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EVENT: Marc Pallemaerts Memorial Conference on Human Rights and the Environment. We are pleased to announce the Marc Pallemaerts Memorial Conference on Human Rights and Environment, which will take place on Monday, 4 May 2015, in Brussels.
The conference takes place a year after the untimely death of our brilliant colleague and friend. The conference commemorates Marc’s academic and professional contributions in the field of human rights and the environment and his vision of a rights-based approach to environmental protection.
The conference is being organised under the auspices of ECOSPHERE (European Centre on Sustainable Policies on Human and Environmental Rights), and the Belgian Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment.
The conference will start by reviewing some of Marc’s major accomplishments. We are honoured to have brought together so many of the people with whom Marc worked during his career, including:
· Abou Thiam, Coordinator, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Africa
· Christian vanden Bilcke, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs
· Peter Wittoeck, Head of Climate Change Unit, Belgian Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment
· Patrick Ten Brink, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
We are also pleased that Baskut Tuncak, who will be continuing the work Marc started as UNHCR Special Rapporteur on the human rights implications of hazardous substances and wastes, will join the conference.
We will then discuss the Aarhus Convention – its successes and the challenges still ahead in achieving the vision of Marc and its other drafters. For this part of the conference, we are joined by:
· Dr Luc Lavrysen, Judge, Belgian Constitutional Court
· Dr Ludwig Kramer, Derecho y Medio Ambiente, Madrid
· Dr Jerzy Jendroska and Magdalena Bar, Environmental Law Center, Wroclaw, Poland
· Yves Lador, Earthjustice Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva
· Katrien Debeuckelaere
The final session will take a broader look at the field of human rights and the environment and will feature:
· Prof. Nicolas de Sadeleer, Jean Monnet Chair, Saint Louis University, Brussels
· Prof. Bandi Gyula Pázmany Catholic University, Budapest
· Esther Pozo Vera, DG Environment, European Commission
The conference will be concluded with a celebratory dinner at a place to be announced. More information on the agenda and speakers is attached.
We very much hope you will be able to join us on May 4th. Please be sure to register, and please share this announcement with any other colleagues who might be interested in knowing about the event!
EVENT: Training workshop on the participation of civil society in intergovernmental processes related to sustainable development and the agenda for after 2015. On May 4, 2015, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (DESA) Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will hold a capacity building workshop on the participation of civil society in intergovernmental processes related to sustainable development and the post 2015 agenda. The workshop will be held in ECLAC headquarters in Santiago (Chile).
Participants in the workshop will also have the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge acquired during the workshop at the first meeting of the Negotiating Committee for Principle 10. Civil society is invited to participate in both events.
The draft agenda for the workshop can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/DSD-ECLAC-workshop-agenda
Due to space restrictions, participation in the events are limited and pre-registration is required. Please send the registration form participants to email@example.com by Friday, April 24, 2015. You will receive confirmation of your registration once the requisite forms have been submitted. Only those who receive official confirmation that may participate in the workshop. English | Spanish
GUIDE TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCESS OF ELABORATION OF DRAFT LEGAL ACTS RELATED TO ENVIRONMENT. The Guide to Public Participation in the Process of Elaboration of Draft Legal Acts Related to Environment has been elaborated and published by "Environmental Public Advocacy Center" NGO as part of the Project "Capacity Building for NGOs for effective participation in environmental decision-making through elaboration of relevant policy tools and awareness-raising". The Program "Strengthening Environmental Governance by Building the Capacity of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)", funded by the European Union, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and delivered by the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).
The Guide has been elaborated based on the results of survey conducted among decision-makers in the sphere of nature protection and representatives of civil society, comparative analysis of the national legislation and formed practice as well as documents adopted by the bodies of the Aarhus Convention.
The Guide encompasses necessary legal knowledge and skills in a teachable manner which are aessential for informed and effective participation in the process of elaboration and adoption of legal acts. The publication is envisaged for the members of civil society, business, decision-makers and those who are interested in environmental protection and ensuring rule of law through environmental democracy.
The Guide has also methodological importance and can be used for conducting trainings among different groups of the society. Armenian
OSCE-supported Aarhus Centres discuss their role in trans-boundary water management in South-East Europe. TIRANA, 26 March 2015 – More than 40 representatives of central and local governments, Aarhus Centres and civil society from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia discussed the challenges of public participation in trans-boundary water management and in trans-boundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes at a two-day regional roundtable organized by the OSCE, that ended today.
CONSULTATIONS: Stakeholder feedback on the indicators and targets for the SDGs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. On 19 March 2015, a technical report was released by the Bureau of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) on the process of the development of an indicator framework for the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda:
http://bit.ly/StatComm_Indicators_Technical_Report_March_2015On 23 March, a proposal for updating 19 of the targets in the Open Working Group on SDGs proposal was released by the co-facilitators of the post-2015 negotiations:
Non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and organizations participating in the Major Groups may contribute feedback on the draft indicators and updated targets by completing the form below.
Feedback submitted via this form can be viewed here:
More information about the post-2015 negotiations may be found here:
Real time monitoring of public health during high air pollution in UK: Fourteen days of poor air quality caused 4 000 extra healthcare visits. Real time monitoring of public health during two periods of high air pollution in the UK showed that there were an estimated 3 500 extra healthcare visits for acute respiratory symptoms and approximately 500 for severe asthma during these spells in 2014. The results of this research are presented in a new study which demonstrates the value of such ‘syndromic surveillance’ systems for exploring air quality’s effects on human health.
The researchers used air quality data and data from real-time ‘syndromic surveillance’ systems to look for trends that indicated higher than expected levels of health symptoms (compared with the same period in the previous year) at times of poor air quality. Syndromic surveillance systems monitor public health by collecting and analysing daily health-related data from sources including GP surgeries, emergency departments and a medical advice telephone service run by the National Health Service.
The research demonstrates the usefulness of syndromic surveillance for monitoring air pollution’s effects on the health of populations and communities. English
Analysis of Court Decisions in the Area of Environmental Protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012. Authors: Mirna Delalić, Ratko Pilipović, Damir Petrović
This documents analyses the national structure and institutional framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina with regards to environmental protection. It further discusses legal and judicial protection of the environment, including administrative and legal environment protection from the aspect of the rights set forth in the Aarhus Convention as well as the protection of the environment through Criminal Law and through Minor Offence Law in BiH English
Switzerland: State of the Environment Report 2015. The “Environment Switzerland 2015” report provides an overview of the current state and development of the environment in our country. It assesses the measures implemented by the federal authorities to improve the quality of the environment and identifies areas in which further action is required. It also compares the progress achieved in Switzerland with that in neighbouring countries, and looks to the future by summarising the environmental outlook for the year 2030 English | French | German | Italian
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
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
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