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Health and Environment Alliance - Public Participation

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Public Participation

Over the past two years, the Health & Environment Alliance has worked to ensure that the implementation of the UN ECE “Aarhus Convention of Access to Information, Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters” contribute to better governance around environmental health. It has also advocated for the inclusion of health-related data in the setting up of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.

At the EU level, the Health & Environment Alliance has monitored the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention to EC institutions and bodies. The associated Regulation was finally approved in July 2006 and has been welcomed as a step forward for the EU’s transparency and accountability in environmental matters as it improves access to environmental information and public participation. However, HEAL has joined other NGOs to criticize the fact that it fails to provide adequate access to justice in case the EU institutions fall short of applying the Aarhus provisions or implementing environmental law consistently.

In 2006, the Health & Environment Alliance has widened the scope of its activities for a better environment and health governance to cover health inequalities and environmental justice (i.e. the right to a healthy environment for all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, as well as their right to fair treatment and meaningful involvement with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies). HEAL has also promoted young people’s participation (see related section) on environment and health issues and works to ensure that their voice is heard and listened to by policy-makers at EU and Pan-European level.




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