Ensuring Ecological Sustainability: The Imperative of Our Times
According to international organizations, every year, about 7 million hectares of fertile land are taken away from the world's agricultural cycle, and every year 7 million people in the world die from the effects of air pollution. By 2025, more than half of the world's population may be deprived of quality water consumption.
In Uzbekistan, serious attention is being paid to creating the conditions for the population to have a comfortable natural environment, the rational and practical use of natural resources, and the prevention of emerging environmental problems.
The renewed Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the draft of which was highly discussed, covers issues directed to ease the ecological threats. The number of articles in it has increased from 128 to 155, and the number of norms has risen from 275 to 434. That is, the text of our Basic Law increased by almost 65 percent and was updated based on the suggestions of Uzbek people.
The draft contains comprehensive measures for environmental protection to be defined in the Constitution as a necessary condition for improving the population's quality of life and health.
In particular, the Constitution is going to contain the norms stipulating that the state implements measures to improve, restore and protect the environment, maintain ecological balance, and create conditions for public control in the field of urban development activities to ensure the environmental rights of citizens and prevent harmful effects on the environment.
The vital amendment to Article 49 of the Constitution gives the population the right to reliable information about the environment and its condition. It articulates that the state shall create conditions for public control in urban planning to ensure citizens' environmental rights and prevent harmful effects on the environment.
It is also determined that by the principle of sustainable development, the state will implement measures to improve, restore and protect the environment, maintain ecological balance, take necessary steps to protect and restore the ecological system of the Aral Sea region and develop the region socially and economically.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the importance of these amendments is that, firstly, the environmental duty of citizens is enshrined at the level of the Constitution; secondly, these norms of the Constitution will serve to ensure not only the legal rights and interests of citizens in the field of nature protection, but also in the field of ecology and environmental protection, create all the necessary conditions for the population to live in a comfortable natural environment, use natural resources rationally and efficiently, and prevent ecological safety problems.
Avazbek KHOLBEKOV, Expert of the Development Strategy Center, Uzbekistan