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Convention on Access to Information,
Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice
in Environmental Matters

Public participation in strategic decision-making

Aarhus Workshop, 3-4 December 2007

At its sixth meeting (April 2006), the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention agreed to hold a workshop on public participation in strategic decision-making (PPSD). The two-dayworkshop was held on Monday and Tuesday, 3 and 4 December 2007 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The workshop discussed existing practices for public participation in plans, programmes and policies as well as in the preparation of laws and regulations that may have a significant effect on the environment (Articles 7 and 8 of the Aarhus Convention). There was a strong focus on presenting concrete good practice examples of how the public can be effectively involved in certain types of strategic decisions. The workshop was intended to provide an opportunity for a broad exchange of different views amongst experts of the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions and the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (Espoo/SEA Protocol) and interested NGOs.

The workshop programme was developed between Austria, Bulgaria and the Aarhus Convention Bureau in consultation with the Espoo Convention Bureau. Significant funding for the workshop was provided by the Government of Austria. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Bulgaria.

Workshop documentation

The agenda and list of participants for the workshop can be found below, together with the compendium of case studies that was the main background document for the workshop. The powerpoint presentations of the speakers are also available below.

Agenda PDF ENG    
List of participants PDF ENG    
Report of workshop (in English) PDF ENG    
Executive summary of workshop prepared by Austria
(in English)
Compendium (in English) PDF ENG   RUS
Overview of PPSD in the UNECE area (David Aspinwall) PDF ENG    
Overview of the Aarhus Convention's requirements for PPSD (Jerzy Jendroska) PDF ENG    
Experiences with the SEA Directive (European Commission) PDF ENG    
PPSD with respect to legislation
Danish experience with the assessment of bills (Denmark) PDF ENG    
The new public participation mechanism introduced by the Parliament of Moldova (Eco-TIRAS International Environmental Association) PDF ENG    
PPSD in specific sectors
Regional plans for development and the national programme for ports development in Bulgaria (Bulgaria) PDF ENG    
SEA of the regional land use plan for the development of wind energy in the county of Rogaland (Norway) PDF ENG    
SEA for the Vienna waste management plan 2007 (Kerstin Arbter) PDF ENG    
The Water Code and policy in Armenia (Armenia) PDF ENG    
PPSD regarding policies
The French "public debate" on transportation policy in southern France (France) PDF ENG    
The electronic discussions of CARNet (CARNet) PDF ENG    
PPSD at the local and national level
The Aylesham Masterplan (Nick Wates Associates) PDF ENG    
Participate! Decide! Win! in Danilovgrad, Montenegro (NGO Green Home) PDF ENG    
The new Hungarian rural development programme (National Society of Conservationists/Friends of the Earth Hungary) PDF ENG