The Protocol on Water and Health stresses the importance of involving the public in decision-making concerning water and health. Access to information and public participation are essential for building public awareness of issues related to water and health, for giving the public the opportunity to express its concerns, for enabling public authorities to take due account of such concerns and for ensuring that the decisions are implemented in the fairest possible way.
The Guide to Public Participation offers explanations of legal obligations with regard to public participation and access to information under the Protocol and other international frameworks. It can be used as a tool to help improve the planning and carrying out of the public-participation process. The publication aims to encourage authorities to take into account the results of public participation at the different stages: in setting targets and target dates, in drawing up water-management plans and in doing the reporting.
It contains recommendations and examples to support Parties and members of the public to better assert their rights and fulfil their obligations in organizing or taking part in the important public-participation process.