The representatives of NGOs from 8 countries, those of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Ukraine signed "Declaration on Air Pollution Because of Industry" in Ostrava, Czech Republic in the frames of international conference entitled "Fighting Air Pollution in Industrial Towns of Europe". On behalf of Armenia, the declaration was signed by Oleg Dulgaryan, Director of “Center for Community Mobilization and Support” NGO. The declaration will then submitted to the governments of the countries. The text of the declaration particularly says:
'We call on our governments, state authorities and public bodies, inter-governmental organizations, international financial institutions, and industry to:
• provide citizens with the right to information and make operatively (as soon as possible) publicly accessible all available data on air pollution and the environmental and health impacts of air pollution, such as data from all kinds of emission and emission monitoring, data on public health, morbidity and mortality – free of charge, using up-to-date technologies (online databases, mobile applications, etc.);
• secure independent, reliable, and appropriate air quality monitoring systems (both emission and emission monitoring), and smog warning and regulation systems;
• start or accelerate the process of the implementation and use of the standards valid in the European Union;
• avoid the use of double standards, especially by multinational corporations, irrespective of the specific details of the national legislation. We believe that human lives have the same value all around the globe and corporations should pay the same attention to the protection of the environment and human health in any country;
• improve enforcement of the law, including existing current systems of the state and public monitoring and control of pollutant emissions, and appropriate fines for violations of the law;
• not provide any public funding for environmentally harmful investments and support only those investments that undoubtedly lead to improvements in the environmental situation and use the best available techniques;
• widen the space for public participation in decision making related to air pollution, such as environmental or integrated permitting, including informal methods of involvement of the wider public, and take public opinion into account.
We are deeply concerned by the increasing number of cases of the harassment of environmental activists and call on the public authorities and private entities to immediately stop any acts of violence against activists, prevent possible future cases, and thoroughly investigate existing cases.
16:53 December 06, 2018