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Library of Aarhus videos. A compilation of short videos of Aarhus Convention and Protocol on PRTRs. Parties and stakeholders are giving a statement on the relevance of the two instruments for their personal and/or professional life. English | French | Portuguese | Spanish
List of requirements of the Espoo & Aarhus Conventions and the EIA Directive to be met by a national framework in the field of environmental impact assessment. This document was developed by Environment - People - Law within the framework of the project Promotion of European Standards of Environmental Impact Assessment in Ukraine in 2013. The analytical document brings together requirements of three international instruments in the field of environmental impact assessment, including those on transboundary procedures and public participation. Despite the fact that the project was implemented for the purposes of Ukraine, the proposed document is also applicable to any other country, working on the implementation of the Espoo and Aarhus Convention, as well as seeking to adapt the EU Directive on EIA. The document was prepared by Prof. Jerzy Jendroska originally in English and later translated into Russian by EPL. English | Russian
Public participation in spatial planning procedures: comparative study of 6 EU Member States. The study aims to clarify some important background issues: (1) the constitutional nature of the spatial planning decisions; (2) the interrelationship between spatial planning, construction permitting and various other relevant branches of environmental law (air, water, wastes etc.) and also some closely related branches of administrative law (forestry, mining etc.); and (3) the role of strategic environmental assessment as an integrative legal tool. All the country studies and the following summary starts with these issues and then analyses the possibilities of public participation in spatial planning procedures, together with the legal remedies available to the members and organisations of the public in case their participation rights or substantial rights to environment are infringed. English
Event: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “EXPERIENCE SHARING IN PUBLIC EDUCATION AND AWARENESS OF BIOSAFETY ISSUES” OСTOBER 1, 2013, MINSK, BELARUS. The event was dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Cartagena Protocol, and it had been supported by the Fund of the Central European Initiatives (CEI). The international conference was a great opportunity for representatives of Belarus State bodies, non-governmental organizations and scientists to share experiences and information with government representatives and scientists from Central European countries on biosafety issues and public involvement in decision-making. English | Russian, 2013.
Proactive dissemination: routinely publishing environmental information (The UK Information Commissioner's Office Regulation 4). Regulation 4 "Proactive dissemination: routinely publishing environmental information" provides for a series of guidance, which goes into more detail than the Guide to the Environmental Information Regulations, to help public authorities in the United Kingdom to fully understand their obligations and promote good practice.
This is part of This guidance explains to public authorities how to meet their obligation to progressively make information available to the public. English
Toolkit on Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making . The Toolkit gives an overview of how the public participation principles of the Convention are being harmonised in South Eastern countries, and also provides ideas and advice to public officials on how organise and benefit from public involvement.
The Toolkit is designed primarily for public officials, but other concerned stakeholders (such as investors, project developers, representatives of the public or NGOs) can find something of value in its contents. Bosnian | English | Macedonian | Montenegrin
Judicial Review: proposals for further reform in UK. The Government of UK is inviting views on potential measures for the further reform of judicial review. The measures aim to tackle the burden that the growth in unmeritorious judicial reviews has placed on stretched public services whilst protecting access to justice and the rule of law.
The consultation exercise seeks views on proposals in a number of key areas:
- how the courts deal with minor procedural defects that would have made no difference to the final decision;
- a number of measures to rebalance the system of financial incentives so that those involved have a proportionate interest in the costs of the case. This includes an amended proposal on payment of legal aid providers in judicial review cases, previously included in the Transforming Legal Aid consultation which closed in June.
- speeding up appeals to the Supreme Court in important cases.
- a new specialist “planning chamber” for challenges relating to major developments to be taken only by expert judges using streamlined processes. This builds on the “planning fast-track” process implemented in July 2013.
France - Constitutional Court - Schuepbach Energy LLC challeged a ban on hydraulic fracturing (Decision n° 2013-346 QPC) - A link to the decision. Key subject:
In June 2011, after numerous protests by environmental groups, the French parliament voted to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, due to potential risks to the environment. U.S-based firm Schuepbach Energy had challenged on four counts a ban, which led to two of its exploration permits being cancelled in southern France. In October 2012, France decided to maintain a ban on fracking until there is proof that shale gas exploration won’t harm the environment or “massacre” the landscape. In October 2013, the Constitutional Court considered the observations submitted by the Government and the environmental NGOs and ruled that in imposing the ban, lawmakers were pursuing a legitimate goal in the general interest of protecting the environment and noted differences between geothermal and shale gas exploration techniques. The court also rejected an argument that the ban was imposed against property rights.
Key words: ban on hydraulic fracturing, fracking French
Event: Two-day training course for judges and prosecutors on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention organized by OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded on 3 October 2013 a two-day training course for judges and prosecutors on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention – a key UN document on access to environmental information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. Special focus during the course was on access to justice and related EU legislation.
Thirty-eight judges and prosecutors from cantonal and district level courts and prosecutors’ offices discussed access to justice in judicial review cases that concern violations of the right to information, public participation in decision-making and issuance of environmental permits.
A facebook album of the event is available from: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151704246538403.1073741886.326129793402&type=3.
The training is part of a project of enhancing the rule of law through strengthening access to justice in environmental matters supported by the German government and the Environment and Security Initiative.
Agricultural Biotechnologies in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry. The website provides an overview of FAO’s activities in agricultural biotechnologies, a synthesis of biotechnologies in the different sectors (agro-industry, crop, fisheries, forestry and livestock) and links to national biotechnology policy documents of FAO Members. It also contains a number of other key features, including the multilingual FAO Biotechnology Glossary; the FAO Statement on Biotechnology; the FAO Biotechnology Forum, which has hosted 16 moderated e-mail conferences since the year 2000; News and Events, focusing on the activities of FAO, other UN agencies/bodies and the 15 research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); links to FAO documents (articles, books, meeting reports, proceedings and studies) and press releases produced by FAO in recent years about agricultural biotechnologies; plus access to all documents and outputs from the FAO international technical conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico in March 2010.
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