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    11 february, 2013

    A few words about public ecological watch

    Author: Sergey Simak, no comments

    In today’s Russia, public ecological watch has the longest traditions among other types of public watch.

    Back in the 1960s-70s, during the period of domination of absolutely formal soviet “public control,” student brigades of environmental protection (BEPs) started to appear absolutely independently from the state; they were engaged in countering poachers and used IDs of Public Inspectors of the forestry, fishery inspection, environmental inspection, and other forms. Let me note that administrative law of that time gave public activists enough rights to make such control possible.

    However, the situation has changed, and real mechanisms of public environmental watch are missing in the actual Russian law; the social commodities have also changed which led to extinction or reduction of activities of those public organizations which were engaged in this in the past.

    Public environmental control became impossible without systematic cooperation between adequately skilled activists and specially authorized state agencies, and coordination of their activities.

    One of the few organizations which managed to achieve this in the last years was the Samara SoES (presently, the Samara Green League), where an efficient environmental public inspection has been in action since 2006. The Russian Green League established in 2012 on the organizational principles approbated by the Samara SoES assumed the program of Public Environmental Watch as one of the major programs. Supported by an RF Presidential grant, the Green League’s public inspections were established and continue to be established in Primorie, Tomsk, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Tula, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Moscow Regions, Krasnoyarsk Kray, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Leningrad Oblast.

    Development of the public environmental watch and its program development help achieving efficiency enhancement in protecting people’s environmental rights, cooperation between the state and the civil society, abiding to the Russian law. Our plans include organization of a broad public discussion, including that at the Civic Chamber, of the concept of the bill on public environmental watch we have already developed and establishment of a network of public inspections at regional departments of the Green League in other regions of Russia.

    Rubrics: Ecology

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