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EVENT: Kyrgyzstan: 9th International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights devoted to the anniversary of the Aarhus Convention, December 2015. 26/08/2015 Source: Central Asia News The Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" announced the results of the selection round of the 9th International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights that will be held on December 10-14 in Bishkek. This year the Festival will be devoted to the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Accords and the three principles of Aarhus Convention. Kyrgyzstan joined the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in 2001. 40 foreign and 6 national documentaries were submitted to the Festival under the theme of women's and children's rights. The working group worked the documentaries from July 28 through August 7 and approved 20 foreign films from 40 submitted, and 4 national films from 6 submissions. Russian, 2015.

Promoting the Principles of the Aarhus Convention in International Forums: The Case of the UN Climate Change Regime. The 1998 Aarhus Convention constitutes a landmark international agreement to promote public participation, not only domestically, but also at the international level. In 2005, its parties adopted specific guidelines on the promotion of its principles in international forums and established institutional arrangements to promote the implementation of this instrument. This article provides an assessment of the work undertaken under the Aarhus Convention in the past 10 years in this respect, discussing the roles played by three main categories of actors: civil society organizations, national governments and international bureaucracies. The review of the promotion of the Aarhus principles in the international climate regime supports this analysis. This case study highlights that stakeholders and the secretariats established under the Aarhus Convention and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have played primarily a cognitive role as they worked to increase awareness of the parties on participation issues in the climate regime. To implement the Aarhus Convention in the context of the climate negotiations, the parties tend to favour domestic solutions (such as the inclusion of civil society representatives in governmental delegations) rather than reflect the Aarhus principles in their negotiating positions. English
Publisher: Reciel. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law, 2015.

Law and Practice on Public Participation in Environmental Matters: The Nigerian Example in Transnational Comparative Perspective. Public participation has become a recurring theme and a topical issue in the field of international environmental law, with many multilateral environmental instruments calling on states to guarantee effectively the concept in their laws and practices. This book focuses on public participation in environmental governance, in terms of public access to environmental information and public participation in environmental decision-making processes. Drawing on the body of international best practice principles in environmental law and taking a comparative stance, Uzuazo Etemire takes Nigeria as a key case, evaluating its procedural laws and practices in relation to public access to information and participation in decision-making in environmental matters. In working to clarify and deepen understanding of the current status of environmental public participation rights in Nigeria, the book addresses key issues in environmental governance for developing and transitional countries and the potential for public participation to improve the state of the environment and public wellbeing. Demonstrating the extensive transnational value of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention and its relevance even to non-Party states, Uzuazo Etemire uniquely utilises the regime in a non-UNECE context. Showing that its provisions largely indicate international best practice with respect to the subject-matter it deals with, the book employs the Convention, its implementation guidelines and decisions from the convention's Compliance Committee, amongst others, as a guide for assessing the adequacy of, and improving similar domestic regimes of an African and non-UNECE country. English
Publisher: Taylor and Francis, 2015.

Public perceptions of environmental risk: the role of journalists. Science not communicated is said to be science not done, but journalists’ portrayal of scientific findings can sometimes have a negative impact on public perceptions of science and even create false controversy. This study examined how presenting opposing scientific viewpoints affects public perceptions of environmental risk using climate change as the best illustration. English
Publisher: European Commissin, DG Environment, 2015.

Netherlands - Hague District Court- Urgenda Foundation vs. the State of the Netherlands re limiting greenhouse gas emissions - C/09/456689 / HA ZA 13-1396 – a link to the judgment . The Urgenda Foundation (Urgenda) brought this claim against the Netherlands, alleging that it has a legal obligation to take more ambitious measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Urgenda argued that the State has a duty of care towards Urgenda itself, the 886 individuals that Urgenda represented and Dutch society. The Court rejected the 886 individuals’ claims, believing that Urgenda had in any case successfully subsumed those claims. The Court concluded that the State has acted negligently and therefore unlawfully towards Urgenda by starting from a reduction target for 2020 of less than 25% compared to the year 1990. The Court found that its role was to offer legal protection, also in cases against the government, while respecting the government’s scope for policymaking. The State’s argument concerning the separation of powers was rejected. The Court ordered the State to limit the joint volume of Dutch annual greenhouse gas emissions, or have them limited, so that this volume will have reduced by at least 25% at the end of 2020 compared to the level of the year 1990. Dutch | English
Publisher: De Rechtspraak
Court/Body: Hague District Court
Decision date: 24 Jun 2015

EU study on improving online information on the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives. The Final Report of a study on the active dissemination of information in relation to the Birds Directive, 2009/147/EC, and the Habitats Directive, 92/43/EC focuses on 10 representative Member States (France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). It explores the interaction between the Birds and Habitats Directives and provisions on active dissemination of information found in the Access to Information Directive, 2003/4/EC, and on the management of spatial information found in the INSPIRE Directive, 2007/2/EC. The study was undertaken on the Commission's behalf by ARCADIS Belgium, ECNC and Leuven University. A stakeholder workshop was also organized on the topic on 24 October 2014, in Brussels, all presentations are available from http://ec.europa.eu/environment/aarhus/workshop_24_10_2014.htm English, 2014.

European Union - Court of Justice - Joined cases C - 401/12 P, C - 402/12 P and C - 403/12 P (Vereniging Milieudefensie and Stichting Stop Luchtverontreiniging Utrecht.); 2) Joined cases C - 404/12 P and C - 405/12 P (Stichting Natuur en Milieu and Pesticide Action Network Europe) - Summary with a link to the judgements. Key issue: Access to justice - private parties cannot rely on article 9, para. 3, of the Convention in order to challeng e the legality of EU acts before the General Court or the Court of Justice. Key words: Direct effect, Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006, internal review, clean air, pesticides, admissibility. English
Publisher: UNECE / Task Force on Access to Justice
Court/Body: Court of Justice of the European Union
Decision date: 13 Jan 2015

United Kingdom - Supreme Court - Reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-404/13) - Ambient Air Quality case ( ClientEarth v The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ) - Summary with a link to the judgements. Key issue: ENGO standing in a case regarding UK compliance with EC Directive on ambient air quality. Key words: Air pollution, UK compliance with EC Directive on ambient air quality. English
Publisher: UNECE / Task Force on Access to Justice
Court/Body: Court of Justice of the European Union (Reference for a preliminary ruling in C-404/13)
Court/Body: UK Supreme Court
Decision date: 29 Apr 2015

Sweden - Supreme Administrative Court and Stockholm Administrative Court of Appeal - The Kynna Wolf Case - Summary with a link to the judgement . Key issue: ENGO standing – The open criteria in national procedural law must be read so as to enable ENGOs to challenge in court decisions on the hunt of wolves, which is a species protected in law. Key words: Public concerned, ENGO standing, protected species, European Union law requirement, effective justice English | Swedish
Publisher: UNECE / Task Force on Access to Justice
Court/Body: Supreme Administrative Court and Stockholm Administrative Court of Appeal
Decision date: 15 Jul 2012

Belgium - Ghent Court of Appeal - CITES crimes case -Summary with a link to the judgement. Key issue: Rights of ENGO’s in Criminal Proceedings. Key words: CITES - Enforcement of Environmental Criminal Law - Rights of ENGO - Civil Party - Moral Damages Dutch | English
Publisher: UNECE / Task Force on Access to Justice
Court/Body: Ghent Court of Appeal
Decision date: 7 May 2015

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