• English

Two publications in one: Your Toolkit for Effective Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making and in Strategic Environmental Assessment

Empowering people to participate in decisions that can affect their environment and health is of key importance to UNECE. To this end, the present publication consists of two separate, but closely linked sets of recommendations: (i) Maastricht Recommendations on Promoting Effective Public Participation in Decision-making in Environmental Matters prepared under the Aarhus Convention and (ii) Good practice recommendations on public participation in strategic environmental assessment prepared under the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment  (SEA) to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

Based on existing good practice, the Maastricht Recommendations are intended as a practical tool to assist officials in carrying out public participation procedures for projects, programmes, policies and legislative acts related to a wide range of subjects. These include, for example, construction of nuclear facilities and highways, building of golf courses and recreational areas, and developing climate- and agriculture- related strategies. The publication offers a practical guidance on how to improve the implementation of the Aarhus Convention’s provisions on public participation in decision-making.

The second set of recommendations aim to improve public participation in the assessment of draft governmental plans and programmes that shape the future of communities and affect people’s lifes, such as regional development plans, transport or energy strategies, waste or water management plans. They offer a guide to the implementation of the Protocol on SEA obligations in this regard, illustrate good practice and also suggest more innovative procedures for public participation.

To reach authorities and stakeholders who deal with public participation on the ground the two sets of recommendations should be translated in national and local languages and distributed widely.

The publication is available in English, French and Russian. The Maastricht Recommendations can be accessed at: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/publications/maastricht_recommendations

The Good Practice Recommendations on Public Participation in strategic environmental assessment can be accessed at:  http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=42234&L=0