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The seminar entitled "Prospectives of ratification Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers Protocol and assistance for developing it in Central Asia" was held in December 2006, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The seminar was organized by European Ecoforum in cooperation with "Greenwomen" Ecological News Agency (Kazakhstan).

Representatives of the Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan
Business Association for Sustainable Development, Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Ecology and Climate as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan l took part in the seminar.

Participants were informed about the relevant international agreements to PRTR Protocol.
They also discussed exisiting conditions of involvement of Central Asian countries in this Prorocol
and role of the different sectors in creation of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.

Participants shared information concerning practical examples and experience in implementing PRTR projects and initiatives. Attendees expressed concern regarding public initiatives in Central Asian countries for implementation of the PRTR Protocol.

The participants recognized NGOs further need workshops and seminars to create and use PRTR data; leaflets, booklets and other publications to raise public awareness, assistance for organizations to use PRTR data properly and public participation in creation of national PRTR data.

Participants prepared the statement addressing to governments and organizations:

  • continue work started after 5th Ministerial Conference in Kiev (2003);

  • add special notes to Ecoforum report on implementation of obligations for "Environment for Europe" process, informing about non-active position of countries to aware access to information, public participation in decision-making and ratification of PRTR Protocol;

  • offer Aurhus Convention Secretariat, governments and international organizations to include special meeting on PRTR Protocol in the agenda of 6th Ministerial Conference in Belgrade (Serbia, 2007).

NGOs sent letter of requirements to governments concerning how countries implement PRTR Protocol.

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Attention: ministers of environmental protection, concerned ministries and departments, industrial enterprises, EECCA public organizations, OSCE, UNITAR, European Eco Forum

STATEMENT OF CENTRAL ASIAN NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

During the fifth ministerial conference entitled Environment for Europe held in Kiev in 2003, NGOs strictly identified their position regarding the conference agenda, IN PARTICULAR, improvement of access to information and public participation in making valuable environmental decisions.

Four years after many problems remain unsolved. In October 2007 the fifth ministerial conference will be held in Belgrade to give an evaluation of fulfillment of decisions made in Kiev in 2003.

In this regard, we, non-governmental organizations of Central Asia, find it important to pay attention in the ECO Forum report on the fulfillment of commitments within the Environment for Europe process to the passivity of countries in terms of improvement of informational access, public participation in making valuable environmental decisions, and ratification of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) to the Aarhus Convention.

We are reminding the governments that the public is concerned over reports on pollution rates and calling on the governments, Aarhus Convention Secretariat, international and non-governmental organizations to incorporate a special session on PRTRs in a list of events of the Environment for Europe conference in Belgrade.

Public organizations believe that ratification of PRTRs is needed to implement principle 10 of Rio-de-Janeiro declaration and further fulfillment of Aarhus Convention. Extending the access to pollution data, the Protocol will enable the people to receive necessary information on industrial emissions and pollutants transfer and more actively influence the valuable environmental decision-making process, as well as, enhance the responsibility of business sector for environmental preservation, encourage industrial enterprises to introduce effective treatment technologies and develop clean production.

The value of PRTRs has been repeatedly demonstrated in various countries. These registers were applied by local communities, industrial enterprises, local administration, public agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

PRTRs give the general public an important information on environmental pollution and are the tools for improving the handling of toxic chemicals.

The statement was endorsed at the workshop Prospects of Ratification of PRTRs and Facilitation of PRTRs Implementation in Central Asia (15 December 2006, Almaty).
 

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