The linkages between the environment and security and how to address challenges associated with them were the focus of a two-day OSCE workshop kicked off today for representatives of Public Environmental Information Centres (Aarhus Centres) and civil society in Armenia.
Participants will discuss the role of international organizations, key legal documents and how environmental issues are and can be reflected in national security strategies. They will analyse case studies covering issues such as natural disasters, land degradation, the security implications of climate change and the mismanagement of natural resources.
“One of the Office’s main priorities in the environmental field is to ensure that the civil society in Armenia participates in decision-making,” said Tomasz Dembski, Economic and Environmental Programme Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan (TBC). “To achieve this goal, we encourage closer contacts and co-operation between different actors of Armenian society – state and local government, civil society, and the international community.”
Participants will have the opportunity to utilize the knowledge they have acquired in the workshop by identifying environmental and security challenges in Armenia and developing project proposals in response to a hypothetical situation. They will also learn about potential grant opportunities from representatives of the donor community present in the country.
The event is part of the Civic Action or Environment and Security (CASE) programme and is initiated by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities jointly with the OSCE Office in Yerevan within the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative.
CASE is a small grants programme designed to build the capacity of civil society organizations to address environment and security problems at the local level. Since 2009 the CASE programme has supported 28 NGO small grant projects in Armenia.