Access to Environmental Justice Expanding
September 19, 2023
Bishkek - September 19, 2023 - An international conference on access to environmental justice, organized by the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Association of Judges of Kyrgyzstan with the support of UNDP, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and USAID, took place in Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul region.
The conference brought together about one hundred representatives from government bodies, judges, lawyers, international experts, and environmentalists. Representatives from the judicial systems of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Mauritius, as well as several international organizations, also participated. The main objective of the conference was to strengthen cooperation between judicial systems and stakeholders in implementing environmental justice policies.
The State Secretary of the Kyrgyz Republic, Suymbek Kasmambetov, delivered welcoming remarks on behalf of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sadyr Japarov. In his speech, he noted that climate change affects all countries, including Kyrgyzstan, with its millennia-old glaciers. Therefore, environmental issues and green economy are among the top priorities of the state policy of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Alexandra Solovieva, UNDP Kyrgyzstan Resident Representative noted, that on the global stage, UNDP vigorously advocates for environmental justice, with a particular emphasis on Goal 16 of the SDGs, which calls for fostering peaceful, inclusive societies, facilitating access to justice, and nurturing accountable institutions. “However, the true power of these global principles lies in their translation and application at the regional and national levels. To address the multifaceted challenges posed by environmental justice, UNDP has devised a comprehensive global strategy for environmental justice, aimed at enhancing accountability, safeguarding ‘environmental rights,’ and fortifying the environmental rule of law. It is imperative that these global strategies are adapted and tailored to resonate with the unique needs and circumstances of the Kyrgyz Republic and the broader region.”
Zamirbek Bazarbekov, Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, highlighted in his address that nature knows no borders, nationalities, traditions, language, or personal interests, and environmental issues concern us all. Therefore, resolving them requires significant collective efforts. He added, "The judicial branch, which is one of the branches of government, should not be an exception in such efforts. I believe that disputes related to the environment should be resolved and settled quickly and efficiently through pre-trial proceedings. Lengthy legal disputes can have a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, only significant and complex cases should be heard in court."
During the five plenary sessions of the conference, various topics were discussed, including international trends in promoting environmental justice and the rule of law, environmental procedural rights, strengthening international cooperation for the sake of environmental justice, international experiences of judicial systems in promoting environmental justice, experiences in implementing judicial protection of the environment in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, as well as the prospects for regional cooperation in the interest of environmental justice.
Link to photos from the conference: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAV6C7
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of the leading development organizations in Kyrgyzstan. Since 1993, we have been working in various areas, including inclusive development, environmental protection, crisis response, the promotion of gender equality, and collaborative efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information, visit: www.undp.org/ru/kyrgyzstan or follow us on social media @undpkg.
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