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The Aarhus Convention. Supporting the Aarhus Convention Implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina OSCE Workshop, Ilidza, Sarajevo 17-18 May, 2010 Ms. Fe Sanchis-Moreno Environmental Affairs Officer Aarhus Convention Secretariat. Implementation of the Aarhus Convention . Introduction

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The Aarhus Convention


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    1. The Aarhus Convention Supporting the Aarhus Convention Implementation in Bosnia and HerzegovinaOSCE Workshop, Ilidza, Sarajevo17-18 May, 2010 Ms. Fe Sanchis-MorenoEnvironmental Affairs OfficerAarhus Convention Secretariat

    2. Implementation of the Aarhus Convention • Introduction • Review of implementation: national implementation reports • Review of implementation: compliance mechanism • Other Aarhus Convention bodies • Work of the Secretariat • The Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers Protocol • The Aarhus Centres

    3. Introduction - Art. 3 (1) – General Provisions “Each Party shall take the necessary legislative, regulatory and other measures, including measures to achieve compatibility between the provisions implementing the information, public participation and access to justice provisions in this Convention, as well as proper enforcement measures, to establish and maintain a clear, transparent and consistent framework to implement the provisions of this Convention”

    4. Introduction - Art. 3 – General Provisions • Officials and authorities assist and provide guidance to the public in exercising Aarhus’ rights • Promotion of environmental education and environmental awareness among the public, especially on Aarhus’ rights • Appropriate recognition of and support to associations, organisations or groups promoting environmental protection (national legal system is consistent with it)

    5. Introduction - Art. 3 – General Provisions • Parties may maintain or introduce measures providing for broader exercise of Aarhus’ rights • The Convention shall not require any derogation from existing rights • Obligation to promote the application of the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international environmental decision-making processes and within the framework of international organisations in matters relating to the environment

    6. Introduction - Art. 3 – General Provisions • Ensure that persons exercising Aarhus’ rights are not penalised, persecuted or harassed in any way • Public shall exercise Aarhus' rights without discrimination as to citizenship, nationality or domicile and, in the case of a legal person, without discrimination as to where it has its registered seat or an effective centre of its activities.

    7. Introduction – Access to Information and Public Participation • Art. 4 – Access to environmental information • Art. 5 – Collection and dissemination of environmental information • Art. 6 – Public participation in decisions on specific activities • Art. 7 – Public participation concerning plans, programmes and policies relating to the environment • Art. 8 – Public participation during the preparation of executive regulations and/or generally applicable legally binding normative instruments

    8. Introduction – Access to Justice • Art. 9 (1) – Access to information review procedure • Art. 9 (2) – Public participation in decision making-process review procedure • Art. 9 (3) – Breach of national environmental legislation administrative or judicial procedures • Art. 9 (4) – Common requirements and injunctive relief • Art. 9 (5) – Information to the public and assistance mechanisms to remove or reduce financial and other barriers

    9. Review of implementation – National Implementation Reports • Art. 10(2), at their meetings, the Parties shall keep under continuous review the implementation on the basis of regular reporting • Decision I/8 on Reporting Requirements (2002): Parties are obliged to submit a report on the legislative, regulatory and other measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention • Format: Annex of Decision I/8

    10. Review of implementation – National Implementation Reports • Prepare reports through a transparent and consultative process involving the public • Submit reports to secretariat electronically and on paper • In one of the official languages of the Convention, as well as in the language(s) of the Party • Secretariat obliged to produce a synthesis report summarizing the progress made and identifying significant trends, challenges and solutions

    11. Review of implementation – National Implementation Reports Decision I/8 (2002) and its annex is available at: • English: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/documents/mop1/ece.mp.pp.2.add.9.e.pdf • Russian: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/documents/mop1/ece.mp.pp.2.add.9.r.pdf

    12. Review of implementation – National Implementation Reports • Decision II/10: reports should be submitted to the secretariat 180 days in advance of the meeting of the Parties • Next MoP 6 June 2011 – NIRs should be submitted to the Secretariat by 6 December 2010 • Geneva, 30 June 2010 - Training session on preparation of national implementation reports

    13. Review of implementation – Compliance Mechanism • Article 15 • Non-confrontational • Non-judicial • Consultative • Public involvement • Communications from members of the public • 1st MoP, Lucca 2002 – Decision I/7 on review of compliance and election of the first Compliance Committee (9 members appointed in their personal capacity)

    14. Review of implementation – Compliance Committee functions • Examine compliance issues and make recommendations on its own initiative • Report on compliance with or implementation of the provisions of the Convention at the request of the MoP • Monitor, assess and facilitate the implementation of and compliance with the reporting requirements under article 10, paragraph 2, of the Convention

    15. Review of implementation – Compliance Committee functions • Submission made by a Party about another Party (Romania v Ukraine - ACCC/S/2004/01- Bystre Canal project in the Danube Delta) • Submission made by a Party about itself • Referrals by the Secretariat • Communications made by the public (49 communications)

    16. Review of implementation – Compliance Committee Findings and Recommendations MoP-2, Almaty 2005 – Decision II/5, - Decision II/5a (Kazakhstan, art. 9(1)), • Decision II/5b (Ukraine), and • Decision II/5c (Turkmenistan)

    17. Review of implementation – Compliance Committee Findings and Recommendations MoP -3, Riga 2008 – Decision III/6, • Decision III/6a (Albania), • Decision III/6b (Armenia, arts. 9(2) and 9(4)), • Decision III/6c (Kazakhstan, arts. 9(4) and 9(3)), • Decision III/6d (Lithuania, art. 9(2)), • Decision III/6e (Turkmenistan – conditional caution imposed), • Decision III/6f (Ukraine – conditional caution imposed)

    18. Review of implementation – Compliance Committee • Guidance Document on Aarhus Convention Compliance Mechanism http://www.unece.org/env/pp/ccBackground.htm • Case Law of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (2004-2008) http://www.rac.org.ua/index.php?id=27&L=1 • Access to all Compliance Committee related information at: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/ccBackground.htm

    19. Other Aarhus Convention bodies • Task Force on Access to Justice • Task Force on Electronic Information Tools - Recommendations on the more effective useof electronic information tools to provide public access toenvironmental information • Task Force on Public Participation in International Forums – Almaty Guidelines • Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-making (provisionally established by the extraordinary MoP)

    20. Role of the Aarhus Convention Secretariat • Not involved in legislation / practice of individual countries transposing Convention • Serve to collect / disseminate information relevant for broad range of countries, facilitate knowledge building • Sharing information useful for national implementation and transposition of Convention & EU Directives • AC & PRTR Protocol Implementation Guides • Legislators, policy makers, judiciary, lawyers, IGOs, NGOs and members of the public can use information in concrete, practical way at the national level

    21. Guides published to facilitate implementation • ‘Aarhus Convention Implementation Guide’ (2000, currently developing an updated version), www.unece.org/env/pp/acig.pdf • ‘Guidance on Implementation of the Protocol on PRTRs’ (2008) http://www.unece.org/env/pp/prtr.guidancedev.htm

    22. Aarhus Clearinghouse for Environmental Democracy • Available resources: 1,511 • Multi-stakeholders approach – resources source: • Academia: 187 • Government: 359 • Intergovernmental organisations: 473 • Non governmental organisations: 722

    23. Aarhus clearinghouse upgrades: • Design and integrate links to Aarhus Convention national reports database • New features to host a jurisprudence database • Add interactive flash map displaying Parties to the Aarhus Convention • Improve site architecture for multilingual capabilities

    24. Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers Protocol, Kiev Protocol to the Aarhus Convention (Art. 5 (9)) • Entered into force on 8 October 2009 • Parties: 25 countries and the European Union • MoPP-1, Geneva 20-22 April 2010

    25. PRTR Protocol – Obligation on each Party to establish a PRTR which is: • publicly accessible and user-friendly • presents standardized, timely data on a structured, computerised database • covers releases and transfers from certain major point sources • begins to include some diffuse sources (e.g. transport, agriculture, small- and medium-sized enterprises) • has limited confidentiality provisions • allows public participation in its development and modification

    26. PRTR Protocol – Obligation on each Party to establish a PRTR based on a reporting system which is: • mandatory • annual • multimedia (air, water and land)     • facility-specific (point sources) • pollutant-specific for releases • pollutant-specific or waste-specific for transfers

    27. PRTR Protocol – Facilities covered (Annex I) include: • Thermal power stations and refineries • Mining and metallurgical industries • Chemical plants • Waste and waste-water management plants • Paper and timber industries • Intensive livestock production and aquaculture • Food and beverage production

    28. PRTR Protocol – Pollutants covered (Annex II) include: • Greenhouse gases • Acid rain pollutants • Ozone-depleting substances • Heavy metals • Certain carcinogens, such as dioxins • TOTAL: 86 pollutants • Note: National registers may include additional facilities and substances

    29. Outcome of first session of the Meeting of the Parties to the PRTR Protocol to the Aarhus Convention • Geneva Declaration • Decisions • Work program • Bodies • Reporting on Implementation • Compliance • Future: further collaboration in the region • Capacity building • New Parties

    30. PRTR.net upgrades: • Content management system • Better handling of languages • GIS mapping data

    31. Aarhus Centers • Centres for information exchange and dissemination • Outreach to public, target groups • Resource partner for public authorities & NGOs • Expertise • Logistical support • Facilitation of meetings • Can serve as third party to mediate between public authorities and civil society in participation process

    32. Thank you for your attention! fe.sanchis-moreno@unece.org Aarhus Convention website: http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html Aarhus Clearinghouse: http://aarhusclearinghouse.unece.org http://aarhusclearinghouse.org PRTR.net: http://www.prtr.net