The Aarhus Convention was ratified by the Republic of Belarus on December 14, 1999 by Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 726 “On Approving the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters”.
It entered into force for the Republic of Belarus on October 30, 2001.
According to the law of the Republic of Belarus on Regulatory and Legal Acts the Convention is considered as a part of National legislation and its provisions are obliged to be implemented by all legal authorities, officers and individuals.
In order to implement the provisions of the Aarhus Convention, on December 30, 2005 the Aarhus Centre of the Republic of Belarus was created in the framework of a joint project of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection and the OSCE Office in Minsk.
It is functioning on the basis of the RUE [Republican Unitary Enterprise] “Belarusian Scientific Research Centre “Ecology” of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of the Republic of Belarus.
Aarhus Centre Aims and Objectives
- to provide the right of the public to expediently obtain reliable and integrate information about the status of the environment, planned and current activities, which can have a significant impact on the environment;
- to establish communication between the public and governmental authorities;
- to extend practical assistance to governmental officers in performing their duties in implementing the Convention provisions;
- to further ecological education and raise the level of public awareness of environmental problems;
- to promote public participation in decision-making and its access to justice in environmental matters;
- to study international experience and promote international cooperation in implementation of the Aarhus Convention provisions and its protocol.
Aarhus Centre Functions
- providing ecological information on request of individuals and legal entities;
- consulting individuals and legal entities on application of their rights to access ecological information, participate in decision-making and access justice in environmental matters;
- conducting educative and training activities (seminars, public lectures), including stuff training;
- providing publications to mass media, speeches on the radio and TV, organising advertising campaigns;
- collecting, accumulating, filing, storing, and disseminating ecological information (e.g.: creating a list of the most frequently asked questions);
- introducing ecological information in the Internet;
- assisting government authorities in drafting plans of measures to implement the Aarhus Convention;
- facilitating individuals and legal entities in getting access to draft legislative acts, programmes, plans, and strategies in the area of environment, and organising their public discussion.
Phone : + 375296630118