On 17 June, French online media, Journal de l’Environnement, reported that the Aarhus Convention 3rd meeting of the Parties held in Riga on 11-13 June resulted in progress concerning the commitment of the parties for more transparency and enhanced public participation in environmental legislation. The Health & Environment Alliance was represented at the meeting by its Vice-President, Dr Tamara Steger.
The 2nd and 3rd pillars were at the centre of the debate: access to environmental justice and participation in decision-making. According to Claire Avignon, a reporter for the Journal de l’Environnement, among the 41 parties of the Aarhus Convention, Albania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Turkmenistan and Ukraine are the countries that are the less interested in implementing the Aarhus Convention.
During the meeting of the Parties, Ukraine and Turkmenistan received a strong warning for their lack of efforts. Ukraine is used to systematically ignore its obligations concerning the Aarhus Convention and Turkmenistan is legislating to restrain NGOs leverage and impact.
Andriy Andrusevych from pan-European public interest group (:)) Ecoforum was very pleased of the decision. It seems to announce a new turn in the Aarhus Convention implementation. The next meeting of the Parties will take place in Moldavia in 2011.
Read the article on Journal de l’Environnement website, available only in French, registration required
Visit Ecoforum webpage on Aarhus Convention meeting of parties
Visit UNECE webpage on the Aarhus Convention, also containing an official press release on the meeting of the parties
Written on 26 June 2008.