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Workshop on information and public participation in water and health related issues

15 - 16 June 2010

Bucharest, Romania

The workshop on information and public participation in water and health related issues was held on 15-16 June 2010 in Bucharest, Romania. It was conducted under the framework of the UNECE/WHO-EURO Protocol on Water and Health. It was jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Ministry of Health of Romania and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, in cooperation with the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization, Women in Europe for a Common Future. Global Water Partnership Romania assisted with the practical arrangements. The workshop was co-funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany and the German Environment Agency.

The overall aim of the workshop was to enhance capacity of public authorities and non-governmental actors to cooperate in the implementation of the Protocol. The workshop allowed to:

  • Review obligations and opportunities under the Protocol related to access to information and public participation for both public authorities and NGOs;
  • Exchange practical experience and lessons-learned in addressing the challenges of improving access to information and increasing public participation;
  • Overview existing tools and mechanisms to promote access to information and public participation, including those used in other areas that can be adapted to the Protocol on Water and Health;
  • Discuss ways and means to raise awareness - in general on the linkage between human health and water management and in particular on the Protocol on Water and Health – of other relevant sectors (e.g. agriculture, rural and urban development, tourism, etc) and of the general public;
  • Discuss future needs in these areas and possible actions under the Protocol.

The workshop was attended by around 60 participants from more than 20 countries. The participants represented governmental authorities, non-governmental organizations, academia, media, and international organizations.

Document Title



Provisional agenda for the meeting


List of participants


Document Title ENG RUS

Concept note on public participation under the UNECE/WHO-EURO Protocol on Water and Health (prepared by WECF)

Guidelines on communication from the public (prepared by the Compliance Committee of the Protocol on Water and Health)

Document TitleENGRUS

The Aarhus Convention: rights and obligations to improve the environment
Fe Sanchis-Moreno, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, UNECE


The Protocol on Water and Health as tool for access to information and public participation in water and health related issues
Tomasz Juszczak, UNECE secretariat of the Protocol


Public participation under the Water Framework Directive and under the Protocol on Water and Health: how the two processes can be mutually supportive  
Valentin Brustur, expert, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Romania     


Challenges and added value of public participation – lessons learned from the implementation of European Water Policies
Magdolna Toth Nagy, Regional Environmental Center (REC)  


NGOs in water and health policy planning and implementation: partners or enemies? Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director, WECF


Developing Water and Wastewater Policy on Municipal level – Cross-sectional cooperation and political participation, Karl-Axel Reimer, Department of Environment, Sodertalje Municipality, Sweden

Communications from the public to the Protocol’s Compliance Committee: an entry point for NGOs, Serhiy Vykhryst, member of the Protocol’s Compliance Committee


Joint session: NGO experience in working with authorities and communities - good and bad lessons



Galina Verbovskaya, Ecoproject Belarus

Kiria Ketevan, Greens Movement Georgia


Kamran Ahmadov, EKOT Azerbaijan

Surayo Saidova, ASDP-Nau Tajikistan

Participative methodologies - Involving local communities in decision-making and understanding the need for Hygiene, Water and Sanitation management, Elmira Jodosheva, Central Asian Alliance for Water, Margriet Samwel, WECF

Barriers and challenges of implementing good sanitation practices within the WHO-Euro region, Claudia Wendland, WECF

EBRD's stakeholder engagement requirements for water sector projects, Polina Pimenova, EBRD


Public participation in IWRM - sanitation issues, Liviu Popescu, GWP Romania


A web-site on water of Ministry of Health: Portale Acque- Toward an integrated system for information to the public and public participation, Luca Fornara, Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato-IPZS, Stefania Marcheggiani, Italian National Institute of Health

The Atlas of Water and Health: an opportunity for informing the public on the reporting under the Protocol, Andrea Rechenburg, WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promoting Water Management and Risk Communication, Bonn


Access to information in emergency situations, Emma Anakhasyan, Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment

Public participation in target setting under the Protocol on Water and Health, Tatiana Siniaeva, Eco-Tiras, Republic of Moldova


Collaboration between governmental authorities and NGOs under the Protocol, Natalja Šliachtic, Center for Health Education and Disease Prevention, Lithuania


The way ahead under the Protocol: developing best practices and guidelines / strategy document for public participation and access to information under Protocol on Water and Health



Anna Tsvetkova, MAMA-86 Ukraine


Anke Stock, WECF