About project

Dear visitor

Welcome to our web-based platform Ecolex.am. In Armenia it is the first unified platform for public participation in the process of elaboration of draft legal acts related to environment.

Here you will find information about draft legal acts related to environment and elaborated by the National Assembly of RA, Ministry of Nature Protection of RA as well as  other authorities.

We aim to enable the users, by means of electronic tools available at Ecolex.am provide their comments and suggestions which will be submitted to the decision-making authority and at the same time be publicly accessible.

I am hopeful that Ecolex.am will become a new bridge for constructive cooperation between civil society and decision-makers, will contribute to ensure the rule of law and promote the enjoyment of the fundamental right of every person to live in an environment favorable for their health and well-being.

 

 

 

Capacity building for NGOs for effective participation in environmental decision-making through elaboration of relevant policy tools and awareness-raising

“Environmental Public Advocacy Center” (EPAC) NGO implements the Programme “Capacity building for NGOs for effective participation in environmental decision-making through elaboaration of relevant policy tools and awareness-raising” within the framework of the Programme “Strengthening Environmental Governance by Building the Capacity of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)”, funded by the European Union, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and delivered by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).

The project implemented by EPAC NGO is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the right to participate in the process of elaboration of legal acts related to environment through development of relevant legal tool and web-based platform as well as awareness-raising.

Current legislation of RA (Law of RA “On Legal Acts”) provides general framework to ensure public participation in environmental decision-making. However, certain gaps and uncertainties related to the procedure of participation remain to be addressed. Along with this, lack or insufficient level of necessary capacity of many environmental NGOs (legal knowledge and relevant skills to build constructive dialogue with decision-makers) for informed and well-based participation coupled with the lack of appropriate platform for policy dialogue, eliminate the quality and impact of this basic procedural right. These problems emphasized the importance of adequate legal regulation as well as supporting constructive dialogue between civil society and decision-makers. These objectives correspond to the international obligation of the Republic of Armenia deriving from the UNECE Convention «On Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters» (Aarhus, 1998).

 

The main project outputs

1. Analysis of the legislation and practice. The analysis has been conducted based on the results of the survey carried out among decision-makers and civil society organizations, as well as comparative analysis of documents adopted by different bodies of the Aarhus Convention (Meeting of the Parties, Bureau, Task Forces, Compliance Committee).

2. Elaboration and publication of Guide on public participation in environmental decision-making. The Guide is envisaged for the members of civil society. It helps to convey relevant legal information and skills coupled with case-studies and examples to promote effective participation and has a rather simple language.

3. Training in regions and in Yerevan. The trainings were aimed at giving to the representatives of civil society necessary knowledge on the system of environmental legislation, process of elaboration of legal acts and possibilities of participation, providing acquaintance with legal techniques and principles of working with legal acts.

4. Development of web-based platform (www.ecolex.am). The web-resource serves as unified platform for public participation in the process of elaboration of legal acts related to environment. Draft legal acts related to environment and elaborated by the National Assembly of RA, Ministry of Nature Protection of RA as well as by other authorities are posted on the web-site. The system of electronic tools on the web-site enables the users to provide their comments and suggestions which are directly submitted to decision-making authority and at the same time are publicly accessible.

5. Elaboration of a draft Governmental decree of RA “On approval of public participation rules for the procedure of elaboration of legal acts related to environment” together with related documentation. The draft Governmental decree and accompanying documents are to be prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Nature Protection of RA, Ministry of Justice of RA and civil society.

Implementation of the project is expected to result in tangible improvement of dialogue between decision-making authorities and civil society, formation relevant capacities for informed participation, atmosphere of mutual trust and responsibility of civil society for adherence to adopted legal acts.