Jeremy Wates EoE CSF presentation

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Jeremy Wates EoE CSF presentation Powered By Docstoc
					          eye on earth
        convene converge collaborate

       Earth Civil Society Forum
‘Greater Access to Environmental and
          Societal Information’

        Abu Dhabi, 11 December 2011

       Jeremy Wates, Secretary General,
        European Environmental Bureau
         Towards democratic environmental
•   The environmental crisis: we are not winning the battle
•   Failure to achieve rational societal decision-making
•   Improving the science-policy interface
•   Sustainable development requires participation of all
•   The public as decision maker e.g. consumer
•   The public as source of authority
•   Information is key
•   The shifting paradigm of information access: realising
    the public domain

    European Environmental Bureau
 Key elements of public access upon request

• Presumption of access
• Any person has access (no need to prove or even state
  an interest)
• Broad definition of environmental information
• All public bodies or bodies having public functions
  obliged to provide access
• Mandatory mechanisms ensuring flow of info from
  private sector
• Time limit
• Free of charge or limitations on costs
• Finite set of exemptions, with restrictive interpretation
  and weighing of public interest
• Appeals mechanism

   European Environmental Bureau
      Proactive measures promoting access
• Transparency and accessibility of information systems
• Increased access to information through Internet and other
  modern media
• Immediate dissemination of information in cases of
  imminent threat to health or environment
• Dissemination of international agreements, laws, policies,
  strategies, programmes and action plans relating to the
• Sufficient product information to ensure informed
  environmental choices
• Pollutant release and transfer registers  sustainability
• State of environment reports
• Accurate information in understandable form plus raw data

   European Environmental Bureau
    International frameworks promoting access
•Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development (1992)
"At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access
to information concerning the environment that is held by public
authorities, including information on hazardous materials and
activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in
decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage
public awareness and participation by making information widely
available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings,
including redress and remedy, shall be provided.“
• Aarhus Convention (UNECE Convention on Access to Information,
Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in
Environmental Matters, 1998)
• UNEP Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on
Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in
Environmental Matters (Bali, 2010)
• Rio+20??

    European Environmental Bureau

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