What tools can better inform the public about the environment, and how can citizens more effectively participate in decision-making processes? These are the main topics at a series of seminars that will be held this week in Aktau, capital of the Mangystau Province in Kazakhstan. Experts from Mangystau, Central Kazakhstan, and the Czech Republic will present an online map of environmental hotspots in the province.
Environmental organizations will also launch the Small Grants Programme to financially support local civic initiatives. Courses and workshops are addressed to representatives of local governments, active citizens, NGOs, and the media. A list of individual actions is annexed to this press release.
“Training will gather more than 40 participants from NGOs and environmental journalists specializing in the issues as well as government officials. Together, they will explore practical mechanisms for implementing key provisions of the Aarhus Convention. Coaching staff and a rich program will enable participants to learn the best practices of the convention, practical examples from Europe and our country, to discuss the problem, and find possible solutions,” said Kirill Osin, Regional project Coordinator, Director of NHRIs "Eco Mangistau".
”The crucial first step to solve environmental problems is to provide free access to accurate and complete information. The cooperation of citizens, state authorities, experts, and private companies is essential. The media plays an important role in enlightment,” Martin Skalsky from the Czech NGO Arnika says. He will present successful examples from his country: the top ten of the biggest polluters of the environment, campaign to stop felling the trees, and the database of harmful development projects, existing in city of Prague.
Dmitry Kalmykov from Karaganda EcoMuseum will explain how to understand and interpret environmental data on toxic pollution. Svetlana Spatar from the Green Salvation, Almaty, will share the wide experience of her organization and the experience of the massive campaign “Save Kok-Jeilau” to protect high-mountains territory inhabited by the snow leopard.
The coalition of non-governmental organizations will launch the Small Grants Programme to help the citizens of Mangystau to solve environmental problems in their neighbourhood. The amount of individual grants will range from 1,500 EUR to 3,000 EUR. All interested people can come to the workshop at November 6, get the project form, and receive an explanation about how to submit a project proposal. In total, 16,000 EUR will be distributed to local citizens initiatives.
The project "Enforcing citizens’ rights and public participation in decision making on environmental issues – practical implementation of Aarhus Convention in Mangystau" was implemented by Arnika (the Czech Republic), Eco Mangystau, Ecomuseum and CINEST (Karaganda). The funds for the project have been provided by the European Union to the amount of EUR 336.120.
More informations about whole project: http://english.arnika.org/EN/news/practical-implementation-of-aarhus-convention-the-eu-project-launched-in-mangystau
Practical solution of environmental issues: week of workshops in Aktau, Kazakhstan
A series of training sessions, meetings with local community, and the round table will be held in Aktau in the week of November 3 to 7, 2014. These training sessions are intended for non-governmental organizations, state authorities, and mass media.
November 5: Round table with authorities
The walls of the Mangystau Province akimat will host a round table of state authorities, private companies, businessmen, independent experts, non-governmental organizations, and active citizens. The discussion will focus on the practical implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the region - public participation in decision making and access to environmental information. The meeting will be held under auspices and with participation of the deputies akim of the Mangystau Province. Memorandum of Understanding between the provincial akimat and non-governmental organization "Eco Mangystau" will be signed at the end of discussion.
Time: 9:30 – 13:00 / Venue: Mangystau Province Akimat
November 5: Training for the journalists
How can media cooperate with civic organizations? Examples of the campaigns where the non-governmental organizations serve as a source of data or new information for the media will be presented. What tools journalists can use to explain the environmental issues to the public understandable way?
Time: 15:00 – 18:00 / Venue: Aktau Hotel, 2 microdistrict, 1st floor, conference room
November 6: Training for non-governmental organizations
Interpretation of environmental information, successful examples, and practical tips will be presented for working with the information and participation in decision making procedures. Importance of cooperation of the non-governmental organizations and the media will be stressed. Small Grants Programme for local civic initiatives will be launched, offering total sum of 16,000 EUR
Time: 09:30 – 17:00 / Venue: Aktau Hotel, 2 microdistrict, 1st floor, conference room
November 7: Science Café “To Know Or Not To Know”
Active citizens and independent experts are invited for a cup of tea and friendly informal discussion on one of the hot problems of the region – waste management.
Time: 11:00 – 14:00 / Venue: Pub Crystal, 12 microdistrict