UNDP supports the establishment of the National Dialogue Platform on promotion Environmental Justice

November 2, 2023
Memorandum signing process

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a National Dialogue Platform. This platform will serve as a vital forum for discussing environmental rights and access to justice.

Photo: Nurzhan Alymkanova, UNDP Kyrgyzstan

2 November, Bishkek - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) played a pivotal role in a significant milestone reached today in the pursuit of environmental justice in Kyrgyzstan. Key government partners came together for a coordination meeting and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a National Dialogue Platform. This platform will serve as a vital forum for discussing environmental rights and access to justice. 

The Memorandum was signed by the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic Zamirbek Bazarbekov, Toktakunov Kumarbek Kydyrbekovich, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Kyrgyz Republic; Raimkulova Asel Kadyrzhanovna, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic Askarova Zarema Alikovna, First Deputy Minister of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic; Raiymkulov Bilim Sardalbekovich, Chairman of the Council of Advocates of the Bar of the Kyrgyz Republic; Nurbekov Adil Keneshbekovich, Head of the Aarhus Center in Bishkek.

Chair of the Supreme Court Zamirbek Bazarbekov said: "In order to preserve the natural environment for future generations, a comprehensive approach to environmental issues is necessary: this includes the development of laws, the conclusion of agreements, the allocation of funds for ecological restoration, widespread greening of territories and much more. At the same time, as the environment deteriorates, another problem arises - the problem of protecting environmental rights. 

This format of partnership and the creation of an open dialog platform will allow us to discuss and consider problems from different perspectives and find faster and more effective ways to solve them. For this purpose, we all need to unite our efforts, carry out constant and constructive dialog and strive to create an atmosphere of true cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect."

The MoU signing event marked a significant step towards fostering collaboration among government entities and civil society organizations to protect the environment and ensure access to justice in environmental matters.  

In her opening speech, the UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Alexandra Solovieva, emphasized the vital importance of establishing a consultative and discussion platform to address pressing environmental issues. 

She stated, "The desire of the participants of the National Dialogue Platform to hold regular meetings to coordinate interaction in the field of promoting and implementing environmental justice policies is warmly welcomed by the UN Development Program. We are pleased that all key national partners agreed on a common contribution to resolving pressing environmental justice issues. We welcome the statements of the platform participants not only to develop general recommendations and training programs for their employees but also to develop the legislative framework through the right of legislative initiative."

Environmental justice is crucial because it safeguards the enduring human right to ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a sustainable and healthy planet. Without a focus on justice, individuals in vulnerable situations are denied the opportunity to assert their right to live in a clean and safe environment. Environmental justice is vital because it upholds the ongoing human right to ensure that no one falls behind in the quest for a sustainable and healthy planet. Neglecting justice means that citizens in vulnerable situations are unable to exercise their right to live in a clean and safe environment. 

The agreed Regulations of the National Dialogue Platform outline the commitment to holding meetings as needed, with a minimum frequency of once every six months. The decisions and recommendations generated by the Dialogue Platform will serve in an advisory capacity, with outcomes documented in protocols and shared with relevant government agencies and other interested stakeholders.

The UNDP reaffirmed its commitment to working with justice and environmental partners to enhance environmental justice mechanisms and bolster the capacity of justice actors. This commitment will be realized through a new initiative implemented jointly with the Association of Judges of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Aarhus Centre.

*** UNDP is the leading United Nations organization in fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Since 1993, UNDP in Kyrgyzstan has helped the country to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet. Learn more at www.undp.org/kyrgyzstan or follow at @UNDPkg. 

For more information, please contact Nurzhan Alymkanova, UNDP Communication Specialist at nurzhan.alymkanova@undp.org or +996770755776.