Open School for Public Participation

Open School for Public Participation Eng

Open School for Public Participation

Open School for Public Participation is a Program, initiated in 2003 by Children of the Baltic with the support of Democracy Commition (USA) on the basis of the St.Petersburg Public Center for Environmental Information.

This Program includes service of library, video-library, consultations of experts on the issues of environmental rights and public participation in the decision making.

Consultation for teachers

Outdoor meeting with local activists

Consultation for teachers
Outdoor meeting with local activists

Within the Program the 2-nd issue of the brochure "We have a Right to Know. We have a Right to Participate (manual for citizens)" was published and distributed.

Teachers network on the Gulf of Finland coast

Teachers network on the Gulf of Finland coast

Important part of this Program was publication and distribution of the book “Our Habitat Values”. With the support of Democracy Commission course of Round tables in St.Petersburg and Leningrad oblast was held for NGO activists and local authorities of coastal comminitions.

Meeting with citizens on the street

Public hearings

Meeting with citizens on the street
Public hearings
Public hearings

Public hearings on the project for conservation of coastal nature zone and establishing ornithological nature reserve was held in Lomonosov September 4, 2003.

Terminal oilproducts NESTE, vil. Bronka

Terminal oilproducts NESTE, vil. Bronka
Terminal oilproducts NESTE, vil. Bronka
Terminal oilproducts NESTE, vil. Bronka

International Conference
ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY: NATURE AND SOCIETY – 2004

 

On April 2-3, 2004, the International Conference ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY: NATURE AND SOCIETY was held in St.Petersburg, Russia. The Conference was organised by the Centre for Environmental Initiatives, Interregional Youth NGO Children of the Baltic, the Russian State Hydrometeorological University, and the Russian Geographical Society.

St.Petersburg and Vladivostok, Moscow and Yakutiya, Estonia and Moldova, Finland and Armenia, the USA and Sweden - 12 countries and different regions of Russia were represented at the conference. The specific feature of the conference was the fact that its participants represented different sectors of the society: non- governmental and governmental organisations, research and educational institutions, and mass media.

The human impact on the environment is so considerable at present that its consequences are of planetary scale and bring threats to human civilisation.

Are there any ways of survival and prosperity?
What are these mechanisms?

All these questions are the essence of the problem of "environmental safety," and were discussed by the Conference participants.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Serious attention was paid to nature protection in Russia, where negative tendencies are observed. The last four years were the time period when the least number of protected nature areas were established in Russia as compared to the 50- years history. Never during the last 14 years there were so few nature protection inspectors, so few environmental impact assessments, and so many environmentally hazardous projects.

The Conference participants paid special attention to protection of environmental rights of citizens. These rights include the right for assess to environmental information, the right for public participation in decision-making, and the right for assess to justice in environmental matters. Implementation of environmental rights is of high importance, especially in Russia.

 

 

 
 

Environmental rights are violated on a broad scale during construction of new industrial and transports objects, during construction of new, additional buildings in old centres of cities, and during destruction of green areas. Protection of environmental rights is implemented differently in different countries. Therefore, the exchange of Russian and foreign experience at the Conference was of great importance.

Erroneous decisions and blind-alley directions of development are consequences of ignorance and poor understanding of environmental processes and methods for the problems solutions. Therefore, a considerable part of discussions was devoted to environmental education, which must be aimed at themes actual for people and the society.

 

 

 
 
 

For example, It is not often that people know, what consumer products are better for health and for the environment, what is the reason to save energy and other resources, which packages are less harmful to nature. Here informal education for youth and adults, joining efforts of state educational system and NGOs could be of great use. A good example of such activity is the international school programme for application of resources and energy SPARE presented at the conference.

Environmental problems are usually of transboundary, and sometimes of global character. Therefore, efficient international efforts are needed for their solution. The Conference section on international cooperation permitted the participants to exchange not only opinions on strengthening the cooperation, but also successful experiences in this sphere.

Success of the Conference will favour the main Conference goal - to consolidate the efforts of all spheres of the society to provide environmental safety and environmental rights of citizens.

 

 

The conference abstracts were published with the support of Democracy Commission and Gagarin Fund.

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