Since 2002, OSCE has been supporting the establishment of
Aarhus Centres and Public Environmental Information Centres (PEICs) in several countries, including
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. (Map)
The Aarhus Centres have been instrumental in providing a forum for government officials from
Ministries of Environment to meet with members of environmental NGOs to build co-operative
approaches in order to tackle environmental issues. These Centres mostly serve the
objectives within the context of the “information pillar” of the Aarhus Convention, although in some
countries activities performed by the Centres have also included assistance to the citizens to
participate in environmental decision making and, to a lesser extent, access to justice.
The Aarhus Centres are usually based on an agreement between the relevant OSCE field operation
and the Ministry for Environment in the respective country and managed by a board consisting of an
equal number of representatives from government and civil society.
In this initiative, the OSCE partners primarily with the Governments of the participating States where
these Centres are located as well as the leading environmental NGOs in these countries.
UNDP, UNECE, REC and NATO are the partners to the OSCE through their involvement in
the ENVSEC Initiative. The Governments of Belgium, Canada, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United States of America have provided significant contributions to the establishment and operation of these Centres. The Aarhus Convention secretariat provides guidance for the initiative and contributes capacity-building and training to Aarhus Centre staff members.
Click here for more information on OSCE supported Aarhus Centres or visit the OSCE website on the Aarhus Convention.