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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

The subregional meeting for Central Asian countries “Implementing the Aarhus Convention today: Paving the way to a better environment and governance tomorrow” was organized jointly by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The meeting was a response to the call made by the Parties to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) at their fourth session (Chisinau, 29 June–1 July 2011), which highlighted various needs for capacity-building. While ensuring access to justice was acknowledged to be the most challenging issue facing States Parties, a lack of expertise related to the procedural requirements for the Convention’s proper implementation was also highlighted in this context.

This subregional meeting comprised two parallel workshops with several joint sessions:

(a) The first workshop "Greening Justice and the role of the Judiciary in this process" brought together senior judges and representatives from judicial training institutions, as well as environmental law experts, to discuss the legal aspects of access to justice and the role of the judiciary in implementing and enforcing the Convention;

(b) The second workshop "How to implement the Aarhus Convnetion: learning practical experiences" provided a platform for dialogue between representatives from Aarhus Centres and governmental, non-governmental and international organizations to discuss challenges in the practical implementation of the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention and to learn good practices.

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Programme     

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Report (AC/WGP-15/Inf.1)

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List of participants

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SESSION I: OPENING

Opening statement by Ms. Jeannette Kloetzer, Deputy Head of OSCE Centre in Astana

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Opening statement by Mr. Anatoliy Dernovoy, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan 

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Opening statement by Mr. Vladimir Borisov, Judge of the Supreme Court and Chaiman of the Union of Judges of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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Introduction - Ms. Maryna Yanush, Environmental Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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SESSION II: LAYING THE GROUND

Environmental and Human rights: Linkages in International Law -
Mr. Jan Darpo, Chair of the Task Force on Access to Justice

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Advancing the implementation of the Aarhus Convention -
Mr. Vadim Ni, Executive Director of the Asian American Patnership, a former member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee

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SESSION IV: TAKING STOCK AND LOOKING FORWARD

Ms. Esra Buttanri, Office of the Coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities

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Ms. Mara Silina, Coordinator Public Participation Campaign, European ECO Forum

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GREENING JUSTICE AND THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY IN THIS PROCESS

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1. Introduction to the workshop
Ms. Maryna Yanush, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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2. Access to justice in environmental matters: general overview

General overview - Mr. Jan Darpo, Chair of the Task Force on Access to Justice

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UNEP perspective - Ms. Barbara Ruis, United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office

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Study on Access to Justice in EECCA countries - Ms. Elena Laevskaya, Belarusian State University

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3. Access to Justice in cases involving access to information and public participation in decision-making - Ms. Elena Laevskaya, Belarusian State University

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Case 1: Case-study involving access to information

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Case 2: Case-study involving public participation in decision-making

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4. Access to justice and public's right to enforce national law relating to the environment (introduction and summing up) -
Mr. Werner Heermann, the Association of European Administrative Judges

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Case 3: Case-study reles to public's right to enforce national law relating to the environment

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5. Remedies, timeliness of procedures and costs - Mr. Dmytro Skrylnikov, Bureau of Environmental Investigation

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HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE AARHUS CONVENTION: LEARNING PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES

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1. Monitoring the Convention's implementation - Mr. Andriy Andrusevych, Resource and Analysis Center “Society and Environment“
- Reporting mechanism
- Compliance mechanism
- Case Law of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee

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2. Access to environmental information - Ms. Heghine Hakhverdyan, Yerevan State University

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3. Public participation in environmental decision-making
Mr. Philip Kearney, Chair of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making

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Ms. Mara Silina, Coordinator Public Participation Campaign, European ECO Forum

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4. Access to Justice as a garantee of environmental rights - Mr. Andriy Andrusevych, Resource and Analysis Center “Society and Environment“

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Case-studies related to access to environmental information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice

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© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013