THE ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY GREEN SALVATION
The Ecological Society Green Salvation was founded in 1990 and is registered as a public organization of the city of Almaty. Green Salvation’s goal is to protect the human right to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature, and to foster improvements to the socio-ecological situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Green Salvation is guided by the following principles in its activities:
– the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interconnection of all human rights;
– observance of the right of the present and future generations to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature;
– the need for general environmental education and awareness;
– the necessity of collaboration between government bodies, commercial entities and the public in resolving environmental problems.
Membership in the organization is based on personal initiative and participation in specific projects. Green Salvation’s staff is comprised of people from various professions who combine their organizational work with their professional activities. Honorary members and volunteers make a substantial contribution.
Main activity focus of the Ecological Society Green Salvation
1. Defending the human right to a favorable environment
The organization defends rights utilizing pre-judicial and judicial methods, seeking strict observance of national legislation and international agreements. Among the organization’s most important activities are lawsuits concerning: the withholding of information by “Kazatomprom” and various Departments of Statistics; the recognition of the invalidity of the state environmental assessment’s conclusion for the project to construct a 110-kV high voltage power line in the Mountain Giant District; and the resumption of work of a Plant for Construction Materials and Structures. On average, Green Salvation files eight lawsuits per year and conducts dozens legal consultations.
In 2004 and 2007, it became necessary for Green Salvation to appeal to the Aarhus Convention’s Compliance Committee. In the case of two of the appeals, the Committee acknowledged noncompliance with individual Convention statutes by the Republic of Kazakhstan and violations of citizens’ rights to participate in decision-making processes and to access to justice with regard to environmental concerns.
2. Participation in the development of environmental protection legislation
Green Salvation participated in the official discussions concerning the Law “On Protection of the Natural Environment in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic” (1991) and the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Environmental Protection” (1997), “On Environmental Assessment” (1997), “On Specially Protected Natural Territories” (1997), “On Land” (2001), “On Tourist Activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan” (2001), the Forestry Code (2003), the Land Code (2003) and others. In 2002, at the request of the Committee for Environmental and Nature Management Issues of the Lower House of Parliament, Green Salvation conducted a public environmental assessment of the draft Forestry Code (2003).
3. Environmental awareness and education
Since 1995, the organization has published the “Green Salvation” Herald, with a supplement in English, since 2000. The Bulletin’s thematic issues are related to environmental protection legislation and the protection of human rights, environmental education, the development of a network of national parks, and other socio-ecological problems. Special courses are developed and textbooks are published for students. To date, more than 25 publications have been produced in Russian, Kazakh and English.
Green Salvation collaborates with the domestic and foreign press, participates in television and radio programs, and organizes exhibitions.
In 2002, Green Salvation began a video program. The films include: “Legacy of the Nuclear Age”, “The Riches of Nature—In Whose Hands?”, “Passengers in Forgotten Way Stations”, “Canyon” and “The Earth Does Not Belong to Man…”. Several of these films have been awarded prizes at international festivals.
In 2007, Green Salvation began the video discussion club “Green Lens”.
In 2002, Green Salvation launched a website in Russian and English.
4. Environmental actions
Green Salvation actively participates in actions to protect the integrity of the environmental system of protected natural territories. Green Salvation is collaborating with the Ile-Alatau State National Nature Park administration. Video monitoring is regularly conducted on the park’s territory. Together with the environmental club “Berendei” (Kapchagai), Green Salvation has repeatedly conducted summer environmental schools in the Park.
Green Salvation actively participated in the anti-nuclear campaign conducted by public organizations opposing a plan to import and bury radioactive waste from other countries in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Green Salvation also participated in the following international campaigns: International Right to Know, Publish What You Pay, and Caspian Revenue Watch.
Green Salvation actively monitors projects financed by development banks and the activities of transnational corporations that have an impact on the environment.
5. Data collection on the Republic of Kazakhstan’s environmental situation
Green Salvation has brought together various documentary, reference and training materials in its electronic databases, library, and video collection. These materials are used by activists from nongovernmental organizations, specialists, teachers, college students and schoolchildren.