The Aarhus Centers annual meeting 2016 highlighted their role in the green economy and the effective management of resources
On the agenda of the Aarhus Centers annual meeting 2016 held on November 21-23, in Vienna was the discussion of the role of Aarhus Centres and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In particular,the representatives of the Aarhus Centers form 14 countriesbrings together on the initiative of the OSCE Secretariat, the National Coordinators of the Aarhus Convention, partners, experts, international organizations and civil society, as well as the representatives ofthe OSCE offices discussed issues of implementation of green economyand efficient use of resources.
Since 2002, within the framework of theOSCEactivitiesaddressed to the economic and environmental issuessupport isprovidedby the OSCE local offices for the implementation of the Aarhus Conventionas a primary toolestablishing Aarhus Centres in a number of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus and ensuring their continuous operation.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary Generalstressed that the Aarhus Centers are among theprimary initiatives of the OSCE, whichdefinitelyunite efforts of the democratic institutions, environmental protection and security consolidation organization.
The speaker stressed that the green economy is ahuge task requiringcoordinated contribution of all parties concerned.”This is the field where the Aarhus Centers can make a change, because they have become a safe bridge between society and government bodies, in some cases, the private sector,” he added.
In the evening of the first meeting,during the reception organized bythe OSCE Economic and Environmental issues coordinating body,KhachikHakobyanDeputy Minister of nature ProtectionledArmenia’s delegation delivered a welcoming speech.
He greeted the participants and thanked the organizers for initiating and enabling the participation of the Armeniandelegation in such a high level event. The latter highlighted the role ofGermany,this yearOSCE presiding country and evaluation of the green economy byAustria, assuming that role in 2017 and appreciatingthe role of the Aarhus centers in terms ofdisseminationand implementation of that ideology.
The meeting provided an opportunity to the Aarhus centers to deepen their understanding of on the concept of green economy and discuss how theycan contributeto this initiative in the future.
The green economy aims to promote economic development through the introduction of new approaches to the efficient use of natural resources, reducing the environmental risksand the ecological deficit.
The main role of the Aarhus Centers the meeting participants saw in supporting the principles of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development by providing local communities and the active involvement of civil society.
They discussed the challenges of ensuring the continuing work of the centers, including legal status, funding, fundraising and other issues.
On November 23, the event participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the system of waste managementin Vienna as a model example of efficient use of resources.It was really impressive.
The guests were informed about the sorted garbage collection carried out in Vienna, garbage cans are placed in every 200-250m distance.
The unsorted garbage is burnt in a special technology, as a result of which theemerged thermalenergy is directed to heating of most of the residential buildings in Vienna, more than 50 000 apartments.
At the area ofthe waste plantwe have witnessed, how the people themselves in their own cars brought sorted garbage to the landfill, which is of course completely different from our notionsof the landfillso far.
Then the participants had the opportunity to see what actions are taken towards the introduction of environmental protection and green economy in the city ofTulln situatedabout 50 km fromthe capital, on the banks of Danube River, with a population of 15 000, from the reasonable use of lands to the electric input.
The annual meeting of the Aarhus Centers 2016became a reality with the support of the OSCE chairmanship, in the face of Germany, Austria and the European integration and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Swiss Government.
Prepared by Mary Chakryan
Translated by Anush Beybutyan