On December 2, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia introduced Draft Law on Making Amendments to RA Law on Freedom of Information proposing to define in the law “environmental information” term and the grounds for refusal to provide environmental information.
In particular, it has been proposed to supplement Article 8 of the Law with the following wording: "The holder of information may refuse to provide environmental information if it concerns breeding sites of rare flora and fauna."
The authors of the draft note that it will promote the full implementation of the Aarhus Convention, as well as enabling the entity that holds environmental information within the framework of the relevant provisions of RA Constitution and the Freedom of Information Law to safeguard public interest and security in addressing sector-related issues.
Meanwhile, Shushan Doydoyan, the founding president of Center for Freedom of Information, is confident it will violate the Freedom of Information Law. “The Law on Freedom of Information cannot be compared by sector. Amending the law in line with the sectoral needs leads to a breakdown of the structure of the law and the whole logic,” Shushan Doydoyan told EcoLur.
On December 2, the Center for Freedom of Information of Armenia and a number of other NGOs issued a joint statement calling on the Ministry of Environment to immediately abandon this initiative.
The statement says, “ We are calling for the Ministry of the Environment to immediately abandon this initiative, take a responsible and systematic approach to the process of amending the law on the freedom of information, and consult with representatives of public sector organizations and community of experts with decades of experience before proposing any amendments.”
CENTER FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
COMMITTEE ON PROTECTION OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
GORIS PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVE CENTER
JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE NGO
PUBLIC INFORMATION AND MONITORING CENTER
CLEAR GORIS ENVIRONMENTAL NGO
YOUNG JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
"ARMENIAN CAMP" NGO
"PARTNERSHIP AND TRAINING" NGO
"YOUTH IDEA" NGO
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE "ASTGHATOLQ" NGO
December 09, 2019 at 14:19