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Capacity building

The first meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Lucca, Italy, 21-23 october 2002) requested the secretariat to continue with its efforts to develop the clearing house mechanism and capacity-building service (see Decision I/10  ENG FRE RUS) as a means to adequately address the need for coordinated and systematic assistance to the implementation of the Convention, primarily in countries in transition.

In connection with this mandate a broad capacity-building framework has been set up to streamline and rationalize capacity-building activities and promote synergies. The framework, facilitated by the Convention’s secretariat, involves some of the main international organizations involved in capacity building under the Convention. Also in connection with this mandate the secretariat had provided further information on the capacity building activities in a report to the second meeting of the Parties (available in  ENG, FRE and RUS).

The partner organizations involved in the framework’s activities over the last year include:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)
Central Asian Regional Environmental Centre (CAREC)
Milieukontakt Oost-Europa
The Access Initiative (TAI)
European ECO Forum

Meetings of Capacity Building Coordination

Ninth meeting

Eighth meeting

Seventh meeting

Sixth meeting

Fifth meeting

Fourth meeting

Third meeting

Second meeting

First meeting

Survey on Capacity Building  

The questionnaire aiming to identify priority capacity-building constraints as well as outputs and lessons of capacity-building initiatives was presented at the 6th meeting of the Working Group of Parties. The questionnaire has also been sent to the Parties, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. It aimed to identify priority constraints in the implementation of the Convention at national and local level and steps required to overcome these problems. The survey also asked for an overview and assessment of the ongoing capacity-building activities, including those undertaken by the Parties themselves.

Responses were provided by Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Malta and Romania as well as by NGOs from Azerbaijan and Bulgaria and by CAREC. These have been taken into account in preparation of the note on capacity building for the 7th meeting of the Working Group of Parties. The questionnaire and original responses are available from the table below.

Questionnaire in English




Questionnaire in Russian




























NGO from Azerbaijan




Bluelink (Bulgaria)








National Profiles Program  

In early 2003, UNECE together with UNITAR developed the pilot programme to assist c ountries in preparing a national profile to assess their capacities to implement the Aarhus Convention. It provides participating countries with a methodology for a comprehensive multistakeholder process of assessing capacities and needs on the national level. The national profile documents prepared in the context of the project will provide an indication of what steps are required to implement the Convention effectively and will also facilitate identification of priorities for targeted capacity-building. The partner institutions developed a guidance document establishing the main areas and methodology for the development of national profiles, selected Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and Montenegro, and Tajikistan as pilot countries, and worked together with the national project coordination teams on the preparation of the profiles. The national profiles have so far been developed in two of the three pilot countries. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also used the multistakeholder consultative process and the information in the national profiles to prepare of their national implementation reports under decision I/8 of the Meeting of the Parties. The methodology, which will be further improved, based on the feedback received in the course of project implementation, will be made available to other Parties and organizations.

Thematic and regional workshops

Workshop on good practices in public participation at the local level Newcastle Upon Tyne (United Kingdom), 6-7 December 1999

First Central Asian Workshop Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), 4-8 May 2000

First South Caucasus Workshop Tbilisi (Georgia), 11-13 December 2000

Second South Caucasus Workshop Tsakhkadzor (Armenia) 15-17 November 2001

Second Central Asia Workshop in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), 4-7 June 2002: (ENG) (RUS)

National Workshop in Kyrgyzstan (Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan), 9-11 October 2003: programme (ENG), summary of discussions (RUS), workshop outcome (RUS)

Workshop on Access to Justice for High-level Judiciary (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), 4-5 June 2007, Kiev, Ukraine

International Workshop on Involving the Public in International Forums, 20-21 June 2007, Geneva

Workshop on Public Participation in Strategic Decision-making, 3-4 December 2007, Sofia, Bulgaria

International workshop on access to information, public participation and access to justice regarding GMOs, 19-20 May 2008, Cologne, Germany

Workshop on access to Justice for High-level Judiciary in South-Eastern Europe, 17-18 November 2008, Tirana, Albania

Workshop on Electronic Information Tools to support the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in South Eastern Europe, 25-26 November 2010, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Joint Aarhus Convention/Cartagena Protocol workshop on public awareness, access to information and public participation regarding LMOs/GMOs, 8-9 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan.

Six meeting of the Task Force on Public-Participation in International Forums and Workshop, 23-24 February 2011, Geneva, Switzerland.

Subregional Central Asian meeting "Implementing the Aarhus Convention today: Paving the way to a better environment and governance tomorrow, 22-23 May 2012, Almaty, Kazakhstan.