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In the Core of the Aarhus Centers Working Meeting was the Centers Further Management Issue

On July 10, was held the regular working meeting of the Aarhus Centers. At the beginning S. Ayvazyan, coordinator of Yerevan Aarhus Center presented details on the fifth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention and the second session of the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) held in Maastricht, the Netherlands to her colleagues.
The latter spoke both about the report of K. Hakobyan, deputy minister of Nature Protection of the RA about the process of implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Armenia, and about the speech of A. Grigoryan, chairman of “Environmental Law” NGO

on the problems associated with the implementation of the Convention, in particular about legislative gaps and inconsistencies of the pillars of the Convention with the national legislation.

G. Ghazinyan, Environmental Programme Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan, also highlighted the Maastricht meeting, the discussions regarding the implementation of the Aarhus Convention as well as the Aarhus Centers activities. Referring to the draft decision V/9a concerning compliance by Armenia with its obligations under the Convention, noted that failure of the Aarhus Convention implementation is conditioned due to the lack of public participation procedure.
It was highlighted the development and application of mechanisms for assessment and compensation of the damage posed to the impact of the surrounding environment, human health and property.

“The Aarhus Centers have assumed the mandate to inform ordinary citizens on their rights and support in protecting those rights and the centers are not interested in heightening tension and continuation of the conflict situation between the government and the public. Centers actions should be directed towards resolving the conflicts. ”
A. Hambardzumyan, lawyer spoke about an important process: legal basis of fund creation for the Aarhus Centers management and the centers legal status. “The point is that the Aarhus Centers exist de facto, but not de jure,” said the latter.

There was discussed the issue of ensuring equal representation of the governmental and non-governmental organizations at the Board of Trustees. Coordinator of Gyumri Aarhus Center suggested civil society not only to be represented at the Board of Trustees, but also to act as a founder with the government.

The Aarhus Centers coordinators stressed importance to the participation of the society among the founders besides the government, in the face of some organization of civil society, which can be an excellent example of public-government interaction as well as can become a unique model of the Aarhus Centers management.

It was decided to present at the meeting with the Minister of Environment both the further fate of the Aarhus Centers and the foundation-related concerns and suggestions. At the second part of the working meeting for the centers employees was conducted a training course under the theme “Methods of public monitoring of urban green areas and their management processes” initiated by the Third Nature NGO.

G. Petrosyan, coordinator of Gyumri Aarhus Center delivered a lecture on the topic, who has closely participated in the development of the methodological manual with the same name, the copies of which were provided to the all Aarhus Centers.

The Centers employees were interested in the presented methods, they have completed their knowledge about the urban green areas management, service, passporting, green plantations inventory, accounting, nursing, monitoring of green plantations, as well as landscaping projects related processes.

The represented methods, which can assist all interested organizations, including civil society organizations, state and local government, as well as supervisory and inspection bodies aiming to carry out effective control and monitoring in the urban green areas management processes.

Mary Chaqryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
Tell: 010 551364
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan