This seminar was held in Lomonosov - Saint-Petersburg, Russia, on September 26-27, 2001. The seminar was organised by the inter-regional youth environmental NGO Children of the Baltic, with the support of the ST.PETERSBURG PUBLIC CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION in co-operation with Municipal Council of Lomonosov town, environmental NGOs GREEN WORLD, PUBLIC CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, TEIA, and KEEP ST.PETERSBURG TIDY. The seminar was financially supported by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation (DN, AVA Project), and Coalition Clean Baltic.
The seminar participants were environmental NGO leaders from St.Petersburg, Sosnovy Bor, Lomonosov, Kaliningrad, Moldova, Belarus, Denmark, and representatives of Legislative Assemblies of St.Petersburg and Leningrad region, Department for Natural Resources of the North-West Region, Committee on Environment of the St.Petersburg Administration, and of Lomonosov Municipality.
The seminar participants discussed existing national and regional legislations and prospects of legislative initiatives for providing human rights on favourable environment and access to environmental information, ways for better information providing by GOs and NGOs. Special attention was paid to the experience of the NIS countries that have already signed and ratified the Aarhus Convention.
At the seminar working groups, its participants considered specific environmental problems aggravated by deficit of information provided to the public and by neglect of public opinion in decision-making: violation of legislation at nuclear objects in Sosnovy Bor, risks to the Finnish Gulf and Karelian Isthmus from transportation of oil products, problems of the Circle Automobile Road around St.Petersburg.
The seminar participants expressed their concern with the fact that the existing Russian legislation on human rights for favourable habitat and access to environmental information is far from perfect, and is violated frequently. They proposed to address the Council of the Federation, the State Duma, the President and the Government of the Russian Federation with the DECLARATION on the necessity to join the Aarhus Convention, and thus demonstrate the readiness of the Russian Federation to actual democratic changes in the society, to providing public access to environmental information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice provisions.
The text of the DECLARATION will be distributed for corrections and signing in the Ecological North-West Line information network.
For more information please contact:
NGO "Children of the Baltic":
Olga Senova, tel./fax: +7 (812) 4223278, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre for Environmental Information:
Alexander Fedorov, tel./fax: +7 (812) 3064037, e-mail: email@example.com