Conclusion of  Article 54’s ‘Participate for a Better Environment’ Public Advocacy Activity

The “Participate for a Better Environment” public advocacy campaign by Article 54 aimed to enhance participation in addressing environmental concerns and decision-making. The primary objective was to engage citizens, stakeholders, and environmental institutions across five regions: Goychay, Astara, Imishli, Kurdamir, and Sheki. While each region faced its unique environmental challenges, household waste emerged as a predominant issue.
To tackle this, we organized discussions with local environmental initiatives in Azerbaijan and developed an action plan. Our approach emphasized public hearings, aligning with the law on public participation. These hearings involved citizens, civil society groups, initiative teams, and media outlets. Key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, communal economic associations, executive authorities, and municipalities also participated.
Throughout the process, we prepared an Environmental Assessment document, which assessed citizen involvement in environmental issues in Azerbaijan and the country’s international commitments in this field. Subsequently, we shared opinion and proposal documents with the mentioned bodies. According to the law on citizen participation, these bodies are expected to respond within 15 days and within 30 days if further examination is needed. We are currently awaiting these responses.
In 2022, a state program on solid waste management was adopted, prompting us to seek information about its progress. The lack of substantial results underscores the importance of public participation in environmental matters. We intend to expand such efforts to ensure more transparent and effective decisions concerning environmental issues.