BISHKEK, 7 May 2015 – The official opening of the Aarhus Centre in Bishkek was marked today by a one-day roundtable discussion on activities planned for the newly opened centre in the capital and the existing one in Osh, southern Kyrgyzstran. Their work is aimed at implementing the Aarhus Convention in the region.
The launch of the centre in Bishkek is the result of Memorandum of Understanding between the Kyrgyz State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry and the OSCE Centre in Bishkek signed last December.
“Our organization has extensive experience in the creation, development and maintenance of Aarhus Centres, which are represented in more than 45 countries of OSCE participating States,” said Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. “Restricted access to natural resources such as water, pastures and land, is often a cause for conflict. Aarhus Centres are designed to assist in establishing a dialogue, leading to the prevention and mitigation of conflicts related to use of resources. I want to assure you that the Agency has found a faithful, reliable and efficient partner represented by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek.”
The Aarhus Centre in Bishkek will distribute information and raise awareness on environmental matters. It will also play a central role in public awareness and access to justice on environmental issues.
The Aarhus Centres have been created to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, also known as the Aarhus Convention, signed in 1998. It is currently ratified by 45 European and Central Asian countries.
Kyrgyzstan ratified the Convention in 2001 and three years later the Aarhus Centre in Osh was established with the OSCE support. The Centre in Bishkek will work closely with the well-established Aarhus Centre in the south to build a national dialogue on environmental issues.