regional and national levels. Admittedly, offered
indicators methodology might be adapted to national level and on the methodology
basis possible to elaborate local and national indicators.