Main Points: There are many global environmental challenges facing humanity today Examples: Climate change: explain what it is and why it is important Deforestation: explain what it is and why it is important Fresh water: explain what it is and why it is important
International development of access rights principles Main points: Most important international agreement on access rights is Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, 1992. 178 countries signed the Rio Declaration. The three “procedural” access rights. 1) access to information 2) public participation 3) access to justice are codified in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Principle 10 is the most important international agreement on access rights and establishes important principles of access. However, access rights have to be implemented on a NATIONAL level.
International development of access rights Main points: Six years after Rio, UNECE adopted Aarhus The most important articulation of Principle 10. Importantly, it is LEGALLY BINDING on states that ratify it. The convention has “teeth” It is a European convention but open to all countries to join
Main points: UNEP created Draft guidelines for the development of national legislation on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters The purpose of these voluntary guidelines is to provide general guidance to States, primarily developing countries on effective implementation of their commitments to Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development within the framework of their national legislation and processes.
What are access rights? Main points: Access rights ensure that people have a right to participate in decisions that affect the environment. It ensures more representative, equitable and effective environmental decision-making. There are three “procedural” access rights. 1) access to information 2) public participation 3) access to justice All of these are propped up by the substantive right to a clean or healthy environment. Access rights have been incorporated into many national governments consitututions.
What is access? And what does it look like? Main points: Who’s voice is being heard? (inclusive) Do they have all of the information they need? (transparency) Who is not there? Will the concerns be addressed? (accountability)
Explain the benefits of access to information. Use examples to illustrate.
Explain the benefits of public participation. Use examples to illustrate.
Explain the benefits of access to justice. Use examples to illustrate.
What is the access initiative and how does it fit in? Main points: The access initiative was started in 2000 to assess the progress of implementing Principle 10, ten years after Rio. TAI is now the largest global network of Civil Society Organizations working to promote access rights on a national level. Network now includes over 150 CS0s in 40 countries. Over 32 Country assessments have been completed. TAI network combines research with “on the ground change”
How is the global network organized? Main points: The access initiative was started in 2000 to assess the progress of implementing Principle 10, ten years after Rio. TAI is now the largest global network of Civil Society Organizations working to promote access rights on a national level. Network now includes over 150 CS0s in over 40 countries. Decentralized leadership Three levels of leadership; 1) Global secretariat 2) Regional lead organizations 3) National coalition of CSOs (not shown on diagram)
Main points: The ultimate goal is to close gaps in access law, institutions and practices We do this through evidence-based advocacy: the study of real events, real institutions and real problems to come up with real solutions Look at legal, institutional and capacity structures at the national level Rely on national level CSOs and build capacity of CSOs to improve access nationally
Main Points: Fill in with text from Carole’s section in the Training Manual
Main Points: Explain each of the 5 steps. They are not always in this order, but this is typical.
Main points: Facilities Level Information is a required case study for access to information. Examples include compliance reports and Pollution Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs). To add this case you will select the case type of “facilities level reporting” then choose the case details from the following list: Reports on environmental compliance PRTRs Reports from industry audits select “surface water quality” for case details.
What does the TAI assessment evaluate? (Quick introduction to the TAI methodology) Main points: The TAI assessment measures both LAW and PRACTICE at a national level. The law evaluation is completed with legal research and assesses the quality of the access rights as enshrined in the law. Capacity building evaluation looks at the legal requirements to provide capacity building on access rights. The case studies assess PRACTICE. Look at “on the ground” experiences with access. Case studies captures gaps in implementation (gaps between law and practice). It also identifies areas in which practice may be better than the legal framework.
Main points: Case studies are the way that we measure access rights “on the ground” or access in practice. There are three categories of case studies: Access to information Public participation Access to justice In addition case studies also measure capacity building in each and every case study. 6 case studies are chosen to study the access principles and the poor. Two case studies that are relevant to the concerns of the poor are conducted in each category (access to information, public participation and access to justice.
Main points: There are three categories of case studies: Access to information Public participation Access to justice In each category there are prescriptive cases and cases that are more open-ended. Of these 6 need to be relevant to the poor and employ the poverty sensitized instructions for the indicators
What changes have been made “on the ground” by the TAI network? Main points: Capacity Building: Centro Ecuatoriano de Derecho Ambiental (CEDA) has worked with partners in Ecuador to train more than 1,000 civil servants (in both central and local governments), representatives of civil society, and academics. CEDA has worked with more than 68 capacity building workshops and 5 national forums. They have developed and published three training manuals (one for each access right), a civil society guide, and several brochures to help spread awareness of Principle 10 Legal Reform : The Thailand Environment Institute contributed to the drafting of a new Constitution, and worked with the King Prajadhipok Institute and the Union of Civil Society to draft key language that would encourage public participation in environmental matters. Government Outreach : TAI partners in Indonesia met with representatives from the government to work on the Right to Freedom of Information Law.
What changes have been made “on the ground” by the TAI network? Main points: Raising public awareness: The Access Initiative-Mexico (TAI-Mexico) has presented its findings at meetings with community groups to raise their awareness of new legislation and opportunities to participate. TAI-Mexico used the findings from the assessment to develop and publish a CD-ROM guide for participation by individuals, and communities. Additionally, they produced a short television presentation highlighting Mexico’s participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Training professionals: In Hungary, the Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA) has used the assessment to create a training program for judges. Media outreach : TAI Thailand, led by the Thailand Environment institute, published newspaper articles and held press meetings emphasizing the importance of Partnership for Principle 10 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Main Points: Widen network: Engage more countries and more CSOs Deepen Advocacy: Place greater emphasis on post-assessment advocacy and work for on the ground changes Diversify Activities: Make several levels of assessments available (full, core, single pillar, sectoral, water, climate change, etc)
The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative
Global Environmental ProblemsGlobal Environmental Problems
Principle 10Principle 10
Environmental issues are
best handled with the
participation of all concerned
citizens, at the relevant level.
Aarhus ConventionAarhus Convention
open to all
UNEP Guidelines on AccessUNEP Guidelines on Access
Expected adoption 2010
Provides guidance to
implement Principle 10
Access RightsAccess Rights
Right to a
What does “Access” look like?What does “Access” look like?
Access to InformationAccess to Information
Gives people the
tools to participate
Allows for informed
Public ParticipationPublic Participation
Provides a forum
Ensures voices are heard
Promotes dialogue around
Provides a forum
Ensures voices are heard
Promotes dialogue around
Access to JusticeAccess to Justice
Provides a forum for
Ensures people are
The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative
Network OrganizationNetwork Organization
Three levels of leadership:
1) Global Secretariat
2) Regional lead
3) National coalition of
TAI Model of InfluenceTAI Model of Influence
Close gaps in access law, institutions and practices
Governments and Int’l Institutions
TAI assessments Advocacy tools
Flexible Research DesignFlexible Research Design
5 Step Action Plan5 Step Action Plan
Educate public, conduct judges
trainings, engage multiple
Publish Results4. Work with media
Conduct a TAI
Assess the extent to which laws
and institutions uphold access
Form an Advisory
Scholars, government officials,
members of CSOs and media
Create a National
1. Diverse civil society membership
TAI Assessment:Four Pillars
TAI Assessment StructureTAI Assessment Structure
6 constitutional law indicators applied once per assessment
16 general law indicators applied once per assessment
What are the case studies?What are the case studies?
They study access rights “on the ground”
Poverty Case StudiesPoverty Case Studies
Captures the concerns
of the poor
Minimum of 6 case
Access to information (2)
Public Participation (2)
Access to Justice (2)
Number of Case StudiesNumber of Case Studies
Case Types at
Access to Information 4 4 8
Public Participation 3 3 6
Access to Justice 3 1 4
TOTALS 10 8 18
Measuring Capacity BuildingMeasuring Capacity Building
1) The government’s
ability to provide
2) The public’s ability
to access the
3) The environment
for media and
Future of TAIFuture of TAI
• Expand to new countries
• Engage new partners
• Continue country assessments
• Continue to engage in countries that
have completed assessments
• Emphasize “on the ground change”
• Advocate for reforms
• In countries that have completed
assessments, support other activities
• Encourage action plans and better
• New water assessment
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