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Photo: © OSCE/Jenniver Sehring

Economic and Environmental Dimension

Economic and environmental factors can challenge security and stability, therefore the OSCE focuses on these aspects within the economic and environmental dimension. The dimension holds an annual Economic and Environmental Forum and Implementation Meeting. The Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities works closely with the OSCE Chairmanship and co-operates with field officers.

The economic and environmental dimension covers a broad range of topics. In the OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension from 2003, participating States have committed themselves to co-operate on economics, good governance, sustainable development and environmental protection. All these areas and commitments are considered to be important for tackling security threats and challenges.

The participating States are supported by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA). The OCEEA seeks to facilitate dialogue on environmental, economic as well as energy security issues, promote good governance and transparency and strengthen co-operation among participating States. The Office also works together with the OSCE Chairmanship in preparations of an annual Economic and Environmental Forum that is held annually in Prague and brings together more than 400 representatives from government, civil society, business and international organizations.

OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities

Regarding economic activities, the OSCE focuses mainly on anti-corruption, countering money laundering and terrorism financing, transport security, labour migration and economic empowerment of women. Through fostering international co-operation on these economic issues, the OSCE aims to support sustainable economic growth and stability in its region.

Within environmental activities, the OSCE works on environmental good governance, water management, climate change, controlling dangerous waste and disaster risk reduction. The OSCE's environmental activities serve towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Aarhus Centres and ENVSEC Initiative

Addressing environment and security challenges requires dialogue in between governments, private sector as well as citizens. To provide a platform for such a dialogue, the OSCE has been supporting the establishment and work of Aarhus Centres that assist the government in implementing the Aarhus Convention (The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters). This environmental agreement was adopted on 25 June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus. Currently, there are 60 Aarhus Centres operating in 14 countries throughout the OSCE area.

Since 2003, the OSCE has partnered with four international organizations (UNDP, UNEPR, UNECE and REC) within the framework on Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative. The ENVSEC offers an integrated response to environment and security challenges, especially those related to shared natural resources, hazardous substances, climate change and disaster risk reduction.