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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
Publisher: "Environmental Public Advocacy Center" (EPAC) NGO, 2015.

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. English
Publisher: OSCE, 2015.

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: http://bit.ly/post2015-revised-targets 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: http://bit.ly/Feedback-received-targets-indicators More information about the post-2015 negotiations may be found here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015 English
Publisher: UN DESA, 2015.

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
Publisher: The European Commission, 2014.

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
Publisher: OSCE Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013.
Court/Body: Courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Court decision: Courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Decision date:

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
Publisher: Federal Council, 2015.

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

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