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Премия рунета 2017

People for Nature: public organizations of the Amur River basin learn to assert the right on healthy environment

19 november 2019
On 9-13 November, trainings on legal basis for NGOs interactions with industries on environmental compliance got conducted by WWF Russia in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsky province) and Blagoveschensk (Amurskaya province). Trainings were organized as a part of the People for Nature project carried out by WWF-Russia with the support of the European Union.

More than 60 representatives of NGOs, businesses and governmental authorities attended two-day seminars in Khabarovsky and Amurskaya provinces. One of the key topics for discussion was forming an institution of public inspectors. 

“The experience obtained in the region shows that the interaction of NGOs and environmental control authorities can significantly increase the efficiency of work aimed at identification and prevention of violations in the environmental sphere, which in turn will positively affect the general environmental situation in the region,” - commented Alexey Sabitov, the chairman of the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Khabarovsky province.
According to Vladislav Mozgalev, the head of the environmental department of the regional state control and licensing department of the Government of Khabarovsky province: “Forming and strengthening of the institution of public inspectors in the region is not an easy task, it can only be implemented by the joint efforts of regional authorities, local administrations and public organizations”.
People for Nature: public organizations of the Amur River basin learn to assert the right on heathy environment
WWF Russia
The organizers of seminars noted that NGOs often do not have sufficient knowledge and resources to effectively participate in discussions of the industrial construction projects that pose a potential threat to the environment in these territories. The theoretical part of the seminars filled in this gap. It was devoted to the environmental rights of citizens and the legal possibilities for the public to take part in the preparation of decisions on the implementation of industrial activities.
“While preparing for the seminars we have taken into account the wishes of the participants to learn more about legal basis that can be used by citizens to protect their right for healthy environment on all the stages of planning and projecting of economic activities, and how to get access to necessary information. We hope that participants of the seminar will be able to apply gained knowledge in practice,” – said Ekaterina Khmeleva, Director of Environmental Governance Program at WWF Russia.

Special attention of the seminar was paid to the world practice and the regional specifics of interaction between public organizations and industries. Leaders of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Khabarovsky province shared their experience of such cases.

Lyubov Odzyal, president of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Khabarovsky province underlined the importance of taking into account the interests of indigenous peoples living in places of traditional nature use before launching any type of economic activity in these territories. Other participants gave an example of the development of interaction between indigenous peoples organizations and Exxon Neftegas Limited company, from lots of disagreements at the beginning of the construction of the De Kastri oil export terminal to fruitful mutually beneficial cooperation.
Khabarovsk: trainings on legal basis for NGOs interactions with industries on environmental compliance
WWF Russia
On 12 November, the trainings were organized in Blagoveshchensk (Amurskaya province) with participation of the regional Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology and Rosprirodnadzor in Amurskaya province.

Participants of the seminar in Blagoveshchensk applied their knowledge in a business game focused on public environmental control, as well as in a series of exercises aimed at solving problems of getting access to environmental information.

During the practical part of the training there has been a heated debate over the issues of placer gold mining. Peter Osipov, director of WWF Russia Amur branch commented:
"An analysis of the interaction of placer gold mining enterprises in Amurskaya province with the natural environment of the region showed that mining enterprises generate significant industrial emissions and discharges of pollutants into the environment.”
Blagoveshensk: trainings on legal basis for NGOs interactions with industries on environmental compliance
WWF Russia

The trainings in Khabarovsk and Blagoveshchensk opened a three-year series of events of the “People for Nature” project aimed at educating environmental public organizations on the legal aspects of interaction with business and government.

The People for Nature project is carried out by WWF-Russia with the support of the European Union in 2019–2022. The project is primarily aimed at providing support to CSOs and local communities in solving environmental problems in two areas, protecting forests and reducing air and water pollution.
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