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 re...
Aarhus ConventionAarhus Convention
”
European
Convention, but
open to all
Legally binding
1998: UNECE
adopted Aarhus
UNEP Guidelines on AccessUNEP Guidelines on Access
Voluntary Guidelines
Expected adoption 2010
Provides guidance to
implem...
Access RightsAccess Rights
Public
Participation
Access to
Informatio
n
Right to a
Clean
Environment
Access to
Justice
What does “Access” look like?What does “Access” look like?
?
?
Inclusive
Transparent
Accountable
?
Access to InformationAccess to Information
 Gives people the
tools to participate
 Allows for informed
decision-making
...
Public ParticipationPublic Participation
 Provides a forum
 Ensures voices are heard
 Promotes dialogue around
importan...
Access to JusticeAccess to Justice
 Provides a forum for
grievances
 Ensures people are
treated fairly
 Creates
account...
The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative
49
Countries
170
CSOs
Network OrganizationNetwork Organization
Global Secretariat
(WRI)
 Decentralized network
 Three levels of leadership:
1)...
Growth of TAIGrowth of TAI
TAI Model of InfluenceTAI Model of Influence
Close gaps in access law, institutions and practices
Governments and Int’l In...
Flexible Research DesignFlexible Research Design
16
5 Step Action Plan5 Step Action Plan
Begin Informed
Advocacy
5.
Educate public, conduct judges
trainings, engage multip...
TAI Assessment:Four Pillars
Acce
Justic
Acce
Info
Public
Par
Capa
Buildi
TAI Assessment StructureTAI Assessment Structure
Constitutional Law
Case Studies
Access to
Information:
27 indicators
Publ...
What are the case studies?What are the case studies?
They study access rights “on the ground”
Access to Information Case Studies
Public Participation Case Studies
Access to Justice Case Studies
Poverty Case StudiesPoverty Case Studies
Captures the concerns
of the poor
Minimum of 6 case
studies
 Access to informati...
Number of Case StudiesNumber of Case Studies
Required Case
Types
Case Types at
Researchers’
Discretion
Total
Minimum
Cases...
Measuring Capacity BuildingMeasuring Capacity Building
1) The government’s
ability to provide
access
2) The public’s abili...
TAI OutcomesTAI Outcomes
TAI OutcomesTAI Outcomes
Future of TAIFuture of TAI
Widen
Network
• Expand to new countries
• Engage new partners
• Continue country assessments
De...
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TAI Launch

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  • 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)
  • TAI Launch

    1. 1. The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative
    2. 2. Global Environmental ProblemsGlobal Environmental Problems
    3. 3. Principle 10Principle 10 Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. “ ”
    4. 4. Aarhus ConventionAarhus Convention ” European Convention, but open to all Legally binding 1998: UNECE adopted Aarhus
    5. 5. UNEP Guidelines on AccessUNEP Guidelines on Access Voluntary Guidelines Expected adoption 2010 Provides guidance to implement Principle 10
    6. 6. Access RightsAccess Rights Public Participation Access to Informatio n Right to a Clean Environment Access to Justice
    7. 7. What does “Access” look like?What does “Access” look like? ? ? Inclusive Transparent Accountable ?
    8. 8. Access to InformationAccess to Information  Gives people the tools to participate  Allows for informed decision-making  Promotes transparency
    9. 9. Public ParticipationPublic Participation  Provides a forum  Ensures voices are heard  Promotes dialogue around important issues  Provides a forum  Ensures voices are heard  Promotes dialogue around important issues
    10. 10. Access to JusticeAccess to Justice  Provides a forum for grievances  Ensures people are treated fairly  Creates accountability
    11. 11. The Access InitiativeThe Access Initiative 49 Countries 170 CSOs
    12. 12. Network OrganizationNetwork Organization Global Secretariat (WRI)  Decentralized network  Three levels of leadership: 1) Global Secretariat 2) Regional lead organizations 3) National coalition of CSOs Africa Europe Southeast Asia South Asia Latin America Global Secretariat (WRI)
    13. 13. Growth of TAIGrowth of TAI
    14. 14. TAI Model of InfluenceTAI Model of Influence Close gaps in access law, institutions and practices Governments and Int’l Institutions CSOs TAI assessments Advocacy tools
    15. 15. Flexible Research DesignFlexible Research Design
    16. 16. 16 5 Step Action Plan5 Step Action Plan Begin Informed Advocacy 5. Educate public, conduct judges trainings, engage multiple stakeholders Publish Results4. Work with media Conduct a TAI Assessment 3. Assess the extent to which laws and institutions uphold access principles Form an Advisory Panel 2. Scholars, government officials, members of CSOs and media Create a National Coalition 1. Diverse civil society membership
    17. 17. TAI Assessment:Four Pillars Acce Justic Acce Info Public Par Capa Buildi
    18. 18. TAI Assessment StructureTAI Assessment Structure Constitutional Law Case Studies Access to Information: 27 indicators Public Participation: 31 indicators Access to Justice: 33 indicators 6 constitutional law indicators applied once per assessment + General Law 16 general law indicators applied once per assessment + Capacity Building: 12 capacity building indicators applied once per assessment
    19. 19. What are the case studies?What are the case studies? They study access rights “on the ground”
    20. 20. Access to Information Case Studies
    21. 21. Public Participation Case Studies
    22. 22. Access to Justice Case Studies
    23. 23. Poverty Case StudiesPoverty Case Studies Captures the concerns of the poor Minimum of 6 case studies  Access to information (2)  Public Participation (2)  Access to Justice (2) Poverty-sensitized indicators
    24. 24. Number of Case StudiesNumber of Case Studies Required Case Types Case Types at Researchers’ Discretion Total Minimum Cases Access to Information 4 4 8 Public Participation 3 3 6 Access to Justice 3 1 4 TOTALS 10 8 18
    25. 25. Measuring Capacity BuildingMeasuring Capacity Building 1) The government’s ability to provide access 2) The public’s ability to access the system 3) The environment for media and CSOs
    26. 26. TAI OutcomesTAI Outcomes
    27. 27. TAI OutcomesTAI Outcomes
    28. 28. Future of TAIFuture of TAI Widen Network • Expand to new countries • Engage new partners • Continue country assessments Deepen Advocacy Diversify Activities • 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 communication strategies • New water assessment • Poverty-sensitization
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