Abbreviated project report (July 1–December 31, 2002)


1. Roundtable in Bishkek

On September 17, 2002 in Bishkek Information and education center Greenwomen (Kyrgyzstan) with financial support from Central Asian Regional Ecological Center organized a roundtable “persistent organic pollutants: why they pose concerns, international initiatives, public actions”.

Members of Parliament, representatives of international organizations, NGOs and the media, scientists and POPs experts took part in the event.

Scientists and specialists presented reports informing about the current situation with persistent organic pollutants in Kyrgyzstan. Several breakout sessions were organized. As a result of breakout sessions specific proposals were formulated to address POPs-related issues in Kyrgyzstan.

Group 1

Represents general public as a group of citizens interested in addressing the issues but having no prior professional exposure. Facilitator of the session stressed that Stockholm Convention was among international documents providing opportunities for direct public participation.

The Group proposed several ways for active public participation:

1. Ecological education
2. Conscious decision to discontinue (reduce) application of persistent organic pollutants (as a direct result of ecological education) provided that alternative solutions will be identified
3. Public oversight of executive bodies
4. Public control over implementation of legislative acts
5. Public participation in decision-making.

Group 2

Represents general public through NGOs, non-profit organizations, educators.

The Group designed mechanisms for increasing the level of public awareness:

a) Mass media:

- special TV programs about persistent organic pollutants (under the general headings “Life threatening impacts of POPs”, “What do we know about persistent organic pollutants?”, “POPs and the surrounding environment”)
- publications in printed media
- publication of informational materials (flyers, brochures, bulletins)
- movies and documentaries
- PSAs

b) Education:

- special courses for schools and higher educational institutions, target audiences (customs, retail sales personnel, entrepreneurs)
- public lectures

c) Fostering public participation in:

- POPs-related actions (demonstrations, pickets, meetings etc.)
- Organization of lotteries and contests
- Public discussions of ecological projects
- Discussions of government and parliamentary reports and development of recommendations aimed at improving situation with persistent organic pollutants
- Volunteer actions and ecological events (garbage collection drives, clean-ups, planting of new trees)
- Volunteer contributions aimed at combating the impacts of persistent organic pollutants and preventing application of POPs
- Promotion and implementation of new alternative technologies (in agriculture, household maintenance)
- Promotion of individual examples and best practices (for example, through “best farm”, “ecological clean product” and other titles).

Group 3

The Group represents general public through NGOs.

The Group believes that general public can fulfill the following types of activities by generating additional resources (grants etc.) and establishing partnership relations:

- generate information about persistent public pollutants and distribute it to the general public
- organize educational activities (roundtables, seminars)
- work jointly with the media (actions, PSAs, brochures).

General discussions led to development of the following key proposals:

- in accordance with national legislation and provisions of the Orhus Convention, state bodies have to provide access to information related to application and destruction of persistent organic pollutants, food testing and environmental monitoring results, activities of enterprises posing potential POPs-related threats and other activities related to POPs influence on public health
- ensure public participation in conducting public expertise and implementing other types of decision-making related to persistent organic pollutants
- inform journalists throughout the nation to generate attention to POPs-related issues, inform general public of the need to reduce POPs pollution levels and promote alternative technological solutions
- UNDP project – consider opportunities for public participation in implementing Stockholm Convention (distribution of information through available media channels, documentaries, PSAs, publications), public expert analysis (control) over implementation of Laws and legislative acts related to persistent organic pollutants, ecological education for children and adults
- introduce POPs lectures as extracurricular activities or, possibly, as parts of instructional courses at schools and universities.

2. Developed a database of experts and specialists working on POPs-related issues in Kyrgyzstan

3. Informational campaign for NGOs and the media.

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