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The Central Asian States have ratified several international conventions and have developed action plans to address country-specific and regional environmental challenges. However, these processes are not always balanced as all the states have not ratified the same conventions and when they have done so they are implementing action plans at different speeds.

 

 
The 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is intended to strengthen national measures for the protection and ecologically sound management of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters.

The Convention obliges Parties to prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact, use transboundary waters in a reasonable and equitable way and ensure their sustainable management. Parties bordering the same transboundary waters shall cooperate by entering into specific agreements and establishing joint bodies. The Convention includes provisions on monitoring, research and development, consultations, warning and alarm systems, mutual assistance, and exchange of information, as well as access to information by the public.

 

The 1991 Espoo (EIA) Convention sets out the obligations of Parties to assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning. It also lays down the general obligation of States to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries.

 

The 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents is designed to protect people and the environment against industrial accidents. The Convention aims to prevent accidents from occuring, or reducing their frequency and severity and mitigating their effects if required.

The Convention promotes active international cooperation between countries, before, during and after an industrial accident.

The Convention helps its Parties to prevent industrial accidents that can have transboundary effects and to prepare for, and respond to, accidents if they occur. The Convention also encourages its Parties to help each other in the event of an accident, to cooperate on research and development, and to share information and technology.

 

The 1998 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25th June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the 'Environment for Europe' process.

 

The Aarhus Convention is a new kind of environmental agreement. The Convention:

  • Links environmental rights and human rights
  • Acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations
  • Establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders
  • Links government accountability and environmental protection
  • Focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a democratic context.

The subject of the Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between people and governments. The Convention is not only an environmental agreement; it is also a Convention about government accountability, transparency and responsiveness.

The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights and imposes on Parties and public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public participation and access to justice.

The Aarhus Convention is also forging a new process for public participation in the negotiation and implementation of international agreements.

 

Information is from UNECE website

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