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ViennaGIS offers geodata for free - can we afford this?. (Original in German) With now nearly two hundred freely usable spatial data sets and Geoservices made available the city of Vienna as part of Open Government Data (OGD) in Austria is not only in leadership but also a good example of a successfully implemented spatial data infrastructure as well as opinion-forming in the strategic orientation of future support services of public administrations. This article focuses on the already excellent current situation, provides the arguments for the consistent approach by the City of Vienna and offers suggestions for the successful advancement of geoservice role of Austrian administrations. German
Publisher: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Vermessung und Geoinformation (OVG), 2014.

Citizen engagement with national policy: energy project shares its experiences . Ensuring successful public engagement in policy can be difficult. Four key challenges – communicating complexity, providing balanced information, creating space for deliberation and accessing broader values – are highlighted by a new study. Its authors show how they dealt with these challenges in a UK programme, designed to gather public views on the future of national energy policy. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

UNEP Access-to-Information Policy: open for comments until 28 February 2015. The UNEP access-to-information policy, issued on 6 June 2014, is currently on a pilot phase and subject to review within one year. During this interim period, there will be further consideration on the contents of the policy within the UNEP secretariat for possible refinement. In this context, the UNEP access-to-information policy has been open for comments since 15 November 2014 on UNEP’s official website. UNEP will receive and post comments on the above-mentioned webpage until 28 February 2015. Those comments thus received will serve as important inputs to the UNEP secretariat in refining the content of the policy as appropriate and support UNEP’s efforts to further disseminate and make accessible information concerning its work as widely as possible. English
Publisher: UNEP

Scotland: Lord Advocate lends backing to environmental court. Scotland’s top prosecutor has thrown his weight behind the creation of a specialist environmental court. The Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said the measure would send a “huge and powerful message” to the public of the seriousness with which this area of criminal law is taken. English
Publisher: Holyrood

Public consultation on draft SDSN report: Financing for Sustainable Development. The SDSN is leading a Global Finance for Sustainable Development Group to provide recommendations for the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015. This process is being undertaken at the request of the Government of Ethiopia. This report provides a roadmap for the Financing for Sustainable Development discussions in the lead-up to the Addis Conference. Focusing on a broad array of issues – public-private partnerships, climate and infrastructure finance, official development assistance, financial regulations and more – the goal of this paper is to lay out positions on a broad range of issues and put forward an initial set of proposed recommendations for the Addis Conference. This report has benefited already from comments and suggestions from a wide variety of organizations and an initial set of meetings and teleconferences. We welcome suggestions for how to improve this draft report. The SDSN is interested in working with institutions to further strengthen the report and its recommendations, and to fill some of the gaps highlighted in the document. This report is open for public consultation until January 15, 2015. Please submit all comments via the form below. If you have any questions about the report, please email Aniket Shah. English
Publisher: UNSDSN

Eco-design should consider how users maintain non-electrical products . The lifetime environmental impacts of non-electrical consumer products, such as clothes, could be cut by over 40% if consumers maintained them in a more environmentally friendly manner, new research suggests. The study found the impacts of eco-designed products fell significantly when user guidelines were included in the eco-design. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

EVENT: Access to Justice Conference, European Parliament, 12 November 2014. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including the third pillar on the need for greater access for victims to effective remedy. However, despite the official support given by the European Union and its Member States to the full implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, a recent study published by ECCJ, CORE, and ICAR has shown that the existence of legal, procedural, and institutional barriers still prevent victims of corporate abuses from gaining access to an effective remedy in the EU. The event aims at gaining an understanding of the legal and institutional frameworks pertaining to civil justice in business and human rights, as well as in the environmental, competition, and consumer fields in Europe. During the event, a high-level debate will also be launched on potential solutions to support the adequate implementation of the third pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (i.e. access to remedy) in the EU area of civil justice. Particular attention will be paid to the respective role of the EU institutions and its Member States in ensuring effective judicial remedy in Europe. The event will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders from academia, legal profession, business, civil society and policy makers. English
Publisher: Frank Bold

"Call For Input" Public Consultation on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development - Deadline October 15th. This summer UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the Independent Expert Advisory Group (IAEG) to provide concrete recommendations on how to achieve a Data Revolution for sustainable development. The IEAG report – due in early November – will be a crucial opportunity to explain how better quality and more timely data can transform development. The group is also looking for innovative approaches to data collection, publication, and use. To solicit input from all communities of practice – particularly academia – the IAEG is hosting a public consultation at undatarevolution.org to solicit input into its work until October 15, 2015. In spite of the short notice, we strongly encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions for the data revolution. English
Publisher: UN

Public support for wind farms increases with community participation. Public support grows for wind farms if they are located away from recreational areas and if they are either fully or partly owned by organisations within the local community. In addition, Swedish consumers would accept bigger bills for electricity generated by wind power if the local population were heavily involved in wind farm planning, a recent survey suggests. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

EVENT: Project workshop "Building upon good practices in European judicial training". To enable training providers to exchange ideas and find partners for further developing training for legal practitioners in how to apply EU law. The ideas are based on good practices for organising, implementing and evaluating such training that have been collected from across Europe in the framework of a Pilot project proposed by the European Parliament and implemented by the Commission. The workshop also explained how providers can get EU-funding to help them introduce new training techniques (generally for projects involving cross-border cooperation). The workshop contributed to the aim of the Commission´s Communication 2011pdf to deliver high-quality training to half of all legal practitioners by 2020. English
Publisher: European Commission, 2014.

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