Bishkek, Nov. 20, 2017 / Kabar/. A third Aarhus Centre in Kyrgyzstan, located in Chlopon-Ata in the Issyk-Kul region, was officially opened with the support of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek and the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry of Kygryzstan (SAEPF) on 9 November 2017.
The new Centre follows the establishment of those in Osh (2004) and Bishkek (2015) and will similarly contribute to the implementation of the fundamental principles of the Aarhus Convention in Kyrgyzstan.
“The Aarhus Convention plays an important role in allowing the representation of civil society’s interests in the field of environmental protection,” said Arsen Ryspekov, Deputy Director of SAEPF. “In this regard, the support of the Programme Office to the network of Aarhus Centres, which provides public representatives with practical resources for exercising their rights in environmental protection, cannot be underestimated. In turn, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law are at the core of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Kyrgyz Republic."
The OSCE has been supporting the activities of the Aarhus Centres in the country for more than 10 years. Currently, there are more than 50 Aarhus Centres operating in the OSCE region.
In Kyrgyzstan, they actively work with youth in environmental protection activities, supporting the development of environmental journalism and strengthening the dialogue between state structures and civil society in solving environmental problems.
The opening of the new Aarhus Centre in Cholpon-Ata took place following the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the OSCE and SAEPF in 2015.
Pierre von Arx, the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, said: "The Aarhus Centre in the Issyk-Kul region will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Aarhus Convention in Kyrgyzstan and the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Aarhus Centres for 2015-2018. The new Centre will help to establish a constructive dialogue between local authorities and the population to address the most acute environmental problems in the Issyk-Kul region.”