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Twenty-third meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

26 - 28 June 2019

Salle VII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

The twenty-third meeting of the Working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention was held on 26-28 June 2019 in Geneva (Palais des Nations, Salle VII). The Working Group reviewed the progress in implementing the current work programme and discussed a number of items, including, progress achieved in promoting access to information, public participation and access to justice, and in ratification of the Convention's amendment on genetically modified organisms; financial matters; and promotion of the Convention and relevant developments and interlinkages. Two thematic sessions, on public participation in decision-making and on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums, were held during the meeting. 
 
Thematic session on public participation in decision-making

A thematic session on public participation in decision-making was organized in the format of an interactive panel discussion followed by a general discussion on several topics, including:

a) identification and notification of the public concerned, including vulnerable and marginalized groups;
b) early public participation;
c) the taking of due account of the outcome of public participation;
d) innovative practices that facilitate more effective public participation;
e) the role of private actors and project developers in carrying out public participation procedures;
f) public participation in decision-making related to changes to or extensions of existing activities;
g) public participation in a transboundary context; and
h) protection of persons exercising their rights in conformity with the provisions of the Convention.

The examples discussed illustrated public participation in decision-making in different sectors. 
 
Thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums

The meeting featured a thematic session on promoting the application of the principles of the Convention in international forums. The session focussed primarily on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in the policies of international financial institutions and also on cross-cutting issues, such innovative practices, different modalities for engaging stakeholders, self-organization of stakeholders, hosting an international event and identification of the public.
Additional topics ncluded: a relevant update on the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; the policy on stakeholder engagement of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme; and the high-level political forum on sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goal-related processes.  

 

 

 

 

Documents

TitleENGFRERUS
Provisional Agenda (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/1)PDFPDFPDF
List of decisions and major outcomes of the meeting (AC/WGP-23/Inf.7)PDF
List of participantsPDF
Item 3 (a)
Report of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making on its eighth meeting (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/3)PDFPDFPDF
Item 3 (c)
Report of the Task Force on Access to Justice on its twelfth meeting (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/4)PDFPDFPDF
Judicial Colloquium, Chair's summary - Sustainable Development Goal 16: Role of the judiciary in promoting the rule of law in environmental matters (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/8)PDFPDFPDF
Item 7
Report on the implementation of the work programme for 2018–2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/5)PDFPDFPDF
Report on contributions and expenditures in relation to the implementation of the Convention’s work programme for 2018–2021 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/6)PDFPDFPDF
Note on contributions and pledges received after 1 April 2019 (AC/WGP-23/Inf.5)PDF
Item 8
Proposal on the future Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/7)PDFPDFPDF
Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2030 (ECE/MP.PP/WG.1/2019/7/Add.1)PDFPDFPDF
Overview of implementation of international dimension of the strategic plan for 2015-2020 (AC/WGP-23/Inf.1)PDF
Indicative timeline for preparation of agenda, declaration and decisions for the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties (AC/WGP-23/Inf.6)PDF

 

 

 

Statements and Presentations

Document titleENGFRERUS
Presentation by the Chair of the Compliance Committee
Item 4 (a): Compliance mechanismPDF
Statements by EU and its Member States
Item 1: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agendaPDF
Item 3 (b): Access to informationPDF
Item 3 (c): Access to justicePDF
Item 3 (d): Genetically modified organismsPDF
Item 4 (a): Compliance mechanismPDF
Item 4 (c): Capacity-building and awareness-raisingPDF
Item 6: Promotion of the Convention and other relevant developments and interlinkagesPDF
Item 7: Implementation of the work programme for 2018-2021, including financial mattersPDF
Item 8: Preparations for the seventh session of the Meeting of the PartiesPDF
Closing statementPDF
Statement by the Netherlands
Item 3 (a) Thematic session on Public Participation in Decision-makingPDF
Statement by the Republic of Moldova
Item 3 (b) Access to InformationPDF
Statement by OSCE
Item 4 (c) Capacity-building and Awareness-raisingPDF
Statements by the European ECO Forum and other NGOs
Statement by NGO Christian Aid on item 4 (a) compliance mechanismPDF
Statements by Guta Association on several itemsPDF
Statements by NGO Society and Environment and on behalf of the European ECO Forum on several itemsPDF

 

 

PPDM session

 

TitleENGFRERUS
Provisional programme for the thematic session on Public Participation in Decision-making (AC/WGP-23/Inf.3)PDF
Item 3 (a)
Substantive issues: Thematic session on public participation
in decision-making
I. Setting the scene
Report on outcomes of the latest meeting of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making: Mr. Massimo Cozzone, Senior Officer, Directorate for Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage, European Union and International Affairs, Ministry for the Environment Land and Sea of Italy, on behalf of the Chair of the Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-makingPDF
Ms. Anke Stock, Senior Specialist Gender and Rights, Women Engage for a Common Future and representative of the European ECO ForumPDF
II.  Article 6 on public participation in decisions on specific activities
Mr. Jerzy Jendrośka, Environmental lawyer and member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance CommitteePDF
Ms. Natalia Baidakova, Head of Strategic Planning Division, State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry, KyrgyzstanPDF
III.  Article 7 on public participation concerning plans, programmes and policies relating to the environment
Mr. Jerzy Jendrośka, Environmental lawyer and member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance CommitteePDF
Ms. Dorina Mocanu, General Director, Ministry of Environment, RomaniaPDF
IV.  Article 8 on public participation during the preparation of executive regulations and/or generally applicable legally binding normative instruments
Mr. Jerzy Jendrośka, Environmental lawyer and member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance CommitteePDF
Ms. Nino Gokhelashvili, Head of the Sustainable Development Division, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, GeorgiaPDF
V.  Public participation in a transboundary context
Mr. Jerzy Jendrośka, Environmental lawyer and member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance CommitteePDF
Mr. Edward Donaldson-Balan, Head of Team - EU Infractions and Aarhus Convention, Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), United Kingdom and Northern IrelandPDF
VI.   Protection of persons exercising their rights in conformity with the provisions of the Convention
Mr. Jonas Ebbesson, Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (via video link)PDF
Mr. Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defendersPDF
Mr. Andriy Andrusevych,  Senior Policy Expert, Society and Environment and representative of the European ECO ForumPDF
PDF

 

 

 

PPIF session

TitleENG
Item 5
Thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums
Provisional Programme of the thematic session on the promotion of the Aarhus Convention's principles in international forums (AC/WGP-23/Inf.2)PDF
Results of the survey for Parties and stakeholders in preparation for the thematic session on the promotion of the principles of the Convention in international forums (AC/WGP-23/Inf.4) PDF
Summary of the survey resultsPDF
I. Promotion of the Convention’s principles in international financial institutions
Ms. Michaela Bergmann, Principal Social Development Specialist, AIIBPDF
Ms. Anna Samolis, Office of the Secretary General and Mr. Mikko Venermo, Environmental and Sustainability Department, EBRD PDF
Mr. Roberto Rando, Senior Complaints Officer, EIB PDF
Ms. Una Meades, Lead Environmental and Social Standards Specialist and Ms. Patricia Miranda, Senior Counsel, Legal Vice Presidency, the World BankPDF
Ms. Suada Numić, Head of Department for Pollutant-Release and Transfer Registers, Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Bosnia and HerzegovinaPDF
Ms. Catalina Radulescu, Bankwatch Romania and representative of the European ECO ForumPDF
II. Cross-cutting issues to improve the public’s access to information and participation in international forums 
Ms. Marguerite Camilleri, Unit Manager International Affairs, Environment and Resources Authority,  MaltaPDF
Mr. Sébastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Climate and Energy Programme, Center for International Environmental Law and representative of the European ECO ForumPDF
III. Update on the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the policy on stakeholder engagement of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the high-level political forum on sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goal-related processes
Letter from the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) to the Chair of the thematic session on public participation in international forumsPDF
Note by the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)PDF
Statement by International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) on public participation and access to information at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)PDF
Written statement by UNFCCC secretariat regarding observer engagementPDF
Written statement by UNECE on Stakeholder engagement in global and regional follow-up and review of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development GoalsPDF
Written Statement of UNEP for the Thematic Session on Promoting the Principles of the Aarhus Convention in International ForaPDF