Today our life is undergoing profound qualitative changes. Cardinal reforms are rapidly forming a completely new image of our society.
The new edition of our constitution contains special norms on ensuring environmental rights of citizens, in particular, everyone has the right to a comfortable environment, reliable information about its condition, the state takes measures on improvement, restoration and protection of the environment, maintaining the ecological balance, protection of the ecological system of Aral Sea region.
This constitutional norm is enshrined in the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan to achieve goals such as increasing the share of renewable energy sources by 25 percent by 2026 and reducing the amount of harmful gases emitted by industries by 10 percent in exchange for renewable energy capacity of 15,000 megawatts by 2030.
Today, when natural resources are being depleted and global climate change threatens the future of humanity with environmental and natural problems, these standards are important.
In order to ensure the environmental rights of citizens and to prevent harmful effects on the environment, the state will create conditions for public control in the sphere of urban planning.
The environment is a key factor affecting human health and life. According to the United Nations, human health depends on the state of the environment by 20-40 percent. Today, when global problems threaten the future of mankind, comfortable environment is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, in many developed countries this problem is widely discussed and new norms concerning environmental protection are included in the constitutions.
It is vital to reduce environmental damage. In particular, the environmental damage from construction in some of our cities and villages exceeds the established norms. Since in recent years our country has turned into a huge construction arena, the measures are taken to strengthen public control in the field of urban planning activities in order to ensure the environmental rights of citizens and prevent the harmful effects of structures on the environment.
By expanding public control, this norm strengthens the constitutional guarantees of maintaining a comfortable and ecologically clean area for our compatriots and future generations, providing a comfortable environment for reliable protection of public health.
In addition, the state takes measures on protection and restoration of the ecological system of the Aral Sea Region, as well as the socio-economic development of the region.
In fact, the global environmental problem that has arisen in the Aral Sea region has a negative impact on the way of life of about 50 million people in the region. Therefore, Uzbekistan is paying special attention to eliminating the consequences of the Aral Sea problem. In particular, afforestation works are being carried out on more than 2.5 million hectares of dry area of the Aral Sea.
Along with this, the large-scale projects aimed at protecting the complex ecological situation of the region, protecting the its population’s gene pool, improving their health, and ensuring sustainable development in the area are being implemented.
This norm of the new edition of the constitution ensures the creation of decent living conditions for the inhabitants of the region and significant improvement in the standard of living. The package of additional benefits will be extended to all professions, primarily to the representatives of the social sphere, while business structures and non-governmental non-profit organizations will have an opportunity to actively participate in various projects aimed at environmental protection.
This norm creates constitutional guarantees of maintaining a comfortable and ecologically clean area for the population and future generations, providing social and economic support to people living in the Aral Sea region, and reducing unemployment.
Boriy Alikhanov is chairman of the Senate Committee for Development of the Aral Sea Region and Ecology. Views expressed in this article are his own. -- Ed.