Friday, April 3 2020 20:36
Karina Manukyan

Ombudsman and Ministry of Nature Protection disagree

Ombudsman and Ministry of Nature Protection disagree

ArmInfo.According to the Ombudsman, the draft law on amendments to the Law "On Freedom of Information" developed by the RA Ministry of Nature Protection  contains the risks of unjustified refusal.

Based on the position of the human rights defender, the bill does not  reflect the actual content of the provisions of the 1998 Aarhus  Convention on the availability of environmental information, public  participation in decision- making and access to justice. Thus, in  practice, it can lead to an unreasonable refusal to provide  environmental information:

The Ombudsman considers it important to guarantee freedom of  information in this area and the resulting civilian control over  environmental protection. The Office of the Human Rights Defender is  studying a draft law in terms of compliance with international  standards, the results of which will be presented to the National  Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Nature Protection voiced its position,  noting that the only goal of the bill is to increase the level of  environmental safety, and the ministry does not pursue any other  goals. <The proposed change proceeds from the development strategy of  environmental education and upbringing, approved by the protocol  decision of the Government of February 22, 2018. In addition, it is  indicated that the proposed adjustments are established by the Aarhus  Convention itself. By the way, these adjustments become even more  relevant from the point of view of strengthening the monitoring  system in the ministry, as a result of which information, in  particular, on rare species of animals and plants will be more  complete and coordinated, "the ministry said in a statement.

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