VLADIMIR, August 25 (RAPSI) – Russian human rights commissioners will go to courts lodging administrative lawsuits to protect citizens’ rights to favorable environment, Ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova told reporters on Friday.

According to Moskalkova, rights commissioners could add to the mechanisms already at their disposal direct participation in court hearings over administrative cases against enterprises and state bodies breaching ecological regulations.

Moskalkova spoke when on visit in the Vladimir Region, where she addressed the All-Russian Ecological Forum.

Having noted that 2017 is a year of ecology in Russia, the Ombudsman has stressed the greater efforts her office is making to protect citizens’ rights to favorable environment. In this context, Moskalkova requested the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology to support an initiative seeking to introduce independent environment impact assessment mechanism, which should help to eliminate graft in the sphere of ecological evaluations.

Mosckalkova also called for a wider introduction of “green technologies” in the economy saying more educational efforts were needed to promote business’ awareness of environment protection.

The Ombudsman said regional authorities needed to be vested with the right to seize plots from owners allowing infringements on environmental protection regulations and thus rendering their land worthless.