Example of effective dialogue: The Aarhus Convention

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Presentation by Ms Marshall, Environmental Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Aarhus Convention Secretariat on the occasion of the public hearing on Principles, …

Presentation by Ms Marshall, Environmental Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Aarhus Convention Secretariat on the occasion of the public hearing on Principles, procedures, and action for the implementation of Articles 11(1) and 11(2) of the Lisbon Treaty (EESC SOC section 17 April 2012)

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  • 1. UNITED NATIONS _________ ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE Example of effective dialogue: The Aarhus Convention EESC hearing on principles, procedures and actions for theimplementation of article 11(1) and 11(2) of the Lisbon Treaty Brussels, 17 April 2012
  • 2. Formalized procedures ∗ Rules of procedure ∗ National reports ∗ Compliance mechanism ∗ Almaty Guidelines on promoting the principles of the Convention in international forumsNon-formalized practices ∗ Coordination of NGO participation ∗ Financial support for environmental NGOs
  • 3. Formalized proceduresAarhus Convention Rules of Procedure (decision I/1)∗Open meetings∗Speaking rights for NGOs∗Access to documents∗NGO member of the Bureau
  • 4. National implementation reports ∗ Dialogue with public at national level very important part of reporting ∗ Effective consultation should involve two stages: (1) Early consultation before draft report prepared to identify issues to be included (2) Follow-up consultation on draft report (decision I/8 on reporting; Guidance on Reporting Requirements prepared by Compliance Committee (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2007/L.4))
  • 5. Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee∗NGOs can nominate Committee members∗General rule meetings open, all documents public∗Members of the public can bring cases of non-compliance∗Committee can consider any information submitted∗Draft findings sent to Party and communicant forcomment (decision I/7 on compliance)
  • 6. Almaty Guidelines on promoting the principles of theConvention in international forums (decision II/4)∗Article 3, paragraph 7∗Applies three pillars to international forums: ∗ Access to environmental information ∗ Public participation in decision-making ∗ Access to review procedures∗Apply to both: (1) procedures of international forums (2) treatment of substantive issues by such forums
  • 7. Non-formalized practices ∗ European ECOForum coordinates NGO input ∗ Financial support for civil society representatives ∗ General rule: all correspondence and draft documents sent to national focal points and other stakeholders simultaneously, including invitations to comment
  • 8. UNITED NATIONS _________ ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE Fiona Marshall Environmental Affairs Officer Aarhus Convention Email: public.participation@unece.orgWebsite: www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html Thank you!